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Planned Parenthood Under the Microscope at all Levels

Across the country, longtime activists have gathered for several months now over issues surrounding the Planned Parenthood group, their activities involving the exchange of monies, and some of the procedures within regarding handling of fetus, their body parts, and other specimens. Some videos drew concern within their clinics, questioning the legalities of the abortions themselves. With these new concerns, the push to defund Planned Parenthood, and seek other investigations within their practices is underway, and all of these measures are causing quite the Congressional stir.

OneNewsNow has reported for months on undercover videos, one of which was over a lunch meeting where Planned Parenthood executives discussed using what was referred to as “less crunchy” collection methods to keep body parts intact. (Butts, 2015) These undercover methods of video brought the public a view of what was being said under the table, and to the public. A great amount of concern was considered when discussing the women in question. The women who come into planned parenthood for help. What were these women being told, or more importantly, what weren’t these women being told? Other videos released by the Center for Medical Progress also gave some table discussion footage, but much more. It showed footage of body parts being picked through after an abortion. Some were too gruesome for viewers to handle, as these were aborted babies, if you had not seen something like this before, or had not been told what you were looking at, this might surprise you to know how well formed these body parts were. (Scheidler, 2015)

Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Director, will be speaking in Chicago today, speaking about Leading Under Pressure. Activists are there to meet her as well. Other meetings are underway too. Congress is meeting, since they have had a steady influx of information coming in regarding the Planned Parenthood organization, and 35 pro-life organizations are requesting they defund them. President Obama has threatened to veto their actions, but pro-life groups are still hoping to keep pushing to be heard. At the current time, there has been a Democratic-filibuster, which is an impasse in people terms. However, with a majority of votes (called a reconciliation), in this case a total of 51, the bill can pass and be presented to the President. He may decide to veto it at that point, but if he does? At least, the people know where they are in this situation. According to Marilyn Musgrave of the Susan B. Anthony List, “Well, I think it’s important for the American public to know that this is the most pro-abortion president that we’ve ever had,” Musgrave replies, describing President Obama as “beholden” to Planned Parenthood.

The Republican side of Congress has chosen to respond to the videos. They have not been idle, and have been investigating Planned Parenthood and considering the resolve of their federal funding. Most of their funding is through Medicaid reimbursement when patients who use their services with Medicaid receive cancer screenings birth control or other contraception, and other services. Abortions and related services are not approved under Medicaid reimbursement services. Since the investigation, the fetal tissue services have said to have stopped.

Planned Parenthood announced today the only two states involved in the fetal tissues collection services were California and Washington; however, they were no longer involved with these programs. Other services who use fetal tissue collection for studies into genetics and other areas of research are exhausting all efforts to continues the use of fetal tissue collection on a donor basis only. The Department of Health and Human Services, in a letter to Congress in August, said fetal tissue “continues to be a critical resource for important efforts such as research on degenerative eye disease, human development disorders such as Down syndrome, and infectious diseases, among a host of other diseases.” (Press, 2015)

Although some Democratic Representatives feel this may be the right step into the Planned Parenthood resuming as business as usual, other Republican Representatives feel the abortion pressure and opposition was not just a stigma. It is the concern of some if this group is not exerting undue pressure on women to have abortions, instead of remaining neutral, and providing a service. “I am pleased that Planned Parenthood has taken this additional step, removing a distraction, and, in the process, returning focus to the high-quality health care they deliver to millions of Americans,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut. Rep. Diane Black, a Tennessee Republican, said “It is curious that, while Planned Parenthood officials maintain there has been no wrongdoing, they still find it necessary to change their policy,” Black continued, “Clearly, this was a decision motivated by optics rather than the organization’s conscience.” (Press, 2015) Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life, which has applauded the undercover videos, said Planned Parenthood, despite the police change, is “still committed to vivisecting infants for research.”

With all of these differences in opinion on what has changed, what will change, or has anything changed? It seems the only thing the videos have really done, has brought the Planned Parenthood Organization under a microscope. I suppose for the next several months we will be dissecting their funding, their practices, and their relationships. I just hope we do not lose sight of why we started all of this in the beginning.

Our Two Cents:

The Planned Parenthood Organization was established to inform, to educate, and to be an advocate. This is a global partner where we can find trust to deliver health care, sex education and information around the world. This organization has been around for almost a century. As a healthcare representative, it stands for something. It stands for respect and honesty, and as a facility operating throughout communities, some in rural areas where it is the primary choice for reliable testing and treatment for many diverse needs throughout some areas; It is the operating staff, nurses, physicians, and nurse practitioners that take time to talk with clients, who establish encouraging a dialog with the people in the community and have established an environment of trust.

