Proof of Life: The Ethics of Planned Parenthood

The Wilderness | Issue .54 | 7 . 21 . 2015 |

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As abortion activists have become more radicalized in recent years, what has also become increasingly clear is that their most emphatic public arguments aren’t based on women’s health, or the idea of “choice,” but rather mindlessly shooting spitwads at their religious opponents on the Right. With the urging of the Left’s feminist-driven wing on social media and in Hollywood, a morally perverse idea has taken hold: the act of getting an abortion is no longer to be regarded as a solemn decision made by a woman (and, lest we fail the Voight-Kampff Intersectionality Test, most especially a woman of color). Nay, it is rather a joyful act to be celebrated with bowling nights and gala dinners. The political Left sells their pro-Planned Parenthood argument on the premise that their opponents are crazy God-bothering goblins ready to pounce from the shadows and claw the birth control from each and every woman’s deathgrip. Planned Parenthood has spent millions on celebrity PR campaigns, hoping that the pop culture branding that carried Barack Obama into office will translate over to an entirely new generation of care- and consequence-free women everywhere, and this messaging depends solely on the popularity of the celebrity spokespeople they enlist.

The propaganda surrounding Planned Parenthood and its facilitators is wholly dependent on convincing young people (and especially young people of color) that there is no sentience or moral valence associated with life growing inside of a pregnant woman, and therefore no consequences to ending what may as well just be a malign intruder into a woman’s natural ecosystem. As with most arguments on the Left, they can’t be honest about what this thesis really entails, because if they were it would instantly become far more difficult convince others to follow or to donate to (and certainly to celebrate) their ideology. When it comes to playing in the political arena, pro-abortion zealots truly believe they can only win the battle of information by plying their audience with disinformation and distraction–by seizing upon the deepest religious sensibilities of their opponents for use as a comically unhip pata, one under convenient collateral attack from an emboldened liberal Presidential administration.

No better embodiment of this trend exists than the scene witnessed at the Austin, TX statehouse in 2013, when then-state Senator and current MSNBC TV flunkout Wendy Davis engaged in her pro-abortion filibuster. Her supporters, seized by Mysterious Forces of Cosmic Irony, responded to pro-life marchers praying for the unborn by chanting “HAIL SATAN!,” almost as if commanded by a Higher Power to fulfill their destiny as YouTube-ready anti-religious stereotypes.

But what happens when Planned Parenthood’s practices, and their activists’ behavior, turns even the most moderate of reserved pro-choice allies against them? What happens when alleged illegal practices are revealed and the curtain is pulled back and the only defenders willing to speak up on Planned Parenthood’s behalf are a dwindling number of Democrats in Congress and local State Houses?

Last week Planned Parenthood turned to the fresh-faced model-turned-actress Emily Ratajkowski in an effort to glamorize their organization. (Amusingly, Ratajkowski is most known for her Defcon 1-Level Problematic appearance in Robin Thicke’s ironically anti-feminist music video Blurred Lines.) Their recent spokespeople in Lena Dunham and Sarah Silverman certainly have followings, but they are niche celebrities whose humor never has really caught on with the masses. Ratajkowski’s broadcasting was supposed to be the equivalent of unleashing Hansel onto the stage for all of pop stardom Instagram goodness to soak in: Planned Parenthood’s big unveiling heading into a female focus-grouped election year.

Instead, thanks to citizen journalists entering territory our legacy media fears to tread, Planned Parenthood and its president found themselves in the defensive position of explaining comments from their Senior Director of Medical Services, Deborah Nucatola, who was caught on tape noshing on hors d’oeuvres, sipping wine, and blithely chit-chatting about how easy it is to facilitate the private sale of fetal tissue (including extremities and organs) for profit. In between swigs of Chianti, Nucatola also casually suggested in conversation that Planned Parenthood’s abortionists were altering the abortive process in order to preserve these tissues and organs for transport to medical research facilities.

Both are felony crimes.

nuca_2When the video broke of Nucatola callously discussing fetal organ harvesting and fetal tissue pricing for affiliates, the immediate imperative for Planned Parenthood and the media-at-large was to ignore it, marginalize it and ride it out, hoping it would quickly disappear as fast as Nucatola’s Twitter account did.

It did not.

By 3pm EST on the day the video went public, the words “Planned Parenthood” were the second highest-trending term on Twitter in the United States. Not even Obama’s historic nuclear deal with Iran (the one that will end all war and violence in the Middle East) could keep up on social media.  The media therefore shifted from ignoring to spinning, the highlight being The Daily Beast‘s going full “black market” in their headline (which made Planned Parenthood look even worse). The Hill framed Nucatola’s words on tape with the playbook-call phrase “Republicans attack”. What was missing from The Hill‘s coverage was the fact that Nucatola herself had been a past contributor to the website. CNN went so far as to demonize GOP lawmakers by citing the cancellation of a debate on a commemorative coin and framing it around the narrative of not caring about women’s health.  Some critics didn’t view the video at all, so as not to pollute their heads with ungood bad thoughts. T. Becket Adams at Washington Examiner has an excellent run-down on the media outlets that rushed to shield Planned Parenthood (and by all means follow the jump and click that link to see the usual suspects in action). Nucatola herself had either been a contributor or a source for Yahoo, Marie Claire, Huffington Post, Roll Call, Glamour, CNN, NPR and Reuters (who also refuted her claims in the recording).

