This is the buckle of the Bible Belt. That’s one reason why you need voices to speak in support of Planned Parenthood.
- Pastor Roz Nichols, Freedom’s Chapel Christian Church
What you hear quite often are the voices on the opposite side, voices that will use scripture or faith traditions to deny or to denounce or to vilify what the work of Planned Parenthood is about.
Following the Amendment One vote here in the state of Tennessee, I realized that I had taken for granted the gift that we’ve had all of my life. I never had to question if I could find healthy, viable, safe, confidential help for my reproductive choices. I did not know a time when a woman could not legitimately go and find help or could not have a safe legal option for abortion. It made me realize that if we’re not vigilant, if we’re not actively involved and advocating for our own health choices, that those rights and privileges can easily be taken away from us. That there are people who are working to take away the very things that so many people, so many women and men, sacrificed to make a part of my everyday life.
For me, the support I give Planned Parenthood is an expression of how I would want to be treated. That is my responsibility as a Christian, to make certain that someone else has that same set of options. My job is not to tell people solely what to do but to stand with them as they make decisions. To believe that they are conscious, thinking human beings who can make rational decisions once given information, once supported. That people at the end of the day can make wise decisions for themselves. My responsibility is to stand with them in the midst of those decisions. That is definitely an expression of my faith.
We really are blessed to have an affiliate here. Memphis has some numbers that we have to address and we can’t address them by just telling people what not to do. We have to help people know what TO do and to do it joyfully out of a faith expression. Planned Parenthood is a resource for families who need resources at any level, at any socioeconomic place, regardless of where they live. For them to know that there is a place that exists where they will not be judged, where they will be provided adequate resources and information, that is vital to Memphis and Shelby County.
Faith without works is dead. You have to be vocal, you have to put your money behind it, you have to put in your time and your energy. That is indeed the way that your words have actions. Otherwise, it’s just chitter chatter.
What We Do Now
- 50,000 calls made
- 840 supporters galvanized
- 40 active volunteers
- 92 public spokespeople
- Over 30 private and community events