As if those of us in the pro-life community haven’t learned, some recent reading convinced me—again—of two vital truths:
Vital Truth #1: Never count on someone else to do your work for you.
Vital Truth #1 comes from the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case involving Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding. When lawmakers in Louisiana and Kansas studied videos from The Center for Medical Progress where Planned Parenthood execs negotiated the sale of human body parts, they stripped Planned Parenthood of its funding.
The abortion giant sued to get its money and two lower courts sided with them, forcing Louisiana and Kansas to keep the money coming. This week, SCOTUS decided not to take the case further, leaving those rulings in place.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the newest on the Court, sided with the majority, which includes the decidedly liberal wing of the Court and Chief Justice John Roberts. Justice Thomas issued a scathing dissent, siding with Justices Alito and Gorsuch.
In fairness to Kavanaugh and Roberts, the lawsuit is not specifically about abortion. Planned Parenthood enjoys hundreds of millions in funding for non-abortion services, and this lawsuit was—technically—only about non-abortion funding.
However, Kansas and Louisiana claimed—rightly—that Medicaid funds free up money for Planned Parenthood’s abortion business. These two states wanted to shut off the spigot of federal dollars.
Justice Thomas asked, “So what explains the Court’s refusal to do its job here? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood.'”
Does this mean Kavanaugh is decidedly in favor of Roe, or that he is predisposed toward the abortion lobby? Perhaps.
But it is also quite possible Kavanaugh saw this as a procedural matter having nothing to do with abortion. Let’s remember this is only a case about the right to sue. It is not about whether a state should be allowed to defund Planned Parenthood. Other defunding cases are on their way to the Court—we will know more soon.
This does, however, underscore Vital Truth #1: Never count on someone else to do your work for you.
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A part of our mission is to make abortion unthinkable. If we believe the U.S. Supreme Court is going to do our work for us, we need to think again. The Supreme Court can overturn Roe, but it can’t make abortion unthinkable. We, however, can.
Keep in mind: Planned Parenthood can do nothing with its millions if their target audience is rejecting them and instead choosing our ministries for support and hope.
Vital Truth #2: Politics is downstream from the culture.
Vital Truth #2 comes from an opinion piece by Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh. The title? “Republicans Didn’t Defund Planned Parenthood and Never Will. Here’s Why.”
Fact is—and Matt points this out—Republicans told us forever that if we gave them full control of Congress and the White House, they would defund Planned Parenthood. For the last two years, they had this control.
In that time, they never found a way to pass a simple, one-sentence bill to defund Planned Parenthood. There are excuses, of course. There’s not enough space here to record each one.
Read Walsh’s entire piece (it only takes three minutes), but one sentence regarding Republicans pops out: “If they ever solved the problem (of Planned Parenthood funding), they wouldn’t be able to use the problem in their campaign speeches.”
To Walsh, this is all a political game. I find it hard to disagree. Planned Parenthood funding fires up the socially-conservative base of the party every time.
The “Defund Planned Parenthood” mantra is like Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the football. Every year, Lucy shows Charlie Brown a football, saying she will hold said football until he kicks it. And every year, Charlie comes running, only to have Lucy yank the ball away at the last second, sending our comical hero sprawling.
Yes, there are strong pro-life leaders in Washington. Yet there are plenty of Lucy characters, too.
So, Vital Truth #2? Politics is downstream from the culture.
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We are culture-changers. When someone with a past abortion finds healing within our ministry, the culture changes. When a woman or couple chooses life over abortion in our centers, another seed of change is planted.
These seeds, planted each day in more than 2,700 locations across America, grow to create a powerful stream of fruit which will—if we remain faithful—shift our culture. Sooner or later, the political class will catch on to the idea that celebrating and promoting life is central to a thriving society.
One story. One opinion. Two vital lessons.
Each truth leads to a powerful conclusion: Our mission, our work and our influence on this world matters. Let’s not forget it.
And, let’s keep planting.