More than 20 religious leaders participated in a ceremony to “bless” a new Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington, D.C., calling the abortion facility a “sacred work.”
“In almost every message to our staff, I talk about our doing sacred work,” Dr. Laura Meyers, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, told DCist.com. “This confirms the sacredness of the work we do.”
LifeNews.com, commenting that blessing an abortion clinic seems “antithetical to religious beliefs about the sanctity of life,” noted the new abortion facility is located next to a popular charter elementary school, much to the outrage of pro-lifers and parents.
The nearly $20 million, 27,000-square-foot facility, which officially opened in September, also serves as the administrative headquarters for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington.
The organizer of the event Tuesday was the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which says its mission is to bring “the moral force of religion to protect and advance reproductive health, choice, rights and justice through education, prophetic witness, pastoral presence and advocacy.”
Meyers said pro-lifers protesting the clinic’s abortion work “tried to separate those of us working on or supporting the right of women to choose a from a sense of deep spirituality.”
“So today is a shift in that narrative,” she said.
The religious leaders, led by Rabbi Michael Namath, gathered for prayer before the ceremony. Namath, the program director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said the ministers have an obligation to the world to “make it whole and holy.”
Leaders of various Christian denominations also participated, along with Hindu priests and a Muslim iman, via Skype.
Planned Parenthood medical director Serina Floyd said she plans to tell patients that the abortion facility is a “blessed space” and that “those of faith also support your decisions.”
Willie Parker, a well-known obstetrician and gynecologist who was featured by the New York Times, told DCist.com he’s been a Christian longer than he’s been an abortion provider.
“Women have been made to think that this [clinic] is some evil place, where God is not,” he said.
He criticized protesters, describing them as people “cursing [women] for making sacred decisions.”
“Our answer to the curse is to bless,” he said.
The group concluded the ceremony by singing the familiar gospel song “This Little Light of Mine.”
LifeNews.com pointed out Judaism and Christianity teach that human life is sacred from conception until natural death, because all lives are created in the image of God.
Muslims also generally oppose abortion, and many Islamic nations prohibit abortions in all or most circumstances.
But Rabbi Namath, arguing for abortion, said that in Jewish tradition, making healthful decisions about one’s body is a way to honor God.
“May the ones who bless our ancestors bring healing on all in need,” said Namath in prayer after reciting Hebrew. “God, let your spirit rest upon these caregivers, who serve as instruments of your hands.”
A black pastor, Rev. Christine Wiley, compared her support for Planned Parenthood to the historic struggle of blacks in the U.S.
“African Americans have been used to a sense of adversity and oppression, so this is just another thing,” she said. “We’ve been in worse places than this.”
Breitbart.com noted, however, that last fall, a group of 26 leading black Christian clergy and intellectuals wrote an “open letter” to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declaring abortion-on-demand has had a “catastrophic impact” on the black community in the U.S.
The black ministers pointed out that blacks account for 38 percent of abortions even though they represent only 13 percent of the population.
In his book “The Snapping of the American Mind,” WND Vice President and Managing Editor David Kupelian noted the irony in how abortion defenders described the actions that put infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell in prison.
They called what Gosnell did “murder” while at the same time defending virtually the same practices in other abortion clinics as “sacred,” Kupelian pointed out.
When the Texas legislature responded to the Gosnell case in 2013 with a law banning abortion after 20 weeks, then-state senator Wendy Davis, a Democrat, engaged in an 11-hour filibuster to block passage of the bill before the midnight end of the Texas legislative session.
“I’ll seek common ground – we all must – but sometimes you have to take a stand on sacred ground,'” she said.
Davis was echoing top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who previously referred to abortion as “sacred ground.”
Pelosi called Gosnell’s crimes “reprehensible,” but when a reporter asked her “what’s the moral difference” between what Gosnell did to babies born alive and aborting those same infants moments before birth, Pelosi refused to answer.
“I’m not going to have this conversation with you because you obviously have an agenda. You’re not interested in having an answer,” she said.