In a document affixed with Minnesota's official seal and signed by Minnesota's Secretary of State, Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty has officially dubbed April "Abortion Recovery Month."
His proclamation hails the "culture of life and hope" and praises the state's church-based abortion recovery programs as "offer[ing] support and recovery services to those who have had abortions or who have been impacted."
The proclamation was first reported by The Minnesota Independent.
The statement by the Republican governor, a possible contender for his party's presidential nomination in 2012, reads:
Whereas: Abortion recovery programs help individuals heal by providing counseling, support groups, encouragement; and
Whereas: Abortion Recovery Month encourages and promotes healing opportunities and raises awareness of the aftermath of abortion experienced by individuals and families.
The language of the proclamation may have been amenable to both the pro-choice and pro-life camps, but pro-choice organizations were quick to highlight the political nature of the move.
"Clearly, this proclamation is truly nothing more than Gov. Pawlenty pandering to the anti-choice organizations in the state," NARAL Pro-Choice spokeswoman Linnea House told the Independent.
House added that she "was hoping the governorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s proclamation was an April FoolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day joke last week," alleging that the governor would be focusing on educating the youth about unwanted pregnancies if he were serious about his goals.
Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Kathi Di Nicola called the governor's effort "pure politics."
Texas GOP governor Rick Perry issued a similar declaration, the Christian Post reported, using stiffer anti-abortion language than his Minnesota counterpart.
"An abortion is a tragic ending, not only because of the loss of a life, but also because of the physical and psychological trauma caused by the procedure itself," Perry noted in the proclamation.