Pampered Chef profits will no longer fund abortions

OMAHA, Neb. (BP)--Billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. has changed its charitable giving policy after a group of Pampered Chef sales consultants petitioned the conglomerate to stop using profits to fund abortion clinics.

Berkshire Hathaway purchased The Pampered Chef, one of the nation's fastest-growing kitchenware companies, last October and implemented its 22-year-old policy that allowed Class A shareholders to choose up to three charities for Berkshire to contribute to, with the size of the donation based on how many shares each holder owned, CNNmoney reported.

It's estimated that Berkshire Hathaway gave $11 million to organizations like Planned Parenthood in 2002, according to Family News in Focus. Buffett, considered one of the wealthiest men in history with an estimated fortune of $28 billion, is known as one of the abortion industry's top financiers.

When Pampered Chef sales representatives, many of them stay-at-home moms, learned that their work was helping fund the abortion industry, they began to resign and protest the company's charitable giving policy. They signed a petition and got the attention of top officials.

"It was having a devastating effect on Pampered Chef's business. They were losing consultants and they were losing customers as a result," Cindy Coughlon, a Pampered Chef consultant, told Family News in Focus.

She added: "I don't think God could have made this any louder or clearer. There are simply no excuses for the Christian community not to stand up and make [its] voice heard."

Berkshire Hathaway will no longer fund any charities, opting instead to let subsidiaries like Pampered Chef decide what charities to support.

The Pampered Chef mission statement reads: "We are committed to providing opportunities for individuals to develop their God-given talents and skills to their fullest potential for the benefit of themselves, their families, our customers and the company. We are dedicated to enhancing the quality of family life by providing quality kitchen products, supported by service and information for our consultants and customers."

The Pampered Chef has benefited for years the very clientele it was offending with the charitable giving policy, Focus on the Family's Citizen magazine said in its June issue. Family News in Focus said the story is a tale of David and Goliath: "Some businesswomen, who are also stay-at-home moms, confronted one of the richest men in history" -- and won.

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