The following information is provided to assist you in educating your community on the realities of Planned Parenthood.
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 help, 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.
Educate Your Community
Therefore, your first effort should be one of education. You must reach out to your community and alert them to the danger of Planned Parenthood. This education could 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 Planned Parenthood information and point out that Alan Guttmacher (former head of PP) was a signer of the second Humanist 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. Ask the clergy to speak about the truth of Planned Parenthood and provide a general information campaign.
Educate 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 middle schools 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.
The book Parent Power! can guide you through this effort. It is available online for free here.
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 information night you might schedule.
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.
Educate the General Public
There are many ways you can educate the general public that PP is coming, such as:
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 – Information signs can work. 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.
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 facility
Your local community members 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 community members 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 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 educating the public on the truth about Planned Parenthood, you may be able to prevent it from coming to town. A number of communities have been successful in doing just that. As always, pray for your endeavor!