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Kansas Church Draws Protests for Supporting Planned Parenthood

Kansas Church Draws Protests for Supporting Planned Parenthood

St. James Episcopal in College Hill, Kansas, has hosted a community fundraiser for the past four years: Chili for Choice. The menu, not unusual in church fundraisers. The beneficiary – Planned Parenthood – more so. This year, for reasons not entirely known, anti-abortion protestors took notice. Deb Gruver reports on public reaction to the event in The Wichita Eagle.

Reverend Dawn Frankfurt, St. James’ rector since 2011: “The Episcopal church says you can form your own opinion about reproductive justice and you can be against it or for it. There’s room for everybody in the Episcopal church to come together and worship God.”

The rector had to shut down comments on the parish Facebook page, whose reach increased to around 18,000, she said. Planned Parenthood is providing security for the January 22 event, scheduled on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and for the Sunday following, when anti-abortion protestors are expected at church.

College Hill United Methodist Church is also supporting the event. Dean Wolfe, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, voiced support of St. James’ sponsorship:

“‘Faithful churches take risks to help people in need,’ he said in an e-mail to The Eagle. ‘Saint James Episcopal Church has been serving people in need in the Wichita community since it was founded in 1920.'”

Posted by Cara Modisett


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Selecia Young-Jones

I see the FORCED PREGNANCY crowd is in full force. While I personally do not think that abortion is a wise choice, it IS a CHOICE. Get over it people. Move along. It is NONE of your business what another family chooses for their medical conditions.

Mark Mason

Medical condition? Does their medical condition need to be fed, clothed and educated? Funny how what is nobody else’s business becomes every one else’s responsibility once private choices have been made… MY Choice, YOUR responsibility!

Donna Shehane

A baby is not a medical condition. You have been misled by propaganda and twisted language. And no one forced a pregnancy other than the 2 participating adults.

David Allen

That’s it, done with the last cup, here’s another. Keep drinking that Koolaid.

Lesley Carter

As someone who grew up in the parish, I’d like to offer one tiny correction – College Hill is a neighborhood, not an incorporated city, and St. James is in fact located in Wichita.


Many of my impoverished musician friends needed Planned Parenthood for their medical needs. No where else could they get check ups, birth control, and care if they had medical issues.

The idea that PP MUST be condemned when only 3 percent of its activities include abortion is quite extreme and hysterically irrational.

I get that 3 percent is too much for some. But many of the people I know who needed abortions did so for medical reasons. Some of the possible complications threaten the life of the mother and make survival problematic for the fetus. Sometimes birth control fails.

I find abortion to be a tragedy. But so was the tragedy of the pregnant Indian woman (who happened to be a doctor), who ran into a medical emergency while in Ireland, and the Irish hospitals not only would not perform the medically necessary abortion, they wouldn’t let her be transported to nearby England or Wales where she could have the life saving procedure. She died. And the “baby” didn’t make it either. I find the Right to Life rhetoric extreme, and in practice, downright cruel. Make no mistake, Right to Lifers are prioritizing one life over another’s as a matter of law no matter the circumstance, and I’m very uncomfortable with that.

This is the stuff of God and conscience. And it is exactly the church who should hold the tension.

Gary Paul Gilbert

The Bishop of Kansas summed it up well: “Faithful churches take risks to help people in need.” All women should be offered family planning advice, from birth control to abortion.

The Episcopal Church has generally offered a broader, more generous approach to Christianity and should continue moving in that direction.

Those who oppose abortion have free speech rights, but those who support women in need should stand for their principles.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Robert Martin

If anything our Church should be actively supporting “Planned Childhoods.” Lord knows we need more babies in our Churches. At the rate we’re going most of our Provinces will be underground in 50 years.

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