Don’t blame Planned Parenthood for our abortion culture

Print More
(RNS2-feb4) The 1 in 3 Campaign, a project of the abortion rights group Advocates for Youth, has introduced 40 women’s stories in a new book to mark the Roe v. Wade anniversary. For use with RNS-RAPE-ABORT, transmitted on February 4, 2013, RNS photo courtesy 1 in 3 Campaign.

(RNS2-feb4) The 1 in 3 Campaign, a project of the abortion rights group Advocates for Youth, has introduced 40 women’s stories in a new book to mark the Roe v. Wade anniversary. For use with RNS-RAPE-ABORT, transmitted on February 4, 2013, RNS photo courtesy 1 in 3 Campaign.

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

We are the ones who created a society in which we have become utterly dependent on abortion.

  • Jason

    The best thing sex can do for you – give you momentary pleasure.

    The worst thing sex can do for you – STD and taking the life of another innocent human being in the name of abortion.

    Fellow human beings please consider having sex wisely before indulging in it.

    Avoid getting pregnant and save a life!!!!

  • Larry

    Usual feckless quasi-liberal Christian nonsense. Giving fundies far more credence than facts suggest and trying to find “middle ground” instead of making a principled stand on one side or another. Put the blame on “libertine culture”. S1ut shaming on a cultural scale.

    “Where’s your energy for seriously driving down abortion rates — and being willing to talk about why such a goal would reflect your party’s values of concern for the vulnerable and powerless?”

    Its in the efforts at making contraception (especially effective ones for women) available and affordable through things like the ACA.

    Its in supporting useful sex education for teens, not the phony useless “abstinence-only” programs.

    Its in supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood, who do more than perform abortions, but also supply contraception, and provide healthcare services to women.

    If you don’t know about such things, it was because you chose not to.

  • ben in oakland

    Well, Mr. Gushee, I’ve never liked abortion. But back in 1969, when Hawaii was liberalizing abortion law, my professor was very involved, and I began to work with her.

    You know what I found I liked even less than abortion? The unsavory, so-called Christians so vehemently opposed to it. Condemnatory of sex in general, and opposed to anything remotely resembling birth control and teaching responsible sexuality.

    Nothing has changed in the 42 years since roe v. wade. They are as unsavory and condemnatory as they ever were. Now, the anti-abortion industry is just one more religious grift. It’s how they make their money, accrue their power, and get republicans elected, all without doing a single thing towards reducing abortion– not in their interests,

    Imagine if those billions of dollars and manhours went to providing alternatives. But hey, these people gotta run their grift.

    Two words: Scott Desjarlais. The perfect example of the sickness of the anti-abortion industry.

  • Larry

    The most ridiculous thing is the conservative religious position on the subject. Oppose both abortion and the means of preventing its necessity, contraception. Instead just declare people to be sinning and bury your head in the sand in pouty self-righteous indignation.

    Moaning about the licentious nature of people and expecting abstinence and reliance on largely ineffective “Natural birth control” options is an excuse to do nothing but pretend to be involved.

    Abortion rates go down where it is easily accessible as well as contraception.

  • Ding Dong

    Sexual urges are not that easy to control when hormones are raging and one thing leads to another. Some mortals are not always in control of all their faculties. That is why they need a foolproof mechanisms to control ‘urges’ .

    Have ya’ heard of ‘surge protectors’. Well they need to invent ‘urge protectors’ to control sexual urges. You’re welcome.

  • rbockman

    nazis murdered Gypsies, homosexuals, Slavs, mental defectives and Jews without remorse, today cold hearted liberals murder their potential offspring without remorse

  • ben in oakland

    Is your reading comprehension that poor?

    Scott Desjarlais. look him up.

  • Ted

    No, not at all without remorse. That is the right wing lie in all this. All sane people know abortion ends a potential human life. This is why mothers agonize over their choice, weighing in factors (economics, parenting potential, etc.) which right wingers ignore in their efforts to dehumanize mothers and deny them power over their own bodies.

    This is why abortion is and must be safe, legal, and rare. Because the large majority see this all as a painful human reality. Right wingers only see a political issue they can use to fire up their angry base to raise funds.

