By Roger Drinnon
ST. LOUIS — In the wake of the now-viral video purportedly showing a top-level Planned Parenthood staff member discussing the harvesting of organs from aborted babies, Synod pro-life leaders held a press conference July 16 at the LCMS International Center here.
National Right to Life Committee President Carol Tobias, Lutherans For Life Executive Director Rev. Dr. James Lamb and other members of the LCMS Sanctity of Life Committee fielded questions from St. Louis media on the tragic implications of the video, while emphasizing the importance of protecting precious human life.
“It was stomach-churning for anyone who thinks it is wrong to kill unborn children to hear a top doctor for the national Planned Parenthood organization admit … Planned Parenthood abortionists can and will alter late-abortion procedures to facilitate the harvesting of intact baby body parts,” said Tobias, as she spoke to media about the implications of the video.
Not long after the video of the Planned Parenthood official surfaced, the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission, issued a statement on behalf of the LCMS, denouncing the comments made by that Planned Parenthood staff member.
In response to public outrage, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued a statement July 16 on the organization’s website, apologizing for her staff member’s lack of “compassion” in the video. Yet, Richards denies allegations of the sale of the harvested parts of aborted babies mentioned in the video. The organization euphemistically refers to the parts taken from aborted babies as “donated tissue.”
At question now is whether or not women are given thorough information on what will happen to tissue and organs taken from their aborted babies, prior to giving consent. Also at question is whether or not abortion practices are being deliberately modified to preserve certain organs or tissue for use in corporate medical research.
“We are concerned with the shocking horror of abortion and of regarding human beings as less than human,” the Rev. Christopher Esget, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Va., and Sanctity of Life Committee member, said in the press conference. “This is simply another instance of a broader cultural problem where we [as a society] do not value human beings.”
“We have the most powerful message in the world,” added Lamb. “And I pray that our churches will use this as an opportunity … to make dealing with these issues a part of their ongoing Gospel ministry.”
In a separate interview with KMOX Radio, St. Louis, Lamb said Lutherans can help by doing more for maternity homes and similar organizations supporting pregnant women and also by reaching out to women who might be suffering emotional pain after having an abortion.
A growing number of lawmakers are calling for an investigation of Planned Parenthood, based on the implications of the video, which resulted from investigative work done by the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life organization.
Click here for a photo gallery from the LCMS press conference.
For more information on LCMS Life Ministry, go to lcms.org/life.
Readers also may access these resources:
- A written transcript of the video footage with the Planned Parenthood staff member discussing the harvested organs from aborted babies.
- “Planned Parenthood apologizes for exec’s ‘tone’ in video” (TheHill.com).
- “Planned Parenthood exec, fetal body parts subject of controversial video” (CNN).
- “Planned Parenthood sells dead baby parts” (Fox News).
- “Where are the Mainline and Progressive Evangelical Voices Speaking Up after that Planned Parenthood Tragedy?” (“The Exchange, A Blog by Ed Stetzer,” ChristianityToday.com).
Roger Drinnon (email@example.com) is manager of Editorial Services for LCMS Communications.
Posted July 17, 2015 / Updated July 30, 2015