Monday, 04 December 2023

Are We United? Then Why Not One Brand Name?

Next week, hundreds of pregnancy help organizations (PHOs) will come together in St. Louis for Heartbeat International’s 2015 Annual Conference. The names of these organizations vary widely, which leads to a question many are asking these days: 

Why don’t we come up with one name under which all of us can be readily identified? 

After all, Planned Parenthood, which provides one-third of all abortions in the U.S., has one brand name, one logo, and a home on the web directing to its affiliates across the country. They represent a minority share of the abortion industry, but to many, Planned Parenthood is “it” when it comes to this issue.

Our own national branding is an idea always worth discussing. It is easy to see the benefits. PHOs could pool advertising resources, and perhaps those who can give large financial gifts would be motivated to give to a national marketing initiative. 

As someone who has worked with centers on fundraising, I understand the opportunity.

Yet, there are also tremendous benefits to where we are today. We are hardly a “divided” group; we are affiliated through such names as Heartbeat, CareNet, NIFLA and more. We unite under core values and commitments of care.

In the United States, state, regional and metropolitan networks exist, with PHOs working together on marketing initiatives and finding roads to success that can be duplicated in other areas of the country, as leaders share challenges and victories. We can find what works on a local level, then disseminate this information nationally and internationally.

In addition, our names—different as they are—may be actually an advantage. Here’s why:

Tweet This: Our names, different as they are, may actually be an advantage. @KirkWalden

While seeing the name “Planned Parenthood” can overwhelm, let’s not forget that Goliath was felled with one stone. He represented every one of his Philistine people, as in many ways Planned Parenthood represents the abortion industry.

Day after day, Goliath taunted the Israelites and the God of Israel. He seemed insurmountable. Right now, Planned Parenthood taunts us in so many ways and appears to be too overpowering. But the next documentary, the next patient lawsuit, the next defector could be the one stone that fells the giant.

And because of Planned Parenthood’s branding, when one falls, it is quite possible that all will fall.

Today, every new incident is glossed over by the Planned Parenthood’s PR machine. I get that. Excuses range from “an isolated incident,” to “this person was not properly trained” to anything except the truth.

But, perhaps soon, an incident—or several—will prompt (as has happened in some states) the end of national funding of this organization. When one falls...

On our side of this, we are of many names, many non-profits, with many boards of directors. We realize that any of us could be the target of the frivolous lawsuit, of which our opponents are masters at creating.

As mentioned here last week, we are not engaged in a fair fight. Those opposed to us have friends on every major television network and across the news media. One phrase we might utter, taken out of context, can lead to an epic assault on our work.

Yet one stone, falsely launched, cannot bring all of us down. There are too many brands, too many names. Instead, one attack only pulls all of us together in a reunited offensive to create a culture of life.

With our multiplicity, we can all assist one sister organization forced to defend such a suit. As one organization plays defense, the other 2,000+ of us are on offense through our state and national affiliate networks. We file friend of the court briefs, engage with our own testimony and when needed, litigate. 

We share common goals. We share our successes and our challenges. We share new ideas. We learn from each other. And together we continue to grow stronger. 

This unified front is vital, and one can make the case that today, our unity is better than ever.

Tweet This: Our united front is vital, and our unity today is better than ever. @KirkWalden @Heartbeatintl @inspirelifenow @NIFLA

Will this unity one day translate to one national “brand name?” This is always a worthy discussion, as we look at the possible benefits and consequences of the idea.

But as to we are today—a unifying body with many names and approaches—we have some distinct advantages Goliath does not. 

One of them? We need but one stone to fell the enemy; Goliath must hunt for thousands. 

I like our odds. 

Tweet This: We need but one stone to fell the enemy. Goliath must hunt for thousands. @KirkWalden

Kirk Walden

Kirk Walden is a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News, an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and author of The Wall. For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau. His new Faith Revolution Podcast is online at

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