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Monday, August 11, 2014

Doctor Performs Abortions ‘Because I’m A Christian’

Dr. Willie J. Parker, pictured here on April 15, 2013, travels from Chicago about once a month to work at the Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

Dr. Willie J. Parker, pictured here on April 15, 2013, travels from Chicago about once a month to work at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization clinic. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

Dr. Willie Parker is one of two doctors who performs abortions at the only women’s health clinic in Mississippi where abortions are performed.

Parker is a devout Christian who feels he is doing the right thing to help women in need. He’s the subject of a profile in Esquire magazine called “The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker.”

Dr. Willie Parker and John Richardson, author of the Esquire piece, speak to Here & Now’s Robin Young.

This Nov. 21, 2013 photo shows abortion support signs outside of the Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic in Jackson, Miss. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

This Nov. 21, 2013 photo shows abortion support signs outside of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization clinic in Jackson, Miss. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

Interview Highlights: Willie Parker and John Richardson

Parker on the women who come in for abortion counseling sessions

“Women are beaten up pretty bad by the time they get to me. They’re wrestling with their own thoughts, they’re wrestling with what they ought to do, they’re wrestling with what the people who fancy themselves as street counselors are telling them that they should do or what they shouldn’t do. My goal is to turn off all those other voices and just let them hear their own thoughts. I trust women to make good decisions for themselves. There are women who leave that room who don’t have an abortion because they decided that it wasn’t for them. What we have done is we’ve made sure that they had the opportunity to make that decision.”

Parker on the murders of some doctors who perform abortions

“I trust women to make good decisions for themselves.”

“Life is dangerous work. I know that Doctor Gunn was killed, I know that George Tiller was killed. What I know that we all have in common, is that we all die. That’s not a statement of bravado. In accepting the fact that we’re all gonna leave here somehow and the inevitability of that, I’ve simply chosen in my life to focus on how I live. Its very important to me to live a life of principle, one of compassion.”

Parker on claims that abortion clinics are part of a plot to kill black babies

“It’s offensive on multiple levels. To shame black women for making the tough economic decisions about providing for the children they already have — given that most women that who have an abortion are already mothers — or taking some notion that abortion clinics are built near communities to make it easier for black women to end their pregnancies, kind of implies that black women don’t care about their babies. It is really a feigned concern about black women and black babies that further exacerbates the already abject poverty and suffering … I just think that this is a culture war about controlling the lives of women, but doing so in the context of people who are already suffering.”

Parker on whether or not he is doing the right thing

“This is a culture war about controlling the lives of women.”

“I feel absolutely certain that it is never wrong to help someone. When a woman needs a good obstetrician, there is no shortage of folk standing in line to deliver her baby, but when a woman is pregnant and she does not want to be, she also needs the same quality and level of healthcare. Because abortion is healthcare. In that regard, I never question whether or not I am doing the right thing. As a thoughtful person, I am always looking at my life and looking at every decision that I make to think it through and to be committed with the most integrity that I can to what I am doing.”

Richardson on observing the role of Parker’s faith in his work

“The first thing I saw him do was an introduction to a group of women, a sort of counseling session, and at the end of that he talked about his own faith and how it played a role in his decision to do this. And it was a really striking moment … It was clear that [the women] thought the only role that religion played in this was to condemn them and they’d been condemned walking in the door. So to have somebody up there sort of affirming them as having faith themself, it was really healing for them.

Guests


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  • chris

    I am so upset to the core of my being to hear anyone argue that abortion is compatible with Christianity. I cannot ever imagine Christ preaching that abortion is not sinful. To suggest otherwise is beyond the pale.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Do not judge others, lest you be judged.

      You need to listen to what the doctor says.

      • Rick

        Proverbs 24: 11-12 – “Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die. Don’t try to avoid responsibility by saying you didn’t know about it. For God knows all hearts and he sees you. He keeps watch over your souls, and he knows you know. And he will judge all people according to what they have done.”(NLT)

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          How does a “death sentence” have any bearing on a legal abortion?

          • Rick

            Is that a serious question? The innocent child is being sentenced to death for being an inconvenience.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Totally serious.

            A zygote is not a child.

          • Stephen

            A child is not an adult. An old person is not a teenager. That doesn’t mean they are all not humans at different levels of development.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The mother’s rights outweigh those of the potential human in her womb.

          • Stephen

            You’re right, but what we are talking about is not a potential human. It is a human in the earliest stage of development.

      • Maggie

        Sir, this Bible command in not an excuse for suppressing true biblical teachings nor for discarding all the other commands! It is pretty convenient, especially when we don’t want to be held accountable-even to our own conscience.

    • jujones

      Christ didn’t say anything about abortion, so we can’t or can imagine anything we’d like; he did, however, stop a young woman from being stoned, saying he who is without sin…

    • chrisnfolsom

      You have the right to be upset – I support “abortion rights”, but I don’t like abortion and to think what many of those children could have become IS troubling. Just as I support bankruptcy – I don’t like it either. Life is not perfect which is what Christ was about – forgiving. Do what you can to prevent but be the best example and forgive. If you hate you have missed the message.

    • mike

      I wish Christians would get back on message. Christianity is about God’s mercy, not about things related to sex.

      Why is it that so many religions of the world concern themselves so much about fertility and fornication?

  • Renee

    A true hero. God bless his empathy, compassion, and willingness to medically help women.

    • Rick

      Keep in mind that about half of the babies he murders are female.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        What does this even mean?

      • JS

        He murders no babies. A fetus is not a baby.

        • Stephen

          A human fetus is one stage in human development, so it is destroying a developing human.

          • JS

            But not a human baby

          • Stephen

            Right, and destroying a human baby is different than destroying a human teenager, which is different than destroying a aged human. These are all humans at different levels of developement. What’s your point?

          • JS

            No, destroying a clump of cells if different than destroying a human baby.

            Ask yourself this question: You enter a burning building and see a baby in one corner and 10 viable embryos in the other. You only have time to save the baby or the embryos. Which do you choose?

          • Stephen

            Do me one favor: look up the definition of viable (your choice of words) and post it on here. Here’s a hint- it’s from the latin for ‘life’. Then answer that question for yourself.
            Just because you refuse to call it a life doesn’t mean that the life of the ten VIABLE embryos has any less value.

          • JS

            I never not called it “life”

            So, you would chose the viable embryos?

          • Stephen

            Alright! So we agree that it is a life! The ethical part now is whether it is ok to assign more value to one human life over another.

          • JS

            it is “life”, so is sperm.

          • Stephen

            No, human sperm is not human life, nor is it a developing human. There is a biological change when the sperm fertilizes the egg. The fertilized egg begins the first stage of human developement.

          • Rachel Goodman

            Is this similar to giving me a choice between a attractive 25 year old and a 90 year old? Which one of those would you rescue in a fire? This choice still doesn’t define the nature of a human being.

