American Express in Planned Parenthood-Twitter Controversy

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 11, 2011   |   6:15PM   |   Washington, DC

American Express found itself in the middle of controversy today when it sent, and subsequently withdrew, a tweet on Twitter expressing support for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

“Scarlett Johansson supports Planned Parenthood and you should too,” the official American Express Twitter account said Monday afternoon. “STD testing/treatment, breast exams, birth control…”

Shortly after the tweet went out and pro-life advocates on Twitter started complaining, American Express sent out a subsequent message making it appear foul play or a mistake was involved.

“FYI – We did not send out the tweet re: Planned Parenthood. We are working with Twitter to investigate,” it said.

Corporate officials are reportedly working to determine how the tweet was sent but it appears possible that a staff member accidentally sent out the Tweet from the corporate account instead of a personal account. The official account appears to make updates on Twitter using a variety of methods from accessing Twitter directly to third party applications. As frequently happens in some applications, Twitter users can send a tweet from the wrong account if more than one account is used by the same application.

Guy Benson, a pro-life writer at TownHall, believes there was a mistake but hopes the credit card companies apologizes quickly.

“I’m sure the American Express Planned Parenthood tweet was accidental, but an explanation/apology would be nice,” he said.

UPDATE: American Express has released a subsequent statement on what happened. “It appears our Twitter account was hacked – the Planned Parenthood tweet was not from Amex. We have re-secured our account.”

American Express formerly supported the Planned Parenthood abortion business but Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Executive Director Scott Fischbach told in December 2003 that that was no longer the case, saying it was one of many corporations that “have stopped funding the pro-abortion movement.”

Thomas Strobhar of Pro Vita Advisors added in May 2008 that “we voluntarily withdrew at American Express…after sufficient progress had been made in addressing our concerns.”

But actress Scarlett Johansson has been an abortion advocate for a long time and, in November 2006, she added her name to the list of stars using their fame as a political platform and attacked President Bush for his pro-life views on abortion. She said women’s rights would be doomed if the law was left up to him. Johansson accused the president, in an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, of denying women their rights and forcing them to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.

“We’re supposed to be liberated in America but if our President had his way, we wouldn’t be educated about sex at all,” she said. “Every woman would have six children and we wouldn’t be able to have abortions.”