The President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards did her cause no favors in her appearance this morning on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” (see above). Stephanopoulos was not a hostile interviewer, yet Richards failed to answer the simplest of questions put to her. Continue Reading →
Secretary Hillary Clinton has finally weighed-in on Planned Parenthood, which has been under fire over the last two weeks for trafficking the body parts of aborted babies. Here are her words as reported by LifeNews.com:
I don’t have all the facts but Planned Parenthood has apologized for the insensitivity of the employee who was taped and they will continue to answer questions for congress and others, but for more than a century Planned Parenthood has provided essential services for women. Not just reproductive health services, including access to affordable family planning, but cancer screenings, for example and other health checkup.
I think it is unfortunate that Planned Parenthood had been the object of such a concerted attacks for so many years and it’s really an attack against women’s rights to choose, to make the most personal, difficult decisions that any women would face based on her faith and her medical advice that she is given. So I am hoping that this situation will not further undermine the very important services that Planned Parenthood provides.
Bottom line: Secretary Clinton defends an organization that routinely kills babies in utero, harvests their body parts, and sells them to buyers. The only moral outrage she musters is against the people who produced the video.
This is the indifference toward innocent human life that must end. Any politician who cannot summon the resolve to oppose the barbarism of Planned Parenthood is not morally serious. And they certainly aren’t worthy of support from anyone who is.
The New York Times editorial board has penned a full-throated defense of Planned Parenthood. The opening paragraph gives you the core of the argument:
A hidden-camera video released last week purported to show that Planned Parenthood illegally sells tissue from aborted fetuses. It shows nothing of the sort. But it is the latest in a series of unrelenting attacks on Planned Parenthood, which offers health care services to millions of people every year. The politicians howling to defund Planned Parenthood care nothing about the truth here, being perfectly willing to undermine women’s reproductive rights any way they can.
Here’s how the editors defend Planned Parenthood. The defense is based solely on the contention that selling baby parts is legal and that allegations of illegality are false. Yes, the editors trumpet “women’s reproductive rights” and engage in ad hominem against the producers of the video. But the bottom line of their defense is that there’s nothing illegal going on at Planned Parenthood.
I believe there is evidence that Planned Parenthood has broken the law, but let us for the moment set aside the question of legality. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Planned Parenthood hasn’t profited in an illegal way from selling baby parts. After setting that question aside, here are the facts that everyone agrees to.
(1) Planned Parenthood routinely kills babies in utero through procedures that involve “crushing” the baby.
(2) Planned Parenthood harvests the body parts of dead babies and sells them to buyers. [Planned Parenthood says they are “donating” the body parts, but they do not dispute that their “donations” involve accepting a payment from the ones they are “donating” to.]
In other words, the most damning aspect of Planned Parenthood’s work is not the potential illegality. The most damning aspect is the morally bankrupt act of killing babies in utero and trafficking their broken bodies to buyers. Neither Planned Parenthood nor the editors of The New York Times dispute these facts. All sides agree that this is what is happening.
That barbarism is what is shocking the consciences of Americans who are viewing this video, and all the euphemisms in the world cannot conceal the bald inhumanity of it. And neither can The New York Times.
Just to be clear, Planned Parenthood has argued that everything it has done is legal. Planned Parenthood is not disputing the most damnable aspects of this video–that their services include killing babies in utero and receiving payment to cover the cost of distributing baby body parts for research. Those are the facts that are undisputed and that shock the conscience. The latest undercover video is more evidence of the whole bloody business (see above).
We need this video to be disseminated far and wide. People need to know what Planned Parenthood is—the kind of place where the dismemberment of live human beings is discussed casually over lunch. That a place like this even exists is a scandal. That what it does is legal is an even bigger scandal. That American taxpayers subsidize this scandal at a rate of $1.4 million dollars per day is damning.
We can be thankful that House Majority Leader John Boehner has called for a Congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood. Hopefully this will finally lead to defunding this barbarous organization. But as a people, we need more than that—nothing short of repentance in sackcloth and ashes.
The primary outrage is not the trafficking of body parts—as unseemly and immoral as that is. The primary outrage is the killing of unborn human beings.
We are not talking about lab rats here. We are talking about people. People are being dismembered and killed in utero. The trafficking of their body parts serves to highlight the prior offense—killing innocent people. That is what Planned Parenthood does every day.
In their annual report, Planned Parenthood said they ended the lives of 327,653 unborn children in the span of one year. That means that Planned Parenthood kills about 900 people per day. If that doesn’t shock the conscience, then nothing will.