          • Tj Essley

            No because it’s a squirrel baby… hahaha. Come on, really?

          • JS

            A fetus then.

        • Tj Essley

          A fetus is not a baby/human?… riddle me this, why is it then when a pregnant woman is killed/murdered it is called “double homicide” and the suspect is charged with two murders?

          • JS

            Because the woman was murdered and the fetus was murdered.

          • justaguy

            Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human

          • Tj Essley

            Exactly, the fetus… baby was murdered. Thank you. So you just concluded that what this doctor is doing is murder… same as if he had killed the pregnant womans fetus/baby in a drive by shooting. The killing of the fetus/baby is murder… You just said it yourself.

            And murder is wrong, yes?… hints why people go to jail for it.

            But people get lost on “woman’s rights” to procreate… saying it’s her body. Her body ends where the fetus/baby begins. The fetus/baby has his/her own DNA. it’s not like a cancerous cyst to cut out. A fetus/baby is a human.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            A fetus is not a baby. It might become a baby, but it is not one yet.

            Just like an egg and sperm have the potential to become a baby – but they are not a baby.

          • Tj Essley

            a fetus is an unborn human child…baby.

            Sperm and an egg by themselves are completely something other than a fetus, but together they create life and a baby.

            Such as in partial birth abortions. The mother is pregnant…with a baby… the baby is still considered a fetus because it’s unborn.

            Check out this video of a premature fetus/baby. 3.5 months premature… well within range of a partial birth abortion.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEPHLC6dMGA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            No, a fetus is not yet a baby. We are talking first trimester. Virtually indistinguishable from any other vertebrate fetus. Not even remotely viable outside the womb.

          • JS

            fetus, not baby.

            I understand your belief, but it doesn’t line up with current legal doctrine in the USA.

          • Tj Essley

            I do agree with you on that… that the “legality” of it says it’s ok.

            Did you know it was “legal” to kill Jews in Nazi Germany?

            Just because something is “legal” doesn’t make it right.

          • JS

            never said it did. But you can’t use US law in one part of your argument and discard it in another.

          • Tj Essley

            I was showing you the idiocy of the law, and some people’s understanding of right from wrong.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I invoke Godwin’s Law.

          • Pauline

            She did not consent to the murder. A woman consents to have an abortion. I fully understand your belief that the a developing fetus deserves to survive and to have a life, but the woman carrying the baby also deserves to not be afraid to raise that child. No one condemns you for wanting innocent babies to live; please don’t condemn others for what they believe is right.

          • Tj Essley

            consent doesn’t make it right… Hahaha are you a loon? The mother should have consented to birth control, or abstinence… but to consent to murder is wrong. Period.

          • Pauline

            First of all,I am trying to be polite, please don’t start childishly calling names. Secondly, birth control doesn’t always work. Lastly, a woman who feels trapped in a society that is not kind to fatherless children may feel that her baby would be better off dead especially if she is not really a motherly kind of person and hears some pretty worrisome stories about orphanages and supportive parents who are negligent and/or abusive. She may really believe that abortion is the best course of action.

          • Tj Essley

            Being polite about murder? No thank you…

            Murder is never the answer.

          • Pauline

            Did you actually read the rest? Anyone who feels trapped and already ostracized by society might feel the need to do something drastic, even if her life doesn’t change because of an abortion, especially in the bible belt, it’s safer to avoid the s sigma of being a single mother. As I implied earlier, abortion is not ideal, but it, in the mother’s mind is for the best.

          • Stephen

            and how about the incidents where the mother survives, the fetus is killed, and someone is charged with murder?

          • JS

            How about them?

          • Stephen

            yes

          • Evie

            I like how JS keeps on using the word fetus as his crutch. Fetus is just latin for young one or offspring. http://www.etymonline.com/inde

            Whatever
            you choose to call it we can all, if we are reasonable, agree that it
            is human and it’s alive. It is when we start trying to deny personhood
            and rights based on certain characteristics we overstep our bounds and
            things like slavery and the holocaust are legal and kill thousands.

        • Guest

          I like how JS keeps on using the word fetus as his crutch. Fetus is just latin for young one or offspring. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=fetus

          Whatever you choose to call it we can all, if we are reasonable, agree that it is human and it’s alive. It is when we start trying to deny personhood and rights based on certain characteristics we overstep our bounds and things like slavery and the holocaust are legal and kill thousands.

      • rob phelps

        Perhaps we should also condemn women for allowing themselves to have their menses. Menstruation “kills” 20% of fertilized ova – would you like to hold Tampax and Playtex as conspirators? Even though a non-viable fetus is not a baby…

      • Sally

        And probably 80% of the babies are black.
        Margaret Sanger is cheering in her grave.

  • Rick

    Wow, promote agendas much?

    Mr. Parker is free to call himself whatever he wants, but I will tell you that the VAST majority of Christians DO NOT support abortion! Maybe you could interview one of them for once?

    Maybe you could describe the procedure that this man uses when he brutally murders these precious, innocent, unborn children. Does he like to crush the baby’s skull before ripping apart the rest of the baby’s body with a suction machine? Or does he prefer to inject salt water into the amniotic sac to suffocate the baby and burn off its outer layer of skin? What if a baby is born breathing, does he prefer to put it in a bucket of water, or just put a wet towel over its face?

    Why did NPR almost completely ignore the major news story last year of the trial and conviction of Dr. Kermit Gosnell? The Philadelphia abortion doctor was convicted of murdering babies who were born alive during botched abortions. He would snip the baby’s neck after it let out a soft whimper. What a compassionate man, just “helping women”. I wonder if he was a Christian, too?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      You are the one with an agenda. The good doctor is doing what he is supposed to do – the woman makes the choice for herself. You and I and the doctor cannot decide for them what they should do.

      • Rick

        Here is where your argument falls apart: what if the child in question is now one month old, instead of still in the womb? If the woman wants the doctor to murder the one month old child since it is such an inconvenience, should the good doctor follow through on the wishes of the mother’s “choice” that she made?

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          What if it is a child already? That is a dodge.

          What if it is a zygote? What if it is a fertilized egg in a Petri dish? What if the child is 5 years old and a refugee?

          • Frog

            Currently, at least 38 states have fetal homicide laws where, as an example in the case in Commonwealth vs. Lawrence (Mass. 1986) affirmed the conviction an intoxicated man of involuntary manslaughter of a woman’s 27-week-old fetus.

            The same fetus killed through abortion…no manslaughter. The difference? One unborn child is wanted by the parent, the other isn’t.

          • mike

            Did the woman in Mass have an abortion, or was she going to have the baby and someone took it from her?

          • Frog

            She got hit by a drunk driver. The drunk driver got charged with manslaughter for killing the unborn baby in her womb. When an unborn baby is wanted the rules change on whether they have a right to live.

