Planned Parenthood

The Question

As a student in high school, history fascinated me.

This was especially true of history within the last 100 years. Reading about the thoughts and events that shaped the minds of Adolf Hitler, Sigmund Freud, and Karl Marx intrigued me; as well as the ways they chose to make their marks on the world. Although each of them has been dead for decades, their lives and writings continue to shape and affect people.

Learning about WWII was fascinating for me. There were endless accounts of the horror people lived through. The torture, injustice, cruelty, and pure evil sometimes felt like too much. I didn’t want to know what went on; it was revolting and it made me feel nauseous. But something in me had to know!

As I allowed the pain of those stories to touch me, a single question begged to be answered.

Why didn’t someone do something?

The Fight Against Abortion

Abortion has been an issue in America for 100 years or more. In the public arena the fight against abortion comes and goes in spurts. I remember as a young teenager reading about Margaret Sanger, birth control, and Planned Parenthood. At that time Lila Rose (President of Live Action) released videos of herself posing as an underage girl wanting an abortion. Her organization sparked discussion as she traveled across the country speaking and raising awareness.

Over the last year The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has put forth a valiant effort to raise awareness and expose the illegal activity of Planned Parenthood (PP) that is happening behind closed doors. The hours of undercover footage in the eleven videos released so far is both shocking and disturbing. The candid manner in which PP doctors talk about “crushing above or below” to make sure that body parts can be harvested intact is graphic to say the very least.

In the videos released, CMP actors pose as middle men for a fetal tissue procurement organization. At various conferences and over dinner they connect with multiple top name doctors and directors within PP. Different methods of aborting babies are discussed, depending on what body parts are most desired. In one video a PP employee haggles over the reimbursement price per baby.

What is My Response?

As the American culture continues to decline, morality has become almost invisible. The concept of right and wrong seems to be flipped on its head. The wealth of grotesque evil around us can feel overwhelming. And the inability to make a difference often leaves me feeling desensitized and apathetic. I don’t want to see the horror or feel the pain of something I can’t change. In the wake of all the information CMP has released and the ongoing congressional investigation into PP, there are two reactions that I think we often have.

The first is apathy. We often struggle to care about something so big that it seems impossible to change. For the most part abortion is not something that is a part of our lives or directly affects us. So instead of letting the horror touch us, and bring us to our knees, we walk away and try to put the issue out of our minds.

The second is a spirit of self-righteousness. Abortion is messy, and with the new light CMP has shed on other discussions happening within PP it can feel very difficult to navigate through everything. “Thank goodness I’m not a part of that!” we think, as we give ourselves a pat on the back. Too often we see abortion as a sad, immoral issue that’s ‘out there.’ It’s something that you’re not going to come into contact with unless you choose to, i.e. volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center. We may be far removed from the act of abortion itself, but what about the worldview and thought behind PP and what they stand for?

Standing for Self

Planned Parenthood takes pride on being a center for women’s medical health. The focus is women’s health; or more specifically women’s choice over their body and decisions they make. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and mastermind behind birth control in America, saw the life of a woman in the home as confining her to be useful only as a housekeeper and baby-maker. She viewed children as a burden and an unfortunate by-product of sex. She spent her life encouraging women to be autonomous and selfish. Sanger taught that the women’s choice is more important than protecting human life.

In the years since first reading about Sanger and the life she lived and worked for, I have been amazed at how much her worldview has seeped into those around me. Granted, within the Anabaptist circles generally the family size is larger than secular culture. But more often than I’d like to admit, I’ve overheard people comment with contempt on families that are larger than the norm: “Don’t they know what causes that?!”

A Gift of the Lord

It feels like we only see children as a blessing when they are planned for. Only if they come when we are ready, in our timing. And until we are ready, we take every measure possible to make sure a mistake doesn’t happen. When compared with Scripture, it’s clear how much the culture around us has influenced our thinking, and directly contradicts God’s view of children.

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.”
Psalms 127:3

A few years ago I attended a women’s conference. One of the workshops was on birth control, given by an Anabaptist woman who was a registered nurse. Instead of presenting the topic of birth control in the light of Scripture, the evening was spent exploring the options available. She went over dozens of different methods of birth control, how they work, what the pros and cons were, etc. We spent an entire evening looking at the myriad of options out there to prevent life. I walked away wondering, “Do we actually trust God?” Are we any different than the culture around us? Do we embrace the biblical view that children are a blessing, or do we cling to selfishness?

