The recent decision by the Target Foundation’s new leadership to stop giving annual grants to Planned Parenthood in Minnesota prompted a flurry of bad press and a firestorm among pro-abortion activists.
But the whole truth has been hard to find amid all the mud-flinging.
The Target Foundation has historically provided an annual grant of $18,000 to Planned Parenthood in Minnesota only. The money was intended for educational purposes only and never funded abortion services. Indeed, the money was earmarked for HIV/AIDS and pregnancy prevention.
Formerly known as the Dayton Hudson Foundation, the organization changed its name — and its leadership – last year. Along with the changes came a shift in donation priorities. The group now focuses on providing “food, clothing and shelter only,” said foundation spokeswoman Carolyn Brookter.
Media outlets and pro-abortion activists, however, claim the switch was made due to pressure from the anti-abortion side. In 1990, when Target Corp. was named Dayton Hudson Corp., the foundation cut off its funding of Planned Parenthood in an effort to distance itself from abortion controversies. Abortion-rights advocates and some women’s groups held protests, cutting up their credit cards, publicly throwing Santabears in the trash and threatening a Christmas buying boycott against Target.
The funding was quickly reinstated, provoking counter-protests and a 10-year boycott by abortion opponents. While denying that the boycott was a factor in the decision, Target Corp. officials also said they want to stay out of the abortion dispute.
“It is not our intention in any way to take a stance on this issue,” said Laysha Ward, director of the Target Foundation and director of community relations for Target Corp. “Our giving areas shifted this past year.”
Now that Target has again stopped funding Planned Parenthood, pro-abortion activists have resumed their protests. The Feminist Majority has even launched an e-mail campaign that has thrust the group’s action alert into inboxes across the country.
But what no one is talking about is the fact that Target Corp. – as opposed to the Target Foundation — has never funded Planned Parenthood in any way. The only funding that Planned Parenthood — the nation’s largest abortion provider — received from Target was the foundation’s annual grant, and that was only in the state of Minnesota. In fact, the foundation doesn’t make any donations outside Minnesota, where it is headquartered. The national Target Corp., on the other hand, though it does make nationwide donations, has never funded Planned Parenthood, said Brookter.
And Planned Parenthood wasn’t the only group to stop receiving foundation grants, according to the spokeswoman, who said all organizations operating beyond the scope of providing food, clothing and shelter were cut.