This afternoon I had some time to kill and I went to get my oil changed. It is on a very busy street and I wanted to go left when done. I decided to avoid the left turn and went out the back side and drove on a few side streets. A few blocks away I saw 4 ladies standing on the sidewalk holding signs by some building. The signs were small and I could not read them. It then hit me that this was the planned parenthood building. I parked my car and walked 1 short block to talk to these women.
I will now try to summarize my visit with these 4 very nice ladies. I want to thank them for taking the time to talk with me for around 25 minutes. I did not record the conversation so I will do my best to discuss some of the topics below. I do want to be clear that I am going to criticize their ideas – not them as people. If you cannot make that distinction in your own head – move on to the next blog post.
I did tell them about my blog and I let them know that I would likely write up our conversation. I was delighted to find that they did not all share the exact same opinions and I thought we had a very nice and productive talk – until the end. They told me that they planned to come to this blog and read my review. I invite them or any other readers to put comments below.
When I got close I asked if they would tell me what why they were there and that I wanted to read their signs. They informed me that they are there as part of 40 days for life.
40 Days for Life takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families. It puts into action a desire to cooperate with God in the carrying out of His plan for the end of abortion in America.
The 40-day campaign tracks Biblical history, where God used 40-day periods to transform individuals, communities … and the entire world. From Noah in the flood to Moses on the mountain to the disciples after Christ’s resurrection, it is clear that God sees the transformative value of His people accepting and meeting a 40-day challenge.
Oddly, one of their first points of concern about Planned Parenthood in Champaign was that the building looked a little run down. I agreed that it needed some paint and suggested that perhaps more government funding was needed. They were not amused with my suggestion. I have decided that as a small counter protest, I will go back there on Monday and donate $40 to show my support for Planned Parenthood. You can show your support here.
I then ask them if abortion was murder. They all seemed to agree that it was murder in all cases and we discussed how it would be the same as killing an 8 year old child. I then asked if they thought that the woman who helped in the murder should face jail time or the death penalty. I got the impression that they had never thought about a potential punishment for the mother. They seemed to think that the stress and trauma of the situation would be enough for the poor mother and she should not go to jail.
I then asked, if someone killed an 8 year old and had the same level of trauma and stress in their life, would they also be set free. They said NO and could not fully explain to me why there was a difference.
We also talked about conception. They held the position that life started at conception. I explained that every cell was alive and that both and egg and a sperm were alive before they joined. They reluctantly agreed that the egg was alive because it had DNA in it but, they weren’t so sure about the sperm. After a little discussion they accepted my point and then shifted their answer to a new human life starts at conception. I hoped they would try to quote the bible but they never did and this may have been because they were all catholic.
I asked how they could arrive at this determination and one woman said it’s just common sense. I explained that it was only common sense to her and that many people did not hold the same view. I need evidence. She then said that I rationalize too much – just like her son. He sounds like a great guy!
I was also pleasantly surprised that they were not all against condoms and some even expressed agreement with my idea that it would be better to prevent pregnancy in the first place. I almost got them to agree to supporting an organization that helped educate women about their options but then one of them suggested that would be like Planned Parenthood and they could not support that. DOH!
One of the ladies then said that Margaret Sanger started Planned Parenthood to help reduce the number of blacks and that is why all Planned Parenthood locations are in the “black” part of town and most abortions are on black women. This stunned me for a moment and I’m sure I looked like David Silverman did when Bill O’Reilly said the “the tide goes in, the tide goes out…” I did point out that even if this was true (it is not) it does not change the argument about Planned Parenthood today. (Not that it matters… but 53.6% of abortions are by whites and the most religious states have the highest abortion rates)
Margaret Sanger was arrested several time for trying to get birth control information to women. She fought very hard for women’s rights and I was sorry to hear such disrespect for her. Here is a small sample of what she wrote….
It is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them. Herein lies the key of civilization. For upon the foundation of an enlightened and voluntary motherhood shall a future civilization emerge.
Next, they asked if I saw the undercover video that showed a Planned Parenthood employee helping to cover up the rape of a young girl. It was implied that this kind of activity was another reason for this place to close. I honestly said that I had never seen it and if something like that happened it would be awful.
I then asked them if they thought that any organization that allowed the employees to cover up the rape of children should be shut down (I know you saw it coming – it was too easy). I thought that two of them were about to say yes but, one of them was on to me and suggested that I was talking about the catholic church. (i guess she knows about the cover up of rape – a good sign?)
I was told that it was different for the catholic church. They do a lot of good and only the few bad people should be punished. You can’t blame the whole organization. I suggested that they same rule should apply to Planned Parenthood. They did not agree.
Then the really sad moment came….
One of the ladies told me that the percentage of children raped by priests is equal to the percentage of children raped by public school teachers. I strongly objected to this claim and thought that it was a very sad attempt to say it wasn’t all that bad in the catholic church.
At this point we agreed to go our different ways and I walked back to my car.