As the idea of legal gay marriage has grown more popular, the public by-and-large remains resistant to legal polygamous marriage. And that is why gay marriage supporters have until now tried to discount the slippery slope argument that the one leads to the other. They didn’t want public opinion to turn against gay marriage out of a fear of polygamous marriage.
But now that gay marriage is the law of the land, they don’t have to worry about that anymore. And so today The New York Times has published an op-ed making the case for polygamy. And it does so by appealing to the logic of Obergefell v. Hodges. William Baude writes,
NOW that the dust is settling from the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized a right to same-sex marriage, there are new questions. In particular, could the decision presage a constitutional right to plural marriage? If there is no magic power in opposite sexes when it comes to marriage, is there any magic power in the number two?…
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion in Obergefell did not focus primarily on the issue of sexual orientation. Instead, its main focus was on a “fundamental right to marry” — a right that he said could not be limited to rigid historical definitions or left to the legislative process. That right was about autonomy and fulfillment, about child rearing and the social order. By those lights, groups of adults who have profound polyamorous attachments and wish to build families and join the community have a strong claim to a right to marry…
So the real force of the polygamy question is a lesson in humility. We should not assume that our judges have all the answers. And we should not assume we have them either. Instead we should recognize that once we abandon the rigid constraints of history, we cannot be sure that we know where the future will take us.
This is not the last we will hear of these kinds of arguments. Now that the genie is out of the bottle, there will be no getting him back in.
I just read the Associated Press’s headline “Planned Parenthood says video part of decadelong harassment.” Then I read the story. Then I read the statement released by Planned Parenthood that the AP is reporting on. I have two clarifications of items that both the AP and Planned Parenthood obscure:
(1) Planned Parenthood is still not defending itself from the most damning aspects of this story—that it routinely kills babies in utero and distributes parts of their bodies for scientists to dissect. In spite of euphemisms like “tissue donation,” Planned Parenthood admits that it is trafficking the body parts of aborted babies. In light of that fact, the AP might need a new headline. Maybe something like this: “Planned Parenthood does not dispute that it traffics the body-parts of aborted babies.” As it stands, they’ve buried the lede.
(2) Planned Parenthood is bracing itself for the release of more video footage, some of which may include video of the whole bloody business. This particular detail is barely mentioned in the AP story, but Planned Parenthood is specific in its release:
“Planned Parenthood said it expects to see… Illegal, secret recording in a highly sensitive area of a health center where tissue is processed after abortion procedures, a serious invasion of women’s privacy and dignity.”
Once you de-euphemize that statement, it translates to this. Planned Parenthood thinks that the video sting operation may have actual footage of the aborted babies as they are being prepared for distribution to researchers.
Think about what this means. Planned Parenthood has an area where they “process” tissue—which means that Planned Parenthood has little rooms where they cut up baby bodies and put the different pieces in sterile containers for storage and transport.
I can see why they wouldn’t want video of that to be released and why they are trying to blunt its impact in advance with their euphemized statement. Even if such video never emerges, Planned Parenthood itself has now confirmed that such areas exist in their clinics.
Bottom line? Planned Parenthood is not defending itself from the most damning aspects of this story—that its daily services include killing babies in utero and distributing parts of their bodies for research. Also, there may be video footage of the whole bloody business.
Planned Parenthood is missing the point. And unfortunately, the Associated Press is missing the point as well. God help us if we miss the point.
On Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that he has not yet seen the video exposing Planned Parenthood’s trafficking body parts of aborted babies (see above). Earnest also says that he hasn’t talked to President Obama about the video and doesn’t know if the President has seen it.
A reporter then asks the bottom line question: “Does the President think that it is ethical to use the remains of aborted fetuses for medical research?” Earnest seems to deflect the question by referring reporters to Planned Parenthood and by saying he can’t comment on the inner workings of Planned Parenthood. But he does say that Planned Parenthood’s policies are consistent with the highest ethical standards.
Whether or not Planned Parenthood lives up to its own policies, Earnest doesn’t say. But he does seem to indicate on behalf of the President that the policies themselves are okay. I don’t think this is an ungenerous interpretation, given that Dr. Nucatola has been advising the Obama administration on family planning policy since 2010.
What the President thinks about this issue matters. It will definitely shape the public conversation. Reporters need to press this question until there is clarity. What does President Obama think about Planned Parenthood’s longstanding practice of trafficking the body parts of aborted babies? Does he think its ethical or not?
I just finished preaching a couple messages on biblical womanhood at my church. It was a real joy to prepare and deliver these messages, and I am happy to share them with you. Continue Reading →
The President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards released a video statement to defend her organization in the wake of the damning video that was released earlier this week (see above). The statement is awful on so many levels. But there are two glaring reasons that her statement falls short: Continue Reading →