Planned Parenthood Uses Hamas Attack to Sell Abortion
On October 7, Israel was the victim of one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in modern history. Heavily armed Hamas gunmen flew or drove into civilian centers and then began slaughtering everybody within reach, including women and children. By the time the massacre was done, over 1,000 Israelis had been killed, thousands more injured, and hundreds taken hostage.
In the face of this appalling attack, Israel quickly responded, launching numerous airstrikes into Hamas-controlled Gaza. As of this writing, it appears that Israel is preparing to invade Gaza, the next stage in what is likely to be a long and brutal war.
The scale of human suffering already unleashed, and likely to be unleashed in coming days, is difficult to fathom. At Human Life International, we are praying for everybody involved in this war, especially for all the families and individuals suffering from these events, as well as praying for a quick solution that secures a just and lasting peace.
Abortion Activists Pounce
When war strikes, much of the world prays for peace and an end to the violence. However, in the immediate aftermath of this terrorist attack and Israel’s response, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) seems most concerned about finding ways to stand in the way of life and increase the body count.
On October 9, IPPF issued a press release expressing their concern that “sexual and reproductive rights must be prioritized now in Palestine.” As is a well-established fact, for Planned Parenthood the phrase “sexual and reproductive rights” includes both contraception and abortion.
Organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)—the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency—see having full and unhindered access to contraception and abortion as a “right” that must be protected even (or rather, especially) during a war. As some activists have said, “Never waste a good crisis” in order to implement measures that would not be possible unless the world’s attention is focused elsewhere.
We saw the same mentality exhibited by these groups during the recent pandemic. The minute COVID began disrupting normal life, they loudly proclaimed about how access to so-called “reproductive rights” was essential. In the face of the pandemic, they claimed, it was necessary to take “emergency” measures to increase access to abortion.
As it turns out, these “emergency” measures were things that the abortion groups had been pushing for years anyway. For them, the pandemic was simply a convenient excuse. Above all, such groups had long advocated for loosening regulations on so-called “telemed” abortions, in which abortionists interview pregnant women through an online webcam, and then mail them abortion pills (mifepristone and misoprostol) to be taken at home.
Unfortunately, during COVID the abortion groups were often successful, with many Western nations loosening regulations on telemed abortions. In many cases, these regulations were not repealed with the end of COVID emergency measures, which, of course, was precisely what the abortion groups intended all along: loosen the regulations for the sake of an “emergency,” and then fight to keep them loose even when the emergency is gone.
Planned Parenthood’s Poisonous “Help”
It is horrifying to consider what pregnant women in Israel and Gaza must be going through at this time, but what is clear is that these mothers absolutely do not need “reproductive care.” While carrying new life, even under the best of circumstances, women are uniquely vulnerable. Excessive stress, for example, can harm the developing child, not to mention cause great suffering for the mother. Hence, there are many legitimate, important gynecological healthcare services that women need. Abortion is not one of them; abortion is not healthcare.
In the midst of these conditions, we need heroic doctors, healthcare workers, and humanitarian organizations who are willing to brave the dangers of war, and to provide lifesaving and life-nurturing care to pregnant women and to mothers and their newborn babies. Women and mothers in Israel and Gaza do not need IPPF’s strategy of introducing life-frustrating or life-taking “services” such as contraception and abortion.
Days ago, the only Planned Parenthood facility in Gaza was destroyed in Israeli airstrikes, and the organization is pleading for donations to rebuild:
Make an emergency gift here: https://t.co/LKcWGeSGOL pic.twitter.com/1fwxBABeor
— IPPF Global (@ippf) October 10, 2023
Abortion is illegal in most cases in Gaza, and Planned Parenthood claims that the Gaza facility did not provide abortions. However, Planned Parenthood also operates a number of centers in the Israeli-controlled West Bank, at least one of which lists “abortion referrals” as a service. In other words, whatever services Planned Parenthood provides, they are always bound up with, and feed into, Planned Parenthood’s overarching anti-life and anti-family agenda.
