Planned Parenthood, Let’s Get Real

Planned Parenthood, I am a woman and a mother, and I’ve got a problem with you. It’s the way you talk, the dishonesty in your words. Your rhetoric is unsettling and insulting to me as a woman who knows a lot about her body.

Let me give you an example: you call an abortion “removing the products of conception”. Who do you think you’re kidding? Every woman who walks out of the clinic knows exactly what her products of conception were. You want to call it tissue? That’s fine. But there is no other tissue in my body that has heartbeat unless it’s my heart. We know it’s a baby. Let’s be honest about that.

You call it healthcare when 94% of the women who are pregnant walking through your doors get an abortion. I thought we all vowed to make abortion safe and rare. You don’t provide women with information about adoption or resources on how to raise their own children, but why would you when you’re making money on the procedure? How rare do you really want it to be? And how is this actually care?

And again, remind me how we can call something “healthcare” when two fully alive humans walk into an operating room and only one walks out. In no other scenario besides abortion do we call something successful healthcare when someone routinely ends up dead from the process. 

You act as if redirecting funding from your illicit activities is a subversive attempt to defund ALL women’s healthcare. Please. Let’s stop acting as if the only way to care about women is to demand they can have an abortion at any time they want one. Good God. It’s biologically incongruous for a women to want to abort her child. A woman’s body, her hormones, her most natural tendency, is to give up even her own life to nurture and protect a growing baby, not destroy it. Demanding the right to an abortion is akin to demanding the right to severing one’s body part whenever one desired. 

A mentally and physically healthy woman with the financial means and social support does not want to abort her child. It’s not in our nature. Why should we as taxpayers be forced to support and pay for something that is biologically unnatural? (We should, however, financially support women in doing what is natural, but I’ll get to that.)

You call the Center for Medical Progress “extremists” when all they did was record several conversations with you and play them for the public. You’re the one who pulls babies apart and selling their organs for $30 apiece for “research” and all with taxpayer funding. Who are the extremists here, really? As someone who is funding your business with my hard-earned money, I demand an investigation at least. 

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As Americans, why are we okay with this? Why are we not advocating for more and better options for pregnant women? I do not know any women who has had an abortion that was happy about it. She did it for lack of options, because her boyfriend was abusive and didn’t want the child. Or because her parents were going to kick her out.

What if we stopped so vehemently defending the right to an abortion and started defending instead a woman’s right to raise her child?

What if we collaborated to support mothers who, under better circumstances, would want to raise their child?

I love the tagline of Feminists For Life: “Women deserve better than abortion”. Exactly. 

But now it’s time for my confession. As a prolife woman, I’ve been accused, and rightfully so, by Sister Joan Chittister and others, of being irresponsibly pro-birth and not pro-life. I can understand this. So often we fight to get a child earthside and as soon as they arrive, we throw a party and move on to plan the next rally. “There are babies to save, after all,” we tell ourselves.

But being prolife must mean supporting life from conception to death, not just the parts that are convenient. And let’s be real: conservatives aren’t too keen on government healthcare, welfare dole-outs or other federal subsidies for low-income families. So there’s a dissonance here between what we say we support and how we vote.

How can we celebrate a baby’s birth when we aren’t willing to also help the mother get her feet on the ground and earn a sustainable income? If we take away the choice for abortion, can we say in good conscience, “Congratulations on the baby, honey. I’m sure you’ll do fine.”

Even Proverbs warns against wishing someone be warm and well fed and doing nothing to improve their condition.

As prolife taxpayers, we need to get more involved. We need to be prochoice in terms of how the government spends our money, and yes, women deserve better than abortion. But what does that mean 10 years later for a women who opted out of abortion but doesn’t have the social resources to provide for herself AND her child, which is the situation for most women seeking abortion?

Here’s what I suggest we do with our money:

  • I will happily fund prenatal and postpartum care for mothers, as well as healthcare for the children.
  • I will fund infant and child adoptions.
  • I will fund mental health care for women who are post-abortive, post-adoptive and moms and dads who are dealing with stress due to parenthood.
  • I will fund a higher minimum wage so mothers and fathers can do better for their families.
  • I will partner with new mothers in my community to provide meals, mentorship or whatever support they need. 
  • I will fund education grants for parents who want to attend and finish their education.
  • I will fund childcare for parents who want (and need) to work to support their children.
  • I will collaborate with community organizations and churches to support parents with education, babysitting and parents’ days out, and anything else they might need.
  • And last but certainly not least, my husband and I agreed from the start of our marriage that we would be open to adoption and always, if we knew a mother contemplating abortion, be willing to help her raise her child or even adopt the child, if needed. We know big change starts small, and it starts with us.

If we want to remove abortion from the social consciousness, we are going to have to work together to remove the need for abortion. We will have to make the resources and support for families so abundantly available that mothers will always know they have somewhere to turn when they have an unexpected pregnancy and everyone else in their world is saying “No” to life. 

We will say “Yes” to life not with votes and protests but with our time and money. With our love and our life. 

It will take all of us, not throwing stones but offering true compassion and empathy to women on either side of abortion. It will not happen overnight, but all of us who love life must stand not just with the women outside the abortion clinic, but all the way until she stands with her child at their college graduation and beyond.

If we say we stand for life, let’s be true to our word and stand for all of life. Not just birth, but LIFE.

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9 thoughts on “Planned Parenthood, Let’s Get Real

    1. Thanks, Gordon. This is really scary to write about. I care about women a lot and I know how much pain my friends who have had abortions are going through. I write this with trembling but knowing we have to talk about this or it will never change. There is much good to be done. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  1. I’ve been passionate about this issue as well. I agree with your stance and love this idea in theory, but I wonder if it’s practical in reality. Government spending is such a complicated mess it’s hard to sort through the mire when we are already in so much debt. It is quite the onerous mess. I wish we could following the example of the early church and serve each other’s needs in that manner rather than relying on the government to do so. Either way, the complications of the matter do not excuse us from standing up and doing something. Thank you for being brave enough to engage this topic and get people thinking!

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    1. I couldn’t agree more about the mess government is making in spending, Katie. However, as I was reflecting on my suggestions last night, I was hoping and wishing that, in an ideal world, I would be free to make choices with my money and give to the people in my city or local area who I knew has need. To be the church, as you said. But of course there are people who are not connected with the faith community and who would not get their needs met in this fashion. I agree it’s complex but I wanted to throw it out there as the current use of my money is appalling and I want to have more of a say in how it is disbursed. If nothing else, I want my money redirected toward medicine that protects all life and offers actual health care. Thanks for weighing in on this delicate issue, Katie.

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  2. Great thoughts. In regard to your suggestion of, “I will fund a higher minimum wage so mothers and fathers can do better for their families,” what about bonuses for single (and possibly married) parents? My brother’s employer gave him a large bonus for each of he and my sister-in-law’s five adoptions. Why not give governmental incentives to employers to award bonuses for natural-born children as well? I would support this kind of response more than one that simply raises minimum wage for all employees, regardless of parental status, because many companies could not afford to do so without laying off other employees, and/or raising the cost of their goods/services to the point that the decrease in demand could put their business in jeopardy. Amen to your other suggestions. Thanks for your post, Sarah!

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    1. That’s a great and very specific suggestion, Tiff. I know that the living wage and the minimum wage are usually not the same, sadly. I don’t think I support a flat min wage increase across the country but at least more awareness of local cost of living should be considered in any state or fed minimum wage changes. I totally agree it could harm small biz and I would hate to do that. I think the answer is found first in valuing life and then the necessary accommodations can creatively be made when we see how important each person is. I pray this happens in our lifetime.

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