A series of misleading videos put out by an anti-abortion group has given rise to yet another movement by some policymakers to cut all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. At the Religious Institute, we have been in the forefront of the movement to remind the general public, the media, and policymakers that people of faith support Planned Parenthood.
As part of that support, we started a petition which is posted all over our social media. I realize that I should not be surprised the hate and vitriol that is being directed at us via Facebook, but I confess that I am. I am also dismayed. There are people who claim to be Christians saying that it’s too bad that we and our supporters weren’t aborted. There are people who call themselves Christians who are railing against “irresponsible women” who “use abortion as a means of birth control.” There are people who say they are Christians questioning why their tax dollars should help fund birth control for women who can’t afford it.
Yes, Christians and other people of faith stand with Planned Parenthood. I am a Christian and I support Planned Parenthood because of my faith, not in spite of it. I support making contraception, cancer screening and prevention, and STI/STD treatment and testing available to all people, regardless of income, because my faith teaches me that as Christians we have a responsibility to the common good. I support access to abortion services for all people regardless of income as well, because my faith teaches me that every human being has dignity, worth, and moral agency, and therefore should be able to make their own reproductive decisions.
I know that people of good faith can and do disagree about abortion. But whatever your views on abortion, the truth is that abortion procedures make up only 3% of what Planned Parenthood medical affiliates do, and none of the funding for abortion services comes from the federal government. Another truth is that Planned Parenthood is not “selling body parts.”
These facts are pretty easy to find via a quick Google search. As I asked on my own Facebook page last week, can we not love Jesus AND check our facts? And while we’re at it, might it be possible to keep our discourse about controversial topics civil? It seems the Christian thing to do.