Tag Archives: Planned Parenthood

Church sounds off with Planned Parenthood executive

By Tracy Simmons

Bethany Presbyterian Church wants to talk about the heated issues impacting Spokane.

That’s why members launched Sounding Board last month, a monthly speaker series that creates conversations around contemporary subjects, said the Rev. Paul Rodkey.

On Wednesday the group heard from Karl Eastlund, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, who said people wrongly assume abortions are the organization’s main focus.

He said abortions make up 5 percent of the services Planned Parenthood provides, 13 percent is sexually transmitted disease screening and 82 percent of its efforts focus on family planning and annual exams.

“Unfortunately we do have a marketing and an image problem, so we have not been able to sell to the public, to inform them of the services we do as much as we’d like to” Eastlund said, after a church member asked why the organization seems to be so unpopular. Mainly, he added, because the organization would rather spend their money on serving the community than marketing.

Planned Parenthood recently made headlines when the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced it would no longer fund grants to the organization. Later, the foundation recanted its announcement.

Eastlund said the reversal came because Planned Parenthood supporters spoke up.

“The public was really strong about who they thought was in the right on that issue, and it was Planned Parenthood. And it was Planned Parenthood by a landslide,” Eastlund said.

He said the public’s outcry, along with President Barack Obama’s health care mandate proves “there is hope,” even though there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“For me it’s really an equality issue,” Eastlund said. “This past couple of months have been a great opportunity for the supporters of Planned Parenthood to say ‘we’ve had enough’ and to stand up and to speak very loudly about the fact that this (birth control) is a social justice issue and it’s really a basic equality issue. And until we get past that and win that battle, I think there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in that area.”

He said although abortion and contraception have taken the public’s eye, the focus needs to also be on educating teenagers about STDs and safe sex. Spokane, he said, is ranked 22nd in teen pregnancy and has the fifth highest number of teenagers with Chlamydia. Nationally, he said 41 percent of teenagers know little or nothing about condoms, and 75 percent know little or nothing about contraceptive pills.

“There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done in Spokane,” Eastlund said.

He said churches, like Bethany, can help by boldly speaking up for Planned Parenthood and for by working with their youth in creative ways to prevent teenage pregnancies.

Tiffany Nakagawa, who organized the church’s Sounding Board, said these forums are designed to help the church step outside of its four walls and pay attention to what’s happening in the community and in the world.

“Knowledge is important,” she said. “But knowing what to do with that knowledge is more important.”

A forum won’t be held in April because of Easter, but in May the forum will focus on marriage equality in Washington.

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BRIEF: Church to host Planned Parenthood leader

By Tracy Simmons

Karl Eastlund/Courtesy of Planned Parenthood

Karl Eastlund, president of the Great Washington and North Idaho Planned Parenthood, will speak Wednesday at Bethany Presbyterian Church about justice issues surrounding women’s reproductive health.

The discussion, which begins at 6:45 p.m., is part of the church’s monthly speaker series.

The public is invited to attend and participate in the discussion. Child care will be provided.

Sound Off: Was Komen right or wrong?

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation caused quite a stir this week when the organization announced it would no longer fund Planned Parenthood. Today that announcement was reversed and founder Nancy Brinker apologized, noting that people were presuming the charity pulled its funding for political reasons.

The issue got SpokaneFAVS contributors thinking:

Time for pro-life advocates to take a stand
By Contributor Eric Blauer

Pastor Eric Blauer

Susan B. Komen is in the midst of a public relations battle since it chose to stop funding Planned Parenthood and now has slightly receded on that decision.

If you are a pro-life supporter then it’s time to step up to the plate and make your position clear to this organization and others: that life advocates will financially support those who refuse to fund abortion services.

Pro-choice advocates are rallying to shame and punish this organization through mass media, congressional pressure and Internet blitzkriegs. They are saying it’s all in the name of women’s health; primarily the loss of access to breast exams, but the reality is they are fighting for abortion rights, unlimited access and funding.

I think the breast exam angle is a smokescreen and the pro-life community needs to step up, make their voices heard and openly communicate their commitment to women, babies and life.

Women’s Health for Planned Parenthood is nothing more than a Trojan horse for a multi-million dollar industry funded primarily through abortion.

The support of life from conception, through pregnancy and after birth has been at the core of true health care since antiquity:

The oath of Hippocrates (460-357 BC):

“…Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion.”

Don’t be intellectually bamboozled, socially bullied and culturally cornered by the progressive media machine.

It’s time to support those organizations that truly care for women, health and life.

It’s not about abortion
By Contributors  Jim and Andy CastroLang

Rev. Jim CastroLang

Whenever the position on abortion colors any public discussion, it makes us uncomfortable.  We find the extremes on both sides who dominate the conversation care little about facts or sharing some honest or deep perspective.  They care about protecting their turf and mortally wounding their opponents. We are not sure there is any helpful way to enter this kind of conversation.

We believe the Susan G. Komen Foundation had some pressure from within and without to withdraw support for Planned Parenthood.  The foundation did not decide this on the merits and only used the congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood as a foil in their reasoning.  Fortunately, the outcry from women across the country accomplished something important.  Since the political pressure was now coming from two directions it allowed Komen to get centered again and remember why they funded Planned Parenthood in the first place.  This funding is not the place to have the abortion debate as none of this funding had anything remotely to do with abortion or a woman considering an abortion.

As  pastors, we see no moral issue to debate here.  Helping prevent breast cancer and treating those with breast cancer in the early stages are good things.  Oh yes, there is one moral issue here —  staying centered in who you are at the core of your being, staying aware of your core values and not letting political pressures and fear tactics blow you off course.  Susan G. Komen forgot about its core for a few days.  Fortunately, the American public and especially the women who have seen the good work that was being threatened,  helped Komen to remember its central  mission. Today is a good day!

As for the abortion debate, not relevant here.  It will always be important to discuss the complexities and the depth of feeling on this concern.  Both of us are strongly pro-life and pro-choice but we believe it will never be right to legislate away women’s rights to control over their own bodies.  This week and this issue of Komen and Planned Parenthood is the wrong place for the conversation on women’s rights and what it means to be pro-life and pro-choice.  Thank God sanity was restored at the Susan G. Komen Foundation.