It's a different kind of pizza war than the one Domino's is used to, where they compete with Pizza Hut and Godfather's to deliver the fastest, hottest and cheapest pie to your doorstep. This battle is political, ethical, moral and altogether messy, as the 400-chapter National Organization for Women (NOW), in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of a Missouri law that restricts the availability of publicly funded abortion services in that state, is stepping up its call to boycott the nation's second largest pizza chain -- Pizza Hut is number one -- because founder and CEO Thomas Monaghan, a devout Catholic, has given substantial amounts of money to antiabortion groups. NOW first announced the boycott in January. The fight is likely to get particularly steamy in the Washington area. Local franchises of the Michigan-based company, which sold 130 million pizzas for $2 billion last year at its 5,060 stores worldwide, are top earners in pizza sales for Domino's, as Washingtonians scarf down more than 100,000 Domino's pizzas each week. "People should know where their money is going, know how he's acting," says Patricia Ireland, executive vice president for NOW, about Monaghan's contributions, more than $50,000 to Michigan groups to help defeat Medicaid-funded abortions in that state last year. "You might not want to buy pizza and put money in his pocket. People should be able to make a decision on whom they want to do business with politically." Officials at Domino's Pizza Inc. in Ann Arbor see it differently. "The donations were personal contributions by Mr. Monaghan, and a boycott across the board for individual personal convictions is out of context," says public relations manager Kerry McNulty. "And you are also doing a great injustice to independent owners of Domino's stores." Indeed, more than two-thirds of Domino's stores are independently owned franchises, who, says McNulty, do not have to follow Monaghan's personal opinions. But Ireland's NOW discounts this. "Every individual vendor ultimately puts money in his {Monaghan's} pocket," she says. One of those franchisers, Frank Meeks, who runs the successful Domino's Pizza Team Washington, with 30 stores and $40-million in yearly sales, doesn't seem to mind. "I don't like the boycott, but I am not angry at him," says Meeks. "It hasn't affected us so far, except for some letters and phone calls at the height of last week's news on the abortion ruling." In fact, Meeks says recent weeks sales have set records. "I think you buy for product and service, and not the politics," he says. "Tom has the right as an American to be involved in any issue, so I applaud him for exercising that right." Meeks says so far none of his 1,800 employees have complained. "One of my supervisors even worked for NOW, and she told me, though she might not agree, that Tom should be able to do what he wants with his money," he says. That kind of conflictive opinion might cause this type of boycott, based on moral convictions, to bomb. The boycott has always been a tool used by groups of all persuasions to coerce businesses to act or stop acting in a certain way. Some say it works while others say it does not. In the late 1970s, homosexuals stopped drinking Florida orange juice to protest Anita Bryant's then anti-gay stance. Unions called on consumers to not buy Coors beer during a labor dispute. A six-year, worldwide boycott of Nestle products took place in the late 1970s and 1980s because of criticism of the Swiss food conglomerate's marketing of infant formula in developing countries, until Nestle agreed to change practices in 1984. Recently, many have called for consumers to stop filling up at Exxon gas stations to protest the company's involvement in the Alaskan oil spill. In that case, though irate consumers sent back 10,000 credit cards out of 7 million, analysts said the action had little effect, because of the size of the company. The same is true of boycotts against a number of companies that do business with South Africa. A boycott of the MCA movie "The Last Temptation of Christ" last summer was even credited with generating interest in the film, which previously had received mixed reviews. But a threatened boycott of PepsiCo Inc. by religious groups early this year caused it to drop plans to run Pepsi ads featuring Madonna and her controversial song "Like a Prayer." Locally, the boycott also is used to try to effect change. In February, the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association threatened a boycott of businesses that supported last year's campaign to retain Maryland's controversial gun control law. In March, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board stopped patronizing a Fairfax City Holiday Inn when members felt the hotel unjustly fired seven retarded housekeepers. On the abortion issue, the boycott more often has been a tool of antiabortion forces, though they usually go right to the source. Nationwide, groups have boycotted hospitals that perform abortions. This week, the New York Times reported that an Alaskan clinic stopped performing abortions, though only two doctors there were performing the procedure, after patients boycotted the entire clinic. "We talk softly and carry a big stick," says John Willke, president of the National Right to Life Committee (NRTLC). "We only loosely call boycotts and so far it's of things directly related to abortions." NRTLC is still boycotting Upjohn Co. for its marketing of abortion-inducing drugs, and the March of Dimes for its funding of amniocentesis testing. "There is a constitutional right for a citizen to buy from whomever they want, and if something is morally offensive, you can choose not to patronize," says Willke. "Boycotts slowly run down, and they can be effective, and sometimes are not. But they all produce at least a sting." He says the profit line is hard to disturb, "but there are other aspects like reputation. They do treasure their name and I know the ones we boycott don't relish being known as 'death peddlers,' which is just what we show the public they are." Willke says NRTLC would not boycott a company over a donation by a top officer, as NOW is doing, instead sticking with the "instruments of abortion." When the new morning-after pill from France arrives here, Willke predicts "a wingdinger of a boycott." But NOW will continue its protest. Across the country, chapters have been picketing stores. College students, big consumers of pizza, are especially targeted for informational leaflets. In Minneapolis, placards read "Buy pizza in a Domino's box, put a woman in a pine box." At the April 9 abortion rights march, NOW handed out 10,000 fliers, reading "Does your pizza take a slice out of choice?" "We're only in the informational stage, getting the news around the country and looking at the next step," says Ireland. The boycott will be discussed at the National NOW conference in Cincinnati, starting July 21. "Next we will start to identify the source of the opposition's money. Instead of asking who are the congressmen for and against, we want to know who are the businesses, especially the ones that fund the more violent antiabortion groups," she says. "This is something new in our approach." The D.C. NOW chapter will hold a press conference in two weeks, outlining support for the boycott by other sympathetic area groups. "This is only going to snowball, the word is spreading out," says Dorothy Jones, president of D.C. NOW, who says the bottom line is getting the consumer to act. "It's something relatively simple for a person to do. And it is effective." Domino's officials are close-mouthed over the possible effect, although they admit some declining sales around college campuses. And newly installed Domino's president David Black is less controversial. "I'm going to try to keep focused on the pizza business and not get sidetracked with other issues," he said in recent interviews in Detroit newspapers. "We've built up a lot of momentum and I want to push forward." But slowing down Domino's speedy momentum, exemplified by its 30-minute delivery promise, is exactly what NOW wants to do. "I think it's working, and it's a way for all of us to make views known," says Ireland. "Call up Domino's and let them know. I am sure they will hear."