After a good deal of outcry and negative press, organizers of Lilith Fair have rethought their decision to allow crisis pregnancy centers to be considered as part of the donations typically distributed to local non-profits in cities the concert tour visits this summer.
As I wrote in a blog post on Wednesday, a national grassroots campaign Lilith Fair: No Money For Crisis Pregnancy Centers! Facebook page was launched in hopes of convincing Lilith organizers to not support organizations like the Indiana Crisis Pregnancy Centers (now called “Life Centers”) which have been found time and time again to provide false and misleading information to women in efforts to scare them out of having an abortion.
The campaign seems to have worked. This morning, the group released the following statement:
We are incredibly moved by the number of people who were able to rally together so quickly around the grave women's rights issue of crisis pregnancy centers. We have seen the removal of the CPCs in each of the cities we listed - Minneapolis, Indianapolis, and Atlanta. The Facebook page began on Monday afternoon, directly after the posting of the "Choose your Charities" ballot, and we saw it quickly mushroom to a fan base of over 1200 committed concerned advocates for women's rights. We are so grateful to everyone who wrote an article, an email, a tweet, and started conversations regarding CPCs. While we can claim this as a victory, CPCs continue to misinform women and provide medically unsound information. We urge everyone to continue their activism by spreading the truth about the anti-woman practices of CPCs. Finally, we would like to thank Terry, CEO of the Nettwek Music Group, for moving so quickly on this important women's rights issue. Thank you!
Becky Smith and Katie Blair
Smith also shared an email she received from Lilith co-founder Terry McBride explaining the decision to remove Life Center and other CPCs from the list of charities.
I respect and support your point of view.
The intent behind this contest is to have the community help us select worthy choices so that Lilith's can make an informed decision on its local charity donation. It is also our heartfelt desire to bring awareness to all the great work being done in the local communities by the many organizations, not just the one we choose in the end.
This process is now being polarized by politics which is really such a negative tact where it should be a positive one as we want and respect community input to help us. The seeding at the start was done with a basic digital search in each market of woman's charities, it’s not perfect , nor could it be as we simply don't have the local expertise even within our own city of Vancouver.
It’s become clear that we need to set a Criteria which we will shortly release that will resolve many of the issues.
It’s important to note that in addition to the removal of the crisis pregnancy centers, Lilith has also removed NARAL pro-choice center in North Caroline from the list of potential charities — essentially removing all organizations associated with reproductive health in hopes, it seems, of removing the controversy.
Kudos to McBride and other Lilith Fair officials for rectifying the situation as quickly as they did. Hopefully they will be careful and thoughtful in the future when selecting potential recipients.
Bottom line — buy your Lilith Fair tickets in good conscience. None of your money will go to a CPC. Instead, you can go to the official Lilith Fair Facebook Fan page and choose from one of these local deserving groups —
Indiana Women in Need
Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
WINGS (Women in Need of Growing Strong)