Sarah Sarah Miller lives with her husband Timothy near Sarasota, Florida. She has a passion for the truth and sees most things in black and white. Sarah enjoys reading, traveling to new locations, or spending time with her husband.

8 thoughts on “Planned Parenthood

  1. I’m looking forward to hearing people’s reflections from a Scriptural perspective. You’re absolutely right that the issue deserves careful, thoughtful response. We want the mind of Christ — treasuring what He treasures. We know that Christ loved children and that God is the giver of life. I don’t think this precludes the possibility of birth control. There may be right or wrong uses:
    * I know one couple well that has a medium-sized family because they have been called to a cross-cultural setting where they felt that a large family wasn’t an option for them. They would have preferred a larger family, but this was a personal sacrifice they have made for the Kingdom. Is it possible that this is an appropriate application of Matthew 19:29?
    * I know of a couple that used birth control to protect the wife against too frequent pregnancies (they had several miscarriages previously). They used birth control to help space children and ended up with just 12. I know they value children!
    * I have seen places in the world that have extremely high population density, many times what the U.S. has. Is it possible that these countries have fulfilled God’s mandate to “fill the earth” and that it’s OK for families to have 2, 3 or 4 children instead of 6, 8, or 10?
    * Is it ever appropriate for believers to practice any form of family planning? I would propose that in cases where natural family planning is appropriate, other forms of non-abortifacient birth control may also be appropriate. Some of them are arguably more Biblical than natural family planning is.

    I do think your emphasis on Scripture and valuing of life is by far the most important issue, but I also think it’s worth recognizing that there may be usage of family planning that align with Scriptural principles.

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    1. Thank you raising interesting questions. However, I do believe these are complex questions which cannot be easily answered. It would be unfair to paint specific brush strokes of what is acceptable and what is not if one is not personally involved in the situation.

      The intention of this article is to help young people be aware of the unbiblical thinking which undergirds much of what have become acceptable forms of birth control in our modern society. Our hope is that Christians think though this issue carefully and not blindly accept whatever the medical community deems acceptable means of birth control. In the end we will be personally accountable to God for the choices we make.

      If we really value life when will we “wake up” and admit that much of the thought that brought about modern forms of birth control are attempts to manipulate the way God created us. Furthermore, the rise of modern birth control has risen side by side with abortion. We’ve had no trouble calling that what it really is: murder. Randy Alcorn has written a great book on this subject, “Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?” http://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Feb/17/short-condensation-does-birth-control-pill-cause-a/

      The question comes down to a matter of autonomy. Do we know best or does God? Who’s really in control of our lives? I find it interesting you raised Matt. 19:29. This Scripture gets right at the fundamental problem with many forms of birth control. It comes at the end of Jesus’ dialogue with the “rich young ruler”. This man was unwilling to surrender his entire life to God. He wanted to maintain sovereignty over his own life. Jesus make’s emphatically clear at the end of this chapter that His disciples must be willing to surrender their whole life for His kingdom. This means that we stop trying to control and surrender to His plans. The feminist movement (which has championed BC) has made clear their purpose is to set women free from the burden of childbearing. They should be free to choose. This thinking is far more prevalent in all of our minds than we often want to admit.

      Our society sees children as liabilities instead of assets. We as the body of Christ must reject that mentality and embrace the truth found in Psalm 127 and 128. “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it…Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward…Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them…Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine…Your children like olive plants all around your table” (NKJV).

      Thanks again for reading our blog and raising these questions.

      The EiC

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  2. Is this parent planned parenthood or God planned parenthood? We had four small children, and my circumstances in life were so overwhelming that obvious nervous breakdown symptoms were observed. My dear husband asked God to close my womb, which He did. A few years later God blessed us with another child. God wants us to ask Him for things. He loves giving gifts. How often do we disappoint Him when we take control? My husband asked God for the gift of a closed womb, and it was God’s decision to close it for a few years. God then opened my womb and blessed us with a child who is aggressively serving his Maker.

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    1. Thank you for your sharing your story with us. May we all strive to deepen our faith in God’s ability to care for us.

