The Church, the Poor, and Planned Parenthood

Yesterday, I received this story from a lady associated with the 40 Days for Life-Winston Salem prayer vigil currently underway outside the Winston Salem Planned Parenthood clinic.  I have received permission to share this story and have left it unedited with the exception of changing the names of those mentioned and inserting links to those organizations specifically mentioned.

A young couple with another lady parked in the top lot and walked down the steps while I was praying but they came back up pretty quickly chattering pretty loud and I hollered across the street to see if they would like some help.  They didn’t hesitate-they all came right over.  It seems that “Jim” & “Sally” are homeless and their friend named “Maggie” brought them for a pregnancy test.  I don’t know where Maggie came from-she said she was trying to help them-maybe from a church.  Anyway, they live in a tent in the woods and Sally thought she was pregnant and PP wanted to charge this homeless couple for a pregnancy test so they left.  I gave them the list of pregnancy centers with directions to Salem PCC & Birth Right and also a pamphlet for Room at the Inn.  Jim said “if you can get her off the street that’s great, I’ll stay if you can help her.”  They were very grateful and drove right off to go to the pregnancy care centers and Maggie took my cell phone number.  I assured them of our prayers and told her to call if there is anything else we can do, that  we have a large network of folks willing to help.  Please pray for them!  As they drove off, I was praying the mystery of the Rosary of the Nativity of Our Lord from the Holy Scripture and I thought how they could relate.  They went for help at a place that is supposed to be an advocate for poor or low income women and families (or so they say), and they were turned away-there was no room for them at the non-profit, taxpayer funded “Inn” of Planned Parenthood without $$$$$!  Thankfully I had a pamphlet for Room at the Inn of the Triad who takes them in for free and is run on Christian charity-as well as the pregnancy centers.  Again, please keep Jim and Sally in your prayers and their unborn child if she is indeed pregnant.  Pray that Jim finds work-he said he was looking-pray that Sally gets the real healthcare she needs.

This story helps reveal two things:

  1. The Church’s pro-life stance is full-orbed.  She cares for not simply the unborn children but the pregnant mothers as well, regardless of their socio-economic status or religious affiliation (notice that the lady telling the story didn’t check to make sure the homeless couple were Christians before offering her help).
  2. The idea that PP somehow cares about serving poor women in under-privileged circumstances is a sham.

Letter to the Department of Health and Human Services

I wrote the following letter/email this past Monday to Cynthia Burwell, Read a blog post from Secretary Burwell about Mother’s Day.the Secretary of the (federal) Department of Health and Human Services.  I have yet to receive any notice that they received it or that they intend to perform any actions.  I leave the letter here to let readers determine if I have been uncharitable or untruthful.

Dear Mrs. Burwell,

I’m writing to you as an American citizen who is concerned about the care and protection that is not afforded to a certain demographic of our nation.  And since you are a very accomplished woman who is involved “in work that touches the lives of Americans at every age, from every background, in every part of our country” as stated on your bio on the HHS website, I thought you’d be a natural place to share my concerns. Since you are “committed to the mission of ensuring that every American has access to the building blocks of healthy and productive lives” I know my concerns won’t be treated flippantly or dismissively.

My concern is this: since the release of the expose’ videos on Planned Parenthood concerning the trafficking of the body parts from aborted American babies, I feel that there is no concern at the federal level that has risen to the level of action.  The mistreatment of non-American citizens at Guantanamo Bay rightfully got heavy media coverage and swift governmental response.  So why has there been no statement, no plan of action issued at the federal level?  So please, since these videos demonstrate serious ethical and procedural breaches on the part of Planned Parenthood (involving the killing of human beings), and Planned Parenthood receives funds from American tax-payers, I implore you from the heart of all it means to be human, launch an investigation/inquiry into this mercenary, Frankenstein-esque organization and the affiliate offices in question. 

While I happen to be a Christian citizen, I hope you will not, as I stated above, treat this dismissively as if I am simply some fiery-eyed, shibboleth-launching conservative.  But as a Christian, I do believe that you have been placed by the Hand of Providence in your office for such a time as this.  As the health and human services arm of the executive branch, you have been endowed with an authority to be “not a terror to good conduct, but to bad (Romans 13.3).”  The duty to appeal to my superiors is mine to fulfill.  The duty of your office to protect the weakest and voiceless among the American people is yours.  To do nothing at this point is to be complicit in the barbarism happening behind clinical doors.

If you would like to schedule a visit to have a sort of “town hall” kind of meeting in our community, the information that your website requests is below my signature at the bottom of the email.  Our location for calling such a meeting would be an advantage because we are situated between the Piedmont Triad (Winston-Salem, High Point, Greensboro) and the greater Charlotte area.  I look forward to hearing from your office as to what actions or plan of action you will take. 


Kirk Blankenship