          • Stephen

            How about we agree that we don’t disrupt a developing human at any stage in development? Pretty sure most adult know how to keep an egg from being fertilized…

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            How about we agree that it is up to the woman and her doctor, about what is appropriate? Abortion is legal and Constitutional.

          • Stephen

            Great, as long as we agree that the doctor upholds his oath “I WILL MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception”

    • Armando

      Rick: thank you for speaking the truth!!

    • chrisnfolsom

      So tired of “Christians” who have no empathy – unless it’s the kind they like… You cannot pick pure empathy and charity of heart. What many Christians have is hate, judgmental hate which I find in none of the teaching of the New Testament.

  • Kay

    He does not represent Christians. He can call himself what he wants, but he obviously does not understand Christian Doctrine. Christ is very clear in the bible how he feels about those who “offend these little ones”.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      No one “represents” Christians.

      What is the “Christian Doctrine”?

    • JS

      If God can murder little Egyptians babies to secure the Israelites way of life, why cannot a woman have an abortion to secure her way of life?

      • Maggie

        Your logic suggest that humans are equal to God! That we have the same prerogative as our Creator. That the pot can tell the potter what to do.

        • JS

          So, murdering little baby boys at their momma’s breasts is OK for God, not for us. Got it.

          • Maggie

            What we do is murder, what He does is being Sovereign, is being God, is taking what is His. He doesn’t need a human created by Himself for Himself to come up with excuses for his sovereignty. However, He did give us the choice to believe in Him or not and I think that we both are doing so. I have to say; He is truly awesome.

          • JS

            I happen to think killing thousands of innocent Egyptian babies as not too awesome.

    • Debbie Leonard

      Jesus was referring to children already born.

      • Stephen

        …even though He claims to have known them from the womb…

        • Rick

          :-)

        • chrisnfolsom

          There are many instances where children are not counted until a month old, and male children and “valued” more then female and of course the killing of children – it is a bit confusing for a “perfect” text. It was easier when few people could read and your priest would read to you in latin and tell you whatever he interpreted or wanted… I believe “the word” is much better then what “the Church” makes is as Churches will generally pick survival – however they see it – over truth.

      • Stephen

        … and despite Luke 1:41, which accounts two babies (one Jesus) interaction while in the womb

  • Maggie

    Being religious is not equal to being a follower of Christ. The Pharisees were very religious, find out for yourself what Jesus had to say about them, read the Gospels. Stop following human “morals”, they only serve our own agendas and depravities. Go straight to the source, God’s word. This is just typical human pride, to think that we can be more compassionate than God. And btw, as superficial as the concept of “good” is for our society, Jesus mission is not to make us good or bad, we are either dead or alive in Christ. We act like little kids, we don’t see the truth not because is not there, but because we have our eyes closed. No surprise to hear a Voltaire quote…

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Anybody can claim to know God. Who actually does?

      • chrisnfolsom

        People have a “personal” relationship with god – but most religions have the same relationship… No religions seems to give believers more luck at cards, protection from calamity, psychosis, anything although you can feel better – or hate more. It’s a bit confusing to me….

    • Candace

      No one knows if there are god’s words in the bible or anywhere else. You, read your history about how the bible was created over thousands of years through political compromise. Read. It was also written by men, only men, semitic men who were not white. Are you still comfortable?

  • Melanie

    I am a long-time advocate that a woman’s body is her own and she should have the right, and does have the obligation, to make the decisions about her own body. While listening to the interview with Dr. Parker it occurred to me that women cannot get pregnant on their own. Every discussion about abortion that I have ever heard NEVER seems to address the responsibility of the man doing the impregnating. That has always made me angry, still does. It’s almost always a separate discussion, but I think the two are inextricably linked.

    • Rick

      But at the sane time, the woman can choose to have her unborn child murdered and the father has no legal way to stop it.

  • jujones

    I hope the good doctor survives to a healthy, happy old age. I don’t know anyone who is “in favor of” abortion, but it must remain an individual choice, however conflicted, however difficult. Those who would make abortion impossible (how do you do that?) and/or illegal, must first agree to support the unborn child from birth to 18, along with his/her family, and not just from conception to birth.

    • Frog

      I will defend your right to live. Do I have to support you, too?

      • jujones

        Yep; if we deny a woman choice, we too must live with/for the results.

      • chrisnfolsom

        It’s interesting that pro “abortion rights” states and individuals have fewer out of wedlock or teen babies which is generally attributed to education – if bible belt/red states would educate their children more about science, biology, history and perhaps less about God, promise rings, chastity balls and such the bible belt might not need to worry so much about abortions.

      • mike

        If Society “makes” a woman have a baby, shouldn’t Society help her with it? If Society doesn’t help her, and she’s alone in raising it, that child is at risk of becoming a criminal (problem) to Society. It only makes sense for Society to become involved with a difficult situation to prevent that situation from going bad and costing a lot more.

        • Frog

          Single women can’t bring up a law abiding baby? If you are saying she needs help because she is poor…that’s adding a variable to the equation. We already have programs like WIC which help mothers, unborn children and infants that qualify. I’m not against that. But mandatory support to 18 years (which was the original argument) is silly.

          • mike

            I didn’t read it as mandatory; just available if the woman wants help. Being a single mother must be hard.

            Mandatory help (law enforcement) only happens if the child turns to “the dark side” (criminal behavior) to fill the empty feelings that might come from being unwanted or unloved. It does happen.

  • Melanie

    Rick, your description of the abortion procedure is unnecessarily graphic, and more importantly, incorrect. What you describe is the awful partial-birth abortion, which may be performed when the baby is almost full-term and with which I most definitely do not agree. If a woman is into her last trimester, then she is obligated to make arrangements for the care of the child if she cannot do it. Killing the child at that point in the pregnancy is not and never should be an option.

    • Rick

      Unnecessarily graphic? Well excuse me, but maybe people would have different opinions on this topic if they actually knew how it worked. And my description is not incorrect at all.

      • Melanie

        Rick, it’s not completely incorrect, but it does not apply to all abortion procedures. It seems that you want to use scare tactics to influence women who may already be frightened about their condition, and I think that’s YOUR agenda. Maybe you should make yourself available to take on the unwanted children who live dreary lives because no one wanted to help.
        I want a world where everyone can make informed decisions about their own bodies. Women, and the men who make them pregnant, should be held responsible for the outcome of their actions and assisted/encouraged to make decisions that, if there is a child, that the child has a chance for a life that doesn’t include hate simply because the child exists.

  • Ellie

    While I respect the personal choice that people make to identify themselves as Christians, I simply do not understand why Christians cannot respect the rights of others to make choices based on their own beliefs and situation? Your religious beliefs should not be imposed on others.

    If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one.

