“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30)
Planned Parenthood has been a very hot topic of late. With the recently released videos of Planned Parenthood executives admitting to selling off the organs and various body parts of late term abortions many have been calling for Government to stop funding such an organization. Why the Government should be funding a “for profit” enterprise of any kind is suspect enough, but one which makes a good portion of its profits from the slaughter of innocent babies, even those that would be viable outside the womb, is utterly despicable.
I could spend forever ranting about the evil of abortion. It is evil. It needs to stop. But for now, I’d like to focus on another aspect of Planned Parenthood: birth control to teenagers, without parental knowledge or consent.
A little while ago I was talking to a friend about Planned Parenthood. I expressed my disdain that such an organization, which profits off of abortion, would be funded by tax payer’s money. My friend disagreed saying, “But Planned Parenthood does more than just abortions, such as provide birth control. Especially for teenage girls that most likely don’t feel comfortable talking about sex to their parents. If your daughter were going to start having sex, wouldn’t you prefer that she use birth control rather than risk getting pregnant?”
I didn’t really respond to that question right away. I didn’t really have a good answer for it off the top of my head. On the surface my friend’s point seemed quite valid. I certainly wouldn’t want my teenage daughter to get pregnant out of wedlock. That could be disastrous for her. What would that mean for her education or future employment opportunities? What about her future family life? She would forever be tied to the father of the illegitimate child. Would she end up marrying him? Would he be a good man, or would he be a complete loser. If she didn’t marry him would she ever find any other guy that would want to marry her? And none of that speaks to the enormous responsibility that comes with raising a child, responsibility that most teenagers are not equipped to deal with. I wouldn’t want any of that for my daughter.
And yet there is still something about that argument that didn’t sit right with me.
It didn’t seem right that I should have to accept an organization which slaughters innocent babies, not to mention subsidizing teenage promiscuity without parental knowledge or consent, simply out of fear that my daughter might otherwise make a horrible mistake that would “ruin her life”.
First of all, it assumes that it is inevitable that my daughter will start having premarital sex as a teenager, and would feel uncomfortable talking to us, her parents, about it. I might be a hopelessly naïve and optimistic parent, but I’d like to think that I’d be so awesome at this parenting thing that my daughter (who is due to be born any day now) would feel comfortable talking to us about anything. I’d like to think that my daughter would respect us enough to heed our advice about saving sex for marriage.
But, I suppose it’s true that even if I were the greatest father there ever was, I could not guarantee that my child would not rebel against my wisdom. Look at God, he is in actuality the greatest father there ever was, and the Old Testament is full of story after story about how His children, the nation of Israel, rebelled against Him over and over again.
So for the sake of argument, let’s assume that my daughter is not the perfect angel that I assume she is in my mind. What if she did decide to start having pre-marital sex as a teenager? Wouldn’t I want there to be a resource like Planned Parenthood to at least keep her safe?
No, actually, I don’t.
Planned Parenthood providing birth control is not “keeping her safe”, it would in fact be blinding her, and me, from the most grave danger of all: unrepentant sin leading her to eternal damnation.
Yes, it would be bad if she got pregnant at 16. But it would be even worse if she fell deeper into sin and lost her soul.
If she could secretly get birth control, without me ever knowing about it, she could go through her entire teenage years hiding that sin from me, and in so doing hide that sin from herself. She could continue in her sin without immediate fear of terrible consequence. Sure, she wouldn’t get pregnant. She could go off to college (where her promiscuity would probably get even worse). She might someday find a “decent” guy, get married, have children at a respectable age, and go on to lead a seemingly normal life.
But she would very likely never have to come to terms with that sin that she let enter into her life. She would likely never feel the remorse for her sin, and never be called to repentance. There would be a rift between her and God that might never get bridged. She may live a life that, from the outside, looked decent and normal. She might even be able pass for a good Christian woman. But on the inside, how strong would her faith really be? Would she even have any real faith, or would it all just be a show for my benefit and the benefit of others?
Like I already mentioned, getting pregnant as a teenage would be terrible. It would bring her enormous challenges in life. But that’s kind of the point. Sin should have terrible consequences. The consequences should be life altering. The consequences should be so drastic so as to be a proverbial “wake-up call”. The consequences should be such that the true nature of the sin is brought front and center, impossible to hide from, where the sinner is forced to come to terms with who he or she is and what he or she has done.
As difficult as an unwanted pregnancy would be, it could very likely be the one thing that could save my daughter’s life. She could not hide it from me or my wife. Her sin, specifically the consequences of her sin, would be on public display for all to see. She would be forced to feel the shame. She would be forced to see her sin for what it truly is. And it would be much more likely for her to be brought to her knees in repentance.
But then something truly remarkable would happen. She would not only learn the true enormity of her sin, but she would learn the true value of grace. She would learn the meaning of unconditional love as her mother and I, while being disappointed, would still open our arms with love and wrap them around her. She would learn the meaning of forgiveness; not only my forgiveness, but more importantly God’s forgiveness.
It’s true that she would still have all the difficulties and challenges of being a young unwed mother, but she would be facing those challenges with the strength of Almighty God inside her. She would have hard times for sure, but those hard times would only strengthen her in her faith and drive her closer to God until she is finally called to spend eternity basking in His radiant glory.
It is true that nothing is a guarantee. There is no guarantee that someone promiscuous early in life might not still come to repentance later in life and find eternal life. There is no guarantee that a teenager forced to deal with an unwanted pregnancy will be called to repentance. But it is true that sin allowed to live in the shadows will breed more sin, and it is better to cast the light onto the darkness than to leave it dark. As Jesus said, “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” He isn’t speaking about literally amputating yourself; He is talking about ridding your life of anything that causes you to sin. If secret birth control is enabling a teenage girl to live in sin it should be cast aside, it is better for a pregnancy to bring an end to sin, than for “safe sex” to lead her into hell.
So my answer is no, I would not want my teenage daughter to be “safe” about her sex life using birth control from Planned Parenthood. If the alternative is teenage pregnancy, I would prefer that. I would rather my daughter have a difficult life that leads her to salvation, than an easy life that leads to eternal damnation.
P.S. Before anyone accuses me of being sexist for picking on teenage girls, it is true that what I have written above tends to focus on girls. It is a simple fact of biology that girls have to worry more about the consequence of pregnancy more so than boys, but much of what I said could easily apply to the boy that has gotten the girl pregnant. In as much as it can possibly apply, what I have written should also be assumed to be speaking toward teenage boys as well.
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