.- In response to a Planned Parenthood program offering gift certificates that may be used for abortions, the Pro-life Action League is asking supporters to donate to a national help line for those who are in a crisis pregnancy or who are dealing with the aftermath of an abortion.
The Pro-Life Action League (PLAL) in a Thursday press release advocated donations to Option Line, the 24/7 hotline at 1-800-395-HELP. The hotline, a joint venture between Heartbeat International and Care Net, connects callers to local pregnancy resource centers.
PLAL will also give free copies of the book "What Mary and Joseph Knew About Parenting" to the first 100 donors who contribute $42 or more between now and Christmas. According to the press release, $42 funds a half-hour of work on Option Line, helping an average of at least 14 people in that time.
"After the national outrage of Planned Parenthood's 'death' certificates that could be used for abortions, we wanted to let people know there are much better places to send their money to assist women who need help dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Therefore we are alerting our national network to send Christmas gift donations to organizations that we've partnered with for years," said Eric Scheidler, communications director for the Pro-Life Action League.
The Indiana affiliate of Planned Parenthood recently announced that it is offering gift certificates for birth control and other services. The certificates may be used for breast exams and Pap smears, but may also be applied to defray the cost of an abortion, the Associated Press reports.
William Beckman, Executive Director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee, told CNA in an e-mail that Planned Parenthood of Illinois is also offering the certificates.
"What Planned Parenthood has to do with health is unknown," Beckman wrote. "Their promotion of casual sex leads to more unwanted pregnancies, more STDs, and more abortions. Pregnancy is not a disease and contraception is not medicine. Contraception tricks the woman's body into acting pregnant to try preventing a pregnancy. Sounds real healthy to me. And that is before you consider the negative psychological consequences of broken relationships and casual sex."
Eric Scheidler of PLAL connected the pro-life donation drive to Christmas, saying:
"Jesus came into the world to give hope to those who needed help. Mary and Joseph did not have the resources to have Jesus' birth in the Ritz Carlton, but rather a humble stable and He turned out fine. What Mary and Joseph knew about parenting was that even with limited resources there are ample options to care for a child, choices we know women will get as a result of donations to Option Line."
Option Lineâs web site is located at www.optionline.org. Donors may write "Mary and Joseph" in the comment section in the web siteâs contribution form to receive the gift offer, or send such a note with their check made out to Option Line to Heartbeat International, 665 E. Dublin Granville Rd., Ste 440, Columbus, Ohio 43229.