  • John

    Wow, Mr. Gushee. I am appalled at your cavalier accusation that we are all to blame for this part of our culture. You presume too much and come off as condescending. I have not done any of the things you accuse us all of, and my attitude does not reflect them either. There are people who hold to selfish (or worse) values that have led to this malaise. I’m also disappointed that you failed to mention that our fallen world, which is naturally at odds with God’s kingdom and its values, produces these attitudes by default. Why do you not point to the real problem, the corrupt human heart? You have provided a human analysis of a human problem and blame other humans for it. You need to see the bigger picture of what God is doing in the world and work in that direction.

  • Frank

    Nothing excuses the behavior of that sad piece of human dung, seen in that video, talking about crushing helpless babies between chewing mouthfuls of food.

    Where is the conscience in all this?

  • Max Fenster

    “And by the way, whatever happened to “safe, legal, and rare”? Where’s your energy for seriously driving down abortion rates”

    Obamacare, especially when or if it is expanded in conservative states to the working poor, is expected to drive down unplanned pregnancy (ie demand for abortion) somewhere between 50 and 75%.

    There are good studies supporting this expectation.

  • Larry

    “Where is the conscience in all this?”
    Somewhere in the editing room when they trimmed down the video to something guaranteed to get the fetus worshipers in a huff.

    “It turns out, Nucatola wasn’t discussing the illegal black market sale of fetal organs, but instead the perfectly legal donation of the organs to biomedical research laboratories that use the organs to help save lives. The price range of the organs described by Nucatola is, in reality, the reimbursed expenses accrued in the delivery of the specimens. (Which makes sense: $30 to $100 is hilariously below the going rate for human organs.) …the video was produced by an anti-choice pop-up outfit called the Center for Medical Progress, which not only claimed that this one video required three years of research, but which also has ties to known video fraudster James O’Keefe.

  • Larry
  • MrTerry

    Good article…As we know outlawing abortion will not stop abortion…I am a Democrat that does believe in legal, safe and rare…But abortion issue politically is a stagnant conversation…with all law sanctions on the female reproductive system with more pending…In earlier times the female was the incubator and males carried the seed of life…As a society we moved away from all male responsibility in conception except the “high five” for “getting laid” or “dodging a bullet”…and attitude that still exist…In my opinion changing the conversation to laws that impose sanctions on the male reproductive system not only opens up a new dialog but pushes for males to be more responsible sexually…males should have to be as much part of the abortion process as the birth process…Males face no shame no restrictions no responsibility unless the child is born. There needs to be a new dialog that promotes sexual responsibility of both males and females not just sanctions on females.

  • MrTerry

    Abortion should not become a lucrative industry…but on the current path it can turn into a industry on convenience unless we change the conversation from legal or nonlegal….to a dialog of responsibility and new ideas that support presexual planning and preparedness to the consequences to both parties engaging in sex…We need a new social dialog with new ideas and good fair mediators to find resolutions to reduce the need for abortions in the future.

  • Frank

    Fact 1-Those words about ‘crushing’ with references to baby organs came out of her own mouth.
    Fact 2- That piece of human dung is seen not only callously discussing ‘liver’, ‘lungs’ and other salvageable baby parts of a baby but also refers to a ‘huddle’ each day to discuss what she needs.
    Fact 3- Richards later apologized on behalf of human dung seen in that video.
    The video is there for all the world to see in its entirety. Anyone making excuses for that sad piece of human dung should be thrilled to belong to that disgraceful ‘human dung’ group.

  • Larry

    Are you quoting from your own view of the video or what has been repeated through the wingnutsphere?

  • A big “Amen!” and “Thank-you!”

  • Dominic

    Please blame only a certain faction of Americans, not all of us. Those who have warned of the “fruits of legal abortion” from the beginning, are seeing the warnings come true. Abortion, like murder, is always a sinful, immoral act. No good can ever arise from it. All of the “benefits” that the liberals still tout fall flat…and will continue to do so forever.

  • Bernardo

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    The failures of the widely used birth “control” methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male condom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions (~one million/yr) and STDs (19 million/yr.) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and STDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Guttmacher Institute. see

  • Larry

    Which is why medically implanted contraception is actually relatively cheap/free under ACA exchanges. It is considered a net cost saver in comparison to unintended pregnancy/abortion.

    Obamacare is actually doing quite a bit to reduce abortion rates by increasing access to effective contraception. More effective than any “conservative” or “religiously friendly” solution offered.

  • Bernardo

    With one large exception, ObamaCare does not cover vasectomies. And unfortunately, many women cannot tolerate the implanted contraceptives.

