Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We logged on to the Internet and Facebook yesterday only to be hit with a sickening story: undercover video footage seemingly implicating Planned Parenthood in the sale of the body parts of aborted children.
In the video, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, discusses how she adjusts abortion procedures to procure certain parts of a child’s body, even as she notes that “we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver.”
Listen long enough, if you can handle it, and you’ll hear her suggest that such items could eventually be listed on a Planned Parenthood “menu” for affiliate organizations to purchase for a price.
Later in the day, Planned Parenthood released a “nothing to see here” kind of statement, asserting that the discussion was merely one revolving around a patient’s right to donate tissue, as with any medical procedure. But why does Nucatola then mention the costs of body parts (“Thirty to one hundred dollars,” she says)?
Lord, have mercy.
If what Nucatola says is, in fact, the truth, we as Christians cannot allow this story to go untold or be buried by the media. We simply cannot remain silent while the reprehensible act of killing a child in the womb is made even worse by selling portions of that child’s dismembered body simply because there is a market for them.
Speaking up about the shameful act of killing children — as well as harvesting their body parts — may be uncomfortable. We may lose friends and create awkward tension at work. Our professors may mock us, and our family may roll their eyes at us. If that is the case, so be it. Because as Lutherans, as Christians, we are for life, no matter the cost.
As Lutherans, we confess that every life has value, that it has worth, that it matters … from the moment of conception until natural death occurs. We confess that what Nucatola calls “17-weekers” are actually children — with beating hearts and little moving fingers and toes.
We confess that even the tiniest of humans are just that — regardless of what scientific term the culture uses to make them seem like something less. We confess that they are created in the image and likeness of our Lord Himself. And we confess that because of Him, their hearts and lungs and livers matter, no matter how small they might be.
We also admit our own failings in this regard. Where we have failed to speak and act for life, we repent. Where we have not cared for mothers in crisis-pregnancy situations, we ask for forgiveness. Where we have thought more of ourselves than giving to an organization that can assist those moms and babies, we are sorry. Where we have been apathetic to this pandemic of death, we grieve.
But we are not without hope, because our Lord is for life too.
He is so pro-life, in fact, that He has given His own life for us, even as He has laid it down for these tiniest of children. Where their short lives are taken, He offers up His willingly. Where their little bodies are sold, He gives His freely to us at His holy table for the forgiveness of our sins.
Today let us confess life with renewed vigor — to our friends over supper, through letters to the editor of our local paper, by writing our congressmen, in tweets and emails to Planned Parenthood, on our Facebook pages.
Let us pray that our Lord would bring an end to abortion altogether and that He would stop the horrible sale of infant bodies.
And let us pray that He would forgive us, renew us and bolster us to make a good confession in season and out of season: one that is always, no matter what, for life.
Rev. Bart Day, executive director
Life and Health Ministries
LCMS Office of National Mission
- Two-hour video footage of Planned Parenthood executive’s discussion regarding infant body parts
- Eight-minute video clip version of the above
- Written transcript of the video footage
- “Planned Parenthood exec, fetal body parts subject of controversial video” (CNN)
- “Planned Parenthood sells dead baby parts” (Fox News)