When Life Decisions International President Douglas Scott was asked to deliver an address on Planned Parenthood in 1981, little did he know it would lead to a significant career shift.
The former executive director of Arizona Right to Life and vice-president of the Christian Action Council, Scott found a receptive audience for his speech. The response led him to further research into Planned Parenthood, particularly its pervasive influence with U.S. policy makers and in the school system.
“I realized when preparing for the speech that Planned Parenthood was a much bigger topic that I thought originally,” Scott said. “It convinced me there was a lot of work to be done in bringing the aims of the organization to public attention.”
The fallout led in 1992 to the creation of Life Decisions International (LDI), whose mandate is promoting a positive, family-oriented alternative to the anti-life mentality of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates (see related story). Scott and LDI vice president Patricia Bainbridge, represent an effective countermeasure to Planned Parenthood. Their efforts continue to surprise many people, including some in the pro-life movement, as to the extent of Planned Parenthood’s population control efforts.
Two years of research
In addition to his involvement in founding Life Decisions International, Scott spent two years researching and writing the book Bad Choices: A Look Inside Planned Parenthood. This richly detailed study deflates many of Planned Parenthood’s assumptions and serves as a counterpoint for an effective campaign against the organization. Nonetheless Scott is convinced many in the general public will view Planned Parenthood in a favorable light.
“Most people do not know what Planned Parenthood really stands for, especially with regard to its abortion advocacy,” Scott continues. “If this is to change, it is essential that such information reach as many people as possible.”
Often Planned Parenthood officials charge LDI with harassment or extortion when group boycotts are discussed. “Boycotts are a peaceful, acceptable method to make an impact on public policy,” Scott said. “Many people on the left of the political spectrum are quick to use boycotts when it suits their cause, but they call it harassment or extortion when a boycott is directed against one of their organizations.”
Scott said Planned Parenthood is especially adept at using rhetoric and misleading language to mask the real nature of its objectives. For this reason, he said pro-life supporters should remain fully informed about the organization’s aims and ambitions.
Despite the influence of Planned Parenthood and the abortion/ contraception mentality, LDI officials believe the organization is making a difference.
“There’s no doubt Planned Parenthood’s growth has been slowing down,” Patricia Bainbridge told The Interim. “They never seem to have much of a problem with fundraising, but the number of affiliates and volunteers has been declining.”
Scott and Bainbridge agreed that Canada remains better situated than the U.S. to resist Planned Parenthood inroads. Although PP has a 35-year presence in Canada, it is still not as firmly entrenched as in the U.S. PP does not operate abortion clinics in Canada as it does in the United States, although some in western Canada indicate that Planned Parenthood’s link in to abortion services is growing stronger.
Nonetheless Scott and Bainbridge warn that Planned Parenthood has shown signs of restlessness in this country, with efforts to add new chapters in Prince Edward Island, Barrie, Ontario, and in western Canada.