Southern Baptist Leaders Respond to Planned Parenthood President Calling Abortion ‘Vital’ to Company’s Mission

Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards speaks at an event to publicly endorse U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Hooksett, New Hampshire, January 10, 2016.

Planned Parenthood’s rejection of a White House offer to maintain federal funding if it drops its abortion business demonstrates how important the lethal procedure is to the organization, Southern Baptist leaders said.

The informal proposal and the refusal — reported March 6 by The New York Times — came as Congress and President Trump consider legislation to cut funds for the country’s scandal-plagued, leading abortion provider. Both a budget bill and a new health-care replacement measure proposed in the House of Representatives would slash funds for Planned Parenthood, which receives more than $500 million annually in government grants and reimbursements.

Planned Parenthood’s top officers were unequivocal in their opposition to eliminating abortion after The Times reported the outreach to the organization’s allies.

“Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion — a necessary service that’s as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings,” tweeted Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) March 6.

The rejection of the offer reveals “that without abortion, there would be no Planned Parenthood,” Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore told Baptist Press in written comments.

Planned Parenthood “is not a ‘health-care’ organization but a storefront for an industry that devalues human life and exploits families and communities,” said Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).

“This is just another example of why Planned Parenthood deserves not a penny of taxpayer funding,” he said. “I pray that we will see the day soon when federal support of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry is seen as a piece of history from a bygone, more morally confused time.”

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a well-known cultural commentator, said the development shows Planned Parenthood is “monomaniacally committed to abortion. They are the central agency of the culture of death in this society.”

“[W]hat Planned Parenthood is saying here is that their values are the values of abortion,” Mohler said on the March 8 episode of “The Briefing,” his weekday podcast. “To what extent? To an extent that they will put at risk half a billion dollars of taxpayer money in annual funding because they are so committed to abortion.”

In another Twitter response March 6, PPFA’s Richards said, “We won’t back down in the face of threats or intimidation, or turn our backs on the patients who count on us. Not today, tomorrow, not ever.”

Dawn Laguens, PPFA’s executive vice president, tweeted March 6, “Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept.

“Also, say it with me folks: Abortion is health care,” Laguens tweeted later in the day.

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Tom Strode