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Rev. Chuck Freeman Headshot

Planned Parenthood Funding: A Religion of Control versus A Religion of Life

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"The problem of mass poverty, mass starvation, the mass deaths of children and infants every year from a simple lack of proper nourishment is not normal, is not 'life'... It is a condition traceable solely and specifically to patriarchal religion."

This analysis is from a thick volume I read in the early 90's which had a profound impact on me titled, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth by Sjoo and Mor. The authors continue.

"The antiabortion movement in America calls itself 'pro life.' In fact it is 'pro fetus' period. Championing the fetus is easy...What is hard is to change the world, so that millions and millions of children have a chance for some kind of qualitative life after they are born -- this is the only genuine pro life work.

When one reads the total gestalt of the antiabortionist movement in America, it is clear to see that the average 'pro lifer' is not pro-life at all, certainly not pro-quality life. Rather, they are pro-control."

This week Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a law that will cut off about $2 million of the $3 million Planned Parenthood of Indiana receives annually in federal funds and make Indiana the first state to prohibit the use of Medicaid at Planned Parenthood. It also gives Indiana some of the strictest abortion rules in the nation. For example, doctors would be required to tell patients that life begins at fertilization and that a fetus can feel pain at or before 20 weeks.

Republican leadership has a multilevel marketing strategy from the state to federal arenas to attack Planned Parenthood .

Cecile Richards, national president of Planned Parenthood confirms Sjoo & Mor's assessment. Appearing on Democracy Now! Richards said.

"The House leadership in Congress has basically just declared war on women, really from day one... they're basically trying to end family planning and access to birth control in America. The Republican budget that came out basically gets rid of the nation's Family Planning Program. There will be an amendment to basically end all federal funds going to Planned Parenthood.

Less than 10 percent of our services are related to abortion. In fact, more than 90 percent of Planned Parenthood's care is preventive care. We provide birth control to about two-and-a-half million people every year. We do almost a million cancer screenings for breast exams, as well as cervical cancer screenings. We're now one of the largest providers of STD testing and treatment in the country."

Sjoo & Mor's conclusion calls up a foul visual 'a-ha' moment for me. I vividly recall in 2003 when the federal law was signed to make intact dilation and extraction a crime. Every single person gathered around the table was a white male. Congressman Boehner & Gov. Daniels has the same profile.

"The fundamentalist men...are not involved in a religion of Life, but in a religion of male control."

"Where does life begin?" they inquire.

"Life does not begin. It is always here. Nature is alive from the beginning. Life does not emerge from us, we emerge from it. Pregnancy and childbirth are ritual passages ofeternal life through the bodies of autonomous women."