Monday, June 4, 2007

Organizing for POLITICAL change or organizing for POCKET change?

Monday's Washington Post has a very interesting piece about a split in the pro-life movement. Seems the alliance between evangelicals and Catholics is divided on whether or not to consider the Supreme Court's ruling on partial birth abortion a victory. The article describes the split between those who feel victories will come as small wins versus those who feel that celebrating the ruling is really misleading pro-life supporters. This second group turns their ire towards Focus on the Family, claiming they've used this particular Supreme Court battle as a fund raising tool rather than pointing out that the ruling upholds a restriction on a procedure, and doesn't put an end to late term abortions what so ever. In the meantime, Planned Parenthood has had a bit of fund raising success itself. The ruling seemed to galvanize pro-choice supporters into getting serious.

The question is not so much pro-life, pro-choice here. The question goes to the core of a coalition sharing objectives and vision. Rifts such as these, particularly when public, weaken coalitions. So how is it that seemingly like-minded organizations may not be the best collaborators? Coalition partners need to have a critical eye towards the gap between actions and mission. But of course a savvy organization will use issues as a platform for fund raising. Ironically, wins can mean a drop in resources, and losses can mean a boom.

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