Many people think Planned Parenthood does other “wonderful things besides abortion”. I’d like to share a true story written by my friend, Andrew Flanders. Andrew said:
Jennifer and I started seeing one another in the winter of ’08. We’d met a couple years earlier through a common friend and there was an instant “spark”, but the timing couldn’t have been worse. She was in the middle of a long term relationship and even though I asked her out a dozen times that evening (in front of her boyfriend) she wouldn’t have it. Still, when I got home that night, I told my best friend and roommate that I’d just met the woman I would marry. I was (respectfully) relentless in my pursuit of Jennifer and by Oct/Nov 2008 her relationship had run its course and we started to hangout together. The first time we spent one on one time together, she took me to The Village Church in Highland Village.
I already identified as a Christian, had accepted Jesus my freshman yr of high school and had always had faith. However, my faith was a feeling, not a lifestyle. Jennifer was a Christian, there was no doubt about it. Her faith showed in everything she did. I was in the middle of a very turbulent phase of my life. Jennifer would text me verses like Romans 8:28 and Matthew 6:24 every day.
We started officially dating in August of 2009 and were already in love, absolutely crazy about one another. If I had been financially self sufficient, and not still finding my way in the world, I would’ve asked her to marry me before the end of that year – she would’ve said no, but I’d have kept asking. I had experienced a huge change in my walk with God since regularly attending The Village and Matt Chandler’s preaching began to connect my faith to my intellect and, for the first time in a long time, I knew what side of the line I was on… I was no longer a “nominal believer”.
Fast forward to early 2010. Though we were Christians, we were flawed, imperfect, hypocrites; such is the human condition. We were just forgiven hypocrites. We had been intimate together – and on a side note – I began to understand God’s perfect design the “hard way” due to the internal conflict we would both experience about being engage in sin with one another. It had a corrosive effect on our relationship. However, in February 2010 we got pregnant.
I’ll never forget the moment we found out. Though we were still very much in love, our relationship was in crisis and had better odds of ending than enduring. Then, she revealed to me that she was “late”. We bought a pregnancy test, I left work early, and we met at my apartment in the middle of the afternoon to take it and find out. When she closed my bathroom door I was holding the box the test came in, reading the instructions. When the door reopened, she walked out and said “what does two lines mean?” I looked at the test, then at the box, then through teary eyes into hers, which were also welling up, and said “it means we’re pregnant.” In that moment, any lingering resentment vanished and we collapsed into each other’s arms sobbing and broken. We confirmed the results with her doctor later that day and then stared down the barrel of our next step: telling our parents. “Everyone else recommended an abortion for convenience, and told us it would completely alter our way of life.” It’s something I immediately resented and took a long time for me to let go of.
I asked Jennifer to marry me the day we found out. She, predictably, said, “no”. But the only desirable outcome for me was to have this baby. I think the same is true for Jennifer as well. However, we had discussions about it that were incredibly emotional and had us swinging back and forth between “yes” and “no”. Between right and wrong. Ultimately, we decided to inform ourselves as best we knew how about the options available to us this led to scheduling a consult at Planned Parenthood – and this is my impetus for sharing this with you. We walked through the doors of the location in Addison and immediately I felt sick to my stomach. Once we were called back for our consult, the facade of “women’s health organization” went up in flames. A female Nurse Practitioner or Doctor began to ask Jennifer questions, it was as though I wasn’t even in the room. The more detail we revealed, the more the Doctor tried to relate to Jennifer. She asked about our marital status, financial situation, and Jennifer’s career. She used talking points designed to dissuade us from having our baby, like: “a baby costs around $30k in the first year”, and “Jennifer, are you ready to give up your career?” as if that was a prerequisite to having a baby. I cannot emphasize how marginalized my role in that room was. Based on my experience and the similar experiences I’ve had the chance to listen to, men are not asked for their input in these situations at Planned Parenthood, nor is it welcome.
We walked into Planned Parenthood 75/25 in favor of having our baby, and the doctor recommended ending the pregnancy. She made Jennifer an appointment for the abortion before we left. Quite frankly, it was one of the more strategic sales pitches I’ve ever witnessed, the closing line being: “You know if you change your mind, you can always cancel your appointment.” It’s a quote I’ll never forget. I thought to myself, “We walked in here and told you we were leaning strongly toward having this baby, and now we’ll have to change our minds not to have an abortion this week?”
If we had driven home in silence from Planned Parenthood, my oldest daughter may have been murdered at our hands less than 72 hours later. I remember saying on the way home “This is not who we are. This is not what we believe. This is not what you believe. I love you. I already love this baby. We are already forgiven for our sin, and none of this is a surprise to God – it is not an accident. He has decided to entrust us with life…” We agreed that if we honored that God would bless us, and bless our baby. At that point, we became RESOLUTE about having our baby together. I went and spoke to her folks. I told them that I love their daughter, that boy or girl I would love our baby because he or she would be half Jennifer… And that I will become the man they both deserve. It was an uncomfortable conversation to say the least, but when I left their house my intentions were clear – if she would have me, I was going to marry Jennifer.
