Sunday, August 30, 2015

"The Catholic Church Should Partner with Planned Parenthood to Reduce Abortions", National Catholic Reporter, , A Way Forward?


http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/catholic-church-should-partner-planned-parenthood-reduce-abortions
Bridget Mary's Response:This is a thought provoking article. The Catholic Church's prohibition on contraceptives plays a major role in abortions. I agree that this idea could be a win-win in reducing abortions, an idea that  everyone can support. Another reason, we need women priests is to change church teaching to allow effective family planning methods such as  contraceptives. An all male celibate hierarchy is out of touch on this issue. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org

"Let's face it. It's time for the Catholic church and Planned Parenthood to try something dramatically different: to work closely together in order to reduce the number of abortions. It's time for a committee of national Catholic lay leaders and executives of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to begin a sincere dialogue about creating a new way forward -- together.,,,
The U.S. bishops and their national staff are deeply and heavily invested in the view of Planned Parenthood as the evil opposition to a "pro-life" view of the world. Would the U.S. bishops as a whole be open to working with Planned Parenthood in a collegial, cooperative manner to reduce abortions? If Francis' wish for a poor church for the poor and one filled with mercy, the answer would be yes. However, it would take great courage and fortitude to pursue a national adoption strategy working hand-in-hand with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
As we have seen during the past several years, contraception is very important to many bishops and they want nothing to do with it. Yet, Planned Parenthood, like most lay Catholics, has a different view of the value of contraception and it's a big part of Planned Parenthood's services.
Just this past month, the New York Times reported that dramatic success of the use of contraception in the reduction of teen pregnancies in Colorado. According to the Times:
Over the past six years, Colorado has conducted one of the largest experiments with long-actingbirth control. If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants that prevent pregnancy for years, state officials asked, would those women choose them?
They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate among teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. There was a similar decline in births for another group particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.
"Our demographer came into my office with a chart and said, 'Greta, look at this, we've never seen this before,' " said Greta Klingler, the family planning supervisor for the public health department. "The numbers were plummeting."
Would the U.S. bishops deny this vulnerable cohort free contraception knowing that an abortion is the highly expected result of an unplanned pregnancy?
Time to think big and with mercy
To date, the Catholic church is not thinking big enough in its attempts to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S. It never has, but that time has arrived.
Unless the Catholic church stands up and says unequivocally, "Let us work closely with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers and with every expectant mother who is considering an abortion and we will support all mothers who choose to keep their baby or accept every newborn child who was otherwise scheduled for an abortion but is delivered and given up for adoption, and we will work closely with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers and with the birth moms before, during and after the pregnancy," it's hard to take seriously the "commitment" the church has to reducing abortions.
The hardline protesters can still go praying their rosaries while holding their blood-stained placards in front of Planned Parenthood offices. Policy initiatives can still be pursued to reduce the number of abortions and to keep abortion available. And fundraising in support of the lobbyists fighting abortions will continue unabated, as will fundraising and lobbying efforts in support of the pro-choice advocates. All this is certain.
After 40 years of the same old hostile, screaming stand-off and in-your-face, finger-pointing between the anti-abortionists and pro-choice advocates, at what point do the futile anti-abortion tactics become morally complicit in each of the one million abortions performed each year? And when will Planned Parenthood's "pro-choice" mantra actually include enabling a pregnant woman to choose to keep her baby or choose to give the baby up for adoption?
In light of the intractable status quo, the real work of reducing abortions, a goal of both Democrats and Republicans, can only take place by a national Catholic lay-led and governed entity engaging the self-described compassionate Planned Parenthood -- and expectant mothers visiting Planned Parenthood offices -- in a way that builds up life and does not continue to tear it asunder.
Forty more years of doing the same thing is sheer insanity."
[Tom Gallagher is a regular contributor to the NCR and lead writer for the newspaper's Mission Management column.]

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