  • Nana

    Dr G

    Your comments shock me. I expected you to say the way prevent abortions is same sex marriages! Hat would surely help would it not?

  • Ben in oakland

    There are only so many gay people to go around. The only way heterosexual cross over to our side is when they were never heterosexual to begin with. Truly Hetero people– the ones responsible, I’m guessing, for 99.9 % of abortions, aren’t suddenly going to go gay,

  • Be Brave

    Liberals and progressives and the demonic powers that move them are responsible for our abortion culture. Hollywood and modern music culture have motivated the licentiousness of the sexually active.

    Mr. Gushee, if you are going to point a finger at the culprits, then aim accurately.

    “Birth control” usage to flush away a child before the abortion phase just caused promiscuity cancer that now needs the HPV vaccine to try to prevent.

    There are culprits and reasons for the abortion plague. It is not conservative behaviors for sure.

  • Dominic

    True. Who ever thought that a highly cultured world that the West certainly is, would ever make noble the barbaric act of abortion. We should have more pride in ourselves, in our dignity, in our intelligence.
    Yet we look to Hollywood for answers…the American Royalty. It’s quite amazing that these “stars” are only “intelligent” when they are given a script. Funny what fame, beauty and money can make people believe is right.

  • Aaron

    Mr. Gushee,
    I don’t always agree with your posts, but this one is a bullseye!

  • Wiliam Deitenbeck

    Don’t let Planned Parenthood off so easy. They are the most evil organization on the planet. They profit from the murder of babies and the perversion of our young people.
    Evil. Evil.

  • Be Brave

    “Planned Parenthood.” The are just a product of the Progressive movement. Which of course was created by the Hippy movement of the 60’s. Now, just Liberals with degrees and a job.

  • Larry

    There was not as much of a lobby for that measure when the ACA was being debated 🙁

  • Susan

    Be Brave, my married mother went to Planned Parenthood for birth control before the Hippy movement of the 60s began.

    Many of the women having abortions are married and just can’t afford another baby or they have medical reasons for an abortion. David Gushee is just wrong to assume that everyone who has an abortion is single or not in a committed relationship. We would prevent more abortions by making sure everyone has a decent paying job with good family policies for pregnant women and working parents.

    Larry is also right that Planned Parenthood by providing birth control prevents abortions. He is also right that many women may be going to Planned Parenthood for general gynecological care. They may be getting a PAP smear and have to go by people screaming at them on the way in to Planned Parenthood.

  • Greg1

    Well maybe now that we have the affordable care act, which provides for PAP smears, and other female needs, then maybe Planned Parenthood can shut its doors for good. Those alternative services were only a cover for their abortion work, anyway.

  • danlinrm

    We live in a culture of death. We are willing to sacrifice anything or anybody for our present or future good, whither it is personal or corporate. It may not be physical death but rather economic, social, political, but it is death death nonetheless. This death culture plays out in in business, politics, the life of institutions and even the church. So, of course, it is at play in our personal lives as well. Abortion is just one the more visible signs of our willingness to destroy anything that stands between us and our success and happiness.

  • Pingback: That Was The Week That Was | The Pietist Schoolman()

  • Be Brave


    Well, Christians that oppose abortion only need to stand their ground about the act. If some other kind of person wants to kill their unborn child and hasn’t any conscience about the act, that is just the unfortunate world that is the story of mankind.

    The whole prevention medication is really just abortion on demand where there isn’t such a recognizable child that is killed for the sexual convenience of the couple screwing. The odd thing is that as anti-Christians hold the view that “Christians are being judgmental or unloving,” don’t want to recognize that Christians more than likely came out from behavior that was licentious and know well the horrors of that kind of behavior. And rather than to sear shut their consciences and their hearts, they embrace the knowledge of good and evil and choose the good. And when they see others in society lying about behaviors and consequences, they speak out for the less fortunate. Just as Jesus taught.

  • RP

    My biggest problem with the anti-abortion crowd is they do not want to do anything to prevent pregnancy and then if a woman carries a baby to term but cannot afford to take care of it is this same hypocrites that want to do away with food stamps and welfare and don’t give a damn if the baby starves to death as long as it’s been birthed.

    I would like to see the same anti-abortion people stand forward and tell a woman going into a clinic have your baby and I will adopt it myself never going to happen

  • RP

    Unless they get a loooong stint in prison….then ANY booty probably looks good…

  • Shawnie5

    “I would like to see the same anti-abortion people stand forward and tell a woman going into a clinic have your baby and I will adopt it myself never going to happen”

    It’s probably happened many times. Infants are extremely adoptable.

