By Jessica Fraser
As I walked by the cafeteria last week, I couldn’t help noticing an array of chalk-writing all over the sidewalk promoting pro-life. Phrases such as “Planned Parenthood lies” and “Choose life” made it clear as to what stance the writers were taking. My initial thought when I saw the writing was: why? Why would anyone ever waste his or her time campaigning for pro-life on an already pro-life campus?
My second thought was full of frustration as I thought about how ignorant Christians can be. If we want to be taken seriously in this world, we must get our facts straight before opening our mouths and protesting about something we know little about. Yes, I realize that Planned Parenthood offers abortion services, and I want to make it clear that I am against abortion. But are we aware that abortion makes up only three percent of the services they provide?
According to Planned Parenthood’s Medical Services Summary, contraception is the main service the organization offers, making up 35 percent of the total services. I understand that contraception is a touchy topic as well, but contraceptives prevent unwanted pregnan- cies, which prevent abortion, which makes our chalk protes- tors happy. The second largest service provided by Planned Parenthood is STI/STD testing and treatment. According to the Medical Services Summary, this service makes up 34 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services and includes HIV testing procedures for both men and women. I have a hard time seeing how this could ever be a bad thing. In addition to providing contraception and STI/STD testing and treatment, 17 per- cent of Planned Parenthood’s services are in cancer screening and prevention.
In addition, 10 percent of their services include other women’s health services such as pregnancy tests, and one percent of their services are listed as “other,” which include adoption referrals.
So even though three percent of Planned Parenthood’s services involve abortion, I hope we can understand that this means that 97 percent of their services do not.
So now that we can see that not everything that Planned Parenthood does is evil, I want to explain why certain types of protesting, such as writing in chalk to get a message across, are not effective.
I think that as Christians it is necessary to be careful how we politically protest. Let’s face it: most people going to Planned Parenthood don’t want to be there. Many people who are contemplating abortion wish they didn’t have to. Christians need to be careful in how they protest these organizations so that they don’t lose the op- portunity to minister to people in real need. I think it can be dangerous to be soapbox Christians. We should seek to meet people in whatever trouble they find themselves; this will win over screaming voices, or chalk on the sidewalks of a Christian campus, any day.