Dartmouth Planned Parenthood

Walking around the activity fair this past September, you may have seen a group of cheerful women wearing matching pink shirts. If you approached their table, then you found piles of candy and sweets, but almost no information about their group. This is a common fault of the Dartmouth chapter of Planned Parenthood Generation Action, established in June of 2016. It seems that this group has managed to fail at every opportunity for expanding and advancing their organization. Because they seem unable to effectively advertise themselves, The Dartmouth Review will kindly advertise their organization right here, free of charge: Dartmouth’s Planned Parenthood Generation Action (DPPGA), a chapter of the national Generation Action, one of the activist arms of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., the largest provider of abortion services in the United States, meets Mondays at 9 PM in Carson L02. If you are interested in joining, you can find them on Facebook, but before you jump onto their sinking ship, please continue reading.

Dartmouth Planned Parenthood: A disorganized and ineffectual organization

Dartmouth Planned Parenthood: A disorganized and ineffectual organization.

The Generation Action website attempts to make the organization seem like a massive movement of strong, independent women coming together to fight against the hordes of conservative, middle-aged males trying to control their vaginas. It describes itself as “a network of young organizers and activists” who mobilize their campuses to fight against those who try to limit abortion access, and furthermore assert that “Planned Parenthood Generation Action is committed to building a robust, national network of young leaders and arming them.” This language builds fervor in pro-choice liberals and instills fear in pro-life conservatives, quite skillfully crafting an image of power and aggression.

Most pro-life conservatives view Planned Parenthood as a nefarious corporation, with some going as far as to assert that they are committing genocide; from this perspective, it is truly difficult to find a more infamous organization. Given this, the same pro-life conservatives would presume that Generation Action, an affiliate of Planned Parenthood, would be equally as evil. Reading the Generation Action website might confirm this conjecture. It is easy to see how concerning an organization that appears to be so militant and intense would be to college students who are already weary of campuses filled with leftist groups, especially given those groups’ tendency to turn to violence and the instillation of fear to suppress their ideological opponents (i.e. Baker Library incident of 2015). However, two members of The Dartmouth Review, who posed as prospective members to attend the October 17th meeting of DPPGA, can confirm that these suspicions should be entirely dismissed, as it is actually laughable that this group could ever be considered a threat as an effective mobilizing force on campus. There is no need to worry about DPPGA ever mobilizing anyone to do anything; they are too busy sitting in a circle patting themselves on the back for work that they did on issues not even involving Planned Parenthood, women’s health, or abortion.

At their October 17th meeting, DPPGA made plans to go door-to-door with the Dartmouth Democrats, who are organizing canvasing events over the next few weeks. At first it seemed that they were planning on educating individuals about issues relevant to their organization at their front doors, but the only material that will be distributed is propaganda about Hillary Clinton’s political campaign. This might have made sense if the information distributed were focused through any sort of pertinent lens, but activists were not given a laundry list of Planned Parenthood facts and figures, statistics about birth control, or literature about why women’s health is important to all Americans. When asked what the activists should talk about when at people’s doors, one of the heads of DPPGA answered, “I usually talk about student loans, you know, issues pertaining to young people.” DPPGA’s main goals have nothing to do with student loans, yet their activists were encouraged to talk about it.  DPPGA’s activists are not “fighting for reproductive freedom,” as their parent organization’s dramatic website description would suggest; in reality, they are just more grunts for the Democrat Party to throw at the electoral battle. Their door-to-door canvasing does not further their ideological mission; the only thing it might accomplish is to establish the group’s physical existence. Their lack of ingenuity is made blatantly obvious through not only their use of the same tactics as other groups at Dartmouth, but also in their reliance on other groups, like the Dartmouth Dems, to coordinate their efforts. The DPPGA’s absence of a clear vision can be seen in this utter failure to properly execute in an opportunity to advance the objectives of their organization.

The failures of the leadership of DPPGA, and perhaps the organization in general, go beyond a flagrant lack of focus and ingenuity. DPPGA’s other major shortcoming stems from their nearly complete absence of diversity, a characteristic that any group labeling itself as progressive must possess and be forever increasing. Despite being an organization supposedly representing all women, regardless of race, fifteen of the sixteen DPPGA members are white. Comically, The Dartmouth Review, which is often criticized for being too white, is significantly more diverse than DPPGA. Being such a progressive group, one would think they would might a larger effort to reach out to minorities, or maybe even men, another demographic not present in their ranks. DPPGA’s disinclination to diversify is evident from the experience of the two male members of The Dartmouth Review at the October 17th meeting. While the entirely female group was at first welcoming of the two, they soon became quite suspicious, with one member of DPPGA being openly confrontational and asking, “What is your business here?” assuming, just because they were male, that they had some ill intent. Although there were other new, female prospective members in attendance, only the two men in the room were questioned about their reasons for coming to the meeting. This kind of subtle sexism may be the reason that the group has remained all female, and it raises questions about whether or not similar methods were used to keep the group almost entirely white. It is important to note that this hostility was not from all members of DPPGA, as one of the heads of the group was warm and welcoming to the men.

DPPGA is not the evil organization that it has the potential to be, but this is not because the group’s ideology is any less twisted than that of other pro-choice organizations.  DPPGA is an ineffectual, poorly organized group of naïve, bleeding-heart feminists who are trying to save the world by advocating for every issue that the Democratic Party tells them to support, failing in the process to push their own agenda, which includes the issues that their national organization, Generation Action, prescribes. The difference between Generation Action’s rhetoric and the actual implementation of this “robust, national network of young leaders” is so far beyond laughable that it is actually pitiful. DPPGA is the super villain who is too absentminded to actually execute any of the elaborate schemes it plots. It is honestly a shame that DPPGA cannot live up to the expectation that it would be a vile group of blood-covered, icy-eyed, blonde-haired baby-killers. While it would have been fun for conservatives to have another group to be targeted by, DPPGA cannot even properly advance their own beliefs, never mind conduct violent assaults on their political opponents in Baker Library. The best advice they can be given: take pointers from the Black Lives Matter movement—at least they can handle themselves in the big bad world of campus politics.