Sunday, May 8, 2011

Is Planned Parenthood Good or Evil?

SKEPTIC: So it is your position that Planned Parenthood is a racist organization? Seriously?

PREACHER: Planned Parenthood encourages minorities to have abortions, thus keeping their population down to more manageable levels, which presupposes that minorities are less evolved than the majority (white) population, and need to be treated as such. From a truly biblical persective though, all mankind is one race with equal dignity.

SKEPTIC: Planned Parenthood doesn't "encourage" anybody to get an abortion. They offer medical options to people. Where do you get this shit? Never mind...I know where you get this shit.

PREACHER: So ... one man's rational conclusions are another man's shit.

SKEPTIC:There's nothing rational about saying that Planned Parenthood "encourages" minorities to have abortions. It's a vicious smear and unless you have some actual evidence (I know that's a pretty rare commodity in rightwing world), then I think that "shit" is an accurate characterization.

PREACHER: But, isn't Planned Parenthood's position on abortion pretty clear - that it is the right of every woman to have one. Furthermore, tax dollars can be used for it even though many people object to the practice. In my mind that IS encouraging its practice. And, they work a lot with minorities.

SKEPTIC: It's not only the position of Planned Parenthood that women have a right to control their own bodies - it's the position of the majority of Americans. But saying that someone has a right to do something is a long, long way from "encouraging" someone to do something. And saying that they encourage it because they receive some tax money makes no sense at all. Like you said - it's only in YOUR mind.

PREACHER: It is not just the woman's body. There is another human being's life involved here. Aside from the fact that the polls are pretty close, since when is public opinion a gauge for morality? Isn't that tyranny of the majority? Planned Parenthood indeed does encourage abortion, just by saying that a woman has a right to control her own body, ignoring the rights of the human developing inside her. Public funding of abortion is definitely endorsing it as a necessary practice. Why do you not want to say that Planned Parenthood encourages abortion? According to your worldview, what would be wrong in encouraging abortion? Neither are other kinds of human life termination necessariy wrong, and may be even the best thing to do according to your worldview.

SKEPTIC: The major focus of Planned Parenthood is on women's health (not only reproductive health), with a major effort at providing and educating women about birth control - with the aim being to prevent unwanted pregnancies. That's why it's called PLANNED parenthood! By preventing unwanted pregnancies, they help to dramatically REDUCE the number of abortions - which would actually be the OPPOSITE of "encouraging" abortions! And by the way, abortion services make up only 3% of their services (not 90%, like a certain lying GOP senator would have you believe), and a total of ZERO tax dollars are used for abortion services. Sorry to have to bother you with facts again. 

PREACHER: I already knew the facts you gave about abortion. I recognized that Planned Parenthood is doing some good things (by biblical standards), too. 

SKEPTIC: You apparently believe that those who are pro-choice really love abortion, and think that all women should give it a try. That is why I object to the term "pro-abortion." Abortion is a gut-wrenching decision that no one should have to make. But that's not how life usually works. The difference between your position and mine is that I believe that the choice to carry to term is between the woman and her doctor, and you believe that the government should step in and force every woman to give birth, no matter the circumstances. You would have no problem sending the doctor to prison, and perhaps the woman as well. A pretty odd position to take for folks (conservatives) who believe that the government should stay out of people's lives. I'm glad you recognize the good that Planned Parenthood does, however. Does that mean you also agree that, on balance, they help to reduce the number of abortions?

PREACHER: They may certainly help to reduce the number of abortions, however as long as they say that abortion is a woman's right over her own body and ignore the rights of the unborn child I have to take issue with them. It isn't about having the government step in to punish those that do choose to get/perform abortions, it is an educational issue that so far Planned Parenthood has not addressed properly. The organization would be much more effective in reducing abortions if they taught unequivocally that abortion kills a human life. That would give the woman and her doctor much better information for making a decision about a pregnancy.

SKEPTIC: So bottom line this for me. Do you think abortion should be legal or illegal? Legal in certain circumstances or illegal no matter what? If you think it should be illegal, how severe should the penalty be for the doctor and/or the woman involved in the procedure?

PREACHER: That is a difficult question to answer. As far as government intervention is concerned, that is already happening when Planned Parenthood offers advice about abortions. So for the government to place a penalty on abortions doesn't increase government interference - it is already there. I would think that for most people, proper education about abortion is enough to deter anyone from doing it. The minority of those that insist on having the procedure done despite thorough explanation of the consequences of abortion should be penalized. But to ask me how severe the penalty should be is beyond my pay-grade, to quote our president.