    Better yet: vote for legislators who will support access to birth control, ob/gyn care and ongoing education so that women have more alternatives. As Barney Frank once said when referring to anti-abortion legislators: “… [they] believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth…”

    And for all of you quoting scripture, so many of you seem to do it a la carte: I never hear anyone defending those passages in the Bible that support things like slavery! (Leviticus 25:44 English Standard Version (ESV) As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you.)

    • Rick

      Abortion is murder. I cannot stand by and do nothing in a society where innocent babies are being brutally murdered. You don’t have to be religious to be compassionate about life. As long as you aren’t murdering anyone, I don’t care what you do with your body and you know that. It’s such a lame argument!

      I so often hear people in the pro-abortion crowd claim that Christians don’t care about children who are born into bad circumstances. The reality is that Christians support all kinds of programs for pregnant mothers and to provide care after the baby is born. They even offer to adopt children that are born to mothers who don’t want them, and often do. I’ve met a lot of women who regretted having an abortion. I’ve never met one who regretted choosing life.

      • Ellie

        YOU believe it is murder based upon YOUR beliefs. Lots of us do not share those beliefs. And as far as meeting a woman who regrets NOT having had an abortion–you need to talk to more women, especially those in tough financial situations, who have survived abusive relationships, those battling addiction (who have reason to believe that a fetus would have been damaged) and more…I certainly know many who are involved with religious organizations who endeavor to do good. More power to them. I also have encountered a lot of religious people who simply cannot understand why everyone doesn’t “just do it their way”.

        I wonder: do you support the death penalty? Have you supported going to war? I see lots of Christians in this country who are perfectly happy to support the death penalty–which is certainly murder, just state sanctioned murder–who are fervently anti-choice. What hypocrites!

      • Goldendawn7

        Exodus 11:5
        And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn
        of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the
        maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

        Is God REALLY that much against killing babies? Really? Defend this verse. Explain and defend this situation where God finds it suitable and OK to kill every first born child in a country, THAN find me a verse that explicitly states abortion is a sin. The verse has to say ‘Killing an unborn child/fetus is a sin’, it cant be open to interpretation, it has to be worded as explicitly as Ex 11:5 is. because its pretty explicit about God killing babies!

        • Stephen

          How about Exodus 21:22-23? Wouldn’t matter how explicitly the Bible states it, you wouldn’t accept it because you don’t believe that the Bible is God’s Word.

          • Goldendawn7

            First of all, I don’t believe in the bible period, so you’re right on that part. SECOND, I looked up the verse, and while I will concede you make a point with it, the part where it says pay a fine of the husbands choosing leads me to believe its a little more patriarchal in nature, and that the person that causes the woman to give birth should be punished for the harm he does to the man, depriving him of child, not so much for the sake of the child itself. Is there a verse that talks about a child that neither the husband nor mother want?

      • Pauline

        No one WANTS to have an abortion. Sometimes a woman feels like there is no other option for her and the baby other than to terminate a pregnancy. Women often feel trapped into an abortion and, especially the ones with other children, may regret an abortion in the future, but she had to feed her kids today. Her other children should not be allowed to starve while people who hate everything about abortion pat their consciences on the head for preventing them.

        • Mort Sinclair

          Uh, yes, there are women who want abortions because they don’t want to be pregnant. They want sterile, legal clinical procedures. Stop shaming women.

      • mike

        I wonder, have you talked to someone who was not aborted and may wish they were? There are a lot of attempted suicides in this country every year (I heard the statistic 500,000 !!).

      • Mort Sinclair

        You say: Abortion is murder.

        I say: No it isn’t.

        See how that works? I don’t subscribe to your religious beliefs and you have no right to force me to. Pretty simple.

        • Rick

          Abortion stops a beating heart and ends a human life. If that’s not murder, then I don’t know what is.

          • Mort Sinclair

            It is not a human life; therefore, it is not murder. Clinically “dead” people–fully developed in comas–have beating hearts, too, but they can still be dead. Beating hearts are noncontributory.

    • Melanie

      Ellie,
      Thank you.
      Another thing about this entire topic that really gets me is that those making the laws are, for the most part, men. You will never see legislation against one of the men’s pills.

    • Amos kissel

      Thats because the old testament laws were amended in the new testament when Jesus came.

  • claudia

    Thank you so much for interviewing Dr. Parker. He expressed so eloquently key principles of Christianity that fanatics tend to forget – compassion and empathy. He acknowledges and respects just how difficult and painful the decision to have an abortion is, and he tries to restore women’s dignity in the face of such shameful hatred. Thank you, Dr. Parker. I truly admire your courage, may God bless you.

    Constructive critique for the interviewer, Robin: I wish you had not ended the piece saying that Dr. Parker is “making the case for abortion.” No one makes a case for abortion. Dr. Parker did not. He made a case for showing Christian respect for the woman to make the decision for what is best for her family.

    • JS

      Very well said. Are you the Maggie who has posted below also?

      • claudia

        I am not Maggie, but she speaks the Truth.

        • JS

          Sorry, but I was sure your comment said “Maggie” earlier. And your comment seems in contrast to Maggie’s comment below.

    • Jayzee

      I got caught on that last line as well. No one “makes the case for abortion”. Rather he makes the case for safe and professional abortions for those who truly need it. A great interview and an amazing physician.

  • Tj Essley

    Not christian.

    He claims he wants to help woman with their medical needs because the woman are going to have an abortion either way… so he wants to ensure the woman get the best heath care possible.

    Guys a crack pot. Ok, go help Isis in Iraq behead Christians in the best medical way… either way you look at it it’s murder… or go help a heroine addict by giving him “clean” uncut heroine and new needles. Sounds like lunacy right? Well so does “performing abortions to help the woman”.

    the doctor chooses sin… he murders these little babies and tries to cover it up by saying he’s trying to “help” these women. No doctor, you’re choosing to sin, you have theses baby’s blood on your hand… literally. You live in unrepented sin doctor. You feel it’s ok to murder these babies because it would happen with or without you… a pretty lucrative business I might add.

    What are you going to tell God when you stand before him with all this unrepented murder on your hands? That you were only trying to help?… ha!! Why didn’t you preach his gospel, or try to stop these abortions and give these women hope with a word of Jesus? That would be trying to help.

    You sir, are a fake Christian… when Jesus comes, many will say Lord Lord… he will say be gone from me…

    Not a real Christian but a fake… tryin to hide you sins behind Christianity.. But your sins will be revealed. Doctor, I urge you to stop these abortions now… repent, turn away from them, and do them no longer… help these women by spreading the gospel.

    • Karina Nicole Asanza-Mckee

      Preach brother!!

    • Goldendawn7

      Claiming he’s not a christian because he believes and practices differently than you? Sounds like YOU should go to Iraq and help ISIS, since you seem to have a little in common with them.

      • Tj Essley

        Christians don’t choose sin… plain and simple. For you to argue my posted comment shows 1) you’re not a Christian or 2) you’re mislead in your church.

