I attended one of 300 nationwide protests of Planned Parenthood this morning, along with 175 other people in Lansing, MI. I’ve never attended a protest before, but after seeing this invitation and explanation from Pastor John Piper and doing some homework on what Planned Parenthood has been up to, I decided to attend this one. Some key points:
- This was a protest of the national organization Planned Parenthood, not of our specific Planned Parenthood branch in Lansing. Our specific Planned Parenthood branch does not do abortions within its walls, it does referrals, but many Planned Parenthood’s do the actual abortions within their own walls.
- I have always thought that instead of making women who are getting abortions feel bad, resources for adoption and help with their pregnancy and/or raising the child should be promoted to them. I was pleased that this is what was promoted today, including representation from many local organizations and ministries that do exactly that.
- The mood of our protest was very peaceful and loving to all. There was no heckling or shouting. I was planning to leave if there was. (The only heckling or hate was from pro-choice folks driving by, more on that later) In fact where we were positioned, we were in view of cars driving into a large outdoor shopping center, not in direct view of pedestrians walking into Planned Parenthood. The vast majority of the signs were both informative and moving. Only one person had a sign with a mangled baby on it from an abortion, something I wish wasn’t there but was glad it was only one rogue sign and not the dominant mood of the protest.
- The Planned Parenthood protests today were unique in that they are in direct response to the undercover investigation videos that have been released about how Planned Parenthood sells baby body parts for profit. You can view all of the videos at The Center for Medical Progress’ website. Here’s one:
Some will say these videos are tampered with or fake. If you watch the videos, you have to ask yourself, “If the Planned Parenthood person talking is actually the person named in the video, how could this video be tampered with? Were their lips manipulated using advanced animation software? Was a voice-matching software used to dub in their voice in sync with the animated lips?” It’s dismissive and a denial to say the these videos are fake, especially with the massive quantity of footage that is slowly released bit by bit over time (I heard today there there will be 16 videos released total and only 7 have been released thus far).
The fact that Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts (and whole baby corpses, which go for the top dollar) has gotten a lot of people’s eyebrows raised. Add to this the fact that Planned Parenthood is funded by your tax money and my tax money. These are the two main things being protested in today’s nationwide protests: the illegal sale of human bodies and the fact that our tax dollars are funding them to do this.
- You will hear from Planned Parenthood that the federal dollars they receive go to their other services (Pap smears, cancer screenings, etc.), not to their abortions. But is there really a difference? If a teenage girl can walk into Planned Pregnancy and get a free abortion done (without her parents even knowing about it, in some states), how was this free abortion able to be made available to her? (That example is posted about here) The federal tax dollars are funding the Planned Parenthood to even be there in the first place, funding the staff who are giving the free abortion, and funding other services so that in-house money can be freed up for this free abortion. It is 6 one way, half-a-dozen the other. My tax dollars are making that free abortion available.
- I am the last thing from an Obama-basher, in fact I’m supportive of a lot of his legislative emphasis. But the quote during a 2008 speech in Johnstown, PA is about as indicting as it gets when it comes to how pervasive this mindset is in our culture. In referring to the potential example of one of his daughters making a “mistake” and becoming pregnant, he calls their baby a “punishment.” A baby is a punishment? Only if you live with “I get to have sex with whoever I want to and no one, last of all God, can tell me otherwise” mindset. We protest the crass and casual synonyms used to describe a human life and the enterprise of selling human organs.
- Yes, Planned Parenthood provides helpful services to those in need such as pap smears, cancer screenings, and birth control. These are not the things we are protesting. We are protesting that they also perform abortions (kill babies) and have no problem encouraging women to have them done. It needs to be clearly understood that just because an organization does some good services like pap smears and birth control, it does not give it license to do abortions (kill babies). We would all be fine if Planned Parenthood continued to exist and continued to offer these health services…if they stopped doing abortions (killing babies). Abortions / killing babies is not a dismissive side point that can be overlooked, it is the main point and cannot be excused or compensated by any measure of goodwill gestures. It’s either being done or it isn’t. There are also many organizations who provide the same women’s health services to needy clients that Planned Parenthood does, without also doing abortions.
- I realize some pro-choice folks are reading this. I’m not writing “kill babies” to get under your skin. It needs to be clearly understood that this is how pro-life folks like myself see abortion, and this is how we will always see it. We have seen the photos of baby corpses piled up in garbage bags. We call this killing babies. A layer of a mother’s skin that covers the baby from being visible does not make it the baby a different substance or species in our eyes. It’s a human and it’s being killed. It no other realm of human death is the killer’s motive also a legal reprieve.
- The arguments for abortion typically use the extreme examples of someone who has been raped or a case of incest. While these cases exist (and it’s still not the baby’s fault that this situation occurred), the vast majority of abortions are happening because someone consensually had sex and they got pregnant. If people waited to have sex until marriage, which is God’s design given in the Bible, then we would not have the pandemic of abortion on our hands. The autonomy of wanting to have sex with whomever, whenever has convinced many that a baby is not a human. We think we can have sex on our own terms with zero consequences. We are playing God, with disastrous results. It is not ridiculous to compare the killing of babies to the killing of adults or the killing of a 1-year-old. The same reasons given for killing a baby in the womb could be given for killing a 2-month-old. One will get you a long time in prison, while one is legal and widely socially accepted. To many of us, these differences are completely arbitrary and absurd.
- There is a major difference in seeing a baby as a human being and as something else. At the very minimum, it seems unfathomable to many that we can’t agree on this: if a baby has a heartbeat, it’s a human being.
- This article is not meant to condemn women who have had an abortion. It’s important to reiterate Romans 8:1, John 3:17 and Romans 2:4. Jesus’ forgives all those who ask and there is healing in him.
Several sign-holders today were showing that they themselves were adopted and that their birth mothers at one point were planning to have abortions. My friend Ellen Willis from my church was one of these sign-holders (pictured right). It pains my heart to think about what Ellen and others who’ve been adopted feel when people drive by with middle fingers in the air or angry thumbs down at these signs. Thumbs down meaning they wish these folks had been aborted? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
I was interviewed by WLNS, our local CBS affiliate. Here is the 6:00pm news video from today, you can also click here to read their short write-up that reflects the video. I really appreciate WLNS doing the story, though (as you can read in my comment at the bottom of the article) my video and article quote was taken out of context, which happens a lot in those TV news stories. If you’ve read this blog post you know the context of my “6 one way half-a-dozen the other” point, which was cut out from the news clip.