Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence recently gave an interview with Glamour magazine in which she speaks highly of Planned Parenthood (PP), owing her career to the organization. By her account, her only access to birth control as a teenager in a “Jesus house” was due to Planned Parenthood. Her teen years were spent mostly in Louisville, Ky.
At 14, she went to New York City to search for an agent. The age in which she began using PP is unclear, but she alludes to being sexually active in mid-teen years, so it is reasonable to believe this is the age in which her patient relationship with PP began.
I must confess, I used Planned Parenthood services when I was younger. I was not insured and needed access to my yearly examinations. All my friends went to Planned Parenthood at the time, so I did too. I was a pro-abortion supporter at the time.
I encompassed many of the attitudes Jennifer Lawrence avers in her interview, regarding religion, and was just as arrogant about my views on Christians. I can empathize with Ms. Lawrence in a way many lifelong Christians cannot. Those without Christ are lost and lack grounding. They are inundated with societal “norms” that criticize any belief in Jesus. Christians have become caricatures within this worldview.
In the midst of all of this mischaracterization, we have Planned Parenthood and the predilections the organization injects into our culture. PP targets teenagers and young women in their 20s, convincing them PP is their only option for affordable regular women’s services, e.g., yearly pelvic examinations, birth control pill prescriptions, and access to free condoms.
They claim they are preventing unwanted pregnancies, and yet fail to encourage abstinence, the only 100 percent proven true birth control. In fact, they mock abstinence programs as not lowering pregnancy rates or delaying sexual initiation, as if handing out free condoms will prevent sexual initiation.
PP does not acknowledge that most of the abstinence programs focus on the overall wellbeing of the individual, including identifying healthy relationships, how to identify unhealthy relationships, understanding transmission of STDs, giving actual effective information of various birth control methods, how to avoid unwanted sexual advances and the benefits of abstaining until marriage. PP’s comprehensive sex education includes discussions on sexual orientation and gender, problems with abstinence, sexual pleasure, among the general science involved in reproductive health. They claim that sex education should primarily be from the parent or guardian, yet they have programs that, according to them, should begin in Kindergarten. They refuse to discuss there is a direct consequence to sex – pregnancy.
It is easy to convince your necessity to the world while under your tutelage; you are indoctrinating a whole generation, convincing them you are their only hope.
My eyes were opened to PP’s true nature, when my husband and I went to confirm my first pregnancy. We had only been married seven months, were far from financial security and were scared out of our minds. After hearing the heartbeat of our sweet child, we were escorted into an office, in which the first question that we were asked was if we were going to keep the baby. I felt like it was asked in the attitude of ‘’obviously, you aren’t.” When we made clear our intentions were to have our baby, we were then informed there was nothing else PP could do for us. I couldn’t believe it. The name of the clinic was Planned Parenthood, yet they couldn’t help us in this time of parenthood?
I began to look at PP and what they really stood for in a whole new light. We were able to find a private pay physician who has delivered three of our children. We discovered there were options besides PP for low income women – options that provided many more services than PP does, save one, with costs as affordable.
We are now the parents of four daughters. I became a Christian after the birth of our second child. We want our children to be raised in a “Jesus house,” but we do not want our children to feel it necessary to go behind our backs and seek out situations that would necessitate birth control.
As Christian parents, this is a difficult road to navigate in today’s society with influences like PP affecting so much. We teach our children abstinence. We explain how difficult raising a child unmarried can be. We explain that there are consequences to actions. One action causes pregnancy.
Our fourth child was born when our oldest two were young teenagers. Admittedly, we have it easy in having a living, breathing “consequence” for them to witness. All the nit and gritty of raising an infant, they participated in or witnessed. They saw the difficulty of pregnancy. Nothing like hands-on demonstrations of consequences for a reality check. I sometimes wonder if grandchildren will ever be a possibility now.
However, we also hold to the biblical teaching of the parable of the Prodigal Son, as our children are precious to us and we will always love them. A child who sins may be loved and accepted still upon repenting. If one of our children should make poor choices, we will help guide her with the love of Christ. Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they, they will not depart from it.” This includes subjects that many Christians wish to avoid.
As I stated before, I can empathize with Jennifer Lawrence and her laissez faire view of Planned Parenthood. Nonetheless, I no longer agree with her. I can see what PP brings to the table is empty promises with no care for humanity.
I can also see the secular world has such a larger pull with our children now, no matter how much we attempt to shelter. Social media alone exposes them to misleading ideas and philosophies. We must stay vigilant in Christ and not be afraid to broach uncomfortable subjects if we are to truly teach our children the way they should go.