Imagine there is a knock at your door from a small boy who asks if you want to buy candy so he can go to camp this summer. You do not object and while spotting your favourite candy you casually ask which camp he plans to attend. The boy answers, “The Hitler Youth Program.” You are now faced with a moral dilemma. While you would love to support the child and buy the candy, you obviously cannot support the immoral agenda of the Hitler Youth and so you cannot buy the candy.
Now imagine that one of your favourite stores publicly announces its support for an organization that provides abortions. Once again you are faced with a moral dilemma. The company’s goods mean much to you and it would be very inconvenient to do without, yet remaining a loyal customer would imply consent for their decision and actually fund abortions.
It is very likely that the second scenario is true for at least some of the stores you shop at; they are just not telling you. Brands or stores such as Nike, Johnson&Johnson, Staples, and Red Lobster, to name a few, financially support Planned Parenthood, thereby directly paying for the decapitation, dismemberment and disembowelment of small children. Do we have an obligation to take action?
What is Planned Parenthood?
Let us first consider what the organization being funded actually stands for. Planned Parenthood was founded in 1916 by Margaret Sanger, a woman who advocated for eugenics through birth control in order to limit the number of people she considered inferior. Today, Planned Parenthoodstill celebrates her legacy, even comparing her to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It promotes the 'sexual liberation' of children and youth in collaboration with UNFPA, aides and abets human traffickers by performing abortions on their victims without offering help or contacting police, and condones rape and incest by failing to report when a woman comes in for an abortion after having been sexually abused.
As if it couldn’t get worse, Planned Parenthood is also the single largest abortion provider in the world. In 2010, the so-called reproductive health care provider was responsible for nearly 330,000 abortions, each of which brutally ended the life of a small, preborn child. Planned Parenthood reports having distributed approximately 1.5 million emergency birth control kits in the same year, and while birth control pills occasionally cause an abortion, emergency birth control (also known as the morning-after pill) usually does so. That makes no difference to Planned Parenthood since, in their own words, “everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child” regardless of how this comes about.
Annually Planned Parenthood reaches 1.1 million people with programs that encourage sexual experimentation, leave out abstinence education, and deny parental rights and responsibilities, thereby perpetuating a cycle of sexual immorality that leaves behind a trail of death and destruction among born and preborn people alike.
Public ignorance of Planned Parenthood’s activities, goals and philosophy is its greatest ally because the greater the public education about the organization, the far less support there is for it. In fact, the more knowledge people gain about Planned Parenthood’s agenda and actions, the more likely they are to actively oppose them as well. It is therefore imperative that we educate ourselves and others, and follow up with appropriate action.
Funding and Financial Stewardship
Almost half of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from government grants and reimbursements and particularly in the U.S. pro-life efforts are constantly made to curb this through legislation. At the same time, more than 20% of the enterprise’s annual income is derived from donations, largely from corporations that thus lend support and legitimacy to Planned Parenthood through their philanthropic programs. And that is precisely where we must take an honest look at our own involvement. After all, by buying from companies that support the biggest abortion provider in the world, are we not funding the slaughter of the innocents as well?
Proverbs 3:9-10 tells us to “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Wise stewardship of the resources we receive means that we purposely seek God’s glory and the advancement of His kingdom, also in our financial interactions. It is therefore impossible to honour the Lord with the wealth He has given us if our purchases pay for an agenda and activities that areharmful and ungodly.
It is true that the corporations’ decision-makers who support the abortion industry are ultimately responsible for the funding of Planned Parenthood, but that is irrelevant for us. In order to refrain from participating in evil, we ought to withhold our financial support for these corporations as much as possible. This is also known as boycotting.
The Albert Einstein Institute’s defines an economic boycott as “the withdrawal or withholding of economic cooperation in the form of buying, selling, or handling of goods or services, often accompanied by efforts to induce others to do likewise.” Utilizing this tactic in the case of Planned Parenthood not only disassociates us from its agenda, it also exposes the group’s evil deeds and brings about change. How? By economically boycotting these companies, informed pro-lifers make a conscious choice to use an effective tactic that raises the issue to a level where it gets appropriate attention.
While some question their effectiveness, boycotts that are carefully planned and faithfully executed actually have a long tradition of bringing about the desired change. Just recently, Pepsi stopped using aborted fetal cell lines as flavour enhancers after months of pro-life protest and a boycott of the company’s products. A famous example from history is the boycott of sugar that was slave-grown, organized by William Wilberforce in order to call attention for the inhumane treatment of African slaves. Combined with other efforts, this boycott successfully ended the 18th century slave trade in the British colonies. Since that time, many have joined in effective boycott efforts at some point in history.Today, while we know about the evil of Planned Parenthood and the fact that our money is often used to fund it, should we not do the same?
The Boycott List
One may wonder how to go about such a boycott but this has been made easy by Life Decisions International, an organization that “is dedicated to challenging the Culture of Death. LDI concentrates on exposing and opposing the agenda of Planned Parenthood,” one of its projects being the Corporate Funding Project which educates companies about Planned Parenthood to convince them to stop their financial support. LDI provides a list of corporations that refuse to deny support to Planned Parenthoodand encourages those who care about life and God’s commandments to boycott them. The Boycott List includes corporate names, subsidiaries, products, services and how to contact each company, and can be ordered at www.fightpp.org.
In Ephesians 5:11 the Lord instructs us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” In his commentary, Matthew Henry writes that having fellowship with the deeds of darkness is done not only by committing a sin but also by “commendation, counsel, consent, or concealment” of the sins of others. He points out that the second part of the text shows we must not only refrain from but also reprove sin in order to not have fellowship with them, and this should be done by witnessing “seasonably and pertinently, in our words; but especially by the holiness of our lives, and a religious conversation.”
In the case of abortion, refraining from having one isn’t good enough. In the case of Planned Parenthood, not to use its services doesn’t quite meet biblical standards. We must neither engage in the organization’s works of darkness, nor give consent to them with our financial interactions. At the same time, we are called to reprove in love, in order to hinder the triumph of evil, to seek our neighbor’s welfare, and to bring glory to God’s great name.“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
According to Life Decisions International, at least 283 corporations have already ceased their funding, resulting in a 40 million dollar loss for Planned Parenthood. Clearly, just as Wilberforce engaged in a boycott to end the injustice of his time, those who boycott corporate supporters of Planned Parenthood today attempt to eliminate the greatest human rights abuse of our day.
People often ask what they can do to help make a difference for life. While there is no single way to restore respect for the sanctity of life in our society, one thing is true. The pro-life movement will only succeed to the extent that pro-life people are willing to be inconvenienced. After all, if we say abortion is a terrible injustice but do not act accordingly to save precious children from being killed, why should anyone believe us?