(Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files)
Planned Parenthood recently released a "pastoral letter to patients" in which the organization's clergy advocacy board tells prospective clients that the Bible is silent on the issue of abortion, and further asserts that it's not even mentioned in the Scriptures.
Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, says that Planned Parenthood's claim is a "ridiculous attempt to justify abortion."
According to Jeffress, Planned Parenthood's assertion is "tantamount to saying that there is nothing wrong with an intoxicated driver killing another motorist because the Bible does not mention 'drunk driving.'"
The second paragraph of Planned Parenthood's letter, which as of Tuesday was removed from the Internet, states: "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."
Planned Parenthood's clergy advocacy board's page notes that its members "believe that each person is endowed with the God-given gift of free will. … We are all created in God's image, and all of us share as responsible agents in being good stewards of our bodies."
The statement on their page continues, "Women should be able to treat their bodies with reverence and respect in order to plan pregnancies," which includes "comprehensive reproductive health care including the full range of contraception methods."
The clergy's page adds that each member has counseled women facing unintended pregnancies, and believes that all forms of birth control are "an important part of healthcare."
Jeffress, however, contends that "abortion is a violation of one of God's most basic laws: 'You shall not murder,' which is cited in Exodus 20:13."
He continued, "Additionally, God's relationship to Jeremiah before his birth (Jeremiah 1:5), and David's description of the intricacy of life inside the womb (Psalm 139:13-16), affirm that an embryo is more than a biological blob — it is a human life deserving respect and protection."
This most recent letter aimed at Planned Parenthood's prospective clients who have a religious background is not the first one to be distributed to women who are considering an abortion.
Planned Parenthood's Eugene, Oregon, clinic, for example, has also distributed a pastoral letter on behalf of its religious affairs committee, in which it states: "The presence of the 'religious right' has been very strong in its refusal to accept abortion as one of the choices before a woman."
The letter also mentions that while the committee's religious leaders do not agree on all aspects of abortion, they have formed a consensus on their shared belief that "abortion is a morally permissible choice for a woman facing a problem pregnancy."