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
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
-- cooperation with homosexuals holding "Gay Days" at
its theme parks, though the company does not sponsor the
-- 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."