Plan for Defeating PP - Community
Defeating Planned Parenthood’s plans for your community

First we will look at tactics intended to help people who do not yet have a Planned Parenthood facility in their town and want to keep PPFA out. Next, we will focus upon tactics for those who already have a Planned Parenthood facility in their community.

Keeping Planned Parenthood out of your town

Very often, the first thing you hear about Planned Parenthood coming to your town is a small item in the local newspaper. In general, most initial thrusts of Planned Parenthood involve, in some way, teen pregnancy. Either it is claimed that your town has a high teen pregnancy rate and "needs" Planned Parenthood's services, or there is a growing "demand" for sex education, and Planned Parenthood offers to fill the "need."

However you hear about it, once you have some indication that Planned Parenthood is trying to come to town, there are some things you should do immediately.

Join/form a coalition

If you are alone in your concern about Planned Parenthood, try to get one or two other people to work with you. If an existing group wants to take up the fight, then you can work for them and help lead the effort. If no existing group wants to do it, you can work as individuals or form a group. You should call the group "Concerned Citizens of _____" or "STOPP [Stop Planned Parenthood] of _____" or any name you feel appropriate. Although you can work as individuals, we recommend either working through an existing group or starting your own.

Before starting, it is important for you to realize that most people in your town either have not heard of Planned Parenthood, or have some idea that it is a benevolent group. Most people in your town are not aware of the background, philosophies and programs of Planned Parenthood. Most do not know that it is a group that will come between parents and children. Most are not really aware of its dedication to killing preborn children.

Educate your community

Therefore, your first effort should be one of education. You must reach out to your community and alert them to the coming danger of Planned Parenthood. This education should take several avenues:

Clergy - Planned Parenthood will typically seek the support of local clergy members. It contacts clergy of the Unitarian Fellowship, the Episcopal Church and many other small churches and denominations. It will eventually try to recruit members for a "clergy committee." Planned Parenthood reasons that, if it can get clergy support, it can stop much potential opposition among the population.

To head off this effort, you should immediately begin an education campaign among the local clergy. Circulate copies of the Humanist Manifestos (available from American Life League by calling 866-LET-LIVE) and point out that Alan Guttmacher (former head of PP) was a signer of the second Manifesto and that Margaret Sanger and Faye Wattleton (both also former heads of PP) won awards for spreading its doctrine. Get copies of various brochures on Planned Parenthood and give them to your clergy.

Give talks to local clergy groups and even invite anti-PP speakers to talk to the clergy. Ask the clergy to speak about the evils of Planned Parenthood in their sermons; support a general information campaign; and see if the local clergy councils will pass resolutions opposing Planned Parenthood's entry into your town.

Educate the school officials

School officials - One of the major targets of Planned Parenthood is your schools. PP sees the schools as an ideal way to get to your children and influence their thinking. As soon as you hear that Planned Parenthood wants to come to town, check out your local schools. Look at the health curriculum in the fifth and seventh grades and see if there is any PP influence already there. Check books and pamphlets in the school library and see if PP has gotten a foothold.

If you find anything, you should get it out. The book Parent Power! will guide you through this effort. It is available online for free at http://stopp.org/pp15.htm or can be ordered by calling 866-LET-LIVE. Part 2 of this plan (below) gives a summary of the tactics detailed in Parent Power!

If Planned Parenthood is not in your schools, take the steps necessary to keep them out. Educate your school administration and your school board. Tell them of the utter failure of PP sex education programs and of the opposition in the community to any PP participation in the schools. Again, schedule talks to the school officials and bring in outside speakers if the officials are willing to listen. At the very minimum, invite the school administration and the school board to any public rally or information night you schedule (see below).

If you sensitize the school officials to the fact that the community is opposed to PP, you will go a long way towards keeping it out of your schools.

How to educate the general public

You should begin a thrust to get the entire town informed about Planned Parenthood. There are many ways you can do this...

Letters to the Editor – One of the best ways is by writing informative letters to the editors of your local newspapers. Give facts about Planned Parenthood and its founder Margaret Sanger.

Literature - You should schedule regular distribution of anti-Planned Parenthood literature in your town. If there is a street fair or other such activity, set up an information table. Stand on street corners and distribute the information to people. Mail anti-PP literature to area residents. In general, get out the word about Planned Parenthood.

Signs - In Rapid City, South Dakota, Planned Parenthood announced in 1989 it was coming to town. Due to the efforts of pro-lifers, in 1994 it still had not made an appearance. One of the things done by Rapid City folks was to get a four-foot by eight-foot sheet of plywood. They painted it yellow on both sides and then painted in black letters "Planned Parenthood-It's Not What You Think" They then mounted this sign on a trailer and hauled it all over town. It would show up in different parking lots and on different streets. It was hard to escape the moving sign, and the message got out.

