Slaying the giant

National | Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP), a division of the Virginia-based American Life League, focuses its pro-life fight on the nation's leading abortionist.

Issue: "Gay marriage backlash," Dec. 6, 2003

Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP), a division of the Virginia-based American Life League, focuses its pro-life fight on the nation's leading abortionist. Since 1985, STOPP has in its newsletter chronicled victories of parents and local pro-life activists who have closed clinics and prevented others from opening; booted Planned Parenthood from schools; and transformed the group's public funding stream into a dry well. Here's an overview of three recent battles:

Coronado, Calif. Teenwire.com, Planned Parenthood's website for adolescents, promotes abortion, homosexuality, and premarital sex, often with profanity and graphic descriptions of sex acts. The website also undermines parental and pastoral authority, telling teens that nobody except teens themselves-including parents and pastors-is qualified to make decisions about sex. In 2002, when John Bowen, a father in Coronado, showed some Teenwire pages to the local school board, the board promptly canceled Planned Parenthood presentations in the school's health classes. "What's important here is that there wasn't a person that I brought this information to who wasn't surprised," Mr. Bowen told San Diego News Notes, a pro-life publication. "One board member spoke up and said she was a pretty liberal person herself and that she was shocked by what she saw."

Beaufort, S.C. When Planned Parenthood announced that it was looking to open a new clinic in Beaufort, local pro-lifers launched a campaign to educate people in the community about the abortion group's philosophies and business practices. Planned Parenthood opened its Beaufort clinic in 2001. But by that time, said STOPP executive director Jim Sedlak, "there was so much animosity in the community against Planned Parenthood that the clinic was never able to attract customers, and could not get community support." Nine months after opening, the clinic closed down.

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Monrovia, Calif. When pro-life activists in Monrovia, Calif., learned in 2001 that Planned Parenthood planned to open a new abortion clinic in their city, they began their fight in prayer. Then they formed Monrovians Against Planned Parenthood (MAPP) and contacted STOPP for advice. MAPP learned that an existing Planned Parenthood clinic had been operating from the county health department rent-free. One letter of protest and one week later, the county public health chief ordered Planned Parenthood to vacate the space. Meanwhile, MAPP flooded the city with letters opposing the new Planned Parenthood clinic. The group rallied, picketed, and spoke out at city council meetings, at which crowds ultimately swelled so large they spilled onto the sidewalks outside city hall. Then MAPP filed suit against the city, claiming the city had helped Planned Parenthood skirt public-notice requirements. As a result, the clinic never opened. In 2002, the city of Monrovia bought Planned Parenthood's newly constructed facility and tore it down.

Gene Edward Veith
Gene Edward Veith


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