A Grandmother’s Response to the Planned Parenthood Videos

Baby at 5 mos. gestation, used with permission from Priestsforlife.org.

 I could discuss the revelations that Planned Parenthood is profiting from the sale of dead baby parts from a number of different angles.

As a moral person, I’m not against abortion because of my preference, like I prefer the color green to the color blue. No, I’m against abortion because it is taking the life of another human being. Abortion is wrong because murder is wrong. No amount of hiding behind a woman’s right to medical care can change the fact that the act of abortion kills another human being. A woman’s right to medical care does not equate to a woman’s right to kill her unborn child. As the Center for Medical Progress’ fifth video shows in shocking detail, aborted babies have arms and legs and eyes and intestines. An aborted child is not “medical tissue.”

As a US citizen, the reality that our nation funds genocide gnaws at my conscience and compelled me to write to my prochoice congressional leaders, Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell, both of whom voted to continue funding Planned Parenthood’s illegal and immoral killing and selling babies. I pray they have a change of heart, find the courage to defund (and ultimately shut down) Planned Parenthood and bring the lawbreakers who work there to justice.

As the daughter of a single mother, I’m thankful my mother never considered abortion to be the solution for the next baby growing in her belly. In fact, she often commented that her kids were the best thing to come out of her (failed) marriage. As the fifth of her six children, (who came 18 inconvenient months after the fourth!), I have all the more reason to breathe a sigh of relief that my mother lived by faith in a God who takes care of women in need.

As the mother of seven children, at least a few of whom were “unplanned,” I’m grateful that all of my pregnancies resulted in live births. I’m also incredibly thankful for my husband, Bill, who regarded each new baby as a wild adventure: awaited, prepared for, and welcomed with open arms.

I could discuss the Planned Parenthood videos from any of those angles. Because this issue of abortion–and the pain inflicted on the baby as well as the lives forever burdened by this destructive choice—is not theoretical to me. As a matter of fact, this subject is quite timely at our house.

As a grandmother of five–with one on the way, our family is making room in our home and hearts for the unplanned pregnancy of my daughter’s. (I share this story with her permission.)

In many ways, contrary to thinking that this new, little life is an inconvenience, I feel like we’ve dodged a huge bullet. Before Olivia shared her news with us, she felt enormous pressure from some of her college friends to terminate. Abortion was floated as a perfectly rational option—really, the only smart thing to do. That was until a casual acquaintance set aside her own schedule and stepped forward to speak life into the conversation.

While Olivia processed her new reality as she leaned over the toilet, “B.” swooped in day after day to give her sips of water, wipe her face, and bring her hope. As we found out later, B. was simply following her own mother’s example. Years before, B.’s mother helped a young student who found herself facing an unplanned pregnancy, and provided childcare for a year so the student could finish college. B. provided daily encouragement to Olivia, quieting her fears, and reassurance that her baby–no matter what the circumstances surrounding its arrival–was a gift from God.

After Olivia moved back home from school and shared with me what B. had done for her, she was anxious for me to meet her. A few weeks later B. visited our church, and Olivia introduced us after the service. As I turned to face B., I recognized her immediately from a conference I attended a few years ago. Back then, B. and I took a walk during one of the breaks and shared our lives and what we were learning. After the conference ended we went our separate ways, and as is often the case, her name and details were exported from my mental hard drive to be replaced with data I use every day.

But God knew how He was going to weave this story together. There in church that morning, as I shook B.’s hand and remembered our chat during the conference years ago–and put together what she had done for Olivia, I was overwhelmed with the fact that B. had laid down her life for the life of my grandchild. My response? To dissolve into a flood of tears.

“Children are a gift from the Lord,” the psalmist writes. There are no caveats to that statement. Children are a gift not only when they’ve been planned and prepared for before conception, but also when they come as a surprise. Olivia’s baby is a gift—a gift that we are grateful to welcome and adjust our lives around.

There is never a reason not to choose life. Never. There is always hope, there are always solutions to temporary problems. There’s an old saying that every baby comes with its own loaf of bread. I’ve found that to be true. Over and over.

As a Christian, I know abortion is a sin that can be forgiven. Jesus died for sinners like me. He died to pay the punishment for mothers who’ve had abortions, fathers who’ve paid for them, doctors who have performed them and nurses who’ve assisted in them. Jesus offers forgiveness for everyone guilty of participating in abortion. This is the Gospel, that we can be forgiven and live free from the guilt of our sin.

There are many ways to look at the videos that are coming out, exposing Planned Parenthood as the killing factory that it is. But I pray that the ultimate effect is that Planned Parenthood would be defunded and ultimately taken out of business, doctors and nurses would repent, and children would be protected and treasured by their parents, communities and country. Children are not a burden or an inconvenience, they are a gift from God.


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