When “Pro-Life” Means “Anti-Birth Control”

Through a link on Ladies Against Feminism, I came upon an article titled Planned Parenthood Targeting Morning Center Patients! I suspected that Morning Center must be some sort of crisis pregnancy center, but I found myself morbidly curious about what the author of the article meant by “targeting,” so I clicked through. 

As many of our supporters and friends know, Morning Center provides a prenatal clinic at Warren Apartments in Memphis. Warren Apartments is a particularly stark picture of the horrible conditions inner city Americans are living in. Great poverty and suffering, mixed with sin and a lack of the Gospel, which has the power to transform lives!

According to their website, Morning Center provides free prenatal and maternal care and employs licensed nurses and obstetricians. Given that high poverty areas often have higher rates of pregnancy complications and infant mortality, I’m all for efforts to provide women in these areas with more pregnancy healthcare options! It would be nice if this didn’t come with a healthy does of guilt and shame (as I very much suspect it does), but hey, at least it’s something.

Morning Center has been working hard to serve the people in this community, and partnering with others to do so. We’ve started a community garden, are helping to lead Bible studies for women and men, helping serve the entire community physically and financially when a fire destroyed and damaged many of their homes, and of course providing our free prenatal clinic, providing quality care to moms and their babies who would otherwise often have no prenatal care. We are striving to show the love of Jesus to this community, and we have seen God work in amazing ways!

I worry, as I stated, that some of these programs may come with a required sermon or a dose of guilt or shame, but honestly, these programs sound great. This sort of a community involvement is an important part of cutting down some of the structural barriers that make poverty so hard to escape. 

Planned Parenthood has been in the news lately, as you know. We’ve written before about how the Morning Center is the antithesis of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood seeks to murder innocent babies and exploit their parents for the sake of lining their own pockets. Morning Center seeks to serve parents and their babies selflessly, at no personal benefit to themselves.

This has got to be one of the most dishonest descriptions of Planned Parenthood I have ever read. Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization, just like Morning Center. It is true that prenatal services are not Planned Parenthood’s focus, but the organization performs more pap smears and breast exams than abortions, and provides an order of magnitude more birth control services and STI tests each than it does abortions.

Planned Parenthood has begun to target Warren Apartments. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as historically Planned Parenthood has always target poor, urban, inner city communities. They practice eugenics proudly, which is utterly shameful.

And now we finally get to the heart of the matter! Planned Parenthood, the author says, is coming into Warren Apartments—Morning Center’s territory—and practicing eugenics, targeting a poor, inner city community! Wait—what does this look like, exactly? 

Planned Parenthood has been coming to Warren Apartments and passing out condoms to the residents. They are doing this in the name of caring and providing care. But nothing could be further from the truth. Planned Parenthood only cares about their own bottom line, and trampling on innocent children to do so.

The horror! Planned Parenthood is—passing out condoms? Sorry, but no, that is not eugenics. And furthermore, I am extremely confused as to how passing out free condoms increases Planned Parenthood’s bottom line, given that condoms help prevent unplanned pregnancies, and a lower number of unplanned pregnancies means a lower number of abortions. That’s some sort of bizarre reverse logic right there! 

Morning Center wants to provide a more well rounded approach. We serve anyone who comes through our door, whether married or not, but we also strive to bring the Gospel into their lives and encourage Biblical principles when it comes to sex, marriage, and children. We don’t just pass out birth control and say “Hope it works, if it doesn’t, you can come to us to “fix the problem”.” We strive to serve women and their babies in all walks of life in a loving and Christ-like manner.

And . . . Morning Center does not appear to provide any birth control services. Apparently a “more well rounded approach” means one that leaves out arming women with the ability to plan their pregnancies. And actually, this strategy makes sense, if you think about it. The more pregnant women in the community, the more people Morning Center has to evangelize. And if those pregnant women are in tight spots because their pregnancy was unplanned? So much the better! After all, God often uses crisis situations to bring people to faith in him.

Remind me who is exploiting these women again?  

By the way, Morning Center is run by Samaritan Ministries, a healthcare sharing organization that does not cover birth control because it considers birth control objectionable for Christians. Samaritan Ministries also promotes the idea that birth control causes cancer and is dangerous to women’s health. 

Want to do more to fight Planned Parenthood than share a video on Facebook? Consider supporting Morning Center. If just 26 individuals or churches committed to give $20 a month for a year, that would completely underwrite the prenatal care and delivery for one of our mamas and babies. What a testimony of how the body of Christ can love the least of these and help them, rather than exploit them, or turn their back on them! Will you join with us today?

You know what? For all my reservations about their side of gospel with your healthcare approach, I was actually feeling fairly positive toward Morning Center at the beginning of this post. Providing free prenatal care to poor inner city women? Bring it on! But Morning Center isn’t simply providing that care, it’s also actively working to prevent poor inner city women from having access to birth control. And it’s not just that they won’t provide these women with birth control, it’s also that they don’t want anyone else providing these women with birth control. And that’s rather horrifying when you think about it.

Interestingly enough, Margaret Sanger started out doing just what Morning Center does—she was a nurse providing prenatal and maternity services in a poor neighborhood. She began founding birth control clinics after watching a patient die of a botched illegal abortion. She came to believe that putting birth control in the hands of poor women gave them the ability to lift their families out of poverty. But then, Morning Center’s goal isn’t lifting women out of poverty, it’s converting them to evangelical Christianity.

Indeed, converting women to their brand of evangelical Christianity appears to be even more important to Morning Center than preventing abortions. After all, any holistic approach to cutting down on the number of abortions has to include improved birth control access. Morning Center attempts to get around this problem by promoting “Biblical principles when it comes to sex, marriage, and children,” but even ending premarital sex entirely wouldn’t eliminate the need for birth control. 

Jesus is not a form of birth control.

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