Planned Parenthood, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and abortion

Can we see the ugly truth about Planned Parenthood’s promotion of abortion while we are blinded by the log in our own eyes—the payment of abortions through the Board of Pensions Medical Benefits Plan?

Planned Parenthood has reported a record year for abortions, according to CBN News.
The abortion provider's annual report shows 333,964 abortions were performed in the 2011 to 2012 fiscal year -- pushing its figures to 995,687 abortions in three years. At the same time, contraceptive services at Planned Parenthood have dropped 12 percent since 2009, and cancer screening and prevention services have dropped 29 percent. Planned Parenthood reported a record $542 million in taxpayer funding last year -- which, according to the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List, is 45 percent of Planned Parenthood's annual revenue. "While government subsidies to Planned Parenthood have reached an all-time high, so too has the number of lives ended by this profit-driven abortion business," said SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser. "Destroying nearly 1 million children in three years is not health care and does not reflect a concern for vulnerable women and girls."
A fact sheet posted by SBA List brings into focus the extent of government funding received by Planned Parenthood, their whopping 87 million profit margin in 2011, and the overwhelming preference for abortion as a response to pregnancy over life affirming alternatives. A look at Planned Parenthood’s 2011-2012 Annual Report provides additional clarity. When it comes to pregnancy, Planned Parenthood’s response of choice is abortion. In 2011 PP provided just over one million pregnancy tests. The 333,964 abortions they provided equal 29% of those tested! In stark contrast only 2300 (less than 1% of those receiving pregnancy tests) were referred for adoption, and only 28,000 (2%) received prenatal services.

Many laud Planned Parenthood for their efforts to provide “family planning” services. Not all of the contraceptives offered act by preventing pregnancy. Some, in fact act as abortifacients. About 2 million clients received reversible contraceptive services and another 1.5 million received “emergency” contraceptives which may cause early abortions.

The deceptive practices of Planned Parenthood have gained media attention multiple times in recent years. A young woman named Lila Rose has exposed, through a series of undercover videos, the willingness of Planned Parenthood staff to cover up sex trafficking and statutory rape, to participate in sex selective abortion and to accept donations for race-based abortions.

But, those of us who are members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) need to be careful in our criticism of others who fund and promote abortion lest we be in danger of judging the “speck” in our brother’s eye while at the same time being blinded by the “log” obstructing our own vision. True the numbers are smaller. The Board of Pensions has informed PPL that it spent $11,000 in 2009; $3,500 in 2010, and $8600 in 2011, on abortion claims. We are guilty of aborting human lives as a denomination. We cannot claim ignorance of Scripture’s teaching on the value of human life. The PCUSA admits in its own abortion policy document that “the taking of human life is sin.” That is the teaching of the Sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” Like Planned Parenthood, we practice deception when we excuse ourselves by saying, “we do not know when human life begins.”

We are guilty as an organization of condoning and paying for abortion. Every abortion takes the life of a unique human being that God has created in the womb. Our guilt clouds our ability to see clearly the sacred value of human life and leaves us unable to address with clarity the terrible atrocity of abortion in our society and the destruction of 50 million lives in the last 40 years.

John Calvin had no such log in his eye when he spoke about life in the womb in his commentary on Exodus 21:22. He wrote:
“…the unborn, though enclosed in the womb of his mother, is already a human being, and it is an almost monstrous crime to rob it of life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his most secure place of refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy the unborn in the womb before it has come to light.”
What is the remedy? Our remedy for sin always begins with repentance and it ends with God’s grace. Abortion, like every other sin, is forgiven and covered by Christ’s sacrificial death for us. It is incumbent on us to turn and receive God’s embrace, His forgiveness and His grace. Then, like the woman taken in adultery, we will hear the words of Christ, “Go and sin no more.”


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