(Wilmington, Delaware)—One or two days a week protesters subject Planned Parenthood of Delaware (PPDE) patients and employees to verbal attacks and graphic signs which are designed to confuse and intimidate; offer anti-choice propaganda and—sometimes—even take pictures of people or cars related to the clinic. Working with its donors, PPDE made the negativity of the protesters work for women and men in need of family planning services. The Delaware Pledge-a-Picket campaign (“Make Lemonade out of Lemons”) was launched in April 2010.
With the Pledge-a-Picket campaign, donors pledge a gift to PPDE for every day that the protesters were outside a clinic. In 2010, Pledge-a-Picket earned over $11,000 for family planning services such as birth control, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, and more.
“As a volunteer, I escort women and men into Planned Parenthood on protest days,” said Bill Knowles. "No one visiting their doctor should be subjected to such vicious attacks. The Pledge-a-Picket campaign was a big morale booster for all of us because it showed how much of the community supports basic health care services."
The Pledge-a-Picket campaign was particularly innovative in that donors could give via their cell phone. Simply by texting, a supporter could help provide an ob/gyn check, birth control, or other vital service.
"Pledge-a-Picket exceeded our expectations. Planned Parenthood of Delaware is so grateful for the support of the community," said Nanci Hoffman, PPDE President and CEO. "The donors helped send the message that women will not be intimidated away from their health care."
Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization that relies upon donations to help fund many of its patient services. The organization never turns anyone away because of lack of ability to pay. The service most funded by donations is family planning, including contraception and basic ob/gyn care.
The mission of PPDE is to ensure the right of all individuals to access the appropriate information and the services necessary to make and act on personal decisions related to their own reproduction, sexuality, and health. Planned Parenthood provides family planning, prenatal care, abortion, cancer screening and prevention, health education, and more. The agency serves all three counties, has operated in Delaware for over 75 years, and serves over 11,000 clients a year. For further information, visit www.ppdel.org.