Planned Parenthood Gets Religious Support

A total of 56 faith-based groups have sent a letter to members of the Senate voicing their support for Planned Parenthood and urging them to reject efforts to defund the organization:

We represent millions of people of faith committed to ensuring women’s health and moral autonomy. We are deeply troubled by the latest deplorable attacks on Planned Parenthood by faux groups, which demonstrate the lengths to which antiabortion extremists will go to curtail women’s right to obtain a legal medical procedure.

Our organizations share a faith-centered commitment to the most marginalized and the most vulnerable of our society, including those with limited financial means or those who live in areas with limited access to healthcare and related services. For many, Planned Parenthood is their only source of medical care. Many Planned Parenthood patients are struggling to make ends meet. … A world without Planned Parenthood would be disastrous for many women and their families—particularly young women, women of color and women in rural areas.

The letter was signed by faith groups representing a range of religious traditions, including the National Council of Jewish Women, the Episcopal Women’s Caucus, the Hindu American Foundation, Catholics for Choice, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Methodist Federation for Social Action and Muslims for Progressive Values.

It’s particularly important for people of faith to be vocal in their support for Planned Parenthood says Jon O’Brien of Catholics for Choice because there is a concerted effort underway to pressure Democrats to renounce the organization going into the 2016 election cycle. “This is an opportunistic attempt to sway the Democratic Party toward an anti-choice perspective. We see all the Republican candidates lining up around defunding Planned Parenthood and it’s really important that a sane religious perspective be offered on this issue, especially because it would have a disproportionate impact on poor people,” O’Brien told RD.

In the Huffington Post, the Rev. Debra Haffner of the Religious Institute, which also signed the letter, emphasized the importance of seeing the attacks on Planned Parenthood as a moral issue: “Playing politics to restrict or deny access to family planning services is morally wrong. It will effectively result in coercing women into childbearing. … let us remember that Planned Parenthood saves lives, promotes human flourishing and advances the common good.”

O’Brien said it’s equally important for faith leaders to call out the immoral tactics of the sham organization that spearheaded the sting, the Center for Medical Progress. “From a moral and ethical point of view, the way this was done with videos that were recorded surreptitiously and the twisting of the truth to manipulate dumb politicians to do something that couldn’t be done otherwise, is fundamentally wrong,” he said.

The faith leaders also rejected the idea that there is something antithetical about religious people supporting fetal tissue donation for scientific research (which Americans overwhelmingly support), noting in the letter that the voluntary, legal donations are used in critical biomedical research. “There’s nothing to be apologetic about regarding women donating fetal tissue for research on devastating diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and it’s important that the faith community be vocal on this,” said O’Brien.

46 Comments

  • DvHof@aol.com' HomerBedloe2 says:

    These may be “religious organizations,” but they do not represent mainstream thought on the issues being discussed. And the harsh words they bestow on the organization that created these videos, while saying absolutely nothing about the despicable and almost certainly illegal activities depicted in them, tells me all I need to know about the agenda at work here.

  • azmrb48@earthlink.net' Michael Bergman says:

    Did this come from the Onion? The word moral means nothing anymore. Moral autonomy?

  • odeliyab@yahoo.com' Liya says:

    Are you a troll? Health screenings mean nothing to you? All the good that PP does for women that otherwise couldn’t afford it, like cancer and STD prevention is of no value?

  • odeliyab@yahoo.com' Liya says:

    Do your search before you post and make yourself look stupid. It was not illegal, it was not immoral – very noble action for very noble purposes of health research – and not “despicable”.

    Do you understand what health research means? You didn’t die at childhood from polio or measles because that was done by brave , smart, dedicated people.

  • azmrb48@earthlink.net' Michael Bergman says:

    Human flourishing all right , but not for the baby, he or she gets no vote. The health screening facade is a canard. Face the facts, Mengele would have been pleased.

  • ckatsarelis@sprintmail.com' Sappho says:

    Face the facts, abortion is only about 3 percent of what PP does, the rest is run-of-the-mill women’s health care. Only many women don’t have access to it without PP. “Moral” does not mean “moral according to Michael Bergman.” There’s a long Protestant tradition of exercising conscience and people of goodwill can come to different conclusions about abortion. However, the deceitful practice used for the purposes of withdrawing healthcare from vulnerable women is most certainly immoral.

  • ckatsarelis@sprintmail.com' Sappho says:

    You don’t seem to know much if you don’t know that the organizations are indeed solidly mainstream. The organization used deceitful methods and twisted it into lies, and that tells me a great deal about the integrity of that organization. Those who support pulling the plug on a major healthcare provider to vulnerable women definitely have an agenda and it is ugly and evil. NOTE: Abortion is about 3 percent or less of the work of PP.

    Newsflash: Mainstream America supports choice. The real questions center around timing and harshly limiting medically necessary ones.