The church did not establish Planned Parenthood. In some churches, this type of organization would be shunned. How so? Well, Planned Parenthood provides is a reproductive and healthcare provider for all. The Bible states in 1 Corinthians Chapter 7, Verse 2: But because of the temptation of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. There was no pre-marital sex in the Bible, but there was sexual immorality and that referred to getting married to prevent this from happening. Therefore, contraception was not needed. Therefore, preventing sexually transmitted diseases, also not needed. Before marriage, the Bible promotes complete abstinence, in the book of Hebrews Chapter 13, Verse 4, the word says: Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.  Prior to marriage, sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approves.  Therefore, when you say Planned Parenthood serves the purpose of providing contraception, and so forth- it serves no purpose, yet to keep a married woman from becoming with child. Why would she not want to have a child? In the beginning, in the book of Genesis, Chapter 1, Verse 28: And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Again in Genesis, in Chapter 38, Verses 8-10: 8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. 9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also. Nowhere does it specifically reference contraception, but here in Onan- it is taken that Onan used his brother’s wife for sexual pleasure, but did not procreate. Why use her at all? Therefore, his deed shows his behavior as sinful and displeasing.

While we might look upon the goodness of sexual education, and that maybe this education could be also be construed in some form of Godly education. However, the separation of church and state is strictly prohibited. We understand the purpose of Planned Parenthood is to provide sexual education for the prevention of disease, to aid in through contraception in the hindrance of reproduction and that could be for sexually immoral single adults or teens, or for married adults who do not want to fulfill this marital commitment. And this is not what the Bible reflects, as an adequate per the word of God.

Abortion has become a very hot conversation since the Planned Parenthood conversations have been brought to the forefront. Some women have questioned their recent decisions as
Could that have been my fetus priced away like a commodity?
Could these people really have coerced women into making decisions they wouldn’t have Could this be my child in there, my daughter, I being unaware of the decision she has made? Could she be living with this each day, or tormented by this each day?
Would I make the same decision again?

Former Manager, Susan Thayer provided testimony against Planned Parenthood advising how their clients were interviewed via webcam, and treated through this interaction. A doctor would talk with a woman by remote video and authorizes her to take pills that end her pregnancy, and it was provided through these “webcam” abortions. No feeling as if you could ask questions, the interpersonal communication between the doctor and client, the empathy was not there. Thayer protested that once a woman takes the pills, she can’t change her mind. Some could say, “Well if you don’t let the woman take the pills, you’re thwarting her will.” That is true, but if she has the pills, and goes and talks with a friend, a mother, a spouse, a priest, and goes home and takes them, then she’s had more than she has had there.

The question comes back to is it ever okay to have an abortion? Susan Thayer said, “No, it is taking an innocent life.” Some would disagree with her. On March 27, 2015, Jen Cardinal and her husband were in the doctor’s office, and as Jen and her husband sang, the 14-week-old fetus was scanned clapping. The doctor has called their child “The Born Performer.” Just as recently as the 7th of October there is evidence from Spain, of gestational fetuses 14 weeks to 29 weeks opening their mouths and moving their tongues when they heard music via intrauterine device. If we have early term feats of this nature, then what late term feats could we expect?

Many people say they are not requesting the use of abortion as a means of birth control. Only should this be used in the event of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is at risk, or there is a defect keeping the fetus from living a normal life. Should a mother be forced to raise a child with hydrocephalus? What if this is only one of the prognoses? Some people say, “Yes, the child is a gift from God, and not everyone gets a healthy baby.” “We should love them all the same.” Who should decide to terminate a pregnancy? If the doctor says, “It is in the best interest of the child, you should do this? Does the doctor really know? We have a lot of advancements these days. That argument could go either way.

This would be a very personal decision, as each person is entitled to their own beliefs. The Bible spends much time in Genesis, talking about life. Much detail is used to describe every detail, and how it took seven days for God to make this world. God took HIS time. HE was purposeful. We say, ‘God doesn’t make mistakes’ and this is where that comes from. If you took seven days to do something, would you turn around and say, “Wait, I made a mistake, as I think I was a little rash in that decision.”

The Bible also goes into great detail to talk about murder. In Exodus, the reference is made in Chapter 20, Verse 13: Thou shalt not kill.  In the book of Matthew, in Chapter 19, Verse 18:  He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. In the book of Romans, Chapter 13, Verse 9: For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. In the book of Ezekiel, Chapter 18, Verse 20: The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

There is only one way you can look at the “But what if…” situation. We know the arguments, and there is no reason to rehash them. Some will say, “But what if the woman was raped?” or “But what if the child is deformed?” or “But what if I can’t financially afford the care it would take for a child with these problems, etc.” Sometimes, it feels like it just falls on deaf ears when you say it. There are people who hear you, and are willing to help you and empathize with you, and well, Planned Parenthood is one of them. There are other activist groups as well. Even the church is there to listen to you, here your thoughts, offer guidance and forgiveness, and not be judgmental. However, the church will also lean heavy on the Bible. And the Bible says, it is never okay to have an abortion. The Bible speaks of Satan in the book 2 Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. This is where Satan masquerades as an angel of light calling right wrong, making us think in many instances that we are taking the moral high ground by proclaiming something as right, when we know it’s wrong. How many times have you heard someone say, “This or that didn’t happen back then- we really don’t how God felt about it, because it is not written in the Bible. For example, premarital sex. Nowhere in the Bible does it say the words “premarital sex”, but it does say “sex before marriage is considered sexual immorality.” This is where we are referring to this verse- does it have to use the same words, or aren’t we intelligent enough to infer the meaning based on the fact we know “premarital sex” and “sex before marriage mean the same thing?” I feel abortion is one of those terms where you will have to define what it is, and then find it in the Bible. Not knowing where it is, or claiming you don’t have the exact word, is essentially acting as Satan, masquerading as an angel of light, when you are in the dark. Take the words, find the definitions, read them again, read the Bible, and find your answers. Sometimes we have to sit in judgment of ourselves. I’d rather do it myself, than have the Lord do it for me, because I was, as my daddy calls it, taking those too words, and splitting hairs, to find the one that makes me look better under the light of that microscope.