SKEPTIC: What are you talking about? PP is not a government agency, and they're not intervening in anybody's life. They are providing counseling and medical services for those women who need them. By "proper education," I'm assuming you mean the biblical view of the world. But I'm still not clear on what you think legally speaking. Are you saying that all abortions should be illegal across the board, and the doctors AND women should both be penalized?

PREACHER: By "proper education" I do mean the biblical worldview, there is no other. All other views are arbitrary based on human opinions. And, my issue is with Planned Parenthood is not the government. Let the the government leaders who represent the citizens decide what is legal. I want Planned Parenthood to be clear that the life inside the mother is a separate human being with the same rights as anyone else.

SKEPTIC: "There is no other worldview" - and you wonder why folks think Christians are just a tad too arrogant sometimes? It's remarkable to me that you assert that an embryo should be considered a human being and yet you have such a lassaiz-faire attitude when it comes to actual abortion laws ("let the government leaders decide"). If you truly believe that abortion is the pre-meditated killing of a human being, then surely you must believe that the killer/doctor should be put in prison for life or maybe even given the death penaly. I mean, that's what should happen when someone kills another human being, right? And since the woman aided and abetted this "murder," clearly she should also be thrown in prison. The major thrust of the pro-life movement, obviously, is to make abortion illegal - increasingly with no exceptions. My guess is that you're afraid to say out loud that you think a 14-year-old girl who was raped by her father and gets an abortion should be put in prison. You're afraid of your own beliefs if taken to their logical conclusions.

PREACHER: Isn't submitting to an Authority a sign of humility and insisting that your opinion is right a sign of arrogance? I dare not stand as an authority over the US government that doesn't claim the Bible as its authority. Biblically speaking, yes, abortion would be taking a human life, and when done with full knowledge of the consequences would require the death penalty just as murder would. So, how many 14 year old girls really get raped by their fathers and then get pregnant? 

SKEPTIC: So if it was up to you, doctors who provide abortion services would be sentenced to death, along with their patients, I guess. And if it was up to you, people who were gay would be stoned to death, too, right? Hey, it's in the Bible! And despite your apparent belief that teenagers being raped by their fathers is not really much of a problem, "studies have found that between 11 and 20 percent of pregnancies in teenagers are a direct result of rape." (Wikipedia - Teenage Pregnancy). Oh, and by the way, you do understand that if abortion is made illegal, it won't go away, it'll just go underground, right? And we know from experience that many more women will die as a result.

PREACHER: I think that you are getting a theoretical theocracy that is in your head based on just certain Bible passages mixed up with the real situation in the US, both Christian and secular. I don't really expect the US to become subservient to Old Testament law ever. Even in the Old Testament there was a place for mercy for sinners. Victims of rape shouldn't be treated as criminals. Like I have said before: I have issues with Planned Parenthood (not the present legal system) when they tell young women that terminating their pregnancy is not also terminating the life that has developed within them. I also have an issue with them when they recommend an abortion to a young rape victim without consulting her family.

SKEPTIC: Stop trying to confuse me! So you DON'T have issues with the present legal system? So you're okay with Roe v. Wade, and do not favor repealing it? Well, great then, I applaud you!

PREACHER: Thanks for finally figuring me out. Abortion is prevented best by good education about the sanctity of life, not by laws that penalize people for making terrible mistakes.

SKEPTIC: So you think Planned Parenthood is helping to reduce the number of abortions and you don't think abortion should be illegal. It sounds to me like you're closer to a pro-choice position than a pro-life position.

PREACHER: No. Your perception of what pro-life is exist only in your head as an extreme position. Pro-choice assumes that abortion is OK. I don't think that abortion is OK. I am pro-life, but obviously not according to your definition.

SKEPTIC: Is it not generally true that a pro-life person is in favor of repealing Roe v. Wade, while a pro-choice person is against repealing it?

PREACHER: I am for repealing Roe v. Wade. However, the scenario that you paint of the consequences is not what I envision. I am thinking about the process of repealing it, not just woodenly repealing it under present circumstances. Making abortion illegal doesn't have to mean that there is no mercy for those who mistakenly choose it. Rather those that promote the lie of pro-choice need to be held accountable.

SKEPTIC: Yeah, that's what I thought - you weren't fooling me with your dancing all around the issue. We know what happens when safe abortion services are not available - there is a pre-1973 history of back-alley butchery that is a reliable indicator. Many women will die if abortion services are forced underground. Does this fact not give you pause? Would we as a nation not be better off putting our focus on doing all we can to reduce unwanted pregnancies while keeping abortion services in the hands of medical professionals? "Rare but legal" is the position of most pro-choice people. What is this dark pro-choice "lie" that we need to be held accountable for?

