As the Center for Medical Progress continues to release more videos, ramping up pressure on Planned Parenthood, pregnancy help organizations are asking, “How should we respond?”
Should we engage our supporters by asking them to write to members of congress and state legislatures? Boycott companies that support Planned Parenthood? Should we protest outside of Planned Parenthood “clinics”?
A few weeks ago I offered three ideas for anyone in the pro-life community looking for action items. But let’s narrow this down to just us, the pregnancy help organizations and centers who directly compete with Planned Parenthood.
What are our key focus points at this watershed moment in the history of the pro-life movement?
Tweet This: @KirkWalden hammers out 4 ways #prolife pregnancy help can end #abortion #ppsellsbabyparts #defundpp
1. Keep our eye on the ball
While the defunding of Planned Parenthood would be worthy of celebration (or perhaps seeing the Abortion Giant forced to close its doors altogether!), even this would not accomplish one of our key goals: Ending abortion as we know it.
In the coming weeks, it will be terribly easy to get distracted by political maneuvering in Washington and in our state houses. The U.S. Senate held what amounted to nothing more than a show vote earlier this week; and we can expect another vote at some point in September. Will Republicans be willing to shut down the budget in order to defund Planned Parenthood? There are differing opinions on the subject.
We should keep a watch on Washington; after all, if Planned Parenthood loses $500 million in funding and those dollars go to community health centers which sometimes refer patients to us, this is a great victory.
Yet the biggest victory is when we become the first choice for women facing unplanned pregnancies. Every single day when we walk into our offices, we should be focused on becoming more effective in reaching those who need us. Every. Single. Day.
Are we focused on effective marketing that shows our integrity and our services? Are we wise in how we present ourselves? Are we seeking ways to expand and strengthen our services so that women (and men) see us as the place to go?
I’m convinced that if every one of us asked ourselves and of our PHOs, “What can we do to be just 1% better today?” we would be more successful than we can currently imagine.
2. Tell the truth
Our supporters are watching the Planned Parenthood scandal unfold. And they are asking questions. We must have answers. As we keep our eye on the ball, it is appropriate in our e-blasts and other correspondence to keep our community informed with the truth about Planned Parenthood.
This week, Planned Parenthood’s talking points focused in on all of the “wonderful” services they offer to low-income women. The goal is to move the mindset of the average person from horror to, “Planned Parenthood is unseemly every once in awhile, but they do so much good for the communities they serve—we need to overlook the negative.”
Let’s give our supporters information they can use. For instance, we all know Planned Parenthood talks of their support of breast cancer research, and claims to have performed 487,029 exams in 2013. Yet these are only referrals, not actual services.
As Mark Hemingway at The Weekly Standard points out so well, “To be emphatically clear, Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms -- zero, zip, zilch, nada -- even though Planned Parenthood, the media, and abortion supporters have often disingenuously suggested that they do mammograms because support for breast cancer services is obviously more popular politically than abortion.”
Our constituents need to be exposed to the lies—like the one above—Planned Parenthood tells so often. When we do this, we strengthen our supporters with facts so they can talk with friends who only know what they see on television. And, our ability to give our supporters facts reminds them of why they support us: We tell the truth, and have always done so. We were the ones who always said, “These are babies!”
Once again, we are being proven correct.
3. Offer healing
Among our constituents are many who are living with a past abortion. As those dealing with this see these videos, the need for healing could very well come to the surface. With careful wording, our communications should also include our abortion recovery initiatives.
If we can offer healing during this time, we may see thousands upon thousands of women and men freed from the shackles of a past abortion. Shouldn’t this be one of our most important objectives during this time?
4. Call on friends to join our team
The pro-life community is begging for an opportunity to act. Every day I am receiving emails and texts from friends wanting to make a difference. They are frustrated with those in the political realm who are playing games with this issue, angry at a Supreme Court that cannot seem to find a right to life for its youngest citizens, and wondering how in the world our media can continue to offer excuses for an organization that is tearing apart human lives and selling them off, piece by piece.
We are not exploiting this situation when we ask for funds; we are highlighting the need for alternatives to the Planned Parenthoods of this world. And when we ask the pro-life community to serve with us, we are giving them an opportunity to truly have an impact.
Tweet This: #Prolife pregnancy centers must be ready to embrace our role in this societal shift @KirkWalden #ppsellsbabyparts
Imagine for a moment what would happen if all who claim to be pro-life showed up at your door and said, “What can I do for you?” The truth is, this is happening in the hearts of many in the pro-life community.
Our job is to find those hearts and show them the “what” and the “how” of why we are the epicenter of the movement to end abortion in our lifetimes.
This horrific scandal could be the tipping point, leading to a new culture of life. PHOs must be ready to embrace our role in this societal shift, and invite others to join us in a powerful calling that could truly change the world in which we live.
Editor’s note: The August issue of Heartbeat International’s publication Advancement Trends in the Life Community (August 25 publication date) focuses on how PHOs can best use this moment to invite new individuals and families to join their teams, both financially and as volunteer staff. Non-Affiliates can order this publication here.