Were it not for my work on the front lines of the pro-life movement I would have a hard time understanding the schizophrenia that accompanies the culture of death. However, double minds and divided loyalties abound wherever abortion and birth control become entrenched.
The perfect case of cultural schizophrenia is mega-conglomerate Johnson and Johnson, the baby company. The maker of baby shampoo and other childcare products has been funding Planned Parenthood's murderous regime for as long as anyone can remember.
One of my favorite pro-life friends is Doug Scott from Life Decisions International who created the Corporate Funding List in 1992 to track and boycott the companies that fund Planned Parenthood. He notes that J and J has been on the Corporate Funding List from the beginning and adamantly refuses to stop funding the aborters. His philosophy is that, no matter what the level of funding, PP gains much more from the prestige of corporate sponsorship than from the actual funds they receive, and he is right.
Following Mr. Scott's lead HLI went one step further and took this message to the Johnson and Johnson shareholders this year. A small amount of J and J stock was donated to us two years ago which gave us the right to bring a corporate resolution to their annual shareholders meeting. This is a formal petition or grievance that is brought to the shareholders asking them to take action on a subject, and in this forum HLI officially asked J and J to get out of the business of funding Planned Parenthood. I knew we hit a nerve last November when I got the first of six worried phone calls from their corporate counsel asking me to take the resolution off the agenda no deal. In fact, when I walked into the J and J shareholders' meeting yesterday in New Brunswick, New Jersey both the CEO and the corporate counsel were there to meet me with nervous smiles!
In my three-minute intervention at the meeting I said, “Just for the record, the so-called 'non-profit' organization that J and J supports had combined revenues in 2004 of more than three-quarters of a billion dollars, with $35 million in 'excess' funds. Furthermore, PPFA accounted for more than 255,000 surgical abortions last year, and since 1970, when they started doing abortions, Planned Parenthood has caused the deaths of more than 3.8 million American babies. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought Johnson and Johnson was the baby company?”
Well, these words stirred up the pot. You could just see the CEO and management squirming in their seats, but after I read my resolution a great number of shareholders applauded! However, other stockholders actually hissed when a doctor stood up and asked if it were true that J and J funded the killers, but he got even more applause than I did when he finished his intervention. Ultimately, HLI's resolution got about 6.2% of the stock voted in favor of our resolution a respectable showing considering the subject but we did not expect a huge company to sever their cozy relationship with the organization that buys their birth control devices. However, we scored a huge victory just by being there to expose corporate donations to the killing machine.
We need to take this as an object lesson about the culture of death. Our cultural schizophrenia is rooted in our society's “investment” in abortion and birth control, and the companies who fund it need to hear from us in the only way they understand: if you continue to fund the killers it's going to cost you.
Fr. Tom Euteneuer is president of Human Life International.
Click here for the full text of the J and J Shareholder meeting and HLI Statement.
Click here to order the Corporate Boycott List.