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Will corporate giving to Planned Parenthood change in light of new videos?

by | Jul 24, 2015

By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL Director of Education & Research

cecile-richards-videoBy this point, having read NRL News Today, you are up to speed on the latest Planned Parenthood scandals. Two top officials (so far) were secretly videotaped talking about how to provide intact baby body parts for experimentation.

On the pro-life blogosphere, you have seen one of the articles listing some of Planned Parenthood’s corporate sponsors and perhaps some of the followups of companies denying or distancing themselves from any link.  And you’re probably wondering, “Why”?

Why would any company ever even consider supporting a group like Planned Parenthood?” or “How could anyone not know that Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider and promoter?”

Good questions.

But for still too many people, Planned Parenthood is still just some charitable organization that provides poor people with cancer screenings, breast exams, and helps them plan their families. They may even imagine PPFA helps women deal with infertility.  Why “parenthood” is right there in their name!

They don’t know that the group is responsible for close to a third of all abortions performed in the U.S., or that their share of the country’s abortions has been steadily growing and that they have been building new clinics while others have been closing and the overall number of abortions (thankfully!) declining.

And a lot of it thanks to donations from big corporate donors like them. About 30% of Planned Parenthood’s revenues for its latest fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, or $391.8 million, came from “private contributions and bequests.”  We are told that this category includes foundation grants, corporate contributions, as well as private giving.

Now it’s true that there are levels of contributions, whether or not there are levels of culpability.

Some companies give directly with large corporate gifts.  They may specify that these gifts are only to be used for cancer screenings or sex education programs in poor public schools. But that simply means that Planned Parenthood can now plow more of their clinic revenues into expanding their abortion operations instead of having to use it to cover other programs or expenses.

Sometimes, it’s simply because a company has a matching gifts program, in which they agree to match the personal giving of any employee to any officially recognized 501c 3 charity.

The problem here, obviously, is that a group which kills babies, and charges hundreds of dollars for the “service” is put on the same par as groups which save babies’ lives or perform some genuine service for the poor, the sick, or disabled.

It only becomes harder to make the case that folks like Planned Parenthood do not belong on the list of respectable, legitimate charities when our own federal, state, and local governments fund the group to the tune of more than half a billion dollars a year!

Pro-lifers who know Planned Parenthood know it is responsible for millions of abortions since Roe v. Wade and are not surprised by the latest revelations.  But they are a real wake-up call for many in corporate America who always thought they were just giving to help poor women get mammograms (which few if any Planned Parenthood do) or help fight “teen pregnancy.”

There are some other categories of giving that are murkier but no less disturbing.  The head of a company’s  branch office may have a personal relationship with someone at the local Planned Parenthood affiliate, or they may simply run in some of the same elite social circles, so that contributions are expected.  The company’s national office may have little knowledge of the “community activities” in which their branch is involved.

Sometimes, it may be the tycoon who owns the company, or his personal foundation (built with funds he got from company stocks or profits) that is doing the giving, rather than the company itself.  Some of Planned Parenthood’s biggest financial backers are billionaires who’ve made their fortunes buying and selling corporations and stocks from a very broad cross section of American industries and service companies.

Identifying the abortion position of a broadly held public company is difficult, outside any official policies adopted by the corporate board or donations by the corporate office.

So what’s a responsible pro-lifer to do?

First, be on the watch for any announcement of large corporate gifts to groups such as Planned Parenthood.  That may involve not only watching the news, checking the newspaper for officials attending or being recognized at the opening of Planned Parenthood’s latest abortion mega-clinic, but also paying close attention to corporate reports.

Second, if you have any reason for concern at all, contact the company directly, preferably in writing.  Express your concern and your position and find out what level of involvement they have, if any, with groups like Planned Parenthood, groups doing medical research using embryonic stem cells, or supporting pro-abortion political candidates.

 

Now is a good time to do this with Planned Parenthood a lot in the news.  Make sure they know that Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion chain, performing more than 330,000 abortions a year.  Refer to the latest videos to illustrate just how callous and nonchalant these Planned Parenthood officials are about the destruction of human life and dissection of babies for medical experiments.

Third, if and when you get an answer, share a copy of that letter with us at NRLC.

These companies have given to Planned Parenthood and gotten away with it because either the company didn’t know what Planned Parenthood did or didn’t believe the public cared.

For too long, they’ve believed the mainstream media has told them (and is still telling them). As we’ve discussed at length, too many politicians and media outlets simply echo Planned Parenthood’s talking points which are intended to take the public’s eye off of PPFA’s deep involvement in extracting intact baby body parts and delivering them to middlemen who pass them along to medical “researchers.”

A massive outcry of customers and stock holders has the potential to be a real eye-opener for these corporations.

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