Declaring Planned Parenthood an Enemy of the Church
Millions of Catholics, and many millions more who admire her teaching and social outreach, still think that Planned Parenthood, the most corrupt of organizations, is basically focused on women’s health, and only has slight disagreements with the Church.
What separates Planned Parenthood and the Church isn’t a matter of mere disagreement, as if Cecile Richards and Pope Francis could just talk through their differences. It is an uncrossable divide rooted in a misconception of human dignity and freedom. Planned Parenthood has, since its (if you’ll pardon the term) conception, considered the Catholic Church the primary obstacle to the achievement of its goals. And what are those goals? To lure as many as possible into a lifestyle of sexual licentiousness, undoing the family and any other institution that gets in its way. To do this, it must hide vital information about the harm that its primary products – abortion and contraception – do to women’s health, and they must marginalize the one institution that has not budged on declaring the intrinsic evil of both its means and ends.
There is a reason so many are confused: As evil tends to do, Planned Parenthood hides its true nature by allying itself with legitimate institutions, as long as it serves their purposes to do so. The Girl Scouts embraced Planned Parenthood decades ago, and now the once-thriving and wholesome influence in the lives of girls is the subject of increasing protests by former members who object to the radical sexual ideology they were fed by the organization. Countless high schools and grade schools have long since embraced sex “education” largely crafted by or actually taught by Planned Parenthood, and increasingly, parents are incensed to hear their eight-year-olds coming home and asking graphic sex questions.
It’s quite the scheme. Get a captive audience (children). Teach them a dangerous behavior, and sell them the products that make it “safe.” Then, when the products fail, as with enough use they eventually do, sell the “solution” to the problem they caused. That’s how it works: sex “education,” contraception, abortion – all paid for by your tax dollars; because, really, who else but the federal government could hide such a racket from scrutiny for so long?
And look at the wreckage caused in the lives of children and families. Innocence is lost at a younger and younger age. STD rates continue to skyrocket, and the profiteers are still considered credible in the field of “women’s health,” selling drugs and products that exacerbate the problem by giving a false sense of “safety.” Now, as was confirmed by the GAO this week (though long suspected by attentive pro-lifers), the government funded abortions via Obamacare insurance providers, and the fees were hidden from public scrutiny. Over 1,000 insurers are using federal funds to pay for abortion, and most of these won’t even tell you if they cover abortion when you try to sign up.
Who will be the biggest single recipient of this deluge of blood money? You guessed it – the “community health centers” and affiliates of the largest abortion provider in the United States, Planned Parenthood.
There is literally no way to count the lives lost and ruined by this evil and terribly successful program. But another number that is impossible to count is the number of souls lost. How many women are duped into thinking that having “a procedure” isn’t really the taking of an innocent life? How many doctors are forced, either overtly or through peer pressure, to perform procedures that they know kill a human being, or prescribe drugs and devices that make people think they can have sex without ever getting pregnant? How many women, like Abby Johnson, go to work for Planned Parenthood, hoping to really help women, only to find out over time that all this organization cares about is money? And how many women then find themselves financially stuck in a miserable, anti-woman, anti-child trap?
Planned Parenthood’s ideology has managed to successfully corrupt almost the entire international aid and development industry, even many Christian organizations, which now accept the flawed premise that children are a threat to progress and development.
That’s what Human Life International is up against, around the world, every day.
The Church called it, again and most definitively in Blessed Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae, especially in prophetic paragraph no. 17.
If there is a conversation to be had with Planned Parenthood, let it begin on the ground of truth. Let’s do away with the nonsense about all the areas of agreement such as women’s health, when to them that only means encouraging risky sexual behavior with methods of contraception that harm women, and which leads to killing unborn children. No, to try to reason with an organization whose very orientation is evil is to get stuck in a one-way expectation of compromise. Look what happened to the Susan B. Komen Foundation if you want to see what happens when an organization tries to compromise with Planned Parenthood, and then realizes its mistake only too late.
This is what evil does: it steals the legitimacy of those who mean well and who just want to get along, then it crushes them if they try to leave. Not only are millions of lives at risk, but countless millions of souls as well. Saving souls has always been the business of the Catholic Church, which is also why we work so hard for justice and for saving lives.
Now is the time to reset the terms of the debate. At HLI, we support the initiative of our friends at American Life League, who have launched the “Defend the Family” campaign. Essentially, this prayer-based effort asks the Catholic Church to do what she has done at a couple of other key junctures in history, to declare an institution an Enemy of the Church. As with the Masons and the ideology of Communism, it is painfully obvious that Planned Parenthood considers the Church their primary enemy, so there is precedent for, and value in, making such a declaration.
Final note on this: I’m amazed as I travel the world that even many good bishops have been misled about what Planned Parenthood does, and they are troubled, but grateful, to learn the truth. Many bishops and priests have told me that just this week here in Taiwan. Let’s keep our efforts entirely prayerful and respectful, and let’s ask the Holy Spirit to do what He wants in this matter. It is His Church, after all.
Father Shenan J. Boquet is the President of Human Life International. He has traveled around the world spreading the Gospel of Life. Father Boquet is a priest of the Houma-Thibodaux Roman Catholic Diocese in Louisiana, his home state, where he served before joining Human Life International in August 2011.
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