Blaming this one on “a low-level employee in the Cincinnati office” wasn’t going to fly.

Planned Parenthood’s problem is that the startling revelations made on tape by Nucatola go beyond the religious concerns of the social-issues wing of one political party, and they can’t be glossed over by hiring young Hollywood stars to dance around with slogans written on their hands. And they know it. By the end of the week Planned Parenthood, most likely full aware of the Congressional tsunami heading their way, had shifted from silence to defense, and then from defense to apology. (It was, they finally conceded, perhaps a bit  gauche for their Senior Medical Director to be captured on video discussing, in between bites of her chopped arugula salad, the best techniques for crushing an unborn baby’s skull in order to preserve its organs for subsequent trafficking.) Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards looked like an ISIS hostage as she was forced to admit that these revelations, and this scandal, are not going away as the country enters its first trimester of the 2016 election, where PP once again hopes to abort its political opponents as out-of-touch extremists.

Except Republicans weren’t the ones coming off as extremists last week.

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There are real scientific advances that can be made with the legal and regulated procurement of discarded fetal tissue. There is little doubt about that. With stringent oversight, medical advances made from these studies is undeniable, and yet so is the controversy around them, which the media is currently honing in on. But these studies, and this research, can be conducted using the results of miscarriages with parental consent, and what is allowed under the current abortion laws in the United States. We as a country can make these incredible advancements and we can do it without parting with our souls completely.

It takes two living breathing humans to get it on, a living egg, living sperm to merge and create and reproduce living cells within the cavity of a living uterus. At no point during any of this process is any part of it inanimate or deceased. This is the problem Planned Parenthood has, that even moderate conservative pro-choice believers cannot ultimately stomach. To reduce that mystery of life, that agonizing decision to end it, down to a celebrity Bowl-A-Thon or Hollywood ridicule, purposely ignores and derails the debate. It’s easy for celebrities who spend their careers confusing the roles they play for the realities they live to come out and encourage young women and men that life decisions are inconsequential. And when the ramifications of ending life in womb ever get seriously questioned, the national debate somehow magically shifts to focus upon evil conservative preachers warning Americans about the dangers of dancing.

This is not a debate of the ultra-square social conservative vs. the cool live-free ultra-attractive Hollywood liberals. This is about the common sense of our society drawing a line and refusing to stand with a group of gormandizing extremists who, despite their very loud bullhorn, are actually a very small minority in this country. There are abortion moderates in the center, and even on the Left, who will not tolerate the callously flippant tone with which Planned Parenthood justifies practices that are not only questionably legal, but morally reprehensible.  Planned Parenthood are counting on pro-life advocates on the Right to let their emotions get the better of them. Then it will be a simple enough task to make an example of them as unhinged kooks, just as the Left did with conservative protest over Benghazi or Fast and Furious. Don’t let them.

We will see the same narratives repeat themselves out in public. Any congressional committee will be framed as a Republican War on Women out to revoke birth control access. Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department–beholden to a President who supports infanticide and working in service to Hillary Clinton heading into 2016–will yawn, turn the other cheek, and look for another young person of color shot by a police officer somewhere in the country to distract and rally the shock troops again. This will not make the headlines pro-life advocates are hoping for…but that shouldn’t be the goal here.

The morality of the abortion argument now must take a back seat to legal issues: the federal statutes which regulate the conduct of abortion clinics, and the nearly $30 million of public funding Planned Parenthood receives, should be the primary focus of any measured ire coming from the Right. Planned Parenthood is a Democrat donor stronghold and they will not give that money up without a fight. As Commissioner James Gordon warned a both a weary Batman and a determined Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight, “We’re going after the mob’s money. Things will get messy”. But the message should be clear: from here on out, pending the results of further Congressional investigation, Planned Parenthood should have to live on the sufferance of the private donors who choose to support it, rather than the public funds of people who oppose it. The elimination of all abortion in the United States is an admirable but unfeasible conservative utopian dream. What is becoming more clear in this debate is that Planned Parenthood is not the organization that should be in charge of facilitating these decisions, and all public funding should cease until (and probably even after) one key question is answered:

Are Planned Parenthood doctors altering the abortive process in a way to preserve fetal tissue and organs, so as to secure a profit for themselves and their affiliates through processing, storing and transporting? Those are the only questions at this point that matter.

On Sunday night, the Washington Times broke more to this story that certainly suggests they did with an interview from a former clinic manager.

Progressive media will certainly try to frame it as the far Right nailing themselves to their religious cross, because they believe that’s where they gain the most traction in selling their candy to pop culture. But they also know they have a dilemma on their hands. No matter how hard Democrats and their media attempt to spin this as a Republican attack based on a “heavily edited” videotape, they cannot escape the simple fact that, for political pragmatists, this particular debate isn’t about morality so much as it is legality. Nucatola will be forced to answer for her assertions on tape in front of Congress and Planned Parenthood has been advised to retain all receipts and records of  transactions with facilitators involving procurement of tissues in question. (Bold prediction: Any documentation has most certainly already been shredded.)

