- (Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
A major Christian legal group has offered to distribute free Bibles to Planned Parenthood clinics across the U.S. after the abortion provider recently published a "pastoral letter" on its website, claiming that the Bible does not address abortion.
Casey Mattox, senior council for the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, recently issued an open letter to Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, regarding a "pastoral letter" recently published on the abortion provider's website. The letter, written by Planned Parenthood's clergy advocacy board, claims that neither the Christian nor the Jewish Scriptures reference abortion.
"Many people wrongly assume that all religious leaders disapprove of abortion. The truth is that abortion is not even mentioned in the Scriptures – Jewish or Christian – and there are clergy and people of faith from all denominations who support women making this complex decision," the pastoral letter states.
The controversial letter has been removed from the Planned Parenthood website since it received massive backlash last week, and Mattox's recent open letter to Richards seeks to donate one free Bible to each Planned Parenthood in the U.S., so women may reference their religious beliefs when deciding on whether to have an abortion.
"While I disagree with Planned Parenthood's exegesis of Scripture, I am not writing to debate that point. Instead, I write to express my agreement with Planned Parenthood, reflected in the publication of this pastoral letter, that for many women their religious beliefs will be very relevant to their decision about whether to have an abortion," Mattox writes.
Mattox goes on to state that while there is no question he and Planned Parenthood are at "opposite sides of this theological and moral question," he does believe Planned Parenthood patients would benefit from reading the Bible. "… as we are in apparent agreement that Scripture and its teachings (or lack thereof in your view) on abortion would be relevant to many women's abortion decisions, making these Bibles available to those women would certainly benefit your potential customers."
The open letter goes on to ensure that the Bibles provided to Planned Parenthood would not highlight any of the numerous passages relating to pregnancy and the sanctity of life found in the Bible, including Psalm 127:3, Exodus 20:13, and Luke 1:41, 44, among others. "Rather, we would make these Bibles available, unedited and without emphasis of any kind, allowing those women visiting a Planned Parenthood facility to review them themselves."
"Please let me know at your earliest convenience the addresses to which each Bible should be sent," Mattox concludes.
ADF's recent letter has been backed by the Family Research Council, another Christian group focused on lobbying efforts. Rob Schwarzwalder, senior vice president for the FRC, recently wrote a blog post supporting Mattox's letter and condemning Planned Parenthood's claims on abortion and Scripture.
"Let's pray for Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and those in her circle of influence who assert that Scripture is silent on the personhood of the unborn child," Schwarzwalder wrote.