Did one of Austin’s most popular retailers cozy up to an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center?
The Texas Handmaids, reproductive rights activists that don red robes in the spirit of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian classic, have been on a steady letter- and email-writing campaign to Kendra Scott after the local jewelry company’s Domain store location threw a fundraiser this spring at the request of the Pflugerville Pregnancy Resource Center, as part of their philanthropic “Kendra Gives Back” program.
As the Chronicle recently reported, crisis pregnancy centers take aim at vulnerable pregnant women with the stated mission to deter them from abortion, using medical misinformation, shame, and religious proselytizing to achieve that goal. The Pflugerville CPC’s website, for instance, lists four options a woman may choose if she is pregnant and unsure, which include marriage and adoption – the fifth bullet point reads “Facts About Abortion” and links to the state’s ideological and error-riddled “Woman’s Right to Know” booklet. The local CPC “envisions a local community where women do not experience the emotional burdens associated with abortion” and will “work with local leaders and churches” to “reduce the number of abortions in Central Texas,” with help of “pointing women to Jesus Christ.”
Fed up with a lack of response from the company, the repro rights activists planned a protest at the Kendra Scott headquarters for this Saturday, Aug. 4. We reached out to Kendra Scott for comment about their support for the CPC. Rather than doubling down on defense, the company admitted to their errors.
“In this particular instance, our ‘we never say no’ motto unfortunately overshadowed our responsibility to properly research and understand who and how we were supporting,” said company spokesperson Patti Kelly. “As a result, we are carefully reviewing our internal vetting procedures for selecting organizations we partner with in the future. We have no plans to work with the Pflugerville Pregnancy Resource Center again and are committed to working with organizations that are fully transparent about their practices.”
The same day that Kelly responded, she also sent a message to the Handmaids, assuring them they have Scott’s “commitment” to halt any support to these CPCs in the future. “Kendra Scott has agreed to stop fundraising for fake clinics so we are happy to cancel this protest! Woo hoo!,” wrote the Handmaids, in a victory for pro-choice iridescent drusy pendant necklace lovers everywhere.
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