A callous response from the Indiana Commission for Women

March 28, 2014

an update from Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter

Did You Receive a Callous Response from the Indiana Commission for Women?

On March 5, the state’s Indiana Commission for Women bestowed the “Torchbearer Award” on Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky’s CEO, Betty Cockrum. Ms. Cockrum oversees the destruction of more than 5,000 unborn lives each year as she manages Indiana’s largest abortion business.

The Torchbearer Award is a prestigious honor. That’s why we are outraged that Ms. Cockrum received the award. In fact, on March 19 we announced a petition to the Indiana Commission for Women, asking that Ms. Cockrum’s award be rescinded. Her receiving of the award is simply offensive and not representative of Hoosier values. (Click here to read and sign the petition.)

Since the petition launched, more than 675 concerned citizens have added their names, thus demanding the award be rescinded. Shockingly, the response that signers are receiving from the Executive Director of the commission is nothing short of callous.

The response upholds award winners, including Ms. Cockrum, as “outstanding” and having “shown courage and perseverance.” The commission counts Ms. Cockrum among the great women of Indiana. Furthermore, the response fails to acknowledge petition signers’ concerns. A mere, “we take your concerns seriously,” could have gone a long way. Don’t forget, the commission was instituted by your elected officials and it’s run with your taxdollars.

Clearly, the Council of Judges, past Torchbearer Award winners who selected Ms. Cockrum, doesn’t care that Ms. Cockrum’s organization dismembers and discards thousands of Hoosiers through abortion each year. Given that half of the unborn victims are likely female, there’s a distressing irony in the fact that Ms. Cockrum received an award from an agency that wants to advance opportunities for women. How did the unelected, unappointed and unaccountable judges who selected Ms. Cockrum fail to see a problem with this?

If you haven’t signed the petition to the Indiana Commission for Women yet, please do so here. Soon you will receive your own response from the Commission. But, if you just can’t wait, here is the reply in its entirety.

Thank you for your email. For the past ten years, the Indiana Commission for Women (ICW) has hosted the annual Torchbearer Awards Program to honor women who have shown courage and perseverance. The Torchbearer Award recipients are selected each year by a panel of past Torchbearer Award recipients. These women, referred to as the Council of Judges, represent diverse geographic regions and professional backgrounds and make their decision based on nominations received from the public.  Nominated women are scored based on several criteria and must receive a unanimous decision in order to be selected. This year we had the honor of selecting 14 outstanding women and we are proud of the Council of Judges and the ICW Commissioners for their work on the 10th Anniversary Torchbearer Awards program. We look forward to continuing to honor and support the great women of Indiana.

Kristin Garvey, Executive Director

Indiana Right to Life Launches Petition to Rescind Award to Planned Parenthood CEO

March 19, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS – On Mar. 5, the Indiana Commission for Women, a state commission established by an act of the legislature, bestowed the Torchbearer Award on Betty Cockrum, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. A state website lauds the award as, “the State of Indiana’s most prestigious recognition of women.” Indiana Right to Life, which previously denounced the honoring of Cockrum, is launching a citizen petition to the Indiana Commission for Women that demands the award be immediately rescinded.

The text of the petition reads:

I am writing to request that the Indiana Commission for Women rescind the Torchbearer Award recently given to the CEO of Indiana’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood’s Betty Cockrum. Ms. Cockrum’s management of an organization that annually kills over five thousand unborn children is offensive and not representative of Hoosier values.

The fact that Planned Parenthood is currently engaged in litigation against the state of Indiana, and that previous litigation by Planned Parenthood has cost the state millions of dollars in legal fees, adds emphasis to the objectionable nature of this award.

Please rescind the Torchbearer Award given to Ms. Cockrum immediately.

The petition is available for signing on Indiana Right to Life’s website: www.irtl.org/icw.

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

# # #

State of Indiana Honors Abortion Business CEO

March 11, 2014

Torchbearers_23

 

Indiana Right to Life is denouncing the giving of a Torchbearer Award, noted on the state’s web site as “the State of Indiana’s most prestigious recognition of women”, to the CEO of Indiana’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood’s Betty Cockrum.  The honor was bestowed upon Cockrum on Mar. 5 at an awards ceremony held at the Indiana Historical Society by the Indiana Commission for Women, a state commission established by an act of the legislature.

Cockrum has managed Indiana’s Planned Parenthood operations since 2002, including its abortion operations in Merrillville, Lafayette, Indianapolis and Bloomington.  A conservative estimate is that Planned Parenthood has killed more than 50,000 unborn children by abortion in its Indiana abortion operations under Cockrum’s management.

During Cockrum’s time at Planned Parenthood of Indiana, the state of Indiana has paid millions of dollars in legal fees to the ACLU and others in fighting the never-ending suits Planned Parenthood has brought against the state.   In 2005, Planned Parenthood under Cockrum refused to comply with a request by Attorney General Steve Carter to turn over records of 73 girls under the age of 14 as part of a state investigation into Medicaid fraud.

“We are stunned and outraged that the CEO of Indiana’s largest abortion operations has been given this honor,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter.  “Planned Parenthood makes millions of dollars every year in Indiana by dismembering children piece-by-piece in the womb.  When did Indiana begin to honor people for overseeing the killing of children?  It’s hard to imagine that hanging on the office wall of a building dedicated to killing children is an award bearing the state’s top honor for women.  History will show this to be a tragic, embarrassing and foolish recognition by the State of Indiana. ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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