The Fear of Planned Parenthood to Engage in Dialogue, November 1985

John C. Rankin

From the time I began in pro-life ministry in late 1983, I repeatedly sought communication with abortion rights leaders, and their refusal to address honest questions was nearly always the case. Twice I wrote R. James LeFevre, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, in Burlington, Vermont. [I am not sure if I have copies of those letters — maybe I will locate them in my files …]

Mr. Lefevre responded on November 13, 1985, and here is a portion where I quoted him in a draft manuscript:

“Further, it is the practice of this agency to not engage in debate and/or rhetorical dialogue with persons who hold anti-choice points of view. And from your two letters, this is clearly your perspective on the matter of abortion … But our experience indicates that there is no benefit in engaging in discussions that restate the merits of our personal or organizational beliefs. I would suspect that your views would not change after a discussion and I know that mine would not.

“We jealously guard our time and effort and will engage only in activities that move our cause forward.”

In other words, Mr. Lefevre, in representing Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, does not believe communication and debate, with those with whom he disagrees, will advance his cause. As he uses the “anti-choice” pejorative (like the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights as elsewhere referenced), so too he displays a lack of inner confidence in his advocacy. Human abortion rips apart women and destroys the unborn, and that cannot be defended.