Alaska's largest provider of abortions will be selling holiday gift certificates good for services including abortion in a fundraising effort during a Jewish bazaar on Sunday.
The certificates are being sold in Anchorage as part of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest's effort to raise funds for their organization.
Alaska Family Council President Jim Minnery said PPGNW's efforts are meant to mock those whose faith dictates that abortion is morally wrong.
"They have a true disrespect and disdain for those who have a true faith," he commented. Minnery believes their holiday efforts are a not-so subtle "poke in the eye" of pro-life advocates.
The Alaskan fundraiser is the latest effort in Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Christmas fundraising endeavors.
In the past, PPFA sold "Choice on Earth"-themed Christmas cards.
The cards featured a variety of designs, including two doves (one white, one gold) holding olive branches.
Other cards stated "Seasons Greetings" and "Happy Planning for the New Year" while featuring white silhouettes of a parent and child on a pink background.
"Planned Parenthood has enjoyed poking Christians with sticks at Christmas, mocking the birth of Jesus with their unique holiday greeting cards," Jill Sedlak, executive director of America's Life League's STOPP International, said, according to Lifenews.com.
Minnery, meanwhile, commented, "They're riding on the coat tails of the sacred story."
Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt had dismissed such criticisms in the past, saying their greeting cards were popular among America's pro-choice majority for almost a decade and that they send "an inclusive seasonal message for people of all faiths."
However, the controversy lies in the origin of the phrase "Choice on Earth." It is a spinoff of the biblical proclamation of "Peace on Earth" when angels announced the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Pro-life groups are outraged over the use of the word "choice" to link abortion to a day which celebrates the birth of Jesus.
In 2007, PPFA seemed to have dropped the promotion of its holiday cards.
PPFA President Cecile Richards sent a 2007 holiday e-mail stating, "As I reflect upon the past year and consider the next, I can't help but feel a sense of good will. Good will towards the women, men and families that we serve. Good will toward you, my Planned Parenthood family."
There was no mention of the card.
However, the certificates have continued with other holiday gifts, including summer releases of "I Had an Abortion" t-shirts and holiday PPFA-themed gift certificates. An advertisement for a vasectomy certificate states, "Give the gift that stops giving … a gift certificate for a holiday vasectomy at Planned Parenthood."
Minnery said it is offensive that Planned Parenthood would use the Christmas season to propagate the message of abortion and says it is misguided if it believes that the right to choose an abortion is as sacred to as the Christmas story.
PPGNW will be one of 35 non-organizations selling their wares with prices ranging from $5 to $30 during the Dec. 5 market, sponsored by the Congregation Beth Sholom Jewish Synagogue.
The synagogue is a recognized member of the Union for Reform Judaism. In a statement, URJ recognizes abortion as an acceptable choice in the event of rape, incest, or genetic testing that determines that a child will be born with a life-threatening disease or severe disability.
It also recognizes abortion to be a woman's choice and states that an abortion can be performed "even as late as the moment before the head of a baby emerges from the birth canal."
PPGNW operates five clinics in Alaska as well as clinics in Idaho and Washington. It is currently challenging an Alaskan state law set to take effect Dec. 14 mandating parent notification and approval of abortions for youths 17 and younger.