My Reaction to the Planned Parenthood Video

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

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.

President

Josh Brahm is the President of Equal Rights Institute, an organization that trains pro-life advocates to think clearly, reason honestly and argue persuasively.

Josh uses speaking, writing and campus outreach to emphasize practical dialogue tips, pro-life philosophy, and relational apologetics.

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