It’s been a rough year for Planned Parenthood.
First, multiple states passed pro-life laws that infringe on so-called abortion rights, i.e. Planned Parenthood’s ability to make money. Then the company fired its CEO, Dr. Leana Wen, over her vision for the future, which focused more on health care and less on abortion. Earlier this month, Planned Parenthood also announced that it was forfeiting its Title X funding because of new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations. Finally, the company has been forced to pay more than $3 million to a former employee for wrongful termination.
Needless to say, Planned Parenthood is floundering under all of the bad press and shakeups.
But the company has developed a possible solution to growing number of pro-life state laws. The answer, of course, is to have a group of privileged musicians, who are often out of touch with the general public and sometimes even reality itself, place an ad in Billboard, which is the industry’s trade magazine.
The ad reads, “Freedom is at the foundation of music. Through music we have the power to create, to be who we are as individuals, to speak up and live our truth. Access to sexual and reproductive health care is about that same freedom. Because no one is free unless they control their own body. Right now, our bodies are under attack in this country. Sweeping bans on access to safe, legal abortion are stripping away our freedoms. Now is the time to band together and say keep your bans off our bodies. #BansOffMyBody”
According to Billboard’s 2019 press kit, circulation for the print magazine currently is 23,191 with a readership at 115,000. The average readership age is 47 and the average household income is about at $212,000, which is quadruple the average U.S. income. A short bio on the publication reads, “A weekly magazine, which is read by the most powerful people in music.”
So, what’s the point of this ad? Clearly, the only people reading Billboard are those within the industry who likely already agree with Planned Parenthood’s position. Do they really think that this will help with the so-called attacks on abortion?
As a lover of music, I didn’t even recognize most of the names on the list. Generally, I try to avoid much of the music currently being produced by mainstream media due to its profanity, LGBT agenda and sexually explicit lyrics and performances. But I do know a mean cellist if someone is looking for a fun classical music recommendation.
This weak attempt to garner support shows how out of touch Planned Parenthood is with the general population. People are already getting tired of sanctimonious celebrities and other privileged elite preaching to them on issues like climate change while flying around on their private jets, so why would an ad about abortion be any different.
It is evident that Planned Parenthood’s problem is that it lacks any clear vision or motivation. The only thing the company cares about is abortion, and that isn’t a winning strategy as more Americans embrace the pro-life cause. Dr. Wen tried to change the company’s direction and invest more broadly in health care services, but she was fired for it. If Planned Parenthood doesn’t have abortion, it has nothing.
In many ways, the company and its leadership are panicking. The pro-life movement is growing and those within Planned Parenthood can’t fathom why. So, its solution is to gather a group of music industry veterans to try and get people engaged. It won’t work. Last week, the Video Music Awards, which included some of the signers, was overly political, explicit and had its lowest viewership ever.
Planned Parenthood may think it’s found a winning strategy by calling on some of its celebrity supporters, but it may find that the impact is much smaller than expected. People are waking up to the realities of abortion. It doesn’t matter how many celebrity names Planned Parenthood attaches to its pro-abortion cause when the life of a preborn baby is at stake.