  • Susan

    Greg1, Planned Parenthood has been around since the 1950’s when abortion was illegal. The ACA doesn’t help everyone who need health insurance, especially in states where the government funding of medicaid was rejected. There still is not universal health care even with the ACA. I might add that some of the same people who oppose abortion also oppose funding of birth control too.

    Shawnie5, you mean white infants are very adoptable.

    Be Brave, birth control is not the same as abortion. You make it seem that married sex is bad, instead of a part of a loving relationship. They only speak out for the “less fortunate” until the baby is born then they oppose food stamps and healthcare for that baby after its born. It’s not your decision to make. It is the decision of the mother and only the mother. It should not be the decision of men, especially celibate men.

  • Shawnie5

    No I do NOT mean “white infants.” I mean any infants. Minority infants are as easy to place as white ones.

  • Larry

    There is really no need to take Conservative Christian attitudes on the subject of abortion seriously whatsoever.

    They oppose the most useful method of keeping abortion rates low in favor of sanctimonious whining and finger pointing. Their view deliberately ignores the role of the pregnant woman outside of s1utshaming. Their rhetoric can’t tell the difference between pregnancy and birth. They offer no workable remedies besides “Beat your Bible”.

    Abortion bans only make the procedures more expensive for some, more dangerous for others.

  • RP

    In my experience minority infants get adopted when no white ones are available…..

    Actually we could run a test….parents file to adopt and only when approved find out what kind of child they get…..No Choosing.

    Bet adoptions would fall to zero at that agency.

  • Shawnie5

    “In my experience minority infants get adopted when no white ones are available….”

    In my experience there are waiting lists for ANY kind of newborn infants. Including ones with Down syndrome.

    Abortion isn’t about there being no one to provide for a child. It’s about ensuring that the child does not exist.

  • Susan

    Shawnie5, are you willing to accept Gay or Lesbian couples as adoptive parents?

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    We’ve pretty much got society cheering on the Death Train as far as killing unborn children. Now it’s time to get grannie to get on the same train. All those over 65 years old are as useless as an unborn child anyway. And those worshippers of life (like Catholics) should be on the next train. Eventually liberal society will get rid of all the unwanted and troublesome. So let’s get on with the killing. and make the perfect society.

  • Shawnie5

    If that is the only way an unwanted child can get a family, sure.

  • ben in oakland

    No liberal or progressive supports that idea. It’s always put forth by the hyper-conservatives, like marrying their sisters, their dogs, or their toasters. you guys have active minds.

    It wasn’t liberal societies, and never has been, that sent people off to the death camps. Norway: come for the scenery, stay for the death camps. Sounds more like hyper-religious and hyper conservative Nigeria.

  • Greg1

    Susan: There are plenty of alternative options other than going to Planned Parenthood. I would never trust any “doctor” who is on the payroll there. My hope is they shut their doors, and we divert their funding to the free medical clinics.

  • Greg1

    Ben, you haven’t studied socialism/communism.

  • Susan

    Greg1, Why create new clinics when Planned Parenthood already exists and is doing a good job of helping women? As I said before, my mother went to Planned Parenthood when she was first married in the 50’s.

    Communism does not create a “liberal society.” It depends what kind of socialism you mean. Democratic socialists can be part of a liberal society.

  • Ben in oakland

    Obviously, you have studied nothing. There is a major difference between socialism and communism. I suggest you use the power of the Google to find out what the differences Is.

    Here’s a hint: Norway is a socialist country, and enjoys a high standard of living and one of the most peaceful, safest societies on the planet. Russia is a former communist country. In this case, communism is just another name for fascism. Russia was a fascist country then, and under the leadership of former KGB Putin, is rapidly becoming a fascist country now.

  • Greg1

    Ben I know what the difference is: one is control by force, the other is control by propaganda, and buy in. Both lead to the same place.

  • Greg1

    Susan, I know you are not Christian, however, to quote a particular Jew who lived 2000 years ago: “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44″For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45″The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil;” Luke 6:44. Planned parenthood has shown itself by its bad fruit.

  • Larry

    Except if one is poor and looking for the full range of ob/gyn services.

    Since the same conservatives oppose easy access to contraception and state cooperation with the ACA, the end results of defunding PP are a rise in unplanned pregnancy rates and greater numbers of women not getting adequate health care.

