I'm a Mormon and I Stand with Planned Parenthood #standwithPP

I am an active, believing temple recommend holding member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I am also a board member of the c4 arm of the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

These two things are not a contradiction.


As my Church teaches, I am morally opposed to abortion except in the instances of rape, incest, and extreme endangerment to the mother. I will never personally have an abortion except in those cases. Indeed, even if I ever find myself in any of those situations, I’m not sure that abortion would be my choice.

However, I also believe the Constitution of the United States is an inspired document and I believe its authors — our Founding Fathers — got it right when they separated Church and State. Hence neither my or anyone else’s religious beliefs should define policy. I recognize that not all Americans share my moral beliefs on abortion and therefore I follow the Clinton school of though: that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. It’s not government’s job to legislate rarity. That is the job of education and prevention. Both services, incidentally, happen to be provided by Planned Parenthood.

Try a little exercise: have you lived someplace where everyone isn’t majority Mormon? I have. Have you lived someplace where the majority believe differently than you? I have. Have you lived someplace where the majority are not only a different religion but majority non Christian? I haven’t but put yourself in another’s shoes. Do you really want the law of where you live to force the practice of religious beliefs that are different than yours? I don’t. So why should yours or mine or anyone else’s religious beliefs determine what a woman can and can’t do with her body in the eyes of the law? It shouldn’t. 

Even though my religious beliefs are otherwise, I will fight with every breath I have for a woman to have the right to make the choice that is best for her. I will fight with every breath I have to make sure that if she chooses abortion, that she has safe options within a reasonable distance of her home.

It is immoral and wrong to place your religious beliefs ahead of another’s when it comes to policy. This is why I proudly stand with Planned Parenthood.


Now, Planned Parenthood is so much more than simply a provider of abortions and defender of a woman’s right to choose. Through my service on the Utah board, I have come to see that Planned Parenthood is rather amazing. Planned Parenthood provides factual, necessary sex education (which has been proven by many studies to be a major, if not the #1, preventer of unwanted pregnancies). PP provides reproductive health services for women AND men, with and without healthcare. PP is a full-service OB-GYN facility. A doctor at a PP facility can administer your annual pap smear, install an IUD, prescribe birth control pills, and treat an STD, among many other services. I often tell people that I wish there was a similar organization to PP that provides general healthcare, not just reproductive services, for those without insurance. PP provides materials and education necessary for safe sex. PP actively advocates for freedom in reproductive health. I can’t even list all of the positive initiatives perpetuated by PP. Spend an hour on their website, and you will leave impressed. Further, a PP staffer will never try to pressure a woman away from adoption or keeping a child and towards an abortion. They will simply educate the woman on her options and support her in whatever choice she makes. 

I know several LDS women who have needed abortions in the cases of rape, incest, and endangerment. Two are very close to me. One was my former Young Women’s president, who had to abort her fallopian tube pregnancy. Once upon a time, when I was a politically conservative teenager, I judged her for her choice. I thought it was better that she died then kill a baby (even though that baby wouldn’t have been able to live). I have since repented for this horrific, horrific sin of judgment and I am grateful for Christ’s Atonement that enables me to repent for my past sins. The other woman is a former elected official and dear friend. I am very glad that both of these women are alive and they are only alive because abortion is safe and legal. Without their abortions, they would have died with their pregnancies and never would have never my life. 

Why am I writing this post now? Because there are lies being perpetuated on the internet.  Heavily-edited videos supposedly shows a senior Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA, the mama organization) staffer negotiating the sell of fetal tissue resulting from abortion. Another video shows bloody footage of abortions. Rule #1 of the internet: don’t believe everything you see and read. The video is a lie. 10 times the staffer states PPFA doesn’t sell fetal tissue for profit, and in all 10 instances, this was edited out of the video. Yes, a woman may legally donate the fetal tissue in some states, and in those states where this is legal, PPFA affiliates follow all laws and established ethical practices and in 0 of those cases does the PPFA affiliate benefit financially from the donation. And yes, the staffers tone is terrible and PPFA has apologized. Utah law states that fetal tissue cannot be donated and must be sent to a state pathologist; therefore, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah does not have a tissue donation program. 

We Mormons “believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men.” We Mormons also believe in the importance of agency and freedom. Act with honesty and stop circulating and believing a video based on lies. The creators of this lie are likely to release more videos. Don’t believe them. As a lover of truth, seek out the facts. While I’m on the topic, my dear, fellow Mormons, it’s time for us to fight for real religious freedom. Religious freedom isn’t just taking government out of religious beliefs and practices, it’s also taking religion out of government.