The debate surrounding the basic morality, or lack thereof, of abortion will continue for generations. However, the argument Planned Parenthood doesn’t want to materialize is the one likely to be made by political moderates and casual attendees to the debate. People don’t have to be strict pro-life activists or even believers to be repelled by the demonstrable ecstasy Planned Parenthood and their progressive cheerleaders have shown in recent years at the dehumanization of such a difficult personal decision. The ghoulish delight the far left fringe expresses in their pez-dispenser abortion ideology is far more offensive to most young social moderates than the concern for the unborn expressed by the Right. Now couple all that with their new look: as street pimps auctioning off baby limbs for profit like an imitation Rolex sold out of the trunk of a car, with that profit then turning into a campaign donation to a Democrat candidate, the Metroid Mother Brain being the 2016 Democrat frontrunner in Hillary Clinton.

How far they have fallen since “Safe, legal and rare.”

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Politically this is not a debate that should be difficult for the Right. Far left “reproductive rights” activists have wrapped themselves in a duvet of false premises, outdated science and ideological scare tactics void of any real strategy beyond screaming about fashion on social media and about abortion in public at movie screenings. It’s an ideology that’s rife with contradictions. “My Body My Choice” abortion zealots evangelize about individual autonomy while simultaneously making the argument that kids belong to some communal progressive utopia. At what point do our own organs, limbs, thoughts and feelings become our own according to liberal abortionist activists? This hypocrisy was exposed further when Planned Parenthood and its defenders quickly rushed to condemn the introduction of Republican-led legislation to make birth control pills for women accessible over the counter. Planned Parenthood did not cheer this legislation, as one might think they would have. They instead immediately fell back to protect their piggy bank.

Mrs. Clinton and the passel of old white Democratic males cohorts running to be President should answer why they are willing to protect the interests of an organization suspected of dealing in the trafficking of for profit human baby parts, yet unwilling to support legislation making birth control accessible to every woman who enters a CVS with a $20 bill. Their argument they claim is about women’s health and access. How can Planned Parenthood condemn scientific advances in ultrasound technology while simultaneously praising them on tape when a potential profit hovers into view, as Nucatola implied? Out of every Presidential candidate running, it’s not a Republican Todd Akin caricature suggesting women will develop cervical cancer from lack of orgasms. That would be leftist darling-of-the-moment Bernie Sanders.

Time to make them live by their own rules.

In light of Nucatola’s revelations and the growing list of candidates with extremist abortion and (ahem) cervical views, every Democrat running for President in 2016 should also have to answer one question regarding abortion: what’s the difference between what Democrat candidates for President believe and what board-certified abortionist and convicted mass-murderer Kermit Gosnell believes? Gosnell is serving consecutive life sentences in federal prison for performing variations upon practices Nucatola herself, on tape, suggested Planned Parenthood participates in, including the storing of organs and extremities post-abortion, and the facilitation of organ trafficking, all in violation of the waiver all Planned Parenthood patients must sign and federal law. The question of Gosnell with respect to Planned Parenthood’s practices becomes even more relevant given that Hillary Clinton has thrown her support behind limitless post 20 week abortions. These are not wacky questions being tossed out by the premarital-handholding-makes-you-go-blind religious wing of the Santorum electorate. These are real substantive questions that need answers, both by Democrats on a debate stage and by Nucatola and Richards in front of Congress.

If Planned Parenthood is in open violation of federal law and willing to use public funds to defend themselves then there can be no more blurred lines.

 

 

 

– SM –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Joan of Argghh! Reply

    This was so coherent, well-crafted and expertly presented that I want to share it far and wide.
     However, not based on any prudish considerations, but on charitable ones, that I will not be recommending it.
    Why have you no mental editor that would scream at you, “You realize this will distract from your main point, right? You realize it is now NSFW?  You want to go viral, yes? You can’t.”
    At the least, I can’t recommend this article without a clunky caveat and warning b/c some very good and decent people who suffer my company would 
    not be offended by it, but saddened to be exposed to it unknowingly.

    • BayAreaHausFrau Reply

      I’ll do what little I can to cast it far and wide, Joan. This is an excellent reminder and/or warning to any pro-lifer to not overreach and become the “crazy God-bothering goblins.” 
      Simply, it is not necessary and would only be the fulfillment of the prayers this crime syndicate is surely praying now.
      IRS nonprofit status, the sale of fetal tissue and organs for profit and the altering of medical procedure to procure them should suffice.
      My daughter-in-law invited me to come to her last ultrasound before delivery of my granddaughter. I want someone to ask Hillary Clinton, assuming she was able to see her granddaughter
      in utero, at what point did she consider that child to be a human being. 
      I know, I know…. wishful thinking. 
      Great article, Stephen.  So glad I found it. 

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