Our Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you Lord for this time to commune with you and we come to you, in the mercy of this season of grace and light.  We know we have been blinded by sin, and by the deeds of Satan. We ask for you to draw us closer into you Lord.  We ask you Lord to hear our prayers, and to feel our atonement as we give the glory to you Lord. We lift up those people who need a clearer understanding of what you see.  We ask that all find a profound dignity of every human life, and we ask that even children in the womb be seen as life made by you, the Creator.  We ask each day Lord for you to strengthen our joy in the fact that life has already conquered death.

We ask that you renew our spirit and our faith through the commitment we’ve made in the arms of your grace.  We pray you grant us the wisdom to live more faithfully as the children of God and People of Life.

We pray no matter where we are, we never forget, how close you are to us, and we pray for all of this through Christ our Lord.

Amen

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About Brenda Stapleton

Brenda Stapleton is a professional writer and social media enthusiast. She is the founding columnist of from the park bench, and continues blogging under the same headline today. She is a content writer, technical writer, communication and procedural consultant, who considers it both an honor, and a privilege to have worked with such a diverse group of subject matter experts throughout the years. She feels it is through collaboration and communication with professionals in other programs, where meaningful partnerships are formed and challenging projects are culminated which produce awareness, integration, and increased success in finding solutions to mutual problems.

Brenda is a former primary and secondary educator, with a Louisiana teaching certification from (ULM) University of Louisiana at Monroe. She is a former nurse tech and registered nurse working under the ULM-RN program. She certified through the (AFA) American Fitness Association as a personal trainer, and is a certified law enforcement professional under (POST) Police Officer Standards Training in the State of Louisiana. She is well-versed in the Arts and Sciences, holding a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Arts in the discipline of Criminal Justice with minors in Sociology and Psychology. She has credited graduate work in English and Integrated Learning through Technology and Communication, carried over from her Ph.D. work in Integrating Technology, Learning and Psychology from Grand Canyon University.

and More…personally
Brenda grew up in Columbia, Louisiana in the same house, where her parents still live, today. She began life literally, stumbling every day. She was fitted for her first set of braces on her legs, as a toddler. She would wear braces on her legs, until the age of four, and orthopedic shoes until the age of six. Thinking the past was behind her, she took the world in leaps and bounds, until at the peak of her career, she faced yet another set-back, only this one, left her with a neurological injury that was irreversible. Since then, she has strived continuously for a career, where her passion for creativity would be fueled by the fervor of chasing a sense of sobriety that did not leave her doubtful of a future. Armed with a sense of humor, a purpose in life, and a heart full of dreams, she took the road less traveled, compliments of Robert Frost, and she has learned many things along the way.
She has learned adaptability is her best characteristic, and humility is her worst. She has learned the day is scarier than the night, for in the day you will see the harm that befalls you. She has learned unconditional love is never stronger than in the very young, and as it is in the very old. She has learned no matter what emotion a person is experiencing, a cuddly puppy can make you re-evaluate it all. She has learned the only certainty in life, is death- be ready. She has learned the most experienced emotions are forgiveness, grief and hope, and she has learned that patience is the most taught virtue.
In her free time, Brenda can be found lost in the elements of nature. She enjoys cycling, golfing, swimming, and practicing yoga. Her favorite places to be in this world are at the edge of the sand, with the ocean waves kissing her toes, or chasing her footprints away; or riding a bike through the park under the trees full of multi-colored leaves in the fall, with the wind blowing gently at her face, and is deeply overwhelmed by nature. It’s the fleeting moments when she is caught in a rainstorm, or snowflakes begin to fall, and melt as soon as they touch the warmth of skin, or when watching over a cocoon, as it changes into a butterfly, or a rose bud into bloom, when she feels human, small and meek.
Brenda is a published author of articles and blogs. She is currently writing her first book, but acknowledges her two greatest accomplishments, as the two who call her momma. She is inspired by watching her daughters become individuals, face their giants, and grow in life, while each follows her dreams and searches for a place and a purpose to aspire and grow. With several years behind her, and her children growing into adults, Brenda has taken the time to focus on her purpose. In doing so, she has unpacked the dreams she had placed away for safe keeping, and with a bit of uncertainty of what lies ahead, she sets out on yet another road less traveled, and this time, she says she takes a pen and paper along the way.

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