My Reaction to the Planned Parenthood Video

I’ve been asked a lot about my reaction to the Planned Parenthood video that went viral:

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes.

I posted this on Facebook this morning. There’s a pretty healthy discussion going on in the comments if you want to read that.

I haven’t yet watched the 3-hours of unedited video from the Planned Parenthood sting, but my friend Christina has, and explains in her blog why the including of partial-birth abortion imagery is dishonest.

Christina’s post is persuasive to me. I strongly doubt that abortion practitioners are risking jail-time by performing partial-birth abortions. Instead, they’re most likely killing the child with a shot of Digoxin to the heart, and THEN dismembering the child and donating the organs to research. And yes, that is a blight on any country that allows it.

Whether or not PP is making a profit from this is yet to be seen. Hopefully a thorough congressional investigation will give us a clear yes or no to that very important question.

I think Planned Parenthood is an evil organization. It’s not just this. It’s not even just abortion. It’s layers and layers of evil. In the past they’ve seemed untouchable. Their own employees can come out and claim that PP is committing fraud with your tax dollars, and they skate by every time! That alone should be a sufficient reason to defund PP.

I would encourage you to keep talking about this, but to be careful. From what I’ve read about the unedited version of the video, let’s just say that I would have edited the short-version a lot differently.

We do not want to win debates with deception. We want to win with the truth. We want to win with careful, non-fallacious arguments. I believe those will be more persuasive to people in the long term.

ERI Training Director Timothy Brahm had this to say, which I also think is helpful:

I’m not a lawyer, and I haven’t yet watched the unedited footage. Take my opinions with the salt they deserve.

The short version is: I think even in their best case scenario [the video] looks bad for PP, and I highly doubt it’s a best case scenario.

If everything they said in their response is true, then they are 1) only selling baby parts at some locations, 2) they only sell baby parts with the baby’s mother’s full knowledge and consent, 3) PP doesn’t make profit from this, it’s just out of the goodness of their hearts to help with scientific research, 4) they never, ever, ever do an abortion procedure that’s remotely more dangerous for the baby’s mother in order to ensure they get baby parts to sell, 5) they never sell baby parts from one state to another, 6) everything else is completely legal.

A LOT comes down to 3. I’ll explain why.

At this point, I think 1 is plausible and 3 is extremely unlikely, based on the flyer CMP found. But if 3 is true, then 2 seems more plausible. They don’t have a strong motive to lie to women about it.

If 3 is false, I’m even more skeptical of 2. I don’t have any specific evidence that shows 2 to be false, but I have heard countless stories from post-abortive women about lies they were told from PP staff and abortion practitioners, plus lots of stories from former PP staff about them committing infanticide and all kinds of horrible things. Given that, I’m pretty confident that 2 is false and I really want them to be investigated thoroughly on this point, but I don’t have proof of that to give you.

If 3 is false, it makes 4 more suspect. If 3 is true, then almost surely 4 is true, because they definitely care about women not being injured in abortion. They might not care as much about that as they do about the financial gains, but that probably varies from person to person. Even the most cynical attitude towards the abortion industry would have to admit that it is in the practitioner’s best interest for the mother to not be injured.

5 and 6 are legal questions that I can’t comment on. I want them to be investigated. I don’t know if what they are doing is illegal, because it depends on what the law is. I think it should be illegal, but I’m more focused on the immorality and what it tells us about PP. I want the truth to be discovered, and if they’ve broken the law, I want them prosecuted to the fullest extent.

So 2 and 4 need investigation, and 5 and 6 need legal analysis.

Even if 1-6 are all true though, the callous way Dr. Nucatola talks about it is really unsettling, and the fact that they’ve kept this a secret is pretty suspicious.

How Should Pro-Lifers Think About Post-Abortive Shame?

The way our society uses the word “shaming” is complicated. In this post I discuss three different types of shaming and how they relate to abortion.

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes.


My views on this topic are the kind that if you only get a snippet of it out of context, there are many ways to misunderstand it. I don’t think my view is offensive, but my view improperly understood is definitely offensive several times over. It’s always good to read someone’s entire explanation instead of just part of it, but there are some topics where that’s more essential than others. This is one of the more essential cases. If you just want to skim, or you are not committed to trying to understand what my view actually is, then please don’t read this.

On Understanding the Baltimore Rioters

A friend of mine posted a question on Facebook asking for help understanding why people in Baltimore are rioting. Here was my attempt. Interested in additional thoughts from all over the political spectrum.


Okay, here’s my best shot. The more peaceful protesters are black people who feel like the lingering societal effects of slavery and segregation still last, resulting in it being harder for them to get good jobs, live in nice neighborhoods, etc.

There has been a lot more documented police brutality than before when cell phone videos weren’t a thing, and some police agencies aren’t responding appropriately to that. This means that they feel real physical danger when stopped by police.

They also believe that unlike white, privileged people, their voices aren’t really heard, so they do the next “louder” thing: get together and protest, *just like we do in DC every January!*

The violent rioters? I think some of them are described above but their feelings about it are so strong that it has turned to anger and even hatred of police/the government/anyone they believe is too powerful.

I think there’s a third group of people who just want to watch the world burn. They don’t care so much about racism and police violence as they do the fun of participating in a riot and burning stuff.

6 Resources on Whether or Not Birth Control Pills Cause Abortions

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes.

birth control smallerHere are the six most helpful resources I know of for trying to assess whether birth control pills and/or Plan B definitely cause abortions or not.

The most common question I get emailed to me goes something like this:

I’m trying to figure out what contraception is morally acceptable to use and would appreciate any info you could send me on research about how hormonal contraception and Plan B prevent implantation. My understanding is that they thin the uterine lining. I’d specifically be interested in studies establishing a correlation between fertility and thickness controlling for all other factors. Or at least given my current understanding of how the drugs work.

Here’s my short answer:

What to Say to Someone Who Says “I Wish I Had Been Aborted”

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes.

E-mail concept on white background. Isolated 3D imageI got a tough question from a reader this week:

“Josh, what should I say to someone who tells me that they wish that they had been aborted? I hear this a lot from people who had bad childhoods.” ~ Rebecca from Georgia.

I would probably start by saying this:

“That makes me sad that you would say that. It tells me that you must have lived a very sad life. I’d be open to hearing about that if you’d like to share with me.”

Notice that I’m not taking the bait to debate abortion at this point. A statement like that deserves a relational response, similar to the way Steve Wagner trained me to respond to the issue of rape.

My friend Jasmin Aprile said it well on my Facebook page where I invited people to offer their responses to this challenge:

“Find out why they feel that way. Listen to their story. Find common ground with the difficult circumstances they may have experienced, be it poverty or abuse or growing up without a dad. I would say building the relationship is the top priority.”