PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Planned Parenthood lobbyist who appeared to endorse infanticide at a March hearing in the Florida Legislature is a former board member of a local Catholic Charities affiliate, a spokeswoman said.
Alisa Lapolt Snow had served on Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida-Tallahassee’s board of directors, Peggy DeKeyser, director of communications for the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla., confirmed to Catholic News Agency April 9.
“She was vetted before she applied for the board of directors,” DeKeyser said. “There was nothing indicated that would have prevented her from becoming a board of directors' member at the time.”
Snow resigned from her unpaid position with the Catholic Charities affiliate in January. She then became a lobbyist on behalf of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates.
She became the focus of controversy at the end of March for her comments to a Florida Legislature committee considering a proposed bill to protect infants born alive during an abortion.
A state legislator asked what Planned Parenthood would want to happen to a baby born as a result of a botched abortion.
“We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family and the physician,” Snow said.
The organization’s Florida affiliates' alliance partially backed away from Snow’s comments April 4, saying that it condemns physicians who do not follow the law or endanger a woman’s or child’s health. At the same time, the alliance contended that “biased media outlets” had reported its position “inaccurately.”
DeKeyser said Snow’s resignation before starting a consulting relationship with Planned Parenthood was “probably an appropriate step to take.”
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the U.S. It is a frequent opponent of the Catholic Church on pro-life issues and matters of sexual morality.
DeKeyser suggested that the former board member’s present actions should not affect people’s views of Catholic Charities.
“I don’t think there’s any mistake about the Catholic identity of Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida,” she said. “It is very much at the forefront of delivering a Catholic mission to those in need across northwest Florida. It’s very much an agent of the Gospel and of the mission of Jesus Christ.”
CNA sought comment from Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida’s leadership but did not receive a response by deadline.