A rally or information night - After you have begun to sensitize the community about Planned Parenthood, you should schedule a rally or information night. Bring in one or more speakers from out of town and really inform the community about PP. This can be a media event and it is suggested that you have as many groups as possible work together. As part of the rally, have choirs from several churches sing hymns and have other groups in town provide refreshments or other necessities.

Petitions - As part of all the efforts you undertake, we recommend you always have a petition for people to sign. It need not be anything fancy. A sheet of paper with the statement "We, the undersigned, do not want Planned Parenthood in our schools or in our town" is all that is needed. If you want, you can have specialized petitions for each group. This could easily be done by inserting a word in the statement as follows:

"We, the undersigned clergy, do not..."
"We, the undersigned teachers, do not..."
"We, the undersigned students, do not..."
"We, the undersigned citizens, do not..."

You get the idea. Whether you have one petition or many specialized ones, always leave room for each person's signature, printed name and address and their e-mail address as well. These are not "official" petitions, so there is no special requirement for people to sign. They can be signed by teens, children, senior citizens, and anyone else in town. We recommend that you ask the people not to sign more than one petition.

Once signed, these petitions can be copied, and copies can be given to school officials, political leaders, health officials, etc. Also, you can use the petitions to create a mailing list for your newsletter.

Newsletters - We recommend your group publish a quarterly newsletter to keep people informed. Your newsletter should be mailed to all who signed your petitions plus all others you want to keep up to date.

Businesses - Local businesses should be contacted and be informed about the community opposition to Planned Parenthood. Special attention should be given to construction companies, landlords, real estate offices, insurance companies and local hospitals. Planned Parenthood will need the services of at least some of these businesses if it is to come to town. By educating them early, you may be able to make it difficult for PP to find a place to do business. In 2003, in Austin, Texas, there was a massive boycott by construction companies in the region that refused to build a new Planned Parenthood abortion mill.

Your local fighters against Planned Parenthood are always making decisions about what businesses to use in their daily living. Let businesses know you will publish a list of supportive businesses in your newsletter. Also, that you will publish a list of any businesses that choose to do business with Planned Parenthood. You would expect your local fighters against Planned Parenthood to use these lists when making decisions.

Politicians and health officials - Similarly, you should alert your local elected officials and health officials about the community feeling concerning Planned Parenthood. They should be invited, along with school officials, to your rally and information nights.

The more these people are aware of the community opposition to Planned Parenthood, the less likely they are to welcome PP into town.

By actively opposing Planned Parenthood, you may be able to prevent it from coming to town. A number of communities have been successful in doing just that. If, however, despite your best efforts, Planned Parenthood does set up an office in town, do not despair! The fight is not over. There are still things you can do to convince Planned Parenthood that coming to your town was a bad decision.

Getting PP out of your town

You have a Planned Parenthood facility in town. Either it's been there for many years, or it just opened up. Maybe you have been fighting its coming and, despite your best efforts, it is here. There are a number of legal, non-violent actions you can take to lessen Planned Parenthood's business and make it think about leaving.

Education - the first thing you should do is start educating your community. If you have not had any of this activity in your community before, read Part I of this booklet for all the things you can do. We will assume in this section that you have already begun doing the things outlined in Section A above.

Picketing - The single most effective thing you can do to fight an existing Planned Parenthood facility is to establish a regular (at least weekly) picket. This single act will lower PP's business, tarnish its community image, and result in increased public attention to its programs and philosophies. All these effects will work to your benefit.

The more frequently you can picket PP's offices, the better. However, you should at least plan a weekly, two-hour picket. When you picket weekly, you do not need large numbers. The frequency will have its effect and will cause morale and business problems for PP.

Most Planned Parenthood facilities do not perform surgical abortions (all do give out the Pill, Depo-Provera, and Emergency Contraception and, therefore, are providing the means for chemical abortions). If your PP does not do surgical abortions, your pickets should concentrate on chemical abortions (primarily targeting the Pill) and the fact that PP comes between parents and their children.

Access to kids - Planned Parenthood is anxious to get to teens and younger children. It often establishes programs in schools and with the YWCA, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers, Big Sisters and anywhere else kids, especially teens and pre-teens, gather. You should investigate each of these organizations in your town and, if you find PP involved, get it out. You can use any of the techniques described in this plan to lessen PP's influence and get it "uninvited" to the group.

Access to money - Planned Parenthood needs money to operate and is very good at getting money from the government. You should investigate your local city, town and county governments and determine if any money is going to Planned Parenthood. Part 3 of this plan (below), "Defeating Government Funding of Planned Parenthood," will give you step-by-step information on how to identify and defeat government funding of Planned Parenthood.

Newsletters - Once you start fighting against an already established Planned Parenthood facility, you should send a monthly newsletter to your supporters and all who sign your petitions. The newsletter need be nothing fancy, but it should keep your people informed on what is happening. It can be used to notify them of weekly and special pickets, tell them of upcoming critical dates, and relate any successes you have experienced. In addition, you can include some national information on PP from STOPP International's Ryan Report. See the conclusion below to learn how you can obtain this publication.