As The Daily Signal and 2nd Vote have revealed, corporate America is a major source of revenue for Planned Parenthood. While less than the half-billion in taxpayer dollars Planned Parenthood receives annually, corporate contributions made up a healthy piece of the $127 million in “excess revenue” the ostensible nonprofit received last year alone.
But while corporate America has been comfortable donating funds to Planned Parenthood for years, it has been far less willing to give—or even allow its employees to give—to religious charities.
As their gifts to an organization whose senior officials have been caught on video haggling over money for baby hearts, lungs and livers have come under fire, many of these corporations have begun to back away from their relationship with Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood even had to pre-empt the controversy by hiding the names of its corporate donors. Many of the companies sought to diminish the significance of their gifts to Planned Parenthood, explaining that the contributions were simply matching gifts for employee contributions through the company’s charitable campaign.
But if this kind of employee-directed donations is no big deal, why are religious charities often excluded?
Some of the companies matching employee gifts to Planned Parenthood are much more cautious with their money when it comes to religious nonprofits. Whether through exclusions of religious charities altogether or the application of religion and “sexual orientation” nondiscrimination rules to the employment practices of religious organizations, corporations often exclude the religious charities that are making a difference in our communities and our world.
For example, Pfizer has refused to match employee gifts to some charities because they are “religious.” But it has no problem donating to Planned Parenthood. Ben & Jerry’s gives to Planned Parenthood. And it will provide grants to charities its employees recommend to encourage “social change.” But not if they are “religious activities.”
Bath and Body Works funds Planned Parenthood (and Komen, which also provides grants to Planned Parenthood). But “religious or sectarian organizations” are generally excluded. It also imposes a broad “nondiscrimination” rule covering employment that would also exclude virtually any religious charity. Deutsche Bank will not match any employee gifts to a religious organization or to any organization that “promote[s] … religious causes.” But they will give to Planned Parenthood.
Whether through exclusions of religious charities altogether or the application of religion and “sexual orientation” nondiscrimination rules to the employment practices of religious organizations, corporations often exclude the religious charities that are making a difference in our communities and our world.
Here and abroad Christian charities are serving the poor, feeding the hungry, providing immediate disaster relief and protecting the persecuted. Christian charities are among the most respected and effective charities in the world. They’re also right there in your community, from the Gospel Rescue Mission to the local pregnancy resource center. (Full disclosure: I serve on the board of directors of Christian Service Charities, a federation of Christian charities in workplace giving campaigns.)
These exclusions of religious charities have been struck down as unconstitutional when they are imposed by government workplace giving campaigns. But private companies are entitled to give to those charities they want to give to and exclude those they do not. They can even choose not to permit their employees to give through their workplace giving campaign to religious charities. But a company that matches its employees’ gifts to Planned Parenthood, but won’t do the same for an employee gift to a pregnancy resource center in their community, should explain why.
It is no answer that some might deem controversial a gift to a volunteer pregnancy center receiving no taxpayer dollars and serving the practical needs of a mother so that she can choose to keep her baby. Even before the last few weeks, there were plenty of reasons for a company to avoid aligning itself with Planned Parenthood. The videos of senior Planned Parenthood officials that are “disturbing” Americans across the political and ideological spectrum should just confirm that businesses should have nothing to do with the abortion giant.
It’s bad enough that these corporations are supporting an organization that holds a 40 percent share of America’s abortion market. It’s abhorrent that they would continue to do so in light of the revelations of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in the body parts of unborn children.
That they would do so while simultaneously treating religious nonprofits aiding those in need as too controversial or unworthy of their support is conclusive proof they don’t deserve our support.