Since news broke in April that the founder of the Curves fitness franchise, Gary Heavin, is a born-again Christian who makes hefty contributions to pro-life causes--like Care Net, a Texas organization operating "crisis pregnancy clinics" that counsel women against abortion--many Curves outlets have lost members who didn't want their dues to potentially go toward right-wing anti-choice causes. Ironcially, one Seattle Curves is across Madison Street from Planned Parenthood's regional headquarters. Curves had been offering Planned Parenthood staffers perks to join, but the club has now lost many members who worked at the pro-choice agency, according to a report in the Seattle Star.

Given the otherwise woman-centered philosophy at Curves--the clubs are usually run by women and are tailored toward ladies who might otherwise shy away from the gym, offering simple 30-minute workouts and a positive atmosphere--it's not surprising that Heavin's philanthropic activities rubbed customers the wrong way. According to the Star reporter who wrote about several South Seattle Curves centers in the November 17 issue, it especially bothered people like Kristin Glundberg-Prosser, the public relations coordinator at the Madison Street Planned Parenthood. She and many of her colleagues took classes at the center on the corner of 20th Avenue and Madison Street. But now, at least 20 women who work at that Planned Parenthood have quit attending the Madison Street Curves, hitting the fitness center especially hard, according to the Star.

The club's owners did not return calls from The Stranger by press time, but owner Cindy Phillips--whose views on choice are much different from Heavin's--told the Star that "individual club owners are being impacted a lot."

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