Lousiana native and former CNN and NBC anchor Campbell Brown offered advice on the pages of The New York Times to the powerful Planned Parenthood organization. Blasting the abortion provider for its supposed “blind partisanship,” Brown said that Planned Parenthood should cultivate alliances with both Republicans and Democrats in Congress if it wishes to retain the millions of dollars in federal funding it receives. Brown wrote:
PLANNED PARENTHOOD has a large target on its back. At no time in the organization’s history has it faced such a concerted Congressional challenge to its agenda. But most worrisome is the organization’s shrinking number of defenders, and Planned Parenthood has only itself to blame. It has adopted a strategy driven by blind partisanship, electing to burn bridges instead of building them. That strategy is damaging, and possibly imperiling, its mission.
Most of Planned Parenthood’s work focuses on health care for low-income women, things like screenings for breast cancer and diabetes, and family planning. Despite the claims of its opponents that it’s solely an abortion provider, abortions represent only 3 percent of its work. Almost half of the organization’s funding (46 percent) comes from the federal and state governments, making it imperative that it have friends in both parties. But that’s tough to do when Planned Parenthood sees ideological purity as so paramount that it permeates every aspect of its strategic planning. There is almost no room for even slight deviations. Those who are not in lock step with the organization are viewed as enemies to the cause.
This mind-set will doom Planned Parenthood to failure. When an organization is willing to support only lawmakers who are with it 100 percent of the time, it virtually guarantees that the debate will be bitterly partisan.
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Campbell Brown's hometown is tiny Ferriday, Louisiana. Located in impoverished Concordia Parish, Ferriday also boasts native sons musician Jerry Lee Lewis and televangelist Jimmy Swaggart. Brown followed the footsteps of famed journalist Howard K. Smith, a Ferriday native and a familiar face on network television in the 1960s.