A new Marie Claire article blames pro-life Christians for being the ones behind the effort to defund and shut down the nation’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood.
Pro-life Christians may take this as a compliment, but author Laura Kasinof does her best to keep pro-lifers – particularly evangelical Christian pro-lifers – from thinking that they are succeeding.
Kasinof uses several personal stories, along with statistics, to show that evangelical Christian women are using Planned Parenthood and aborting their unborn babies, despite the wide-spread opposition to abortion among evangelicals.
Kasinof painted the abortion chain as a savior for these women – women who she implies otherwise would have had no place to turn for birth control, ob-gyn care, sex education and abortions.
Data doesn’t exist on just how many women who were raised in this faith actually patronize Planned Parenthood in private, which is a result of the very reason many of them go there: It provides anonymity. We do know that 13 percent of abortions conducted in this country are for women who identify as evangelical protestants, in addition to the 17 percent for more mainline protestants like Lutherans or Methodists, according to a 2014 study by the Guttmacher Institute. When you add in Catholics, that number rises to more than half.
The Rev. Vincent Lachina, a regional chaplain for Planned Parenthood in Hawaii and the northwest, says the abortion chain sometimes even sees church staff come to them for abortions.
“We have many people from evangelical or born-again traditions who come to our health centers all across the United States,” Lachina says. “Some evangelical and fundamentalist church staffers have even been patients.”
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Kasinof shares several anonymous evangelical women’s stories about using Planned Parenthood. One, a young woman named Megan, used Planned Parenthood to get birth control because she did not want her parents to know she was having premarital sex.
Later, Megan said she went back to the abortion chain after she was sexually assaulted and found herself pregnant. She aborted her unborn baby, fearing that the shame of being pregnant and unmarried would be too much for her to bear.
Here’s more from the report:
After the assault, Megan discovered that she was pregnant. The news devastated her. Which explains why, despite her upbringing, she made an extreme decision: to return to Planned Parenthood and get an abortion.
Megan had done the moral math. It was worse to endure the disgrace of being an unmarried mother than it was to live with the secret—and the guilt—of terminating the pregnancy. “There was just so much shame in being pregnant and unmarried,” she explains. “I thought, There is no way I can face my mother and my community back home with this.” Again she paid for everything in cash. To this day, her family doesn’t know.
Completely missing from Kasinof’s article are the stories of countless evangelical Christian women who have been hurt and deceived by Planned Parenthood, and the millions of women and families who have received help from Christian-run pregnancy centers, maternity homes, hospitals, shelters, adoption agencies, food pantries and churches. Women do have places to turn for support and encouragement when they are pregnant, but Kasinof never mentions them.
Despite all her abortion advocacy, Kasinof does hit on a good point. Women in evangelical, Protestant and Catholic churches across the United States continue to abort their unborn babies, despite all that these Christian groups are doing to prevent abortions.
Abortion activists like Kasinof use this failing to push abortions, but the stories and statistics really should prompt Christians to do more. Christians already are doing a lot to end abortion, but they can do more.
Churches and Christian organizations should be working hard to make sure women know they are welcoming places for pregnant and parenting moms, even when they make mistakes, such as having sex outside of marriage. They also should be welcoming to women who are seeking forgiveness and healing from past abortions.
Christians must counter the negative rhetoric being put forth by abortion activists. Christians do care about women and babies. They want to support them, but with so many women’s magazines pushing the abortion industry’s rhetoric, Christians must work even harder to demonstrate that they will be there to support pregnant and parenting moms when they need it.