  • revsusanrussell@gmail.com' Susan Russell says:

    Thanks for making this important point that there are indeed people of faith who are prayerfully pro-choice and support the work Planned Parenthood does in meeting the healthcare needs of millions of underserved women and their families.

  • judithmax@comcast.net' Judith Maxfield says:

    I was surprised a few days ago that the polio vaccine was invented due to fetal research in the early fifties. I did have bulbar polio in the epidemic of 1952. An “iron lung” waited outside my hospital door. Luckily, I survived death or spending a short life in that awful thing. So, I do have a unique view of this issue, along with many others who later escaped this disease due to fetal research. Today, there are hardly any occurrences in the U.S. but unfortunately elsewhere in the world.

    What I am about to say here is from a mainstreal religious life:
    While I do fully support PP and legal fetal research, I’m a bit disappointed in the portrayal of this mainstream religious address to Congressional members. Are you just tooting your own self-righteous horn? What do you hope to gain by calling these officials dumb? You are, I thought, supossed to speak in better language that is respectful to human dignity – no matter who or what. We don’t need more strident voices, that frankly are too much part of the secular world. This statement sent, missed a chance in the elected body to keep a conversation going. I am not a pollyanna here, but these religious groups cannot offer any relief doing what they are doing if this attitude continues. Lets just pack up the Spirit and go home.

  • judithmax@comcast.net' Judith Maxfield says:

    Sir: Please explain what you you mean by a “screening facade being a canard”.

    canard |kəˈnär(d) | noun1 an unfounded rumor or story: the old canard that LA is a cultural wasteland.

    Using the term “baby” implies an intact human body of a certain young age. Its health or economic well being is not a part of this definition. In fact it does not imply th baby is alive. Your stream of supossed “facts” is that of disconnected thinking, and unworthy of an adult. And then to use the Nazi card is nonstarter.

    You did not take in account if your theoretical baby would even make it to adulthood in this society to vote, and maybe not be alowed to vote. Can you enlighten us?

  • emilyk04@gmail.com' Fired, Aren't I says:

    as a non-viable non-autonomous being, of course the “baby” wouldn’t get a vote.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    I read the entire letter at link – twice. I read this article – twice. I did not see where anyone called anyone in Congress “dumb” – although there are certainly plenty of seat warmers there that could be classified that way. (Louie Gohmert springs to mind, but is hardly the only one.) When at least half of Congress is taken in by the phony video, and refuses to back away when confronted with the FACTS, then, yeah, they deserve to be called out.

    Strident voices? The most strident voices in America right now belong to those on the right – especially the religious right. There is NO conversation with them. It’s impossible. (I was once a fundy, and there was no reasonable dialog with me then, either.)

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    If you say anything rational then you are implying congressmen are dumb.

  • Anyone of Christian “faith” wouldn’t be supportive of PP in any way. But nominal or theologically “liberals” (basically agnostics who pick & choose what to accept in Scripture based on their own worldview or public opinion of the day-basically people who believe IF there is a God, its probably this “Christian” one) would be supportive of PP. Their morality is defined by this world – which is at ENMITY with God. So of course they would support abortion and an organization that, on video, admits they take born babies (that means living, crying infants), kill them then chop ’em up-because those make the best body parts. The very fact you are not moved by this FACT—Illustrates my point about who you people are.

  • “Dumb” would be in the whitehouse (see Iran deal)

  • Actually there is nothing “moral” by forcing people to pay for someone else’s abortion. You use “vulnerable women” as some sort of trump card to try and ease your cognitive dissonance.

  • STOP….think for a second. U R defending killing babies – born & unborn. PP admits on those tapes some babies are “born” and that they make the best “body parts”.
    Now we know who could have justified in their head to have supported Hitler & Mengele in the 1930’s & 40’s….YOU…

  • Of course abortion is immoral. So is what was admitted to, taking the babies who are “born” before their aborted in the clinic for they are said to make the best body parts.
    How ya doing today dr. Mengele?

  • There is NOTHING mainstream about chopping up baby parts and giggling while looking through a bag of mixed organs, etc.
    Gotta get that Lamborghini….only a cold hearted, evil worldview would support PP after those tapes.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Totally OT comment.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Those tapes were highly edited to make PP look bad, and those scriptures you talk about are not worthy of belief in today’s world. The most rational thing is to pick and choose nothing from them.

  • cgoslingpbc@aol.com' cgosling says:

    I applaud those faith based groups for their clear understanding of Planned Parenthood. But, we should not forget those nonbelievers, atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, and secular humanists who are growing in number and are increasing while most religious groups are diminishing. Soon their numbers will include 1/2 of all American citizens. Politicians, take note.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    What is the difference between faith based groups and nonbelievers, freethinkers? Issues like this must be kept alive so that the difference can be maintained.

  • judithmax@comcast.net' Judith Maxfield says:

    No response necessary.