        You shall know them by their fruits… says this in the bible, does it not? The doctor is willfully killing/murdering these babies/children… that’s not a Christian fruit. A good tree will not bear bad fruit. The doctor is obviously lost in his interpretation of Christianity as so are you.

        • Goldendawn7

          Simple bro. I’m the farthest thing from a Christian you can find. Sin to you is a good old time on a Friday night to me.

          • Tj Essley

            Your first comment didn’t even make sense… I’m saying he’s not a Christian because he willfully goes against the will of the Father.

            And your comment that I should go help Isis because I have nothing in common with them… whaaat? Are you still drunk from the weekend?

          • Goldendawn7

            You got me, I probably AM still little drunk. But i said you ‘Have A little’ in common with them, NOT ‘you have little in common’. As in, practitioners of religion that do not accept others that interpret the teachings different from you. ISIS, Sunni Muslims denouncing Shi’ite and kurding muslims because of the differences in interpretation of islam. You saying this guy isnt a real christian because he interprets it different from you. See what I’m saying? ISIS is certain theirs is the only true interpretation, you also certain you’re interpreting it right and he is wrong.

            Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one

          • Tj Essley

            Nope, don’t see what you’re saying… because you don’t even understand scripture to even start a debate on scripture. This doctors actions contradict scripture…

          • Amos Kissel

            Sounds like you are the candidate to join isis.. nottj

  • Karina Nicole Asanza-Mckee

    A woman’s body does not have have 2 heads, 4 hands, 4 legs, 2 beating hearts, 2 different DNA!!

    These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
    A proud look, a lying tongue, and HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD,
    An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief
    A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. PROVERBS 6:16-19

    Just bc you say you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you’re a Christian! You’re a SICK man! Get your heart right!

    • PSE

      wow. you’re what make me run from Christians. YOU are a SICK Christian. Get yourself to church and try to remember the lessons on judging, condemning, compassion, and the sin of ignorance.

    • JS

      Yet God shed the innocent blood of Egyptian babies to free the Israelites. Go figure.

    • Goldendawn7

      You know, there is a place where, currently, the righteous are proactive in shedding light on Gods doctrine to the people of the land, fighting those that practice abominations onto him, spreading his word and will. The place is Iraq, and the ‘righteous’ go by the name ISIS, and that is a prime example of what happens when the zealous get a little too zealous, create their own interpretations of religious scripture, and cant accept anyone else living and believing differently than them.

  • sue

    Wow, this Dr. Parker gave me goose bumps. How caring, how loving, how smart, how well spoken can one person be? Thank you for the interview, one of the most thoughtful I have listened to in some time. And a big thank you to Doctor Parker who risks it all to help women, you brave wonderful person you!!!

    • Stephen

      Lucky for you he only gave you goosebumps! Just think about all those little developing human beings that have been destroyed.

      • RiverPub

        Potential human beings.

        • Stephen

          More accurately, human beings in the earliest stages of development

        • Sophie Cat

          Well, since it’s your opinion that “adoption is not the answer” – what do you suggest, FORCING people to parent children they do not want?

          Hell, you can’t even get these fathers to pony up for the kids they wanted to bring into the world – now you’re going to force them to pay for kids they don’t?!?

          You think you’ve got murder on your hands now – wait ’til you pull that one out of your rass, you’ll have kids laying dead in the streets by the dozens.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Voting up your own post is bogus.

        • Stephen

          I’m new here. I will give you a vote up

        • Sally

          Yes,Neil, it is.

        • Sophie Cat

          And it’s not even a post that deserves a vote up.

      • Evie

        Nice! Yeah I got goosbumps too – goosbumps of disgust and outrage at his blatant absurd backwards beliefs.

        • JT 10

          Please explain how listening, helping and affirming a woman’s integrity is blanant and upsurd beliefs. Your lack of charity and compassion astound.
          God blesses Dr. Parker with skill and clear thought.

          • Sally

            He lacks charity because he detests babies being killed? I question your idea of charity and compassion.

      • martin_lowe

        You’re a moron

    • Sally

      And he kills pre born babies.
      What a guy!!

  • Strandwolf

    What a man!

  • Jack Kintner

    Finally, some balance in this issue. Thanks, WBUR.

  • Moira

    After listening to this man’s interview, and now seeing his face, I know that he is so beautiful in so many ways. The world always needs more thoughtful and compassionate souls.

  • Treez4ever

    What an admirable man! I very much appreciate his thoughtful, ethical practice of healing and respect his living of Christ’s message. Bravo and thank you, Dr. Parker!

  • Adam D.

    Thoughtful, full of common sense (something far too many people lack), and full of Christ’s love. That is how I would describe this doctor. If only more people truly had as much love in them as this man seems too.

  • michaelnathanharris

    Dr. Parker, his voice and intrinsic nobility, stir me with admiration. He balances truth, conscience, vulnerability, and kindness, tactfully and eloquently.

    Michael Harris MD
    Fieldbrook, CA

  • B

    I LOVE that Dr. Parker continually used the word “thoughtful!” A great interview! Thank you for sharing this perspective.

  • chrisnfolsom

    This is such a tired argument – NO ONE LIKES ABORTION, but it is a necessary evil for many reasons, and a right for most in the world. If Christ can forgive a prostitute, and forgive his own murders then we can forgive someone who is doing what he thinks is correct and the rest of you can worry about your own life and raising your boys and girls so perhaps they won’t need (or want) abortion in their life – prevention is the best idea, not stigmatization and hate and murder – that was Old Testament not new. Have compassion, love, empathy and care – all souls have a chance at heaven don’t they? Why so much hate – usually that just means you have your own demons to deal with……

    • Goldendawn7

      Brother this argument is ridiculously played out, but unfortunately theres a contingent that feel what they believe should be forced on the rest of us, thus we have a constant replay of a very tired argument where those that want to deny women the right to control their own bodies and life trajectories will simply never relent.

      • chrisnfolsom

        What really blew my mind recently was the resurgence of the Birth Control argument just when I thought it couldn’t get worse…. and then the Supreme Court rulings… Interesting so many Catholics on the Supreme court and one who still believe in a literal manipulative on earth Devil (Scalia of course).

        • Goldendawn7

          Like can we all agree that we enjoy sex and birth control benefits the man just as much as the woman? And furthermore, whatever your opinions are on contraceptives, you should realize its a societal good to prevent unwanted pregnancies. But yet, theres some that would cut off their noses to spite their faces.