  • Larry

    That is the chief driver for international adoption. Plus domestic adoptions are now by default “open adoption” where the birth mother still has contact with the child. Added to the that is a 30 day rule where birth mothers can cancel an adoption agreement. Domestic adoption is not a desirable choice for most couples who could afford it.

    Added to that is the dearth of healthy infants open for adoption in most states child welfare services. If they are not adopted at birth, it is most likely the child will spend their lives in the foster care system.

  • Susan

    Greg, I can only speak about the Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia where I live. They have been wonderful and have helped a lot of women.

  • Jack

    Nice try, Larry. What’s in dispute concerns the sale of body parts, but Frank is saying that even if you’re right in what you are saying about that, the doctor’s words and attitude on their own are despicable, which is why even the Planned Parenthood director saw fit to condemn those words and attitudes.

  • Jack

    Ted, all you’re doing is filling the air with limp old rhetoric that even you know says nothing and addresses nothing. If you’re going to post on abortion, at least say something that at least tries to be factual or analytical.

  • Jack

    Max, you’re dreaming.

  • Jack

    Circular reasoning, Ben. Human sexuality isn’t that simple, not by a long shot. The reality is extremely complex. It is politically incorrect to say so, but I would add that its realities ruffle the feathers of the right as much as the left.

  • Jack

    Abortion is “always” sinful? What about if the mother’s life is genuinely endangered?

    Just asking…

  • Jack

    As an aside, every high school teacher should show students photos of Hollywood stars in their prime, and photos of these same stars when they are old and their looks are completely gone.

    A picture speaks a thousand words, and such contrasting photos would do more than words to impart the lesson that outward beauty is fleeting.

  • Jack

    Not so fast, Ben. There are those on the far left who have made arguments about the elderly that are thisclose to saying that at some point, they have a duty to die.

    And as for the extreme left vs. the extreme right — ie Marxism vs. Fascism — it is not always easy to tell the difference between them. Neither has a problem with the idea of getting rid of the elderly if they’re “useless eaters.” It’s just a matter of what each can get away with.

  • Jack

    Susan, your post unwittingly shows how most if not all arguments supporting abortion are really arguments for birth control……they are arguments that skip over the inconvenient truth that abortion differs from birth control.

  • Jack

    Susan, they’re altogether “wonderful” if you accept the premise that there’s nothing wrong with abortion. But if you don’t, then at best they’re a mixed bag and at worst a contributing factor in the devaluation of human life and dignity.

  • Jack

    Larry, abortion rates have gone down, and contraception is one factor, but not as big as you think, since a huge percentage of people, especially kids, are still not using it. The contraception message still hasn’t sunk in as much as many had hoped.

    A bigger factor is one that neither liberals nor conservatives are keen on proclaiming — that for at least a decade, the majority of kids have been graduating high school as virgins.

    This is something that few on the libertine left or the doom-and-gloom Armageddon right ever predicted would happen, but it has obviously reduced the number of unwanted pregnancies and thus the demand for abortion.

    So for all the pretentious, pseudo-sophisticated pronouncements against abstinence, it appears to be the norm for American teenagers in 2015.

  • Pingback: On Planned Parenthood controversy, 'The New York Times' swings and whiffs - On Faith & Culture()

  • tuda

    Unfortunately not all states have expanded healthcare to those who need it most, and some of the loopholes are real doozies:( What good is contraception if it’s inaccessible?

  • tuda

    Lol, God’s way of curbing overpopulation.

  • tuda

    Susan, Thank you for stating what should be OBVIOUS, but the oblivious fail to comprehend.

  • tuda

    Agreed Larry, if they truly wanted to lower abortion rates all forms of contraception (including sterilization, would be free and accessible AND the punishment for being a dead beat dad would be vasectomy, no exceptions.

  • tuda

    You missed the part where Jesus said you shouldn’t judge people for screwing, hence you sound hypocritical, but your attitude is even more telling and prooves something women understand about conservative men…they suck in the sack and/or can’t get laid. Perhaps that’s why they hate sex and those who enjoy it. Even worse, it’s an inimate experience, another thing conservative men find repulsive. They prefer making war to peace. More fun to kill those you can watch be murdered. Prefer to cut foodstamps to watch postbirth kids suffer.

  • tuda

    More relevant comments, Susan. Thank you!

  • tuda

    Actually sex does much more than give momentary pleasure. I pity your wife. You need to do some research on the topic.