by Andrea Moury
At their annual convention this week, the largest Protestant denomination in the US officially condemned Planned Parenthood, calling for the organization to be criminally charged and cut off from federal funds.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which includes roughly 15 million Americans, adopted ten new resolutions at this year’s convention. The resolution titled “On Defunding and Investigating Planned Parenthood” was approved on Tuesday and released by the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) on Wednesday. The following are just a few of the 13 points the resolution makes:
WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates were responsible for 328,348 abortions in America in fiscal year 2015/16, according to its latest annual report, representing an increase of more than 4,300 abortions from the prior year, making PPFA and its affiliates America’s leading abortionists
WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood’s total revenues in fiscal year 2015/16 were $1.354 billion, including $555 million from federal government funding, record highs for both categories, resulting in a profit of $77 million
WHEREAS, In July 2015, investigative journalists with the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) began releasing a series of undercover videos in which various senior leaders of Planned Parenthood spoke in astonishingly frank, horrific, and euphemistic ways about unborn babies, their use of illegal abortion methods, and their harvesting of tissues and organs of unborn babies to further profit from the practice of abortion
WHEREAS, The U.S. House of Representatives Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee have each made criminal referrals to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation after each found evidence that Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry may have violated federal law by the use of illegal abortion methods, including late-term, partial-birth, and born-alive abortions, and the procurement of fetal tissue for profit
ERLC President Russell Moore said protection of human life and dignity was one of his commission’s top priorities last year:
Over the last year, if there is one thing that has become more clear, it is that Planned Parenthood is no friend to women, no friend to children, and no friend to life and human dignity.
Moore denounced government funding of Planned Parenthood, saying, “We live in an age in which our own government subsidizes the piracy and grave-robbing of defenseless infants who have no voice at all.”
SBC leaders agreed with Moore and pledged to take several steps to thwart Planned Parenthood’s actions:
We denounce the immoral agenda and practices of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates, especially their role in the unjust killing each year of more than 300,000 precious unborn babies, its use of particularly gruesome illegal abortion methods, and its profiteering from harvesting unborn babies’ tissues and organs
We urge the United States Congress to defund Planned Parenthood immediately and completely of all federal government support and that all state and local government funding that supports Planned Parenthood be withdrawn immediately and permanently
We urge the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue criminal charges against Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates for their use of illegal abortion methods, trafficking in and profiting from the harvesting of unborn babies’ tissues and organs, and any other actions that may be in violation of federal law
SBC’s “Position Statements” includes a passage on the sanctity of life:
Procreation is a gift from God, a precious trust reserved for marriage. At the moment of conception, a new being enters the universe, a human being, a being created in God’s image. This human being deserves our protection, whatever the circumstances of conception.
Mentioning the defense of life at the very bottom of a long web page of positions is one thing, but by publicly calling out Planned Parenthood by name and launching a national campaign aimed at prosecuting and defunding the abortion provider, the SBC certainly seems to be practicing what they preach.
Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0