Religious Freedom and Planned Parenthood – reduce the need for abortion
Praying for an end to abortion: As a Catholic, I pray the rosary daily for the unborn. I pray that women and men, boys, girls, everyone will make an informed personal choice and that the choice will be life. I particularly focus on the unborn life and ask for protection from all harm as well as a conversion of hearts, especially of the mother. I trained to be a sidewalk counselor and in my years of teaching at the college level, I have also had to minister to young women who have had abortions or are considering abortions. As their teacher, I did not judge. Professionally, there was little I could do but provide a caring ear and heart as I listened to the issues that were directly affecting their performance and learning in my class. I, of course, promote life as a choice, but the ultimate decision is theirs.
Prayers answered: I stood across the street from the abortion clinic in our town for many years. Sometimes, I would be there when the bio-hazard truck would come to collect the remains of the the abortion procedure, the tiny human beings. It was chilling to say the least. When I saw a woman entering the clinic for an abortion, I would pray fervently for a conversion of her heart. I also prayed for the doctor and the staff….remembering the words of Jesus, “Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they do.” It was an evil place where there was little respect for human life..the life of the unborn. Even though the clinic has been shut down, I still say a prayer and make the sign of the cross when I pass in front of the building, To me the place represents a place where innocent life was extinguished. The abortionist died of cancer and the practice closed. I feel sad for the loss of his life, but I am very grateful that he is no longer killing babies.
The Role of Planned Parenthood: . I have always supported peaceful protesting and prayer for the life of the innocent, but I do not support the attacks against women”s reproductive services, especially Planned Parenthood, which offers 97% of their support to helping women make informed choices regarding their own health. I do not support the use of abortion to end a pregnancy, but only 3% of the services provided by PP are indeed categorized as abortion services. For this part, I see the need to continue to be a peaceful and prayerful presence.
Defunding? Working to close Planned Parenthood and de-fund them entirely, simply because they provide legal abortions, as well as birth control, which is against my religion, is not acceptable. There are smarter ways to approach societal problems. Why don’t we work on incentives to provide more funding to the other services which do benefit poor women…Let’s say, can we make sure that prenatal care and education get more money. Could we perhaps volunteer to teach those interested in natural family planning? I could definitely do this. I used this method for 18 years of marriage.
Reality of Life in a Free Society: In this country, abortion is legal. The constitution specifically gives all persons the right to privacy in making their own reproductive choices, which includes access to safe, affordable abortion services and birth control. This would never be the choice of a Catholic, but America allows women, regardless of religion or socioeconomic status, this choice. I see our job, as Catholics, is to be part of the solution. Peacefully providing accurate information, which is not politically biased, as a start. Aligning ourselves with the Catholic Social Justice teachings in our dealing with the dignity of all persons, unborn and born. Working with Planned Parenthood to expand the education needed to make informed choices and to provide pre-natal care…to offer to assist the poor women, who would keep their babies if they could afford to make that choice. Poverty is the primary reason that a woman would choose to seek an abortion. Economic disparity is a primary threat to the dignity of all life, not just that of the unborn.
The War on Women: The war on women’s rights must stop. A woman must have the privacy to make informed reproductive choices, without a government entity deciding for her. There should be no “legal rape” of women by any government.
Freedom of Religion: As a Catholic, I praise God for this wonderful country, where we all have freedom from religion (we cannot have a theocracy). It is through this freedom that I have the freedom to worship God as I choose. To openly speak about Catholic Social Teaching…I have the right to free speech, to worship God as I choose, and the right to privacy in making decisions about my personal reproduction.
Protecting All Life: Also as a Catholic, I am obedient to the teachings of Christ and His church. I would never use birth control or have an abortion. My choice, my body, my religion, my privacy….We must stop trying to force the rest of society to adhere to our religious doctrines and norms. We must intelligently, effectively, efficiently work within the diverse social structure to effect change. We must be part of the solution and stop alienating others from our cause…
“Respecting and protecting the sanctity and dignity of all human life.”
This blog post is written with great respect for the constitution of the United States and for the Social Justice teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. I love my country. I love my church. I love the unborn and their parents and doctors. My prayer is always that life be the choice.