Furthermore, if there is a way for Planned Parenthood to refer women for, or provide, an abortion, even where it is technically illegal, they will find that way. Unsurprisingly, women have shared their stories of obtaining abortion pills—illegally—with the help of the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA), which is the local Planned Parenthood affiliate. With many online providers now selling abortion pills that can be shipped through the mail, Planned Parenthood can simply provide “information” about such abortion pills and how to obtain them, while dodging ultimate legal responsibility for performing the abortion in jurisdictions where abortion is illegal.
Planned Parenthood in Palestine is not shy about proclaiming their long-term goals. PFPPA has received multiple grants from the Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF). A profile on the SAAF website notes:
PFPPA has been working since 1964, to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare and advocate for women’s rights. Having received two grants from SAAF since 2014, they have been working on the lack of access to safe abortion in the country with a focus on increasing their provision of abortion-related services and advocating at community and national level for changes to the abortion law.
There it is in black and white. Planned Parenthood’s overarching aim is not to help women and children in Palestine, but rather to get a foothold in the region, and then to use their leverage to push for a liberalization of the law. And where they can’t actually change the law, they will get away with what they can, helping women kill their preborn children by referring them to sources of abortion pills, or to centers that do perform abortions.
Compounding the tragedy, is that in nearby Israel, abortion is easily available. In fact, last year Israel significantly loosened their abortion regulations, shortly after the United States Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade. Tragically, Israeli authorities portrayed this change as progress and “modernization.”
An Urgent Need for Legitimate Help
When crisis hits, abortion-minded organizations do not turn their attention to finding creative ways to help families and women to heroically nurture life, but rather towards using the crisis to further their overarching concern to reduce fertility rates and find ways to liberalize laws and social conventions.
I have already mentioned how Planned Parenthood and other abortion organizations responded to COVID. In recent memory, we also saw a similar response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with abortion groups focusing their energies on finding ways to increase the availability of abortion pills in Ukraine. As if there wasn’t enough death!
These organizations believe that the mental and physical stress of welcoming a child under such conditions is simply unacceptable. In the first place, this discredits the memory of the many generations which have done just that, courageously continuing to live, love, and raise families despite the worst conditions imaginable, a true demonstration of what the human spirit is capable of. And in the second place, this knee-jerk, despairing attitude prevents such organizations from making any effort to legitimately help women welcome life. Governments too, seem pleased to take the easy route out, funding organizations that promote abortion, which is “easy” and “cheap,” rather than focusing on the more complex problem of how to promote and nurture life, to authentically help women and mothers.
Throughout the turbulent history of the Middle East, the peoples of Israel and the surrounding nations have continued to endure despite all obstacles, even the ravages of war. Promoting the false doctrine that contraception and abortion are a critical need during wartime shows how far we have fallen from a universal respect for every human life – men, women, and children, including those yet born. At Human Life International, we pray for an enduring peace and for real help for the people of both Israel and Palestine.
We pray as well that Palestinian and Israeli authorities will find ways to provide for the legitimate healthcare needs of women during this war, without having to rely upon insidious organizations like Planned Parenthood and the UNFPA. Even when organizations such as Planned Parenthood offer legitimate assistance with one hand, in the other hand they always bear the knife.
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Father Shenan J. Boquet was ordained in 1993 and is a priest of the Houma-Thibodaux Roman Catholic Diocese in Louisiana, his home state, where he served before joining HLI as its President in August 2011. Father Boquet earned a BA from Saint Joseph Seminary College, a Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Notre Dame Seminary Graduate School of Theology, a Certification Program in Health Care Ethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and a Master of Science in Bioethics (MSBe) from the University of Mary in Bismarck. In 2018, Father Boquet was awarded an honorary visiting professorship by the Benedict XVI Catholic University in Trujillo, Peru. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing email@example.com.