I’m pro-life and I don’t support defunding Planned Parenthood

plannedParenthoodLogo-2Far from the first time, Rachel Held Evans has described my thoughts in a much more articulate way than I could think of myself (bold emphasis mine):

Anyone else caught in this tension? I’m pro-life in the sense that I believe life begins in the womb and is worth protecting even before birth. However, 9 times out of 10, I find myself totally disagreeing with the pro-life movement’s methods for protecting that life.

For example, completely defunding Planned Parenthood with no plan to replace its other services (like offering affordable contraception, gynecological services, and prenatal care to underprivileged women), could actually lead to more abortions. Teaching abstinence-only education in public schools appears to be less effective than comprehensive sex-education at reducing the teen pregnancy rate. Simply voting for Republicans who want to make abortion illegal (even though they are very unlikely to do so and even though criminalizing abortion won’t stop it from happening) without considering how other conservative social policies affect women most at risk for having abortions seems like an exercise in futility. And opposing coverage for contraception in insurance policies seems like a great way to increase rather than decrease unwanted pregnancies.

It’s just so frustrating to agree with the pro-life movement’s ideals but virtually none of their methods, and to disagree with many of the pro-choice movement’s ideals and yet support many of their efforts to care for women in ways that are likely to decrease the abortion rate. It’s a classic stuck-in-the-middle dilemma and I’ve got no easy answers. Mostly I just find myself shouting at the TV screen no matter who is on to speak!

Look, I don’t agree with Planned Parenthood’s general ethic about sex. I don’t necessarily believe that “anything goes” so long as it’s between consenting adults using protection. I believe that the ideal placement of sex is between married couples. I believe sex is far more than a recreational act. But there is also more to Planned Parenthood than being an “abortion factory,” which it wouldn’t be, if there were less demand for abortions. I don’t know all the facts about other scandals PP has been accused of. But I do know that completely defunding an organization that does so much for women with very limited options in managing their health is a bad, bad idea.

I would love to see a world without abortion. I’m sure most pro-choice people feel the same way. I just don’t think defunding PP is the best way to make that happen. If that means I have to forfeit my salvation, so be it.


8 thoughts on “I’m pro-life and I don’t support defunding Planned Parenthood

  1. Pingback: Top ten most popular posts in 2015 | Sarahbeth Caplin

  2. Pingback: “I’m pro-life, but…” | Sarahbeth Caplin

  3. I’m not a fan of abortion either, but I’ve been to PP several times. For uninsured people, it’s a great place for checkups and taking care of yourself instead of letting money dictate if you can be healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are one of the few people I’ve come across that is pro-life and actually deserves the term. I feel like many people that are pro-life are really just anti-choice. They do not care about the baby once it’s born, they do not care about the woman carrying the baby, they do not care about preventing unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place. It is more about control and they really should be labeled anti-choice.

    I am pro-choice but I would never consider myself anti-life. I just would never want abortion to become completely illegal because of how dangerous it would be for women. Women are going to have abortions whether it’s legal or not. I’d much rather they be provided with a safe place to do it. I just feel like so many people on the pro-life side fail to recognize a) the reasons why a woman would resort to having an abortion in the first place and b) realistic things that can be done to help prevent a woman from being in a situation where abortion is the only option in the first place.

    If more people on the pro-life side thought like you and Rachel Held Evans, then maybe real, positive changes can be made to the abortion issue in America.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The labels really are misnomers. None of my pro-choice friends are “anti-life.” We all value life, we just have different opinions about how to do so. I just wish we could value the mothers and the babies the same way.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am pro-choice, but it doesn’t make me pro-abortion. I am grateful I live in a country where abortion has been legal for decades, after a long fight (I am also grateful that we have a 20 week limit for abortion, unless it is for medical dangers). I don’t think that abortion is the way to go and I am much more supportive of good sex ed and affordable birth control. Yet, there is demand for abortion, so I believe it is important to have it provided in a safe environment. I am not so familiar with the adoption system in the US, but in France, it is an ugly mess. People have talked about changing it, so maybe more women would choose to give up a child for adoption rather than to abort if they don’t want to/can’t keep the baby, but with how things are, it is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

    I also still think that in cases such as rape/incest, keeping abortion legal is also important. I also support abortion for medical reasons, either because the fetus is condemned or it is this or the mother’s life. Do I find this a “happy” solution? Not at all. I think that getting to the point of an abortion is always a very difficult decision. I have never been personally confronted to a dangerous and/or unwanted pregnancy, and hope it will never happen. I also believe that as a Christian (although I have been told that being pro-choice makes me a bad Christian), I owe to give love to these women who choose to abort. It is a sad decision to get there, but throwing stones at them when they are already in a difficult situation, won’t help them or won’t help society.


  6. Even this Benedictine Nun, Sister Joan Chittister gets it: “I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking. If all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed, and why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of what pro-life is.”

    It’s odd, isn’t it, to have so many Baptist and Methodist hospitals, and yet there are precious few Christian clinics that offer the same services (excluding abortion) that Planned Parenthood does. Christians should have been the first to cheer when healthcare was expanded and the ones to demand loudest for decreasing prices. In fact, they should still be at it saying ‘it’s not enough, people are paying too much’. But too often pro-life morality stops at the babies being born. All of a sudden these people are too busy to help an exhausted single parent of a newborn, hand out diapers to low-income families, visit the local orphanage, or anything. There are a lot of mixed messages coming from Christianity these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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