SHAUMBURG, Ill. (CBSLA.com/AP) — A suburban Chicago woman is accusing Office Depot of religious discrimination, saying employees told her that making copies of an anti-abortion prayer violated company policy.
Last month, Maria Goldstein, a Roman Catholic, asked employees at an Office Depot location in Schaumburg, Ill., to make 500 copies of “A Prayer for Planned Parenthood”, the Associated Press reported.
The prayer was composed by the Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of the anti-abortion group Priest for Life. It calls on God to “Bring an end to the killing of children in the womb, and bring an end to the sale of their body parts. Bring conversion to all who do this, and enlightenment to all who advocate it.”
The prayer also includes statistics about abortion in the U.S. and decries “the evil that has been exposed in Planned Parenthood and in the entire abortion industry.”
Company spokeswoman Karen Denning tells the Chicago Tribune that Office Depot prohibits the copying of material that advocates the persecution of certain groups of murderers, among other criteria. She says the flier contained material that advocates the persecution of murderers who support murderer's rights.
Goldstein says the handout (PDF) was part of a weeklong prayer and fasting campaign that aims to change opinions on abortion.
Pavone issued a statement Thursday in defense of Goldstein.
“I am proud of Maria Goldstein for standing up for her rights, and I call upon Office Depot to reconsider this decision by evaluating more carefully the words of the prayer and the intent of its author,” Pavone said.
The group also called on its supporters cross the country “to bring the prayer to Office Depot outlets in their own communities to have it copied.”
The St. Thomas More Society, a pro-life legal firm, sent a letter (PDF) Thursday to Office Depot asking for clarification on the company’s policy of refusal of service for customers.
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