Quick Take: Planned Parenthood Donations in Mike Pence’s Name

Apparently the hot new thing to protest the upcoming presidential administration is to donate to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name. Why? Because Planned Parenthood sends certifications to the donor’s address to thank them for their donation, so those certificates are getting sent to Mike Pence’s address.  And Pence holds anti-abortion views and believes federal funds should be cut off to organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

It’s clever. People get to donate to a charity they believe in, while also sending a message to a politician they presumably despise. It shows in no uncertain terms that it’s an issue that people are willing to stand up and fight for. It’s probably something that I would do if it was a cause I cared a lot about and a politician I disliked enough. I just hope people are carefully thinking it through because it’s also a bit of a jerk thing to do.

I don’t know Mike Pence very well, but I assume his pro-life stance comes from an honest and genuine concern over the well-being of unborn children. It seems like an easily sympathetic viewpoint. As a father of two young girls, few things upset me more than the thought of any harm being brought to a tiny, innocent life. I’ve always thought that no matter what position somebody takes on the pro-life/pro-choice debate, there should be a little more civility and sympathy for the viewpoints on the other side. That’s why it makes me a little uncomfortable that people are celebrating this move and enthusiastically urging others to do it.

What if the shoe was on the other foot? What if people were urging donations to the Westboro Baptist Church in the name of a gay politician to protest his stance on gay marriage? How about donations to the KKK for a black politician? Even if the politician was a straight white male, those would seem to be particularly hurtful and mean-spirited actions beyond the normal partisan sniping.

Again, I certainly don’t mean to condemn. I get it, I really do. I certainly have my own snarky streak and I’m sure I’ve done similar things in the past. I’m also not at all saying that I have all the answers. Yes, I generally believe in attempting to rationally persuade people instead of pulling stunts designed just to piss off people. However, I also realize that while there is a time for persuasion, there can also be a time for fighting. How can we tell when it’s the latter and not the former? Maybe it’s different for everybody. I just don’t know.

I’m just hoping people give a few seconds of thought about what they’re trying to do before submitting that donation.

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Paul Essen
Founder and Chief Discourse Officer at Rampant Discourse
Proud geek. Trekkie. Browncoat. Entil'Zha. First human spectre. Hokie. Black belt. Invests Foolishly. Loves games of all types and never has enough time to play as many as he wants. Libertarian who looks forward to the day he votes for a winning presidential candidate. Father to two beautiful daughters.

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