We Know That It's Wrong

July 31, 2015

The undercover Planned Parenthood tapes by the Center for Medical Progress are accentuating the issue of abortion for the time being, the gruesomeness of the procedure thus coming into focus. Not that supporters of abortion aren’t rallying to the defense of Planned Parenthood, an organization that seems to enjoy a significant level of power in the Democratic Party. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who previously said that she found the videos disturbing, has now recaptured the party line, and has said, “It's another effort by the Republicans to try to limit the health care options for women and we should not let them succeed once again.” [1]

Ms. Clinton was correct in initially calling the videos disturbing. That is especially true of, and something of an understatement regarding, the fourth video, which shows a Planned Parenthood doctor looking at fetal body parts with someone posing as a purchaser, and which you can find here. But, notwithstanding the existence of Democrats for Life of America [2], and a few pro-life Democratic legislators [3], the iron grip of the pro-abortion lobby in the Democratic Party remains, and we should not expect any of the Democratic presidential candidates to break free of it, notwithstanding the filming efforts of the Center for Medical Progress.

Science denialism is an accusation usually made against the Republican Party, and justly so, given the almost uniform denial of the causes of climate change on the part of Republican politicians. But the Democratic Party engages in some science denialism of its own when it comes to abortion.

It is a scientific fact that a new organism is created at the moment of fertilization, the beginning of pregnancy [4]. In humans, this happens as a result of sex between a human male and a human female. The new organism, thus, having human parents, is human. Any attempt to assign the beginning of human life at a later state of pregnancy, or at birth, is political in nature. Still, one hopes that the politicians who take the pro-abortion position have successfully deluded themselves that a human life does not exist until a later stage, because, if they haven’t, the ramifications of their position are awful to contemplate.

In any event, Planned Parenthood apparently believes that aborted fetuses are human enough for research purposes, and its recent exposure has incited a fair measure of outrage. And it is that very outrage that requires attention.

Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, protests that the videos by the Center for Medical Progress “do not show anything illegal on Planned Parenthood’s part,” [5] and that very well may be true. After all, abortions are legal in the United States. But that very legality must assume that the unborn are not actually human beings, otherwise we are in the position of denying legal personhood status to humans. And if the unborn are not human beings, where does the outrage come from? Selling body parts of non-humans happens all the time in the meat industry.

It is telling that Ms. Richards believes that she has something to defend. Regarding the videos she tells us that “medical and scientific conversations can be upsetting to hear, and I immediately apologized for the tone that was used, which did not reflect the compassion that people have come to know and expect from Planned Parenthood.” Yes, these things were upsetting to hear. Even more upsetting was watching the examination of fetal body parts. These things were upsetting because, deep down, in the inner core of our beings, notwithstanding the conveniences abortion is felt to bring to us, we know that abortion is wrong. What’s more, it was wrong before the videos came out, and it will continue to be wrong after the present controversy ceases to be a news story.

Jack Quirk