PREACHER: What is the message that PP gives to women? It would be nice if they are saying that abortion should be rare but legal. However, the word pro-choice conjures in my mind the right to end the life of the human in your body if you so choose. Why not just say that abortion is illegal, but on the basis of mercy towards extenuating circumstances, it is provided with the utmost caution.

SKEPTIC: So you're in favor of making abortion illegal EXCEPT in certain extenuating circumstances? Is that your final answer?

PREACHER: I think you've finally got it. Thanks for your patience.

SKEPTIC: Rape, incest, life of the mother? Are those cases where you think abortion should be legal?

PREACHER: Possibly.

SKEPTIC: So then you're saying that there could be some cases where a woman had been raped, was the victim of incest, or whose pregnancy endangers her life - and yet you would still deny her a legal, safe abortion. You'd make a lousy legislator - I'm pretty sure you can't vote "maybe" when passing new laws.

PREACHER: It is not a case of passing laws. It is a case of offering mercy to those who are clearly an exceptional case under the law.

SKEPTIC: Well, I beg to differ. It's all about the laws. Either abortion services will remain legal or they will go underground with devastating consequences.

PREACHER: It sounds like you really believe that the majority of the millions of abortions that are performed in the US every year are for victims of rape and incest or the woman's life is endangered by the pregnancy. You also refuse to even allude to the value and rights of the person who will be killed by the abortion. To only think of the "rights" of the mother and not of the person inside her is arbitrary and immoral.

SKEPTIC: No, I never said I thought the majority of abortions were due to those circumstances. I'm just trying to locate whatever parameters you might have regarding the legal aspect. I DO NOT believe that an embryo has the same rights as an actual person. An embryo is not a "person" - it is a potential person. I believe a woman has complete sovereignty over her body, and the government has NO RIGHT to force any woman to bring a pregnancy to term against her will.

PREACHER: So do you believe that passing through the birth canal mysteriously gives personal rights to individuals or is it that "viability of the fetus" theory that you hold to? Isn't your position on the matter relative depending on your own opinion? In certain situations wouldn't you change your opinion? Why not reconsider the so-called right to life of the extremely handicapped and the terminally ill elderly, as well? If a woman is supposed to have "sovereignty over her body" then why could she not prevent a pregnancy from happening in the first place? Your belief is absurd.

SKEPTIC: No, my belief is not absurd. I believe the government has no right to force a woman to give birth against her will. Period. End of discussion.

PREACHER: Yes, your Majesty.

SKEPTIC: Thank you. You can go now.


  1. As long as Planned Parenthood insists in its statements that say that women have the right to choose to abort their babies, even if only 3% of its activity accounts for abortions, that still makes the organization immoral. If the organization continues to insist on its position on abortion despite good information that abortion is killing an innocent human being, it is the moral obligation of legislators to defund and abolish it. There are other organizations that provide excellent free services for the health needs for women, so there are absolutely no grounds to protect the organization.

  2. NEWS FLASH! There are actually quite a large number of people in the world (i.e. most) who don't rely on a 2,000-year-old book to do their thinking for them and who actually live in the 21st century. Just because you say it's immoral for a woman to demand the right to control her own body doesn't make it so, and to insist that the rights of an embryo supersede the rights of a woman is a dangerous path to go down.

  3. The 2000 year old book(actually parts of which are much older) which you disdain, in its opening chapters objectively gives women dignity and respect with human rights from their Creator. Without it you have only humans opinions that are liable to change over time. In that case you wind up with the tyranny of the powerful or of the majority. At this point women are more powerful than their embryos so they feel justified in aborting them. Is that what you want to say?

  4. I would like to propose another topic for discussion: Teaching Creationism, Religion, & Evolution in high schools vs college.
    I think it would be a little difficult to teach on all the different Religions in the United States, but possibly focusing on some of the big ones: Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Christianity. I took a course in college that discussed these religions which was only 2 weeks long but supremely interesting.
    Should this stay at a college level because perhaps in high school the students don't have the formal thought capacity to learn about these different ways of thinking?
    Or do you think too many parents would cause a big stink about their children learning something other than what their families' beliefs are?
    Or would parents' be appeased with the idea that the students are learning about more than just Creationism vs Evolution?

  5. It is not necessary to study multiple religions as far as the origin of the universe is concerned. All the world's religions and even those who call themselves non-religious can be put into two categories. Those that believe in a personal Creator and those that don't. A good course on the college level would be one that examines the presuppositions of so called Creationism and Evolutionism. Up to highschool, it would be best to let the parent of the kids decide which world view they should believe.


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