By Patricia Lee June, M.D. and Martha E. Leatherman, M.D., Presbyterians Pro-Life.
A reply to Rev. Nelson’s article on Planned Parenthood 11-21-15
We disagree with most of Rev. J. Herbert Nelson’s article on Planned Parenthood in its assumptions, and in its conclusions. His article contains factual errors as well as poor logic and theology. Never-the-less, we can all agree that attitudes half a century ago that shamed and penalized women for having non-marital sex (especially if exposed by pregnancy) while ignoring the equally sinful behavior of the men involved were unjust. We can also agree that men need to take responsibility for the children they sire and that child support laws need to be enforced. Yet, injustice towards one group of human beings (women) can never be the basis for advocating a larger injustice towards another group of human beings (the preborn).
Before we can even consider the other “services” Planned Parenthood might or might not provide, we must first recognize that abortion is very important to the organization. Indeed, please note that the very top subject mentioned on the home page of the Planned Parenthood website is “ABORTION.” Let’s look at each of the other purported “health services” Rev. Nelson lists:
Far from providing parenting skills or resources for new parents, Planned Parenthood limits parenting support to sexual education, such as timing of teen sexual activity, promotion of birth control, and avoiding abusive relationships. Their website does briefly discuss the need for open communication and the need for parental limit setting and monitoring, but we have to wonder how this fits in with their opposition to parental notification laws.
Rather than providing counseling that empowers and dignifies women in their reproductive choices, Planned Parenthood has been caught on tape counseling underage children on how to hide an abortion (which is an invasive medical procedure) from their parents and how to hide statutory rape from parents and authorities. Sex traffickers have been “counseled” on how to get abortions for the young girls they are prostituting, and while it is true that Planned Parenthood promotes birth control for those not pregnant, pregnancy counseling primarily consists of convincing women to have an abortion: 97% of the pregnant women who go to Planned Parenthood get an abortion.
Planned Parenthood has never done a single mammogram. Their director has admitted it and their website (fine print) says in essence that they refer women to other sites to receive mammograms. Many local community health centers, which outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics ten to one, actually do provide mammograms.
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Planned Parenthood has been set up simply as a rationalization…..abortion IS what they are and have always been.
As a post-christian, political entity, the PCUSA is sort of lead by the counsel of the current Mayor of Chicago. “Never let a crises go to waste.” As such one should have expected such a posting from the PCUSA, post the Colorado shooting. As the Stated Clerk of the PCUSA used the Ferguson riots to score his political points and further polarize the denomination. . So it is with the Rev. Nelson.
So what is the genesis of this latest posting? As in the arena of secular politics, you use news, good or bad, to reach out to your donor or political base to solicit funds, support, keep your name and organization in the public square. In the fiscally “challenged” environment that is everything PCUSA it is obvious the DC office/social policy arm of the PCUSA seeks to reinforce amongst its base that it still has something to say and whatever folks can send their way, so much the better.
And no better means to get that message across by stoking the usual feminist-pagan narratives of “war on women”. abortion rights under threat, stand up for PP”, throw in the expected ideology of grievance, women of color left under serviced, lack of heath care, so much the better. Same old, same old. No real news here. This is the PCUSA, expecting anything else?