New reason for boycott of Disney: Its support of Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON (BP)--A Washington-based pro-life

organization has found another reason to boycott The Disney

Company -- it gives money to Planned Parenthood Federation

of America, the country's leading provider of abortions.

At a Jan. 21 news conference unveiling a new

advertising campaign aimed at informing the public of

Planned Parenthood's agenda, Life Decisions International

announced it had added Disney to its list of boycotted

corporations. LDI released a list of more than 60

corporations on its boycott list for their financial support

of Planned Parenthood.

LDI joins the Southern Baptist Convention and such

organizations as American Family Association, Concerned

Women for America and Focus on the Family that have called

for a boycott of the entertainment giant. While LDI's reason

for boycotting is Disney's support of abortion rights, the

others have cited corporate policies that support

homosexuality and entertainment products that denigrate

Christianity and the family as the bases for their action.

In announcing Disney's addition to LDI's boycott list,

Will Dodson, a Southern Baptist public-policy specialist and

a member of LDI's board of directors, said the SBC called

for the boycott at its 1997 meeting because of mostly

"internal policies ... we believe to be contrary to that

which is best for society."

"Now we see that Disney is not just a company that

ideologically embraces such policies, it also funds those

organizations that would destroy the basic fabric of

society," said Dodson, director of public policy for the

SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "This is one of

the most compelling reasons to date for concerned citizens

to exercise their freedom to choose not to support a

corporation which is increasingly engaged in promoting an

agenda which is contrary to traditional values.

"I challenge all of those who share a belief that life

is a precious gift from God to take their moral stewardship

seriously and refrain from contributing to Disney or any

other corporation whose proceeds contribute to the

degradation of human life."

Disney's latest philanthropic report showed it

contributed to Planned Parenthood but did not reveal how

much, LDI President Douglas Scott said.

More than 150,000 abortions were performed in 1996 in

Planned Parenthood-affiliated clinics in the United States.

PPFA has 142 affiliated chapters and about 900 health-care

clinics, a spokeswoman for the organization said. About 30

percent of its clinics provide abortion services, she said.

LDI combats Planned Parenthood's agenda in Washington

while assisting citizens who challenge the abortion rights

organization in their communities. LDI also keeps track of

corporations that contribute to PPFA, seeking to persuade

them to withhold support and including those who refuse to

do so on its boycott list.

Since Scott began his corporate watchdog project in

1989, 53 companies are known to have ceased their support of

PPFA. Among those whose reversal has been public are AT&T,

Eastman Kodak, Xerox and J.C. Penney, according to LDI

officials.

In addition to Disney, other corporations on LDI's

current boycott list are American Express, General Mills,

Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss, Merrill

Lynch, The New York Times, Prudential Insurance and Sony.

Earlier Jan. 21, about 500 people attended a PPFA

breakfast to kick off a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill. The

event was held on the eve of the 25th anniversary of Roe v.

Wade, the Supreme Court's 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore, was

scheduled to speak at the PPFA event but canceled because of

illness, the spokeswoman for the organization said.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala and

actress Kathleen Turner, national chairman of PPFA's board

of advocates, spoke, the spokeswoman said.

At its news conference, LDI announced a new advertising

campaign designed to educate Americans on what it called the

"extreme" views of Planned Parenthood, which supports

abortion rights throughout pregnancy. The radio, television

and newspaper ads focus on PPFA's opposition to laws

requiring parental notification for minors seeking

abortions, its taxpayer-funded distribution of free birth

control and its nearly $50 million a year in abortion fees.

LDI will provide the ads for local pro-life groups.

"Planned Parenthood is to the culture of death what

Microsoft is to computer software," LDI board chairman

Michael Schwartz said at the news conference. PPFA "makes

money only when mothers have abortions, not when they have

choices," he said.

The SBC and others have cited the following among their

reasons in calling for a boycott of Disney.

-- extending health benefits to the partners of its

homosexual employees.

-- cooperation with homosexuals holding "Gay Days" at

its theme parks, though the company does not sponsor the

events.

-- distribution through its subsidiaries of

entertainment mocking orthodox Christianity, such as the

movie "Priest" and the ABC-TV show "Nothing Sacred."

-- the "coming out" of the lead character and the

increasingly homosexual story line of the ABC show "Ellen."

-- publication by subsidiaries of books promoting

homosexuality, such as "Growing Up Gay."

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