(Photo: Reuters/Mike Stone)
A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group that raises funds for abortion is coming under fire for selling a "coat hanger pendant" to donors who finance their group. The small nonprofit has shot back at critics, saying it has sold the pendant for several years and arguing that the small necklace is meant to represent the desperate measures women would take to have an abortion if the procedure is not readily available.
The nonprofit group, DC Abortion Fund, makes grants to low-income women in D.C., Maryland and Virginia who cannot afford to pay for their abortion on their own. On their website, the group offers a "coat hanger pendant" gift to all donors who give $10 or more to the nonprofit group. "Donors who sign up to give $10/month or more will receive a DCAF coat hanger necklace as our way to say thank you," the DCAF's donation website reads. "Visit our online donation page today and in the dedication box, type in 'Coat Hanger.'"
Pro-life advocates have blasted the group for their "gift," calling the coat hanger pendant "sick," "twisted," "disgusting," and "gruesome." Herman Cain, former 2012 candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, tweeted: "It's a sad day in America when an abortion fund pushes donations by saying they'll send you a coat hanger pendant."
"Horrific, disgust is too weak .. oh, it's real folks, Sick, sick, sick," tweeted Jared Smith.
"This 'coat hanger' pendant is simply disgusting and in very bad taste to say the least," commented one reader on the National Review Online, which reported on the controversial pendant on Tuesday.
Deacon Greg Kandra of the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., sarcastically described the pendant giveaway as "charming," adding simply, "pray for these people."
The DC Abortion Fund responded to the controversy on Thursday, writing on its official website that although there has recently been a lot of uproar over the coat hanger pendants, the nonprofit has actually been offering the necklace for years. "The DC Abortion Fund – contrary to recent conservative media reports – has for many years given away a silver coat hanger pendant to our monthly supporters.
"The pendant is nothing new or even particularly newsworthy."
The group said the idea behind the coat hanger pendant was to remind pro-abortion advocates of what they're fighting for, suggesting that before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, women had to resort to desperate measures to have a home abortion, such as using a coat hanger to remove the fetus.
"The coat hanger is a reminder of women's suffering when abortion is placed out of reach. It is a promise from reproductive justice advocates to never go back to the grotesque world our anti-choice opponents are striving for: a world WITHOUT safe access to abortion, where women might have to resort to horrific alternatives like a coat hanger. That's why our supporters love the pendants and wear them as a point of pride," the group maintained.