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"I thought, It's largely due to the Christian right's vehement opposition that Planned Parenthood faces the very real possibility that it may have to shut down.
"These were all people getting free services to possibly kill their child. But I was out of resources." The only place Elizabeth could think to turn was the one place she'd been taught forever to avoid.
The Family Research Council published a 2016 report entitled "The Real Planned Parenthood: Leading the Culture of Death."Data doesn't exist on just how many women who were raised in this faith actually patronize Planned Parenthood in private, which is a result of the very reason many of them go there: It provides anonymity.
We do know that 13 percent of abortions conducted in this country are for women who identify as evangelical protestants, in addition to the 17 percent for more mainline protestants like Lutherans or Methodists, according to a 2014 study by the Guttmacher Institute.
There are many more women like her, all around the country.
Women who grew up in conservative Christian environments that push abstinence-only education, unwavering anti-abortion attitudes, and adherence to the Republican party line—and who, out of necessity, are secretly visiting Planned Parenthood clinics for pap smears, birth control, STD tests, and other reproductive health services, including abortions."We have many people from evangelical or born-again traditions who come to our health centers all across the United States," says Reverend Vincent Lachina, regional chaplain for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaii.
When you add in Catholics, that number rises to more than half.
I was raised in an evangelical culture myself and, while doing research for this story, I was taken aback by how often one Christian woman's experience with Planned Parenthood led me to another's, and another's, and another's.
That legislation is why Iowa politicians were able to reduce their Planned Parenthood population by four.
The move was lauded by Christian organizations with a political bent, like Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and the Heritage Foundation, which have consistently lobbied for Planned Parenthood to be defunded.
In fact, since the 1970s, taxpayer money has not paid for abortion services except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother.
By law, public funding—which amounts to roughly 0 million per year, or 43 percent of Planned Parenthood's total operating budget—specifically goes to health services like birth control, STD testing, and cancer screenings instead.
"Some evangelical and fundamentalist church staffers have even been patients."Like Elizabeth, Megan's* childhood in the deep South was steeped in evangelical moral and social codes. I went along with it."Then Megan went away to college and, after a year of dating her first boyfriend, decided she was ready for sex.