Crisis Pregnancy Centers Are Not a Replacement for Planned Parenthood

The newest plan in the anti-abortion play book is the creation of crisis pregnancy centers on steroids that would provide a variety of health services that would supplant the need for Planned Parenthood clinics and other mainstream women’s health centers:

This quote sums up the rationale behind this beefed up crisis pregnancy center model:

The idea…is that a woman can go to a Guiding Star center and find the services she needs for her fertile years under one roof: well-woman care, OB/GYN and birthing services, pregnancy-support services, natural family planning education and fertility care, pharmacy needs, counseling, grief support, adoption resources and even spiritual care with a chapel. Having all the services from vetted partners in a single building owned by Guiding Star, Jacobson pointed out, eliminates gaps between a positive pregnancy test and a doctor’s appointment. It also allows women to get help with lactation or pregnancy difficulties that may make them wary of having another baby.

As usual, this flowery rhetoric sounds wonderful, but these crisis pregnancy centers are never going to replace Planned Parenthood, because of their insistence on treating public health issues through a lens of sin.

Continue reading

More on Communication Problems: the Contraception Edition

The more glaring example of the Catholic church’s inability to communicate with the lay public in the West is the overwhelming resistance to the church’s anti-contraception stance. Prior to Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which reiterated the church’s traditional views on the subject, there had been a great deal of anticipation among Western Catholics, priests, religious, and lay people alike, that the prohibition on birth control would be overturned. In retrospective, this optimism seems naive, but I can’t blame them, since the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control concluded that birth control was not inherently evil. But Paul VI believed that he couldn’t change this teaching because it hadn’t been changed before (circular reasoning, much?). While a minority of conservotrads and traditionalists have decided that having a baseball team worth of kids is the mark of an “orthodox Catholic,” most Western Catholics ignored Humanae Vitae and much of the church’s other teachings on sexual matters, a situation that has gotten worse with the rise of the LGBT rights movement.

Continue reading

What is Natural?

One thing you hear a lot about from religious conservatives in general is how “unnatural” homosexuality is. This argument is particularly common among conservotrad Catholics because of the church’s natural law tradition, which considers homosexuality to be a major breach of the natural law. While most conservative Protestants would prefer to say that homosexuality is “unbiblical” and stop at that, there appears to be a major “ick factor” about LGBT people in conservative Protestant discourse that suggests that they are referencing natural law theory in an indirect way. But what does this really mean for homosexuality to be “natural” or “unnatural”? How can we tell if something, be it homosexuality, artificial contraception, or eyeglasses, is “natural” or not?

Continue reading