This is probably the post that will make me lose all two of my followers.
So. On with it, then.
My friend Rob often jokingly quotes the move “Saved!” by saying,
“There’s only one reason a Christian girl comes down to the Planned Parenthood.”
-“She’s planting a pipe bomb?”
“Okay, two reasons.”
And, while I think he’s hilarious, this quote bugs me. I understand that the movie is trying to portray Christians satirically. As much as it bothers me that this is the way Hollywood sees followers of Christ, I understand, and it’s warranted. We deserve it. We’ve been total pricks. The movie itself is not the problem.
The problem is that this is the way real people see us.
This is the way Planned Parenthood sees us.
And that’s not cool, because I go there. Every three months. To refill my birth control prescription.
I remember the day that I went there to get on the Pill. The doctor I met with had a standard set of questions that she went through to figure out my reasons for going on birth control and educating me accordingly. I explained to her that I was getting married in a couple weeks, and that my soon-to-be husband and I weren’t ready to have kids yet, especially since I was still in school. She asked what I was studying, and I told her that I was a Theology major. Her eyes widened and she immediately dropped her gaze to the floor, and uttered a very loaded “Oh. Well then.” I made some asinine comment about it being a lot of writing and we moved on.
I knew what her comment meant, though.
“Oh. You’re one of those. You think we’re sinners here.”
Not a far cry from the “Saved!” quote.
To be perfectly clear, I would never get an abortion. I think it is antithetical to the message of Jesus, which was to promote life to the fullest. But I only hold that belief within my own understanding of Jesus, and I downright refuse to tell anyone who is not equally-yoked what they ought to think on the matter. Greg Boyd’s post here explains my reasoning for both to the letter.
That being said, I support Planned Parenthood, and legislation that funds it.
Because, unlike most of the Church, they actually try to educate women on proper contraceptive action and give them all of their options–that means not just abortion–if they become pregnant. They partner with Minnesota Family Planning, among other state programs, to give women (including me) free or low-cost family planning training and contraceptives. They accept the reality that women have sex and get pregnant without planning to, and they work to make abortion the last possible choice.
Instead of denying that women’s health matters, they have posters, bumper stickers, and t-shirts that shout it. What’s more, they actually do something about it. They make it matter.
Honestly, I feel more welcome talking about pregnancy–the “gift of life”–there than I do in most churches.
But, apparently, I shouldn’t? Because the only reason a good Christian girl should be in a Planned Parenthood is to protest it, or perhaps to blow it up.
I say no.
Greg Boyd is right. We can’t deny the reality of abortion, and we can’t let our discussion on it end with “it’s wrong.” We have to come alongside women, tell them that they, and their sexual health, matter. We have to be there for unexpectedly pregnant women and help them to make the smartest decisions for them, even if that means they abort their pregnancies. It means showing them that life is worth living.
It means loving them, and their unborn babies, unconditionally.
If you disagree, that’s fine. It’s your choice to pick up your picket sign and stand outside a Planned Parenthood, hoping to shame every person who walks into the clinic to turn around and go home.
I’ll be inside, getting my prescription refilled, and perhaps loving on the pregnant woman next to me considering an abortion.
Let’s see who she’s more willing to listen to.