The Christian Action Council, a Protestant antiabortion organization in Falls Church, has called for a boycott of corporations that make contributions to Planned Parenthood.
At a news conference held in Washington this week, leaders of the council were joined by representatives of other antiabortion organizations, including Concerned Women for America and the Pro-Life Action League, that endorsed the boycott.
Issuing a list of 43 corporations that it said have made contributions to Planned Parenthood, the council said it was highlighting American Express "because it has a consistent pro-abortion giving pattern."
Toni Maloney, vice president for corporate communications of American Express in New York, said the firm "takes no stand on abortion."
She said it made a "very modest" grant of $7,500 to Planned Parenthood last year, of which $2,500 went to the Positive Force Players in Phoenix, a group of teenagers who write and perform skits on date rape, teen pregnancy and other issues, and $5,000 to The Hub, a teen drop-in after-school center in the South Bronx.
"Clearly, we're not supporting abortion or even encouraging abortion as a result of these grants," Maloney said. "It seems as if some of these groups are trying to draw us into a political battle, which we will not be part of."
However, Douglas R. Scott, director of public policy for the council, said that "any time you give money to Planned Parenthood for a restrictive grant, that releases money for abortion. It's a matter of bookkeeping."
David J. Andrews, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said he is confident that the boycott campaign "will backfire."
Andrews said that when the AT&T Foundation decided in March to end 25 years of contributions to Planned Parenthood after complaints from abortion opponents, "Planned Parenthood received thousands of supportive calls and letters, as well as donations, from an entirely new group of supporters."