  • cgoslingpbc@aol.com' cgosling says:

    Jim – I agree. The difference between faith based groups and nonbelievers is drastic and I suspect you known them very well. All parties know the differences and those differences are already strongly maintained so unknowlegable folks can make informed decisions about giving up their fairy tales and superstition in favor of science and reason.

  • cgoslingpbc@aol.com' cgosling says:

    David – You apparently read only that which agrees with your preconceived opinions. Try something different and read the other side of the issue with an open mind. PP is nothing what the heavily edited video wants you to believe. You owe it to yourself to see the unedited video if you dare and are fair.

  • tomasz.tomasz101@gmail.com' werter says:

    All the things you listed can be obtained at regular medical centers.

  • tomasz.tomasz101@gmail.com' werter says:

    Nor is dismembering an Innocent human’s body.

  • tomasz.tomasz101@gmail.com' werter says:

    Patricia, your article is a mental torture for any sane mind. Give us a rest and you can toss out your letter (AKA E-mail) signed by various insignificant dissidents.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The church no longer has a monopoly on moral definition. Going forward, there will have to be discussions, even with dissidents.

  • odeliyab@yahoo.com' Liya says:

    That’s why your side is losing- you don’t use facts, don’t do any research thus people laugh and discard your silly arguments.

    PP helps women that CAN’T AFFORD medical centers, due to lack of insurance or lack of ability to come up with copay that medical centers charge! Stop saying stupid stuff of you want to be taken seriously.

  • odeliyab@yahoo.com' Liya says:

    troll, you hurting your side more than you helping it , do you realize it ? 🙂

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    He does now that you told him.

  • odeliyab@yahoo.com' Liya says:

    hahaha . good ol Jimmy employs sarcasm now. Love you, bud, and of course I realize that people only hear what they want to hear, and what he “knows” hasn’t changed

  • tomasz.tomasz101@gmail.com' werter says:

    Then their pathetic adherence to religous organization does not make much sense. They’d have been mord honest if they had calledm themselves pro-abortion women without this refferal to any religion.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Nobody is pro abortion. It is unfortunate when people are forced into having to make this choice, but that is life. Religion is involved because they forced themselves into the issue. The more they condemn others the more people don’t appreciate their involvement, and the more they make it necessary to build a wall between those religious people and people dealing with the issues of real life.

  • tomasz.tomasz101@gmail.com' werter says:

    This choice would have neverbeen made if people had knew that sex is for mature persons.

    Also – I anticipate your comment – killing another human being typically requires better justification than ‘I’m doing with my body (!) what I please.’

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    So mind your own business. If you don’t like it, then try to change the law. You are not God.

  • tomasz.tomasz101@gmail.com' werter says:

    What an imbecillic remark.

    Yes, I’m not God, but I do try to change the law (which is fundamentally wrong at the moment), as He commanded us to defend others.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    So go change it. You can’t insult us into agreeing with you.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…if people had knew that sex is for mature persons.” – werter

    Maybe if we taught young people the mechanics, morals, and consequences of sex, they would have an understanding of their actions. But, there seems to be a particular group that wants to keep youth ignorant regarding sex, except for the word “don’t.” Which is as useful as teats on a boar.

    “killing another human being typically requires better justification than ‘I’m doing with my body (!) what I please.” – werter

    Yeah, for the republicans there needs to be personal property or natural resources involved to justify the killings. Or lying about WMD’s, but that is usually secondary to exploiting another country’s natural resources.

  • dutchgirl58@yahoo.com' prolifemama says:

    PP commits abortions every day. They don’t appear to need anyone’s assistance to look bad.

  • dutchgirl58@yahoo.com' prolifemama says:

    No one professing to be a good Catholic can remain in good standing with the Church while supporting abortion, artificial contraception, or sexual sin of any kind.

    I’ve often wondered why anyone so in conflict with the teachings of the Church, would want to claim association with such an antiquated, out-of-touch conglomeration of lost souls.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    This article is about to hit the point where comments are closed. Hopefully someone starts another PP thread because the longer this discussion goes on, the better. A new article says Cruz wants to shut the government down because of PP. Bush wants to cancel PP funding because he says they don’t do anything to help women’s health, although the other side has a list of services they are providing to women who don’t have access to those things anywhere else. The government is deeply divided, so we need to just keep talking so that people can see just who they have been electing to power.

  • dutchgirl58@yahoo.com' prolifemama says:

    @Susan Russell – Pro-choice is an inadequate term for what these prayerful people support. As neutral as “pro-choice” sounds, each time the option chosen is abortion, they who pray become complicit in the deliberate destruction of unborn human beings who are innocent of any crime, unable to defend themselves, and lacking voices to cry out against the fatal choice.

    One wonders if they have considered praying for guidance as to how they themselves could help a woman unintentionally pregnant, so that abortion doesn’t look to her like the only way out of her situation.

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