    • Evie

      When you dwell on the Christ forgiving a prostitute and sitting with the sinners and take that to mean, “Oh! Since Jesus forgives them nothing they do is wrong!!” that is taking it too far. We must understand scripture in context and with the prostitute story, if we keep reading we hear Jesus say the important, “Go and sin no more”. Just because Jesus forgave her and shows love and compassion that does not means He approves of her sin and wants her to continue in it.
      God implants souls at the moment of conception – it is very clear that God loves those unborn children and would never desire their demise. John the baptist leaped for joy in his mother’s womb at the news of Jesus’ existence (IN THE WOMB)!
      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Deny_3G-3Ps/UnlHwO89EjI/AAAAAAAAFDk/5NOwGQz_y4E/s1600/10557_464967003585531_116631285_n.jpg

      http://spreadjesus.org/DEC-13/Mary-Visits-Elizabeth-LUKE-1-39-56.jpg

      It is not hateful to plead with a mother to not kill her child and offer her free help. That is what sidewalk counselors do. (they are NOT protesters, they want the best for the baby and the mother as thousands of women regret their abortion and hundreds have died from abortion)

      There have been over 400 murders and 152 attempted murders in the name of the pro-abortion cause since Roe v. Wade. 551 women have died from botched abortions, and over 1,000 have been the victims of various sex crimes.

      (See the statistics at Pro-Choice Violence: http://www.prochoiceviolence.com/statistics ) http://www.lifenews.com/2012/11/27/more-than-400-women-have-died-from-legal-abortions-since-1973/

      • downtown21

        So go and sin no more and leave the rest of us alone you insufferable windbag.

      • Sally

        And Mary and Jesus didn’t abort Jesus – even though Mary was a teenage mother.

        • anonymous

          Mary was a teenager, but in those days, teenage girls were considered adults and sent to live with the husband their father’s picked out for them. Also, she AGREED to have Jesus, so she obviously wouldn’t have aborted him because that would have made an awful liar out of her. That, and abortions weren’t available, so it was basically impossible.

          • Sally

            Abortions have always been available in some fashion. Why else do you think the Old Testament speaks about God creating us in the womb, and that he knew us when we were being formed in secret?

          • Pauline

            Probably because poodle knew about what pregnancy meant back then. Abortions may have been available, but if you think three are bad, earlier versions were more unsafe and likely to kill the mother as well.

          • Pauline

            People*

      • bobloblaw

        Well, He sure does murder a lot of babies in utero, then. Something like a third of all conceptions do not go on to become successful pregnancies.

  • LD

    I take offense at Dr. Parker being described as a doctor who provides abortions. He is a doctor who provides compassionate, safe, responsible health care for women who would not otherwise receive it. Thank God for health care providers who take their talents and their beliefs so seriously. Thank you Dr. Parker on behalf of all women who, for circumstances beyond their control, must make such courageous decisions

    • Stephen

      “for circumstances beyond their control” – I am sure so many abortions are just completely out of the women’s control. Wait, who is the one who thinks women are powerful? Oh yeah, it’s me since I think women have control over whether they get pregnant and over whether they choose to be responsible to take care of the life they helped create.

      • Dani Bock

        You obviously have never had a discussion with anyone about birth control. It’s not a steel wall, it’s sandbags you hope will hold back the flood.

        • Stephen

          My point is that if a woman is not responsible or not ready to have a baby, she can decide not to engage in sexually reproductive acts because she is powerful and in control. This is much more effective than “birth control”. (Yes, there is a whole other set of pregnancies where a woman didn’t have a choice in the act.)

          • downtown21

            Ah ha! The solution is for the poor – even those in committed relationships – to just stop having sex! BRILLIANT! I think you may have stumbled on the solution for poverty, too! Wow, how is it that nobody thought of it before you did? Why are you wasting your brilliant intellect in an anonymous internet forum instead of starting your own thinktank and making millions?

          • Dani Bock

            But what happens if the woman already has kids and is married? At least 61% of women that have an abortion already have at least 1 child.

  • chagrined

    You will be know by your deeds. Dr. Parker’s deeds display compassion and kindness and a cerebral approach to reproductive freedom. America needs more outstanding citizens like Dr. Parker who has the best interest of American women at heart.

    Voting in favor of Roe v. Wade, Virginia’s Justice Lewis F. Powell’s decision was shaped by an incident at his law firm. A 19-year-old messenger for the firm called him at home early one morning with a desperate request for help. His girlfriend had died while trying, with the messenger’s help, to abort a pregnancy. Justice Powell thought a woman ought to have the right to have a legal, safe abortion and his vote made that possible.

    • LD

      Thank you.

  • Jean

    After listening to the interview of the doctor, I was flabbergasted when he made the statement, that he would like to live a long life. I don’t get it. He wants to live a long life, but denies the lives of the children that he has aborted. What about their lives? They did not get the chance to live one minute of their lives. As the commentor below, you can say you are a christian, but you are not a follower of Jesus. Jesus said, blessed are the children, anyone who hurts one of these little ones should have a milestone hung around their necks and cast into the sea (paraphrased). God said, I knew you while you were in your mother’s womb. How can anyone say that the child unborn, is not a human, created by God, when God himself acknowledges that He knew them before they were born, while still in their mother’s womb! People, wake up, you shall give an account of all your deeds. Whether good or bad, you shall answer to God as to what life you have lived. This doctor thinks he knows more than God, I feel sorry for you when you do take your last breath, then you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is who He says He is and we shall all be judged according to His Word. Think about it folks.
    A follower of JESUS

  • don

    To God taking a life is not murder…He can bring them back to life..it’s His m.o. to make alive but when we kill its murder..done.
    This doc by definition can’t be a Christian (follower of Christ) or he would trust God to do whatever God wants with that life he created in that misguided women’s womb…not kill it.
    When asked ” do you ever look at the scrambled mass of flesh blood and bones that a minute before was a baby in his mother’s womb and ask yourself …”what have I done?”…and the doctor quotes Voltaire….he can’t find anything in the Bible to justify abortion I promise you that….anyone can claim to be a Christian.

    • Dani Bock

      Obviously.

    • downtown21

      “anyone can claim to be a Christian”

      Even you, it would seem.

      You just don’t get it, do you?

  • AMF

    Dr. Parker, as a fellow Christian, I want to say that, while I disagree with your practices (I would call myself pro-life), I have a deep respect for your struggle for truth and your compassion for women. While I would argue there might be a better way of caring for women and their children than providing abortions, I would not stand in judgment of you and believe you have done your wrestling with God. You’re right – the world we now live in is not “black and white” (and, btw, there are pro-lifers who aren’t convinced they’re perfectly right either ;). You have chosen to seek a way of compassion.

    Mostly I’m sorry that, instead of encountering honest and challenging questions in kindness from other Christians, you will probably mostly hear dismissive and judgmental rhetoric from those who don’t seek to understand you or the women you serve. Just know there are Christians out there who would still call you brother and still treat you as one, even if they disagree with you.

    Blessings to you and the women you encounter.

    • Pauline

      Civil people like you are the reason we haven’t blown ourselves up yet.

