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December 20, 2016
Time for a Recount: The Fallacies of 2ndVote
Any good pro-life activist who has read the December 7, 2016, statement by 2ndVote is certainly filled with Christmas joy. And not just because it is that time of year. The announcement that Macy’s Inc. has agreed to stop funding Planned Parenthood, including through its corporate Matching Gift Program, was a virtual “Miracle on 2ndVote Street.” But according to Thomas C. Strobhar, chairman of Life Decisions International (LDI) and a corporate investment specialist, “2ndVote has not been completely open and honest” with pro-life advocates. He pointed to several problems with the “fake news” being generated by the relatively new group.
2ndVOTE: “In the spirit of thankfulness and celebration that comes this time of year,” reads the 2ndVote announcement, “we have a special update that our research team recently made to the company scorepage for Macy’s and our Planned Parenthood resource page…Macy’s confirmed with 2ndVote last week that the company no longer gives and no longer matches donations to Planned Parenthood.”
FACT: Macy’s has not given direct grants to Planned Parenthood for more than a decade. Macy’s has not matched employee donations to the abortion-committing group for over a year. Due to mandated cost-cutting, Macy’s decided to end all grant-making in two general categories. Planned Parenthood happened to be in one of the categories. It was done across-the-board so the decision affected many nonprofits; not just Planned Parenthood. As noted, this took place more than a year ago.
2ndVOTE: Per LifeNews, “After today, pro-life customers can resume shopping at Macy’s… But today representatives of a pro-life group that tracks corporate donations to the Planned Parenthood abortion organization says Macy’s has ended his [sic] relationship with it.”
FACT: The statement infers the company decision was made just days ago. As noted above, it was not. Similar statements regarding the false timing of the Macy’s decision appear in virtually every statement released on matter.
2ndVOTE: Per LifeNews, Macy’s “had been on a list of corporate contributors to the Planned Parenthood abortion company for some time.”
FACT: Including Macy’s on any list of Planned Parenthood supporters is grossly inaccurate and, thus, unfair to a company that long ago decided to do the right thing. Needless-to-say, such inaccuracies significantly damage the reputation of pro-life activists who believe basic Christian integrity calls us to release only 100 percent factual information to the public.
2ndVOTE: “In the spirit of thankfulness and celebration that comes this time of year, we have a special update to share with you… Well, we are happy to report that we can take another company off that list—Macy’s, who confirmed with 2ndVote last week that they no longer give nor match donations to Planned Parenthood.”
FACT: Once again, the implication is that the “update” is based on new information. It is not. 2ndVote also implies it had something to do with the corporation’s decision. It did not. In fact, 2ndVote has opened Macy’s up to a possible pro-abortion backlash, such as that experienced by the Komen Foundation several years ago. Every time a group openly claims “credit” for a corporate decision, it puts pro-abortion activists in a “we can’t let them get away with this” mode. Pro-lifers become their own worst enemy; not by shooting themselves in the foot, but by shooting themselves in the head.
2ndVOTE: “You may remember how four companies (AT&T, Coca-Cola, Ford, and Xerox) publicly distanced themselves from Planned Parenthood last year after our research exposed forty-one companies with direct financial ties to the abortion giant. At that time, another company on our list, Macy’s, was making donations to Planned Parenthood.”
FACT: Every one of these corporations asked that they not be identified as corporate supporters of Planned Parenthood, but it was not to “distance themselves.” They asked because they had not supported Planned Parenthood and reporting otherwise was flatly wrong.
Coca-Cola said it has not contributed to Planned Parenthood, nor has it match employee contributions. The Ford Motor Company said it has been at least ten years since the company stopped matching employee gift contributions. Xerox Corporation has not given to Planned Parenthood in more than 20 years. AT&T stopped giving direct grants to Planned Parenthood in the early 1990s. All four corporations had been accused of supporting Planned Parenthood in list 2ndVote released in 2015.
It gets worse.
“It is not surprising that 2ndVote took credit for orchestrating this ‘recent victory,’” Strobhar said. “It is not surprising that 2ndVote used the ‘fake news’ story to raise money ― a lot of money. But it is unconscionable that 2ndVote would urge pro-life activists to do business with corporate supporters of Planned Parenthood.”
According to Strobhar, “One of the most egregious examples to date in which 2ndVote’s actions are greatly harming the pro-life cause is its 2016 “2ndVote Christmas Shopping Guide.”
“Don’t be a grinch [sic] this Christmas season and shop from liberal retailers like Target,” the “Shopping Guide” reads. “Use our ‘Christmas Shopping Guide’ to find that perfect gift from our 2ndVote Top Picks List from retailers and brands rating neutral to conservative.”
It is important to keep in mind that 2ndVote tracks corporate giving in many areas. Support for Planned Parenthood is just one and is given no more weight than any other. Consequently, a pro-life activist might boycott Target Corporation, which does not fund Planned Parenthood, but do business with Expedia, which does. The travel service giant is on the 2ndVote Christmas “Shopping Guide” for being “neutral to conservative,” but it is in LDI’s Boycott Handbook for funding Planned Parenthood. 2ndVote has included four confirmed supporters of Planned Parenthood in their list of corporate donors known as the “Christmas Shopping Guide.”
It gets much worse.
While attacking Target Stores Inc., 2ndVote has called The Salvation Army “a pro-life charity” that “upholds pro-life values.” Not exactly. Strobhar points out that The Salvation Army is on LDI’s “Charities Behaving Badly” because the international organization has no problem with “hard case” abortions (rape, incest and so forth). LDI has done a great deal of research showing how The Salvation Army is not as “pro-life” as one may think. “I guess The Salvation Army believes in a right to life, but only for those conceived in an acceptable way. The right is not afforded to children conceived during a sex crime.”
On July 28, 2015, LDI released a full statement analyzing the accuracy of 2ndVote accusations against corporations. The report also addressed the “standards” used by 2ndVote when determining which corporations should be labeled a “Planned Parenthood supporter.” Strobhar said the report may be read in full in the “News & Views” section of LDI’s website (fightpp.org).
“LDI has been doing this work for more than 25 years,” Strobhar said. “Every error made by 2ndVote comes back to haunt LDI because corporations have no desire to work with us when others are so loose with the facts. Accuracy is critically important.”
“We urge 2ndVote to cease releasing such lists and concentrate on other areas of concern to conservatives,” Strobhar said. “But we ask that 2ndVote take greater care in its work overall. We are sure the Macy’s announcement has been lucrative for 2ndVote, but it is money made through misleading information. And that hurts us all.”
“We further respectfully call on those organizations and news sources that have been advancing the spread of the misleading. and sometimes false information, to stop doing so. LDI has contacted most of these sources yet they have knowingly chosen to continue promoting and spreading the untruths,” Strobhar said.