NEW YORK — Speaking at a gathering in New York City celebrating the abortion and contraception giant Planned Parenthood, a United Church of Christ clergy woman delivered a prayer thanking God that the organization made way “for women to rise up against the political, religious and patriarchal machines that sought to undermine [their] right to choose.”
Neichelle Guidry Jones currently serves as the associate pastor to young adults at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, and is a member of the clergy advocacy board for Planned Parenthood. She opened Sunday’s gathering at New York’s City Hall, which included a proclamation from the wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“God, we thank You on this day. We thank You for the miracle of another day and for our lives,” Guidry Jones began after greeting those gathered, “and for drawing us into this sacred space and time of celebration.”
“We celebrate today that on October 16, 1916, Margaret Sanger opened the doors of the first Planned Parenthood clinic right here in New York City. And with this act of courage and resistance, the doors were opened for women to overcome the silence, and the shame, and the stigma inflicted on our sexuality,” she said.
Guidry Jones then continued to praise the organization as opening the door for women to stand against those who oppose abortion.
“The doors were opened for women to know, and understand, and be agents of our bodies. The doors were opened for women to receive affordable reproductive and life-saving gynecological health care,” she asserted. “The doors were opened for women to rise up against the political, religious and patriarchal machines that sought to undermine our right to choose and decide what happens to our own perfect, beautiful and holy flesh.”
“And 100 years later, we celebrate the millions of girls and women who have received care. The millions of lives that have been saved,” Guidry Jones continued. “The millions of healthy, wanted children who have been born, and the millions of ways that have been made for women and girls to live strong, healthy and fulfilled lives.”
She asked for God to inhabit the gathering in celebration of Planned Parenthood, and prayed that mankind would heed what she characterized as God’s call to keep fighting for the organization’s causes.
“We can’t do this alone. We might be many, but with You we have been mighty. So come into our gathering with Your presence, and Your insight. and Your peace and Your power,” Guidry Jones declared. “Come with Your unity that we might be ready when You call. Call on us to stand, call us on us to press and fight, to speak to move and to march on into the next 100 years of Planned Parenthood.”
She closed her prayer “in the name of all that is holy, of all that is sacred, of all that is righteous, all that is just, and all that is sanctified.” (View invocation in full below.)
As previously reported, Planned Parenthood, originally known as the American Birth Control League, was founded by Margaret Sanger, a feminist who decried what she characterized as women serving as “incubators.”
“Woman’s role has been that of an incubator and little more. She has given birth to an incubated race,” she wrote in “Woman and the New Race.” “In the mass, she has brought forth quantity, not quality. The requirement of a male dominated civilization has been numbers. She has met that requirement.”
“This is the dawn. Womanhood shakes off its bondage. It asserts its right to be free. In its freedom, its thoughts turn to the race. Like begets like. We gather perfect fruit from perfect trees,” Sanger said. “The relentless efforts of reactionary authority to suppress the message of birth control and of voluntary motherhood are futile. The powers of reaction cannot now prevent the feminine spirit from breaking its bonds. ”
Sanger, who was a staunch advocate of eugenics, also made a correlation between birth control and the purification of the races, referring to those with disabilities as being “morons,” “idiots” and “imbeciles.”
“Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives,” she wrote in the aforementioned publication. “If we are to make racial progress, this development of womanhood must precede motherhood in every individual woman.”
In “The Pivot of Civilization,” Sanger said, “’Constructive’ eugenics … shows us that we are paying for and even submitting to the dictates of an ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all—that the wealth of individuals and of states is being diverted from the development and the progress of human expression and civilization.”
According to its annual report released at the end of December, Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions nationwide during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.