On my way home from meeting a friend this evening, I sat on the train (subway) with Planned Parenthood propaganda staring me in the face. "Birth control gives me the power to plan my future," they boast. "Planning is power. PPNYC." Ugh!
Outraged, I called my friend Joe, a seminarian and student at Ave Maria University. I expressed my disbelief, being sure that I was within earshot of the other passengers of the train. "What a load of lies!" I exclaimed. I was half tempted to rip the sign down, however I decided it would not be prudent to demonstrate such rage or violence.
Other ads that are a part of this campaign are so bold as to raise birth control to the heights of godliness. "Birth Control makes all my other choices possible," one ad claims. Really!?
These ads are done in the name of "prevention," so says PPNYC on their website. "Planned Parenthood of New York City is proud to present our new campaign to promote birth control usage and reframe the conversation to focus on prevention." They go on to explain that the campaign is in response to a challenge put before them in an op-ed in the Atlanta Constitution recently. This op-ed asked that their programs begin to re-focus on pregnancy prevention.
Never once in these ads is the idea of abstinence mentioned as a means of prevention. Never once are youth, families or other people of child bearing years challenged to exert self-control of their sexuality and to preserve themselves in purity for the sake of marriage. Yet, they boast that they hold the power of humanity in the form of little pills and devices that undermine the true meaning of our sexuality.
So, I began thinking. What really gives us the power to plan our futures? The answer was easy, maybe because my hands were folded around a prayer book based on the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina, my 'easy reading' for a train ride. The answer is faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. Through our willingness to listen to him and devote our lives to him, we truly have the power to plan our lives. This live is one without excuses, pains, sin, suffering or lies.
The campaign of PPNYC only serves to convict me more and more of the absolute, un-excusable responsibility of the pro-life movement to address the problem of contraception. Groups like the Planned Parenthood promote contraception with the hope of gaining customers for abortions when (not if, because it almost always does) fail. In the pro-life movement, we only have the strength for so long to perform a "clean-up" job, that is cleaning up the problem of abortion without destroying the cause of it. In order to spread a message that will effectively answer all of the questions about abortion, sex and the meaning of human life, the questions of "why" must be addressed.
Recommended reading/ listening:
If you like to read, please read "Contraception, why not?" by Janet E. Smith, available here. If you don't like to read or don't have the time, please obtain this talk free of charge on CD or cassette from One More Soul.