Want some Jesus With Your Birth Control?

No? That may be too bad if you live in Shelby County. Shelby County, Tennessee, is recommending that a religious organization, Christ Community Health Services (CCHS), get a $400,000 contract to provide family-planning and related services to its low-income & uninsured residents. Instead of Planned Parenthood (or Memphis Health Center).

CCHS seems like a nice enough organization focused on service, employing competent people, and they believe all people deserve health care and services. All of which are good things, yes.

Now let's look at their mission statement:
Christ Community Health Services will provide high-quality health care to the underserved in the context of distinctively Christian service. We recognize that Jesus Christ is the true healer of individuals and their communities and the source of our ability to serve.
Comparatively here is the mission statement from Planned Parenthood Greater-Memphis:
Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region's mission is to ensure broad public access to reproductive and related health care through health center services, education, advocacy and community partnerships in serving 42 counties in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas.
and Memphis Health Center:
Memphis Health Center's mission is to provide safe, quality, affordable, effective and comprehensive health services to the citizens of Shelby and Fayette counties.
I'm fairly comfortable with saying that both PP and MHC are also nice organizations who believe in service to all people and employ competent care givers. So what makes CCHS different? I think it's pretty obvious in just the mission statements.
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said a six-person team that included health professionals and members of his administration evaluated proposals from Christ Community, Planned Parenthood and the Memphis Health Center. They gave Christ Community Health the highest cumulative score.

The low-income and under- or uninsured residents of Shelby County should not be forced to be a captive audience of a religious organization--even a competent medical one--in order to access necessary health care services.

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