      The Editor-in-Chief

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    2. I agree — that’s a beautiful testimony! I appreciate both your husband’s faith and the beauty of God honoring that request. I also respect couples who wish to follow a similar approach of leaving all family planning in God’s hands. I am not making an impassioned case for birth control or wanting to start a lengthy debate.

      I see the issue similarly to the issue of raising financial support for ministry. Some believe that a “George Mueller” style faith-based support is the only approach — not sharing needs with others, but praying in funds and leaving the results in God’s hands. I honor such people and love the beautiful stories they share. Others have chosen other methods — letting supporters know of opportunities, supporting themselves through jobs, etc. I also honor them. I believe that both can be faith-filled ways to follow Christ.

      More than anything else, it is the heart that matters, and then the heart expresses itself in ways that honor Christ and build up the Kingdom. May we keep doing that more and more.

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  3. The lack of time that modern couples have for raising children is truly sad. But I must admit, this article was disappointing, on a couple of points.

    First, somehow equating birth control and abortion under the same roof is a stretch. Sure, you can do both for the same wrong reason, but you must admit, one is unquestionably sin, and the other “could” be a result of a wrong world view. But the family control is not the issue! The attitude toward God’s worldview is the issue. Pushing a couple, that does not want children, to have as many children as possible, is a huge mistake. Even with the abortion issue, we need to remember that the truly sad part, is the mess that the heart and life of the mother is in. A innocent baby being saved out of bad bad home life, in reality, might be a blessing for the baby. We should not mourn spiritually for the baby but the mother. All death is sad, but spiritual death is unfathomably worse than physical death.

    Second, equating birth control as not trusting God portrays a sad view of walking with our savior. Do you realize you’re saying that trusting God means to not take any action? Let’s take this logic into other parts of life and see if it holds up. We are called to trust God in our finances. So, we dare not take things into our own hands and do what we think God is calling us to do. Fathers, stay at home, sit on the couch and prove you are trusting in God! We would say, that is ridiculous. We are to trust God in our health, and your child is sick. Mothers let nature take it’s course, and give no comfort and assistance. Sit back and trust God.

    I would like to suggest a new premise for what it means to trust God. consider the couple that diligently seeks Him for the future of their home, and life , and family, and then acts on the leading He gives. This is much much more pleasing to God, and is what it means to walk with Jesus, then the couple who calls every “natural” situation that comes along, “God’s leading.” Some couples are called to have large families, Praise the Lord! Some couples have other mission fields and God calls them to small or not families, Praise the Lord! Some people are called to remain single, Praise the Lord! And then some couples are critical of anyone who seeks the Lord and acts upon the call, instead of letting nature take it’s natural course, it’s a sad world….

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    1. Hello Gary,
      I would start by contending that you certainly can place many forms of BC under the same roof as abortion. Both have been pushed into the mainstream of our society with the intentional agenda of divorcing sex and pro-creation. It is no coincidence that our countries spiral into moral degradation has coincided very closely with the rise of BC, followed by abortion. Yes, abortion is unquestionably sin. No, not all forms of BC control are but Christians have remained largely quiet on the clear dangers of many accepted forms of BC. As you study it’s origins, the rise and acceptance of modern forms of BC have grown out of and are indicative of a fundamentally distorted view of sex and are a rejection of a biblical understanding of sex. I do not believe this is disputable and it’s time Christians spoke out.

      I am rather disturbed by the thought of a child being “blessed” by being aborted. Two wrongs never make a right. If you believe every human life has dignity because they are created in the image of God we must never make that equation. I do believe Christians have often failed to compassionately reach out to those who find themselves in bad situations.

      True not all Christians are called to have large families and no one should be pressured into having a large family. Granted pro-creation is only one aspect of sex; God created it for pleasure, unity, intimacy. Therefore, He has created natural ways of avoiding pregnancy. Why would Christians not use those avenues rather than resort to methods that have clear dangers and side-effects? Knowing that if that doesn’t work God has a different plan. Every child should be viewed as a gift from God and result in rejoicing and praise! I find it ironic that in a country which has widespread material blessing at a level unprecedented in human history; many say (Christians included) they do not have the time or money for a “large” family. What does that say about our priorities and our trust in God’s provision?

      I agree whole heartedly that we should rejoice in whatever God’s plan is for our life. However, I fear we attempt to manipulate and control that plan far more often than we would like to admit.

      Thanks for your comment and reading our blog!
      The EiC

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