Planned Parenthood’s identity crisis

Commentary by American Life League vice president Jim Sedlak

I almost feel sorry for the people at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. It's obvious that they are in the middle of an identity crisis and their affiliates are acting schizophrenic.

Although this crisis has been going on for years, the incidents that have occurred within the last 12 months have brought it to full view of the public.

It all seemed to start in February 2005 when the head of Planned Parenthood's Clergy Committee released a new book, Sacred Work. The thrust of this work was that Planned Parenthood is really doing the work of God – the work of social justice. The author told how Planned Parenthood had succeeded in its early years largely through the cooperation of many Christian pastors -clergy who could see God's work in all that Planned Parenthood does, including its chemical, medical and surgical abortions.

At about the same time this book was released, Planned Parenthood Federation of America removed its "holiday" card from its web site. It was the same card that had been used for years to purposely offend Christians by loudly proclaiming "Choice on Earth."

The message from Planned Parenthood at the beginning of 2005 was that it was an organization whose ideas and programs were in synch with Christian teaching. It sought to begin rebuilding bridges with the Christian community.

As the year progressed, it became clear that Planned Parenthood has a strange way of courting the Christian community. It was discovered, for example, that Planned Parenthood's Connecticut affiliate is selling a line of condom key chains decorated with slogans and artwork. One of the designs is particularly offensive to most Christians. It is a reproduction of Michelangelo's masterpiece "Creation" from the Sistine Chapel. However, in the Planned Parenthood version, God is handing Adam a condom! Not what you would expect from an organization trying to court Christians.

Then there are the actions of Planned Parenthood's affiliate in South Central Michigan. In one part of its web site, this affiliate was advertising is Spirituality and Sexuality conference that was an effort at drawing the Christian youth into a discussion of their religion. While, at the same time, this affiliate was selling a bumper sticker on its web store that was a blatant attack on Catholic Christians. The bumper sticker featured a rosary and mocked the purity message of Mary with the slogan, "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries."

Another Planned Parenthood affiliate, this one in the state of Washington, offended Christians by having a "Pro-Choice Prom" with a host who is billed as Seattle's preeminent drag queen. The host's name is – Amazing Grace. Although some might suggest that the name may have nothing to do with the Christian hymn, we doubt it. But, more to the point, Planned Parenthood, an organization that says it wants to reach out to the Christian community, not only hired this person to be host of its prom, but advertised it.

As a final example, in December, Planned Parenthood, in what can only be characterized as a direct slap-in-the-face to Christians, rolled out its latest version of its "Choice on Earth" card. For years, Christians had made it known that this was an offensive card, yet Planned Parenthood didn't seem to care.

Clearly, this organization that began 2005 with a call to the Christian community to support its work has shown time after time that its roots are really anti-God and anti-Christian.

But the religious aspect is not the only place that Planned Parenthood has revealed its schizophrenia.

For decades, Planned Parenthood has tried to position itself as a health care organization. Year after year, in news release after news release, Planned Parenthood described itself as "the nation's largest and most trusted voluntary reproductive health organization."

Never mind that the only recent Planned Parenthood president who had real health care credentials, Pamela Maraldo, only lasted two years at the helm of the organization. Never mind that its 25-year plan, Vision 2025, contained more advocacy goals than real health care goals. Never mind that the products and services provided at Planned Parenthood facilities do more to make a woman's body function abnormally. Planned Parenthood still insisted it is a health organization and sought public support and government and corporate funding based on that premise.

Then, beginning in 2005, things began to change. In August, Planned Parenthood abruptly dropped its long-held description in its news releases and replaced it with the message, "Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider."

With a stroke of the pen, Planned Parenthood admitted what opponents had known all along. Planned Parenthood is, first and foremost, an advocacy group. Its providing of so-called health care is secondary.

Add to that the fact that Planned Parenthood began 2006 by announcing its next president would not be a health care professional, but Cecile Richards – a lifelong political operative. Richards has no health care experience at all.

So, what exactly is Planned Parenthood? Planned Parenthood says it wants to work closely with Christian organizations, but attacks Christians all across the country. It says it wants to be viewed as a health care organization, but sends out the message that it is simply an advocacy group that raises its money by providing lucrative medical procedures.

In his book, Grand Illusions, author George Grant says "Planned Parenthood is one of the most powerful and insidious organizations active on the American scene today."

We've closely monitored Planned Parenthood's activities over the last 20 years. Therefore we believe it's no exaggeration to say that Planned Parenthood is a cold, calculating group intent on spreading the Humanist religion, luring our children into their web of premarital sex and unlimited abortions, reducing the population of minorities in particular and filling its coffers with the profits from sales of birth control devices.

Planned Parenthood, in fact, has a very clear identity. It just doesn't want anyone to know what that identity is. That's why it gets itself all involved in these seemingly schizophrenic activities.

We call on Planned Parenthood to just admit the truth. Planned Parenthood is anti-child, anti-God and anti-choice. Why else would it do what it does?

Release issued: 19 Jan 06