  • dannah

    What a wonderful human being this man is. Thank you so much for devoting so much time to a story that certainly deserves it. It’s so empowering to hear a story about an individual who has dedicated his life to supporting women’s healthcare. Bravo, Here and Now.

  • Frederick Lucies

    This was a great spot. I am a Christian, but I believe deeply than, under our constitution, church and state are separate. Therefore, Christians do NOT have the right to legislate morality for all people. I saw a woman on the side of the road the other day waving rosary beads and bearing a sign that said “Pray for an end to abortions”. She has a perfect right to speak out, but not to demand that all people obey her beliefs. As a priest, 35 years ago, I encountered a woman who was still utterly in inter conflict over the fact that she had even thought about an abortion 24 years earlier. Consider the emotional impact today on women with all the self-righteous hurling insults and shame at them. And our Supreme Court has even removed the 35 foot protective barrier around clinics. I fear deeply that the religious right has taken over even our Supreme Cout.

    • Stephen

      “Consider the emotional impact today” How about considering the emotional impact of the millions of women that have suffered through losing a child because our society says that it is legal and moral? How about the actual physical impact of losing millions of children who would go on to be productive citizens in our economy before someone stopped their heart?

      • Dani Bock

        Most women feel relief after having an abortion. The physical impact of not having millions more mouths to feed on a planet that is already over populated, let’s see, would you give up your food?

        • Stephen

          “Most women feel relief” – Please show me evidence of this from a scientific study, and also how they felt in the long term.
          Yes, I would give up my food.

          • Dani Bock
          • Stephen

            Did you read the study that you posted, or just the article that spun it? “41% of women who had an abortion near the provider’s gestational age limit reported feeling regret about it”. 49% of women that were turned away (denied an abortion) because they were past the limit expressed relief even a week after. Besides, I asked for a study for how women felt in the LONG TERM; you consider one week later to be long term?

      • Frederick Lucies

        My point is very simple. Christian believers have no right to legislate morality.

        • Stephen

          This is incorrect. Since we are a government of the people, by the people and for the people, then Christian citizens do have this right. If Christians have no right to legislate morality, then neither do non-Christians; this would create a system void of laws.

          • Frederick Lucies

            You seem to forget the separation of church and state – actually, the Supreme Court has forgotten as well.

          • Stephen

            Please show me the phrase “seperation of church and state” in the Constitution or in an Amendment. Also, please search about where that phrase does come from. What you mean to say is, “Congress shall make NO law respecting an ESTABLISHMENT of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE thereof…” So again, as a citizen who runs the government, I can make laws based on my Christian moral code. I cannot however make a law that establishes a state religion. You cannot make a law that prohibits the excercise of my religion.

          • downtown21

            “Please show me the phrase “seperation of church and state” in the Constitution or in an Amendment.”

            Dude, we’re not going back to square one on the interpretation of the Establishment Clause. You can go ahead and challenge strangers on the internet to reproduce 75 years of highly complex legal arguments and opinions, but don’t expect anybody to indulge you…and don’t think for one second that the average Joe’s inability (or unwillingness) to take on the role of constitutional lawyer and give you that argument you want proves that you’re right.

          • Stephen

            I am sure you feel the same way about the past 200 years of legal discrimination against same sex couples. I mean, that’s the way the court has said it it, so it must be the moral and just ruling. I mean, slavery as well, was legal for so long, and for anyone to argue against it, in your opinion, should have been a constitutional lawyer; otherwise, it’s not up for discussion…???

          • downtown21

            You really must be joking.

            There aren’t 200 years of court precedents on gay rights. There aren’t even 75 years. Nobody challenged anti-gay laws until very seriously. It’s not anything at all like the Establishment Clause, where one case after another going back 75 years have all come out the same way.

            You want to deny the meaning of the Establishment Clause? Go right ahead. You can believe whatever you want to believe. But nobody else will care and don’t expect many people to take up your challenge to “prove” it to you as if the Supreme Court hadn’t already done it.

          • Frederick Lucies

            How does that phrase contradict the separation of church and state. Obviously you are not a person whose mind is open to other opinions – just like the Republican congress….. my way or the highway….. what about all are created equal. We don’t have to be a society where only one opinion dominates. That has been, until now, the essence of the democratic state.

  • Candace

    The only objection I would have to this broadcast, and I know I am splitting hairs here, is how the host closed the session by saying that Dr. Parker was asserting the position of being “for abortions.” He was not. He clearly stated that he cannot value equally a cluster of developing cells and a woman sitting in front of him who is suffering. That is very different in my mind. He was asserting of position of compassion, of trust and confidence in women to make their own choice and accept the consequences.

    Compassion for women is not seen on college campuses, nor in the military, nor in the debate about health care coverage. It is a much bigger than being pro-abortion.

  • HapKlein

    This is an incredible article. I listened to his words earlier today and I am very touched by his frank and honesty in abortions.

    I have felt for years that abortion should have remained a medical issue framed by personal morality rather than all the claptrap the religions have fostered on the subject.

    I still find it highly objectionable that mostly stale old men are the creatures controlling the politicizing of abortion. It really is something for women to settle themselves with a good Doctors advice and action.

    I can imagine the number of deaths the Mississippi restriction will cause with botched procedures killing both the Mother and Child.

  • Amos Kissel

    It is not everyones goal in life to nurture and care for others. I see this selfishness as the main reason women often choose to have abortions, as well as the root of many problems in society. I wish there were more morals in society so that all pregnancies would be a welcome blessing. I wish there was more I could do to support both women and the unborn. The world is a grey place between absolute good and bad. I want to move us as close as possible towards the absolute good. I hope there are others who will join me.

  • steph

    I am so grateful for an articulate, compassionate voice of reason. Dr. Parker, as a white woman who has never had to face this issue personally, I remain vigilant for a voice such as yours. Thank you.

  • Jennifer

    I really enjoyed this interview! One of the best you have ever had. He was so well spoken and compassionate
    .

  • Beth DeRoos

    Devout Christian? Killing the innocent is not Christian. Period!!

  • chuck

    It never ceases to amaze me how arrogant and sanctimonious most white folks can
    be; always coming from a place of White Supremacy, like you know the god’s
    truth about everything. As an African American, I understand what he means
    about coming to term with his particular Christian understanding…which is not
    the understanding of most white Christian.

    Martin Luther King Jr. letter from the Birmingham Jail was written and directed at the Christian leadership of the day (which included Billy Graham), who faulted him
    for marching and bringing the wrath of those who hate down upon themselves. As
    if what he were doing was wrong.

    Black people have always had to wrestle with the underpinnings of the religion that
    was pressed upon them…a religion that was used in justifying their enslavement
    and keeping them second class citizens.

    I find it interesting that most of the negative comments aimed at Dr. Parker didn’t

    mention the racial component that he talked about. The way of life that Black
    people still deal with every day because of the way most of you vote, and the
    people you support, whom like you, are only interested in maintaining the status
    quo.

