United Church of Christ Minister Tom Davis recently offered blessings to Planned Parenthood after videos were released showing their top executives haggling over the price of aborted babies’ body parts and explaining ways they alter abortion procedures to obtain “fully-intact human cadavers.” Unbelievably, the most recent video catches Planned Parenthood harvesting the brain of an aborted baby who was still alive.
However, some in the religious community are standing by the abortion company even though well-known religious leaders, such as Rev. Franklin Graham and Baptist theologian Albert Mohler, have expressed outrage over the footage. In fact, World Magazine reports that Davis says churches have supported Planned Parenthood’s abortion business for years and they’ve worked “below the public radar with mainline Protestant and Jewish clergy to build alliances with the abortion company.”
In his book, Sacred Work: Planned Parenthood and Its Clergy Alliances, Davis explains the difference between their beliefs and other religious denominations. He writes, “Ultimately the conflict between the opponents of Planned Parenthood and its clergy defenders is a theological one.” He argues that abortion proponents embrace “a form of humane theology” and suggests that others don’t.
Davis does mention that some religious leaders work above the radar and openly express their support for Planned Parenthood. For example, Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, Andrew Kukla, explained on his blog that he loves everything about the organization. He said, “I love Planned Parenthood. I love the people that are Planned Parenthood. I love their ministry. I love that they live resurrection in a way I only talk about it.”
Additionally, Episcopalian clergy members have shared their dedication to abortion and abortion groups in the past. In 2012, Lesbian Episcopal priest, Katherine Hancock Ragsdal, told Congress: “I recall vividly one day when I left my home to pick up a 15-year-old girl and drive her to Boston for an 8 a.m. appointment for an abortion. I did not take her across state lines, nor did I, to my knowledge, break any laws. But if either of those things had been necessary to help that girl, I would have done them.” Ragsdal garnered media attention in 2007 when she said, “abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.”
As LifeNews previously reported, on July 29, the Planned Parenthood Clergy Advocacy Board said the undercover videos exposing the organization’s organ harvesting business are simply an attack on women’s health care.
Jeffrey Walton from the Institute on Religion and Democracy reports that the board is made up of religious leaders from the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church and American Baptist Churches as well as clergy from Reformed Jewish and Unitarian Universalist congregations.
In a statement the clergy said, “As faith leaders committed to justice, honesty, and liberty, we are troubled by the decades-long campaign of harassment against Planned Parenthood and those they serve. Our faiths demand care for those marginalized by poverty and other oppressions. Faith leaders have supported Planned Parenthood for nearly 100 years because of our shared goals: every person — regardless of income, race, or religion — deserves access to safe, affordable, high-quality health care.”
They concluded, “Our religious traditions call us to offer compassion, not judgment. People who work for Planned Parenthood give care and respect to those in need, doing God’s work. For this we are grateful.”