Pro-life groups are up in arms about a Planned Parenthood cartoon that shows an abstinence educator being drowned in a trash can, pro-life picketers being shot at and blown up, a pro-life senator being boiled in oil, and another pro-life picketer being decapitated by a flying condom. The video was produced by Planned Parenthood Golden Gate in San Francisco.
"It is a promotion of violence against Christians and against pro-lifers," says Jim Sedlak, executive director of American Life League's Stopp International, which exists solely to oppose Planned Parenthood. "They call on pro-lifers to tame down our rhetoric because it incites violence, and then they not only produce this video but they put it on the front page of their website," said Sedlak, whose organization was among the first to respond to the video.
The link to the video was taken off the Planned Parenthood Golden Gate website Tuesday, though the url still works."
Other pro-life groups are also upset by the cartoon.
"NARAL is doing ads blasting John Roberts and accusing him of promoting violence in abortion clinics, which he has not," says Pia de Solenni, director of life and women's issues at Family Research Council. "And at the same time you have Planned Parenthood clearly promoting violence against anyone that thinks differently than they do. The irony is just striking."
The video's propaganda is also simply wrong, de Solenni says. "When [the main character] is talking with the senator, she says family planning will reduce social costs in the long run. And the fact is, the more we spend on family planning and the more that we've supported abortion in various forms, the more social costs have actually gone up," she says. "These do have an effect on our society and we're continuing to pay the cost."
The rise in abortion after Roe v. Wade coincides with the rise in child abuse, de Solenni says. "I think the link is pretty evident. If you devalue human life in the womb, why should it be protected at any other stage, if you won't protect it when it's most innocent and most vulnerable?
De Solenni says the campaign may be subsidized by the government. "Why is Planned Parenthood receiving so much federal funding when this is the type of stuff they're promoting?" According to Planned Parenthood Golden Gate's 2004 report, it receives 53 percent of its revenue from government fees and contracts.
"How does this really fulfill their objectives of providing health, which is presumably what the federal government is giving them money for?" de Solenni says. "All the federal funding is doing is giving them the ability to use private donations to do this type of smear campaign."
Planned Parenthood Golden Gate did not respond to requests for interviews, and a spokesman for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America said it knew nothing about the video.
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Blogger Dawn Eden has followed the story with two postings:
Planned Parenthood Fantasizes About Blowing Up 'Anti-Choicers' (August 08, 2005)
Planned Parenthood Golden Gate's 2004 report has more information about its activities, funding, and advocacy.