Yesterday, my Facebook news feed blew up with headlines saying things like, “Chili’s donates 15% of every meal to Planned Parenthood.” I own a business and a headline like this does not pass the smell test. Business does not operate on that high a margin, and that would be a huge donation. So I investigated further.
To begin with, the headlines were very misleading- big surprise. You can see the voucher here. Chili’s runs promotions for charities from time to time and uses a voucher program to help raise money. Now, Planned Parenthood is listed with the IRS as a non-profit organization. All that means is they manage to eat up all the profits every year with salaries and expenses. However, I’m not here to debate any of that.
Chili’s is a franchise, so each location is owned by an individual or investment group. They could own one restaurant or several. It appears that the same entity owns a number of restaurants in locations around Indiana and Kentucky. So this voucher and program were done by just these franchises, it was not system wide as the headline indicated.
Also, the program requires the use of the voucher. The customer would have to bring the voucher and present it for the donation to happen. Personally, Planned Parenthood disgusts me, the taxes that support its macabre practices and the lies that are told about its real history and purpose. Al least this program is one that requires a mutual arrangement.
When the headlines went national, Chili’s Corporate contacted the franchise owner and told them to stop the program. It is unclear how many vouchers may have been used. Life News contacted one of the locations, and the employee who answered was not even aware of the program.
I am glad the public attention stopped the program. However, this is another instance where an incomplete report and misleading headlines led to an unfortunate response. There are well over 1,000 Chili’s restaurants around the country; I suspect knowing the ratio of pro-life in the general public, it is likely that at least half are owned by pro-life owners. That means if you bought the lie that all Chili’s were involved, you hurt people who are like minded with you.
In this day and age, it is more important than ever to read more than headlines. Don’t be a lemming.
Photo Credit: "Chili's," © 2014 Mike Mozart, Flickr | CC-BY