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I recently came across a meme in my Facebook feed that depicted a sad, small, dirty child with a plastic spoon in his mouth. The tag read, “Imagine a world where ‘pro-life’ efforts included feeding hungry children.” The implication of course is that those who oppose abortion don’t care about feeding hungry children. This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered such sentiment, and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but it always manages to grieve me afresh—for two reasons. First, I can imagine the sort of smug moral satisfaction it provides to those trying to justify (or ignore) the violence of abortion. Second, it reminds me of our sad propensity to speak right past each other, on this issue and so many others.
A wordier version of the same general opinion came to Abort73 a couple months back, via our online submission form. The author, a 20-something woman from Georgia, writes:
Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re pre-born, you’re
Earlier this month, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address. He never mentioned abortion, but he did have a lot to say about the future—“the kind of future our kids and our grandkids deserve.” I found much of it to be fairly inspiring, with one enormous caveat. Though our commander in chief speaks admiringly of the “movements to expand civil rights,” he has been a stalwart opponent of all efforts to expand civil rights to the most innocent and helpless members of the human community. Think about his unwavering commitment to abortion in the context of the following remarks, all of which came from his address:
How do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in this new economy?
In today’s world, even a handful of terrorists who place no value on human life, including their own, can do a lot of damage.
“We the People.” Our Constitution begins with those three simple words, words we’ve come to recognize mean all the people, not just some; words that insist we rise and fall together, and that’s how we might perfect our Union.
So, my fellow Americans, whatever you may believe, whether you prefer one party or no party, whether
Martin Luther King Jr. is one of those rare historic figures who is so broadly revered that almost everyone wants to claim him as their own. For decades, those opposed to abortion have leaned heavily upon his words for support and inspiration—including his own niece Alveda C. King. You can count me among their number. Of course, those on the other side of the abortion debate also believe they are walking in Dr. King’s shadow.
In the “History & Successes” portion of the Planned Parenthood website, they proudly declare that the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was an inaugural recipient of their “highest honor”—the PPFA Margaret Sanger Award, bestowed upon him in 1966. More recent recipients include Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Gloria Feldt. Harry Blackmun and Sarah Weddington, the judge and attorney most responsible for the passage of Roe vs. Wade, have also received the award.
Though it’s tempting to speculate that Dr. King might have received the Margaret Sanger award against his wishes, without having had any personal affinity for Planned Parenthood, such a conclusion would not fit the facts. MLK did not accept the award in person, but he did send his wife in his
Earlier this month, in the aftermath of the fatal shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, a young Christian woman made some minor media ripples when she delivered flowers and a thank you letter to her local Planned Parenthood clinic in Redding, CA. In the letter, Sarah Parker declares herself to be pro-life before apologizing for the mistreatment Planned Parenthood has received at the hands of Christians and thanking Planned Parenthood for the “tenacity” with which they “serve the women of Redding.” Clarifying her intentions further, Parker tells the Good News Network that she sent the flowers and note as a way to “celebrate” Planned Parenthood for the hope and empowerment they offer women.
As someone who has long viewed Planned Parenthood as public enemy number one, these statements are hard to stomach—but that perhaps is the point. Blogger Steve Austin, who posted a followup interview with Sarah Parker, calls it messy grace. How are Christians to love those we disagree with? How are we to love our enemies as Jesus commanded? These are difficult questions to be sure—questions most all of us should wrestle with more than we do. At the very least, Sarah Parker is
A note from Abort73's Michael Spielman: Six weeks ago, I posted an article that called into question Starbucks' alleged support of Planned Parenthood. Unbeknownst to me, the organization I formerly worked for, The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), was preparing to launch a national boycott against Starbucks. A few days after the publication of my article, I had a long and painful phone conversation with Gregg Cunningham, CBR's executive director. It would be almost impossible to overstate his displeasure at what I wrote! Even though we don't see eye to eye on the subject of Starbucks, I respect Gregg immensely and value his opinion. Gregg Cunningham—more than anyone else in the world—opened my eyes to the horrific injustice of abortion and my Christian responsibility to intervene. Without him, it is almost certain that Abort73 would not exist. He deserves a hearing. I have already said my piece; this is why Gregg believes I am wrong.
Our good friend Michael Spielman (Abort73) recently posted a commentary expressing opposition to the boycott campaign being waged against Starbucks Coffee for its support of Planned Parenthood. The title of Michael’s post was “Starbucks,