About a month later, I brought her breakfast in bed, and her engagement ring was around the stem of her fork. She finally said yes and we wed on 7/11/10. We had Isabelle 4 months later on 11/21/10, and in an instant I knew I would love this little girl unconditionally, until my last breath, no matter what. That I would lay my life down for here before she was 15 seconds old, and that I was getting a tiny little taste of how God loves us, because He loves us more deeply and powerfully than I could ever love my daughter.
That first year of marriage was a mix of great joy and turbulence, and then God began to multiply His blessings on my family each year.
When Isabelle was 6 months old I worked in a straight commission job that was highly dependent on a sluggish commercial insurance market. My draw was less than $19k annually after taxes. Jennifer worked until 2 weeks before she delivered. In May of ’11 I was recruited for a sales job in software that served a booming industry. It paid a base salary of three times my draw plus commission. I was instantly able to support my family. We moved from an apartment in a crummy part of town to a house in a great neighborhood. We were pregnant again in December of that year and had Rebecca in August of 2012. I was doing well at work and our family was growing closer together in faith and love.
Then in early 2013 we find out we’re pregnant again. Then we learn we’re having twin girls. Our youngest, because was a mere 5 months old when we became pregnant again. The twins due in Sept 2013. In May of that year I left my job, I made a mistake and let pride and emotion put my family in a potentially desperate spot. I submitted one resume in june, had an interview setup the same day, and after an long hiring process, went to work for the 4th largest company in the world at the time in August 2013, a month before the twins were born we had insurance again, and income.
We had the twins and were blessed to be able to afford for someone to come help Jennifer while I was working 5 days a week. Becca wasn’t walking yet, and we had two newborns added to the family. Jennifer’s grandmother, who is a godsend, helped us pay for that at first, and then we took over until Jennifer didn’t need help anymore.
In Nov ’14 I was recruited for my dream job. I now work for a company I absolutely love as a remote territory rep. I have a level of flexibility that allows me to be home with the girls often. I help put the kids down for a nap every day at 11:30 AM and am an active presence in my girls lives and the leadership of my home. We are more fulfilled every day and Jesus is the center of and true leader of this family. I’m home more often than I’m not. Unless I’m traveling for business, we eat dinner as a family every day at 5:30 PM. I can come home to help anytime Jennifer needs me to. We are all closer than we’ve ever dreamed we’d be, so fulfilled by Jesus, Grace, The Holy Spirit, and each other.
Jennifer was literally born to be a mother. Each of our daughters feel so special and individually loved – she’s the best mom I’ve ever seen. She makes each of them feel as though they’re her favorite kid – and that’s an incredibly unique talent. We have overcome so many “against all odds” circumstances together and it has united us in our marriage and purpose. It has made “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” not only real, but it’s the expectation, the normal mindset in our home.
Where would we be if we had let Planned Parenthood succeed in making our decision for us? I wince just thinking about it. It would’ve permanently damaged Jennifer, a faithful believer at that time, permanently if we had allowed the devil to trick udon to committing murder to cover our sexual sin. It would haunt me every day to know that I had relinquished my responsibility to protect my little girl before she’d even drawn her first breath, smiled at me for the first time, thrown her arms around me and loved me the way only a daughter can love her daddy. What if I had decided to pass all that up for the sake of convenience?
We weren’t ready to have a baby! I just detailed what a mess my career was, our relationship was, my soul was when we found out we were pregnant. God is FAITHFUL! He met us where we were in the point of our need as soon as we decided to trust Him. He made us ready enough for Isabelle to come into the world. He entrusted us with a human life. Pregnancies, regardless of circumstance, are not-are never an accident to a Sovereign God. If we had let Planned Parenthood sell us that abortion, the one that they gave us the full court press on that spring day in 2010, there are four of the most beautiful, innocent little girls in the entire world that wouldn’t exist if we had accepted what we heard at the consult that day as medical advice that was in our best interest.
Isabelle played a major role in my father coming to Christ. Who can say that it definitely would’ve happened without her? These decisions, each one of them, are so monumental, so impactful one way or the other. Then, as we consider that millions of these decisions are going the wrong way each year – the negative ripple effect occurring is undoubtedly devastating.
I thank God daily for giving us the courage and resolve that we didn’t even know we needed that day we walked into Planned Parenthood. Anyone who thinks my story is the exception and not the norm needs to contemplate that abortion has become big business both in the hundreds of millions of dollars generated by procedure revenue, and through what we saw exposed over the summer.
This “Death Machine” is not providing a public service. It’s responsible for wiping out a generation. It has no place in the civil society. It’s a scourge on our collective morality that needs to be cut out like the tumor it is, and repented for.