Chili’s restaurants in Indiana and Kentucky have canceled their fundraising initiative for Planned Parenthood, thanks to an overwhelming response from pro-life advocates.
News broke yesterday that the independently owned Chili’s restaurants had partnered with the Indiana-Kentucky Planned Parenthood affiliate to donate 15% of a patron’s pre-tax meal to the abortion provider.
The promotion included twenty-five Chili’s restaurants in the two states.
2nd Votes, which describes itself as a “conservative watchdog for corporate activism,” launched a social media campaign asking pro-life advocates to “Tell Chili’s we’re going somewhere else for dinner!” Before long, pro-lifers were using the Twitter hashtag #DefundChilis.
Chili’s released a statement this morning announcing that they had cancelled the promotion:
“At Chili’s, we have a longstanding history and take pride in giving back to unite our local communities together. We recognize every community is unique, and encourage our restaurant managers and franchise partners to support causes that help bring communities together and leave a positive impact on our valued Guests, neighbors, friends and families we serve.
“Yesterday, we learned that an independent franchise partner of Chili’s in Indiana and Kentucky made the decision to host a Chili’s Give Back Event on behalf of Planned Parenthood Indiana and Kentucky. While our franchise partner had the best intentions; we have received growing feedback and concern from community members regarding the Give Back Event. This feedback does not reflect Chili’s focus on bringing communities together and the event was never intended to be viewed as a partisan event or political statement, therefore we, along with our franchise partner, have decided to cancel the event.
“We will more clearly communicate the focus of Chili’s charitable giving efforts, so that our restaurant managers and franchise partners can feel empowered to support local organizations that bring communities together.”
The success of the #DefundChilis social media campaign shows how effective the pro-life movement can be when mobilized and working toward a common goal.
A Chili’s independent franchise partner in California canceled a similar fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in 2011 after Chili’s customers expressed their concerns.
Planned Parenthood has faced growing criticism in recent weeks following the release of a congressional report implicating its affiliates in illegal behaviors. A Live Action investigation also recently found that 92 of 97 Planned Parenthood clinics surveyed do not provide prenatal care for pregnant women, despite repeated claims from supporters that it should continue receiving federal funding because it claims to provide those services.