A Response to the Planned Parenthood Revelations

I’m thankful for the privilege of serving in a ministry that has nothing to hide. After all, why would anyone hide life-saving compassion for helpless babies and vulnerable women?

First Image stands in stark contrast to the abortion industry, which is busy diving into the darkness vainly trying to rationalize and legitimize its dehumanizing practices.

Certainly you’ve seen and heard the outrage regarding the exposure of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in “harvesting” the organs of aborted babies. Many voices are calling for defunding the abortion giant’s pipeline to half a billion of our tax dollars. We’ll see to what extent the American public’s conscience will awaken to the harm that the abortion industry has perpetrated against women and babies for over four decades.

In a recent Breakpoint article, Eric Metaxas challenged Planned Parenthood:

“If there’s “nothing to see here” and nothing-out-of-the-ordinary going on (in the harvesting of the organs from aborted babies), then I have a suggestion: Let us take a look…All we’re doing is asking for transparency, especially since our tax dollars go to support your organization (i.e., Planned Parenthood).”  

Whether we call it ironic or hypocritical, Planned Parenthood has attempted to legislate against pregnancy resource centers in Oregon in order to keep women from seeing their babies in ultrasounds in our centers. Why? Because they know that the majority of women (over 90% in our Portland centers) who see their baby on ultrasound will choose to give birth to their child. It’s as if the scales of selfishness fall from their eyes, and their sacrificial maternal love is awakened when they see the beating heart of their own flesh and blood.

They choose to nurture and birth that heart rather than unknowingly turn it over to the harvesters.

Planned Parenthood is working hard to hide. They hide their own practices. They are trying to hide the compassionate life-giving work of pregnancy resource centers.

First Image is committed to uncovering the gift of life in the womb, unveiling the hope of life in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we offer these services to women and men.

While Planned Parenthood receives half a billion dollars of public money while hiding what they do, First Image and other PRC’s serve thousands in our community without public funding because people like you are living out your conviction that every baby is created in God’s image, and that all of us who are already born are called to love them and their moms by providing resources so they can give life to them, rather than abort them.’

We are free to be transparent. We have nothing to hide. For years, Planned Parenthood has sent fake clients into our centers to try to “catch” us doing something they can use to justify bringing legal or legislative action against us. Since they can’t find anything, they have consistently resorted to misrepresentation of our motivations and practices.

In 2010, a reporter from the Portland Mercury admitted that we are not as we have been portrayed:

“In my own experience faking pregnancy at two of the Pregnancy Resource Centers of Greater Portland, I found the staff both compassionate about my liberal beliefs and upfront about the services they don’t provide.” 

These attempts to undermine us have all failed because all we do is recruit, educate, equip and mobilize God’s compassionate people to serve and give and help women, babies and men to see the truth about their pregnancy, about God’s design for relationships, and the good news that Jesus Christ came to forgive and free us from the slavery of our past choices against God and His ways.

Our neighbors need deliverance from the false hopes of the abortion industry. As Russell Moore has said, “It’s time that the reborn stand up for the unborn.”

The women, babies and men in our communities need to have greater awareness about the life-giving mission of First Image. They need to have greater access to the life-saving ministry of our compassionate volunteers, staff and nurses, who offer them ultrasounds, and vital referrals and resources.

I confess it is not my first (or second) impulse to pray for those working in and for Planned Parenthood, but to follow Jesus, and for the protection of my own soul from hatred and self-righteousness, I do. I invite you to join me. Pray that the Lord will awaken all those whose conscience is fried to be tenderized and broken over the travesty that we have fostered through our disconnection from the Image of God in the lives of our vulnerable neighbors.

We’re thankful to be able to serve thousands in greater Portland every year. At the same time, there are thousands more who need the transparency and truth and grace we bring. Now is the time to stop hiding our compassion, our conviction and our courage to bring our city back to life.

Bringing Portland Back to Life,

Larry Gadbaugh