Planned Parenthood pastoral letter to patients

Planned Parenthood letter from pro-abortion clergy led to abortion oppositionUPDATE 6/9 12:20p: Planned Parenthood has removed its offensive “Pastoral Letter to Patients.” (Clear your cookies before checking link. Read archived letter here, on page 3.)

Either criticism reached critical mass, or as Alliance Defending Freedom’s Casey Mattox noted at, Planned Parenthood decided it was a bad idea to concur that religion plays a part in deciding whether to get an abortion:

I write to express my agreement with Planned Parenthood, reflected in the publication of this pastoral letter, that for many women their religious beliefs will be very relevant to their decision about whether to have an abortion.

6/2 3:20p: While abortion proponents have forever belittled opposition to abortion (and contraception) in the name of religion, hypocritical Planned Parenthood has for at least two decades used pro-abortion clergy to promote killing preborn children.

In October 2013, Planned Parenthood Federation of America released a “Pastoral Letter to Patients” that is only now getting media attention, today headlined on Drudge.

PPFA’s inexplicably pro-abortion Clergy Advisory Board is comprised of 12 men and only three women, a lopsided 4:1 gender ratio that would draw ire if a board of pro-life pastors. But I’ve already noted Planned Parenthood is hypocritical.

The letter states, in part:

The decision to have an abortion is personal. Though your reasons may be complicated and private, you’re not alone. As religious leaders from a number of religious traditions, we’re here to support you in your decision.

Many people wrongly assume that all religious leaders disapprove of abortion. The truth is that abortion is not even mentioned in the Scriptures—Jewish or Christian—and there are clergy and people of faith from all denominations who support women making this complex decision. The beliefs of each person are deserving of respect, and each person deserves care and compassion, [sic] No one should be allowed to force their faith teachings on anyone else.

We believe this decision is yours, made with your doctor and anyone else you choose to bring into the conversation, such as a spouse, partner, parent, or clergy person.

Our religious traditions have somewhat different opinions about abortion, but we share some basic understandings:

  • No one knows the circumstances of your life as well as you know them; no one knows what’s in your heart better than you. Allow yourself to be at peace with your decision.
  • God loves you and is with you no matter what you decide. You can find strength, understanding, and comfort in that love.

There are so many things theologically wrong with this letter, it would require a book to thoroughly rebut. But I’ll give a brief overview.

There are many sins not mentioned in the Bible. For instance, it never specifically condemns slavery. Like abortion, the Bible has actually been used to condone slavery, since it gives instructions on how to treat slaves (Deuteronomy 15:12-15;  Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1). But the Judeo-Christian community has grown in holiness to know slavery is an evil affront to against a fellow human.

At any rate, the Bible can’t cover every specific sin humans might contrive. 

So common sense can certainly be applied here. We know humans are unique in all of God’s creation as being made in His own image (Genesis 1:27), and that He Himself knits us together and watches over our development in that “underground workshop” known as the womb (Psalm 139:14-16). Actually, God knew each of us before He formed us (Jeremiah 1:5), which is quite something.

All that being true, “Thou shalt not murder” undoubtedly applies to preborns, and God found child sacrifice particularly “detestable” (Deuteronomy 12:31; Ezekiel 16:20-21; Leviticus 20:1-5; etc.). In fact, God says in Jeremiah 19:5 the concept of child sacrifice is so far beyond the pale it “never even entered my mind.”

Of course, Jesus was particularly fond of children (Matthew 18:1-6Matthew 19:13-15).

One of many signs of a false prophet is they “will come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15), an apt description of “clergy” who promote ripping apart babies limb from limb. The Bible warns teachers will be “judged more strictly” (James 3:1), so Planned Parenthood “clergy” should know leading others astray has personal consequences.

Planned Parenthood knows its biggest hurdle to acceptance of abortion is God. So it is attempting to turn God into an ally, which God will doom.

I patiently await the day, even as my heart breaks for those Planned Parenthood’s ravenous wolves are leading down a deadly path.

Meanwhile, I take comfort in many scriptures. One of my favorites is, “The Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.” ~ Psalm 37:13

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