Office Depot backs down after turning away pro-life activist; prayers are against ‘policy?’

Office Depot has done an about-face and apologized to an Illinois woman for refusing to print her pro-life fliers.

Maria Goldstein made an order at the office supply giant’s Schaumburg, Illinois, location for printing of a flier that asked for prayers for the conversion of Planned Parenthood, cited numbers from its annual report and mentioned its sale of aborted baby body parts.

Goldstein, however, was refused service by an employee who said the flier was “restricted by corporate policy” and the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance.


But after a public backlash the company has changed its mind and apologized to Goldstein in a statement, Life News reported Friday.

Office Depot has contacted Ms. Goldsteins’s representative to explain that the store associate’s decision to decline a print order was in no way based on religious beliefs, but on the fact that it contained certain words and phrases that could be construed as graphic or advocates the persecution of groups of people, which is a violation of the company’s copy and print policy. Office Depot has long maintained a policy of not allowing associates to print items that violate copyright laws, advocate persecution of any group or contain graphic material.

Apparently, the Office Depot employee decided using the word “abortion” is too “graphic” (but Planned Parenthood’s performing them isn’t). The employee also decided praying for someone constitutes “persecution.”

Fortunately, saner minds — and probably the company’s bottom line — dictated a change of heart.

Upon a more detailed review, we have determined that the content of Ms. Goldstein’s flyer is not a clear violation of the company’s policy.

“We sincerely apologize to Ms. Goldstein for her experience and our initial reaction was not at all related to her religious beliefs. We invite her to return to Office Depot if she still wishes to print the flyer,” said Roland Smith, chairman and chief executive officer, Office Depot.

Office Depot will continue to have policies that guide the refusal to reproduce material that is protected under copyright, contains graphic material or advocates the persecution of any groups of people, regardless of the reason. In addition, all customers are free to use the self-service copy machines in our stores without being subject to the policy.


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