While some Republican politicians contend that the most recent round of attacks on Planned Parenthood is aimed only at its donation of fetal tissue for medical research, a practice that became the focus of sting videos that misleadingly suggest that the organization is profiting off the donations, Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins told conservative activists last week that the real goal is to “take out Planned Parenthood.”
In a speech to Eagle Council 2015, the annual conference held by Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, Hawkins depicted Planned Parenthood as a money-obsessed and racist business that “promotes and covers up” statutory rape and aids sex traffickers. Hawkins claimed that Planned Parenthood only supports sexual education and birth control in order to convince young women to have premarital sex, causing them to go to Planned Parenthood to spend money on STD tests and treatment and, eventually, abortions.
“She’s going to start this cycle of bad decisions,” she said. “They made money off of her every step away. Everything was about that bottom line.”
Hawkins described in detail the anti-choice movement’s strategy to rebrand itself as a pro-women, social justice cause while also attempting to “rebrand Planned Parenthood” as the “abortion Goliath” that “preys upon women.”
“When this generation was coming to age and decided, ‘How can we make a difference? How can we make our Phyllis Schlafly mark on the pro-life movement?’ We set our sights on one target, and that’s Planned Parenthood, because they are the Goliath,” she said. While Planned Parenthood is the Goliath, Hawkins said, David Daleiden, the activist behind the sting videos, is fittingly named “David” — “I think the Holy Spirit had something to do when his mother named him.”
Why focus on Planned Parenthood? As Hawkins admits, it is because of Planned Parenthood’s popularity: “While we’ve been educating a movement since 2008 on Planned Parenthood, we’ve been losing in the court of public opinion. Every poll we’ve taken always shows that Planned Parenthood enjoys a positive view in people’s minds, because it’s Planned Parenthood.”
Hawkins said that anti-choice activists plan to run online ads targeting “Democratic-leaning,” “mushy middle” women voters, whom she characterized as the “Grey’s Anatomy binge-watchers and West Wing-watchers.”
Appropriating some of the themes used by the Occupy Wall Street movement, Hawkins urged the Eagle Forum activists to pressure Congress to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding, saying that the move would give them an opportunity to rebrand Planned Parenthood as the “Walmart of abortion” and the true foe of the “99 percent.”
She also revealed that her group’s new ads will look like government-sponsored PSAs telling pregnant women that if they go to Planned Parenthood, they will probably end up getting an abortion.
Will you or will you not vote for a CR, continuing resolution, that funds Planned Parenthood? Yes or no? A non-commitment is allowing this to happen, that’s a pro-abortion vote in my record. You need to scare the bejeezus out of these people because they don’t want to do it, they don’t want to do it. House Republican leadership and Senate Republican leadership does not want to touch Planned Parenthood because they didn’t listen to their Bible stories very well. We need you to make those calls. We need to be talking about the presidency. There’s a little bit of an election coming up in a year and it is very, very important that we elect a pro-life president, not only so we defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider and vendor, but that we get a pro-life president who will appoint pro-life judges, this next president could literally determine if we overturn Roe v. Wade in our lifetime or not. I’m a very impatient person, I have other career goals, I don’t want to be doing this the rest of my life. I want to end abortion as quickly as possible and to do that we’ve got to take out Planned Parenthood.
The next thing we have to do is we need to rebrand Planned Parenthood. In our communities we need to promote organizations like Thrive, like other pregnancy resource centers that are literally taking money, client money, out of their hands. We need to talk about Planned Parenthood, we need to make people aware of what Planned Parenthood is doing. Students for Life has a tour coming up in October and November, ‘The Planned Parenthood Project.’ We don’t say abortion is bad because people already know abortion is bad, what we show young people is that Planned Parenthood makes money off them and that they’re using them. A very popular line we found with young people is, “Planned Parenthood is the Walmart of the abortion industry.” I love Walmart, trust me, I spent like $500 there last night, however, it’s a very “99%” approach to the issue, that they’re the big, bad dog and they are using you.
The next thing we have to do is we’re going to need to go on the airwaves and right now, Students for Life, I’ve got two commercials that we are getting ready to launch and we are putting out there to national organizations, saying, “please fund these commercials.” Because the commercials aren’t about us, they’re not about the pro-life movement, they are targeted to “mushy middle” women, 18- to 44-year-old women who are targeted by the Democrats every single election with a scary “war on women” rhetoric. The ads are light, they’re airy, they’re beautiful, they kind of look like a government PSA, that’s how I made them look. And it says, ‘Hey, you’re pregnant! Yay! Did you know that 94 percent of women who go to the Planned Parenthood get an abortion? However, you can visit a federally-funded health clinic that will serve all of your and your child’s needs for free.’ Then it links to HRSA.gov. It looks a little bit like a PSA. We are running it through the lawyers to make sure I don’t get sued for impersonation by the government. But we are going to be running these ads because we are going to make the point that we don’t need Planned Parenthood any longer. We don’t need Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is the opposite of empowerment, Planned Parenthood is the opposite of empowerment for women. They do the exact opposite and we simply don’t need them.