    Most of you people criticizing him have no real care for the people he is dealing with; you don’t work in those communities with those people—you probably don’t even know or care to know anyone who doesn’t look like you. You sit on your high horse of white superiority, sermonizing about God and the bible ignoring their use in the oppression of people of color all over the world

    • Stephen

      I for one love black people as much as white people. That is why I am so saddened that abortion occurs at such high rates in the black community. I would love to raise one of those precious babies.

    • downtown21

      I find your cynicism and resentment totally unproductive and unhelpful. I believe Dr. King would recommend that you drop all that baggage you’re carrying.

    • gene clark

      White men brought Christianity to the black savages who would still be following tribal superstitions without our influence. Martin Luther King was a poseur, a notorious adulterer while preaching. What a scam artist!

  • downtown21

    Oh, “period,” huh? Thanks for declaring the discussion closed as soon as you said what you had to say. I guess it really is that simple, right?

    The problem with your ideological stance on this is that the Bible doesn’t say that a fetus is a baby or a person. “Murder” is the deliberate taking of human life, and the Bible doesn’t define a fetus as a human life. In fact, the Old Testament defines a fetus as merely private property and the New Testament doesn’t take any position on that question at all. So if you’re going to rely solely on the Scriptures to make your argument, you’re coming up short because they don’t support your point of view.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    There is discussion in the Bible about things a husband can give his wife, if he suspects the child she is carrying is not his.

  • gene clark

    God commands abortion in cases of adultery, as outlined in Numbers 5. There are few true Christians who even know the Word, much less obey it, as amply demonstrated by the travesty of granting legal sanction of homosexual “marriage.” If the USA were a nation of true Christians, we would be obeying God, not the will of perverts.

    Leviticus 20:13
    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    Amen

    • downtown21

      I think you got confused, you were talking about the legal institution of marriage as defined and regulated by government but you ended up producing a Bible quote about gay sex. Did you mean to produce a Bible quote about same sex marriage? I’m looking forward to seeing it.

  • Connie F.

    I join the thank yous for the interview of Dr. Willie Parker, with gratitude for this man whose faith encompasses compassion, empathy and integrity. However, Robin Young, I take umbrage at your questioning his justification as a Christian performing abortions.

    Here is an excerpt from the social creed of the United Methodist Church:
    “We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures by certified medical providers. We call all Christians to a searching and prayerful inquiry into the sorts of conditions that may cause them to consider abortion. We entrust God to provide guidance, wisdom, and discernment to those facing an unintended pregnancy.”

    United Methodist congregants are 12 million worldwide — and we are Christians. To, imply as you did more than once (“But you’re a Christian…”) that being a Christian is inimical to recognizing the need for, and right to, reproductive rights is as egregious as painting all Muslims as terrorists. In the future, please draw as clear a line between Christians and Conservative & Fundamentalist Christians as you would draw between Muslims and Fundamentalist Muslims.

  • oh2props

    I linked this story at baptistlife.com/forums History section in reference to a conversation in the Collinsville Baptist Church Sunday School class of 2006 and the reverberations. I also called Gov Bentley’s office about how things are playing in Alabama

  • Diogenes Arktos

    Thank you H&N for your moderate discussion. I highly quibble, however, with your ending “Christian” – as the MD stated, he’s a “fundamentalist Christian” and it is true that said group has (recently) not usually held the views he espouses. (BTW – I do *not* use scare quotes.) The full history of Christianity has had the complete range of opinion about abortion and personhood. In other words, personhood has been viewed as anything from conception (whatever that has meant in the given era) to first unaided breath. It is still true today. Christianity, it should also be noted, has had its share of changes of view. For example, Genesis used to be cited to mandate enslavement of blacks by whites. That is now a minority – but still present – view in both Christianity and Judaism. Perhaps there will be such a shift on personhood. Perhaps not.

  • oh2props

    Google the Christine Stansell story Holy War, New Republic. The Republican politics of abortion are chocked full of “mendacity”
    , a stain on the record of Baptist leader in Mississippi, Charles Pickering who was on the Peace Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. See Randall Balmer bio of President Carter, Redeemer and see George Packer on Rick Perlstein’s Ascendancy of Ronald Reagan.

  • ex-Democrat

    You cannot be a Christian, and be pro abortion also.

  • R. A. O.

    Dr. Parker, the depth of your compassion for women is astonishing. What a beautiful soul you are. If only we could clone you! Wow….

  • Tricia Lubrecht

    I feel that Dr. Parker put the focus of this debate where it belongs, on the
    individual conscience of each person involved. When a woman makes a conscious
    choice to abort a fetus, does the fetus make a conflicting conscious choice? Should a potential law generated by an ideology, to which neither the patient or doctor subscribes, trump the doctor’s conscious choice in treating his or her patient? Abortion was legalized to save women’s lives, because women were dying from pregnancy related causes. If parties on both sides of this debate focused on prevention, promoting consciously responsible sexuality, the abortion argument would become a relatively moot point. Is it possible for both sides to work together on the source of the problem, unplanned pregnancy? Peace.

  • Sophie Cat

    Powerful stuff. A brave, brave man.

  • JesusisLord

    Wasn’t one of the ten commandments “Thou shalt not kill”? Being a true Christian means to make Jesus Christ your Lord — repenting of sin. “Lord” is an important concept here. Jesus never taught his disciples and followers to abort. I renounced abortion when I became a Christian, since it is wrong. Plain and simple. It is wrong. These women will feel guilty afterwards — despite their sob story. And what about the aborted CHILD? Can anyone cry for them? Jesus is the authority here. If every person who claimed to be a “Christian” decided to have their own rules, their own belief system and conduct independent of Christ, where would that leave Christianity as a belief system? It really needs to start with God’s word, and following Jesus Christ and what he taught (God’s word).

  • Vicki Mccaig

    Wow, Most ppl that are christians follow the ten commandments,one of them being thou shall not kill. You of all ppl know at what time of gestation that heart starts to beat especially if it can be heard at 9 weeks. All those women who don’6t want to be pregant, there are millions of couples who can even get pregant, it only cost a couple of bucks to put an ad in the paper for a loving couple to adopt your baby, and most pay for all your medical care and compyou on top of it.

  • Barbara Hill

    I so admire Dr. Parker.

  • Anne

    When I was carrying and hoping for my second child, my OB withheld the results of all the genetic testing I did at 12 weeks gestation (or maybe he didn’t bother to read the results, I’ll never know). He eventually shared with me at 21 weeks that I was carrying a baby that was not expected to survive. Thank God for the compassionate staff at Planned Parenthood. There doctor there was so very very kind, much like Dr. Parker.

  • Marie

    I am sure you are feeling free now after meeting satan in person and a destroyer of a defenseless human beings! You are an achiever of perversion!

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