As a priest, I'm glad for the work Planned Parenthood does.
Planned Parenthood helps people make decisions that prevent pregnancies; they also ensure that women get good prenatal care. They keep women and their families safe.
Even if I did believe that terminating early pregnancies was wrong, I'd still support Planned Parenthood.
The main reason is simple: making abortions unsafe or unavailable does not reduce abortions. It results in more unsafe abortions. If we compare the evidence, countries with strong anti-abortion laws do not have their intended effect.
Policies that do reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, however, include greater prosperity for women, better schooling, and access to different options, and good, high quality medical care. When women have greater access to consistent family planning and contraception, there will be fewer medical procedures that result in terminating pregnancy. Most likely, "Obamacare" will be the single greatest force that will reduce abortions. Thoes who are anti-abortion should fight for an economy that promoted greater health care and more jobs with benefits.
We should not shame women for being sexually active. The shame puts religious women in a double bind. It inhibits the women from coming to the church for help; and it implicitly makes children a punishment.
I’m not the first to say such things. I’m fortunate that I’ve been trusted to give counsel to women who want to know all their options. It was important that I was non-judgmental. I encouraged them to get medical help. I encouraged them to think of their lives many years down the road; to examine their support systems. It was their choice; and I was free. We did not have the heavy hand of the state coming in between our understanding of God’s wish for us.
Allowing families to make choices results for stronger families and greater prosperity for all.