- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A pro-life group’s decision to mail plastic handcuffs to abortion clinics and doctors is still grabbing headlines.

It’s also being used as a pro-choice fundraising tool, according to media reports.

On Jan. 22, the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling, members of the Pro-Life Action League in Illinois mailed out hundreds of packages to abortion clinics and doctors that contained a set of plastic handcuffs and a note from Eric Scheidler, the group’s executive director.

“Could you be next? If you want to get out of the abortion business, give me a call,” said the message, which included Mr. Scheidler’s phone number.

A picture of Dr. Naresh Patel, an Oklahoma abortionist who was arrested in 2014 for prescribing abortion drugs to women who weren’t pregnant, was also included in the group’s “care package.”

The “Handcuff Project” was inspired by a comment to Mr. Scheidler that handcuffs were “the fashion accessory that no abortionist should be without,” wrote Jill Filipovic in a recent article in Cosmopolitan magazine.

The Cosmo article said Mr. Scheidler was hoping to open conversations about abortion with clinic workers, and it did: “The Handcuffs Project has generated more response than we expected — phone calls and text messages from abortion workers, tweets from Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, and a host of media coverage, both friendly and hostile,” Pro-Life Action League said later.

In fact, Mr. Scheidler sent a package of diapers to an abortion clinic in Detroit  after talking with a clinic worker who said that if the league was so concerned about pregnant women, it should be sending her diapers, not handcuffs.

But according to the Jan. 28 Cosmo article, other clinic workers were not pleased to get the package. It looked like “intimidation and harassment and a very implied threat,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The stunt is still reverberating in some pro-choice circles, according to news reports.

Mia Raven, a leader of the Alabama Reproductive Rights Advocates (ARRA), told the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser this week that she has raised about $1,000 from the handcuffs project.

“We at ARRA wish to thank Eric Scheidler for his publicity stunt,” Ms. Raven told Robin Marty for a Wednesday article in Care2.com, a social media website for activists.

Moreover, an ARRA official, who is an artist, will “make art” of the handcuffs sent to clinics that will be auctioned off to raise money to help pay for abortions for women, Ms. Raven said.

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