Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (82), December 9, 1986

God is the Author of Choice

(Times title: “Only God Makes the Choice”)

In her recent letter on this page, Planned Parenthood executive director Nicki Nichols Gamble said the real challenge is “to make abortion less necessary, not less accessible.”

Does Planned Parenthood actually make abortion less necessary?

First of all, they are the largest single provider of abortions in the United States, doing nearly 90,000 a year. And beyond that is the countless number of abortion referrals they make.

Now they believe abortions would be less necessary if there were greater birth control access and education, particularly for teenagers. Thus they have initiated a nationwide campaign for health clinics in public schools that would dispense contraceptives to students.

This leads to a second observation. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Oct. 14, Stanley Weed outlined the results of some honest research that drew on sources such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Alan Guttmacher Institute (which is Planned Parenthood’s research affiliate), and U.S. Census data. He concluded that such clinics which dispense contraceptives do see a lower birth rate (by about seven percent), but only at the cost of a four percent increase in the number of pregnancies, and a 12 percent increase in the number of abortions.

Planned Parenthood’s true philosophy is only concerned with making abortions less necessary as a secondary or tertiary matter. Foremost, they believe in the “god of atomized choice,” where choice is sacred above and beyond unborn human life. On that basis, they would love to see fewer abortions, not because they are against abortion per se, but because of the widespread societal protest against it. It is politics as usual. Their advocacy of contraceptive services in public schools only tacitly ordains pre- and extra-marital sex, and in the process contributes to promiscuity, higher pregnancy rates and much higher abortion rates.

I agree with Mrs. Gamble that, ideally, children born to us should be “wanted and celebrated.” But her world view dispenses with the unwanted, whereas the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives love and acceptance to the unwanted. Her world view seeks to address the messiness of human sorrow by sterile and efficient removal; the Gospel addresses the pain by touching hope in the midst and lifting up all of those who will accept God’s love. Mrs. Gamble’s world view subtracts human life; the Gospel adds life.

God is the author of choice, but he commanded us to choose life, and he warned us against the results of choosing death. The choice is clear.

John C. Rankin, New England Christian Action Council, 11 Pleasant St.