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Interview With Debbie Stokes From Vitae Foundation

Guy Nelson

As creator of the website, the Vitae Foundation wanted to respond to reporter Meghan Walker's news story that aired on 4/13/2011.

After the original story aired, the website moved this statement from a linked page to the home page: "YourOptions does not promote or refer for abortion services."

KUOW's Guy Nelson spoke with Debbie Stokes, the executive vice president of the Vitae Foundation.

Guy Nelson: "What is the Vitae Foundation's relationship to Care Net?"

Debbie Stokes: "We are an educational nonprofit that specializes in media, and one of our media focuses — actually, our main area of focus — is to make women aware of pregnancy centers in their community. We don't really have a direct working relationship per se with Care Net; we're not necessarily partnered. But many times when we do advertising, we do work with Care Net centers are frequently part of that."

Nelson: "Does the Vitae Foundation share the same philosophy on abortion, the same position on abortion, with Care Net?"

Stokes: "We do not promote or refer for abortion in our advertising, and so we do share that position with them. We do, as you know, have the website, and we do, while we talk about all the options, including abortion, on the website, we do state on the website that we do not promote or refer for abortion."

Nelson: "Regarding the Washington Bill, were you opposed to it? And, if so, why?"

Stokes: "Well, actually, we don't take a stand on that. As an educational nonprofit, we try to stay focused on the educational effort and not to get involved in legislation and/or politics."

Nelson: "So, it sounds like if legislation requires these pregnancy centers to be transparent, you're saying most of them are transparent, so there's not really a problem? You wouldn't oppose legislation ensuring that to happen."

Stokes: "Well, again, I'm not going to take a stand on legislation because that's not something that we do. Most of the centers that we like to work with are also considered medical, and we feel that they are very upfront and transparent in what they are trying to do."

[Ed. 09/30/2011: The Care Net organization didn't respond to KUOW's requests for comment on this story.]

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