More info from Planned Parenthood of Utah: http://ppacutah.org/response-to-false-video-attacks-on-planned-parenthood/ 

Showing 33 reactions

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  • Julie Danielson
    commented 2015-08-05 18:56:03 -0700
    I am stunned at the support this author has for abortion. I feel I need to share a quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks (albeit lengthy, please bear with me), that explains and outlines arguments against this post’s reasons for supporting abortion (not to mention the Savior’s commandment “Thou shalt not kill.” As far as a temple recommend goes, I would feel ashamed to stand before the Savior and explain support for mothers brutally killing their babies in the womb. Further, it is an excommunicable offense in the LDS Church Handbook to encourage or facilitate abortions.

    At any rate, Elder Oaks states:

    “The slogan or sound bite “pro-choice” has had an almost magical effect in justifying abortion and in neutralizing opposition to it.

    Pro-choice slogans have been particularly seductive to Latter-day Saints because we know that moral agency, which can be described as the power of choice, is a fundamental necessity in the gospel plan. All Latter-day Saints are pro-choice according to that theological definition. But being pro-choice on the need for moral agency does not end the matter for us. Choice is a method, not the ultimate goal. We are accountable for our choices, and only righteous choices will move us toward our eternal goals.

    In this effort, Latter-day Saints follow the teachings of the prophets. On this subject our prophetic guidance is clear. The Lord commanded, “Thou shalt not … kill, nor do anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6). The Church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience. Our members are taught that, subject only to some very rare exceptions, they must not submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for an abortion. That direction tells us what we need to do on the weightier matters of the law, the choices that will move us toward eternal life.

    In today’s world we are not true to our teachings if we are merely pro-choice. We must stand up for the right choice. Those who persist in refusing to think beyond slogans and sound bites like pro-choice wander from the goals they pretend to espouse and wind up giving their support to results they might not support if those results were presented without disguise.

    For example, consider the uses some have made of the possible exceptions to our firm teachings against abortion. Our leaders have taught that the only possible exceptions are when the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, or when a competent physician has determined that the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy or that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But even these exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. Because abortion is a most serious matter, we are counseled that it should be considered only after the persons responsible have consulted with their bishops and received divine confirmation through prayer.

    Some Latter-day Saints say they deplore abortion, but they give these exceptional circumstances as a basis for their pro-choice position that the law should allow abortion on demand in all circumstances. Such persons should face the reality that the circumstances described in these three exceptions are extremely rare. For example, conception by incest or rape—the circumstance most commonly cited by those who use exceptions to argue for abortion on demand—is involved in only a tiny minority of abortions. More than 95 percent of the millions of abortions performed each year extinguish the life of a fetus conceived by consensual relations. Thus the effect in over 95 percent of abortions is not to vindicate choice but to avoid its consequences. 1 Using arguments of “choice” to try to justify altering the consequences of choice is a classic case of omitting what the Savior called “the weightier matters of the law.” Source: January 2001 Ensign
  • Paula Taylor
    commented 2015-08-05 15:24:06 -0700
    I had a temple recommend interview this Sunday and will answer the same questions tonight that I did then. The question is (not word for word) “do you support or affiliate with any group or organization whose teachings or practices are contrary to the teachings of the gospel?”

    I will not stand for or with any organization that supports abortion. Not only because I would lose the sacred priveledge of attending the Lord’s temple by doing so.

    Does PP do a lot to assist with the gyn care of women? Absolutely. And that’s laudible. But just because they do those things, it does not overshadow the absolute evil they do.

    As an example: Adolf Hiltler was welcomed with open arms by Germany and Austria. He did much good for his people by providing for their physical needs and creating a national identity. He won the elections by a huge landslide. The people loved him. He also ordered the extermination of an entire race/religion and systematically murdered millions of Heavenly Father’s children. 70 years later, we see he was on the wrong side of history.

    PP does great good. They offer cancer screenings, preg tests, low cost and no cost care to women who need it, and more. All that is laudible and good. But it does not overshadow the fact that they have destroyed the bodies of millions of Heavenly Father’s children, making those spirits unable to fulfill their mortality, which is absolutely central to the Creator’s work and glory. This is an organization that absolutely is not in keeping with the principles of the gospel.

    We live in a time where evil is called good and good evil. Lines are being drawn and we must decide now whose side we are truly on, and stand there with conviction. “Now is the time to show.” The prophet’s warningsbare changing lately, “the time for fence sitting is over”. I cannot, and will not say that I can support an organization that has murdered millions of babies.
  • Paula Taylor
    followed this page 2015-08-05 15:24:03 -0700

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