What are Presbyterians saying about Planned Parenthood? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marie Bowen   

Fotolia 81617626 MNothing! I searched half a dozen Presbyterian and Reformed denomination websites and found no articles or statements responding to videos implicating Planned Parenthood (PP) in the illegal sale of baby body parts. PP has long been involved in abortion—the evil, horrific, but legal ripping apart of tiny human beings.

I have read social media responses to the videos exposing PP's callous disregard for unborn humans by individual Presbyterians, and I know a few pastors who have made references to PP in recent sermons. There are some Presbyterians speaking on behalf of the unborn, but those who hold denominational leadership positions that grant an amplified voice (and who often speak against injustice and evil threats to human life) have chosen to be silent about the atrocities perpetuated against the tiniest human beings by PP.

Presbyterians talk a lot about injustice, so why be silent when unborn babies are being slaughtered and their body parts divided and sold for research? Why are we silent when the dignity and worth of tiny human beings is so disregarded that without their permission they are killed and sold as "intact cadavers" or torn asunder writhing in pain in their mother's wombs and when dead, their parts are distributed as "tissue" for research and sold at "per specimen" prices.

If you haven't seen the videos I'm talking about you should. The footage is horrible, shocking, heart wrenching, but it is real.

PPL's message has usually focused on the beautiful images about God's care and activity in the womb that are taught in the Bible, but occasionally we need to have our eyes opened. Seeing the real evil in the world helps us to comprehend the incredible gift God has given to us both in the gift of a new human being and in the gift of a new spirit, born twice through Jesus Christ. God sometimes stirs us to action by bringing us face to face with real evil in all its ugly reality.

PCUSA silence no surprise

It's no surprise that the Presbyterian Church USA has not spoken out against PP. The denomination has advocated against any legal restriction of abortion for years. Abortion policy expresses discomfort with the number of abortions, some reasons for abortion, and a pretty strong statement against late-term abortion, but all advocacy coming from the denomination in the last few decades has been in favor of a woman's unrestricted "right" to abort the child that God has purposed as a gift.

Although they should speak

The standing PCUSA social witness policy on abortion (1992) is quite specific in its objection to abortions used to obtain baby body parts. On page 11, I. E.1.g. The Report of the Special Committee on Problem Pregnancies and Abortion states:
"Abortion is not morally acceptable for gender selection only or solely to obtain fetal parts for transplantation."

But those pesky alliances. . .

Planned Parenthood has the ear and collaborative support of PCUSA leaders. In March 2011, when changes were proposed to government funding of PP, Presbyterian News Service reported that the Advocacy Committee for Women's Concerns (ACWC) met with representatives from PP and The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) . In April 2015, a PCUSA congregation in Louisiana (First Presbyterian, New Orleans) made news by hosting a celebration of PP in their sanctuary. Also that month, Gail Tyree, Director of Community Partnerships with PP Greater Memphis Region, gave the keynote address at a Compassion, Peace, and Justice advocacy training day in Washington D.C. Although her topic was mass incarceration, her presence at the training event is indicative of the pervasive influence of PP on the PCUSA and the close ties between the organizations.

PARO (Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options), a network of PHEWA (Presbyterian Health, Education, and Welfare Association) is tight with Planned Parenthood. In 2012 they invited Rev Vincent Lachina, official chaplain to PP, to be guest speaker at PARO's General Assembly luncheon. Bart Gingrich, Institute on Religion and Democracy, reported Lachina's expression of admiration and thanks for PARO, his "new best friends." "I thank you for your work on reproductive justice...as you work for people who have felt abandoned by the church." The admiration was mutual. During Q&A, longtime PARO member and feminist theologian Sylvia Thorsen Smith, stated, "I want to just plug for how religious Planned Parenthood counselors truly are." Lachina replied, "What you all do and what I do is sacred work."

Abortion is not sacred work! To assign God's name to the destruction of innocent life is blasphemy.

But why are pro-life denominations silent?

It is more difficult to comprehend the silence from Presbyterian and Reformed denominations whose policy statements take a pro-life stand against abortion. I don't want to speculate on the reasons, but shouldn't there be a little overturning of tables here? Wouldn't Jesus be calling Planned Parenthood out for profiting from the destruction of tiny human beings intended to be temples housing the Holy Spirit?

This compels me:

Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, "Surely we did not know this," does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?

— Prov. 24:11-12, NKJ

Response Toolbox

Haven't seen the videos about Planned Parenthood? You can find them at YouTube.com by searching for 'Planned Parenthood'.

Warning! some of the videos contain pictures of aborted and dismembered babies. In all of them, you will likely be sickened by the callous and casual discussion of the organs and body parts of tiny babies.

Many Christians are speaking out! Links to visit:

Presbyterians Pro-Life has had a lot to say about PP. Search 'Planned Parenthood' on this website and on our blog.

Focus on the Family

A Medical Doctor's Gospel Perspective

A Post abortive pastor

A PPL Board Member

Consider joining a nationwide protest of Planned Parenthood on August 22nd

Free Resource on abortion (Expires August 31)



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