Much has been said about Planned Parenthood over the last few weeks due to the release of numerous behind-the-scenes videos. These videos have revealed what Christians have known (and said) for years, namely that abortion is one of the most barbaric, callous, and tragic practices of the modern world.
Hidden behind sanitized words like “fetus” and “tissue donation” and “scientific research” is the unthinkable reality that Planned Parenthood “doctors” are chopping up living babies in order to sell their body parts on the open market.
So, what could possibly be said in defense of PP’s activities? Incredibly, some people have tried to make a defense. And what is fascinating is to observe how inadequate (or even irrelevant) such defenses turn out to be. Let’s just examine a few of them:
1. Planned Parenthood does other good things. This is an example of a “change the subject” defense. In order to deflect attention away from the killing of babies, PP advocates point out how they also provide general healthcare like mammograms and STD testing.
However, there are numerous problems with this response. First, PP does not manage a single licensed mammogram facility in the United States. Not even one. Their main industry is, and always has been, abortion. Second, this defense is not actually a defense at all because it never addresses the main issue. The question is still on the table: does PP, in fact, kill babies and harvest their parts? If so, then it doesn’t matter what other good things it might do. Such things cannot overturn, nor should they cause us to ignore, the unthinkable practices they are engaged in.
2. The videos have been heavily edited. This response is legion among PP supporters, with the help of a complicit media. Of course, technically they are right. Of course the videos are edited. They are too long to show all at once. But, that is true of any lengthy video clip that needs to be shown on TV or the internet. The key issue is whether the video has been edited in such a way that it distorts the message. Given that the full videos are available for anyone to watch, why doesn’t PP just show alternative clips that prove their side of the story? Notice that they have not done this. And there is a reason for that. It cannot be done. Regardless of how many minutes you watch, the message is the same.
3. Planned Parenthood is not making any money. This, again, is a “change the subject” defense, and it simply doesn’t work. First, it is doubtful whether this claim is true. In the most recent video, there is even haggling over prices (see here). But, even it the claim is true, it is entirely irrelevant. Is murdering babies only a problem if someone makes money doing it? If they murder babies and make no money, is it then alright? The absolute absurdity of such an argument is its own refutation.
4. Fetal tissue is being used for important scientific research. The PP website even tries to pull on the heartstrings when they say, “The opportunity to donate fetal tissue has been a source of comfort for many women who have chosen to donate.” But, what they don’t mention is that these so-called organ donors–the babies–are alive when the organs are harvested! Its not the mothers who “donate” these body parts, its the babies themselves–at the cost of their own lives. What if we went around killing 8-year-olds for body parts? Would that be acceptable simply under the guise of scientific research? This defense is so bad, that it is tragic that so many people are falling for it.
These are just four examples, of the many flawed arguments used to defend PP. But, I want to point out something very important. Notice what is not being offered as a defense.
Planned Parenthood never says anywhere that they are not actually cutting up babies and selling their parts.
Rather they are saying such actions are justified because we don’t make money doing it, or because it used for science, or because we do other things that are good.
Most people who are accused of murder say, “I didn’t do it.” Planned Parenthood, on the other hand, simply says “We are doing it, but its not murder.” Thus, they have never denied killing babies. And that is a stunning silence that should not be missed.
This raises the question of how a country could get to the place where not only this is allowed, but is funded by federal tax dollars.
I am reminded of the way the world looked at the German people after the Holocaust had ended. The issue was not just how the Nazis could commit such unthinkable atrocities. The issue was how the entire German nation could stand by and watch it happen and do nothing.
Of course, there were some in Germany who fought against the Nazis. And there are some (thankfully) in America that fight against abortion. But, America, as a whole, is turning a blind eye.
Someday, I believe the abortion practice will eventually end. And when it does, it is sad to think they will look back into these generations of our country and ask, How could the entire nation stand by and watch it happen and do nothing?
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said,
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.