In case you haven’t seen the disturbing news trending on Facebook, on Twitter, or here at The Federalist, Planned Parenthood stands accused of harvesting parts of babies killed in abortion and selling those parts to companies for research. It’s not surprising if this is news to you, since there’s essentially a media blackout on the subject. The Center for Medical Progress has released a second video now with yet another Planned Parenthood doctor discussing both abortion procedures for harvesting body parts of babies and the financial incentives for doing so.
I’m unabashedly pro-life. It’s horrifying for me to think of this being true. My feelings about abortion and the sanctity of life plays heavily into my reading and watching of the videos about this subject, and it should be no surprise that people as passionate about abortion rights have an equally passionate opposite reaction.
My friend Anne was willing to talk to me about her feelings on this story. Listening and hearing the perspective of a supporter of Planned Parenthood and its mission may surprise you. It’s hearing, actually hearing, the viewpoints of others that lets us understand what makes us different and why.
The Undercover Organization Isn’t Credible
Here’s how the other side is hearing this news.
“I am very firmly of the belief this particular story is BS,” Anne said. “Nothing with the organization that released it adds up. Why have they had the video a year? Why did they use the old ‘20/20’ clip? Why are their social media accounts so thin? Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., are all only about this.”
Other videos have come out and sparked huge discussions across the Internet in recent times, such as the infamous New York City catcall video—a story also rife with controversy. When viral videos come out, usually the first response of the media (and those who share them rapidly across social media) is not to question and attempt to discredit the source but rather to engage the ideas and discuss the societal implications of what sparked the popularity of the story.
The mainstream media (or MSM) isn’t leaping on this. I asked if that made it more difficult to believe, since I’d assumed so, but she disagreed. “No, but I do think it’s damning none of them have considered it credible enough to cover. From the old ‘20/20’ footage, when Planned Parenthood faced the same allegations that were also proven false, other MSM outlets did cover it. So it doesn’t shake out that this is a vast liberal cover up.”
She also said human trafficking is not a reason to defund Planned Parenthood: “Shady black-market medical parts happens in every area of medicine. Do we stop doing organ transplants because some hinky stuff goes down there? Research using fetal tissue is valuable. This video is click bait of the worst kind because of the horrifying nature of dilation and extraction—the banning of which has done nothing to reduce later abortions and only limited the choices of women facing impossible decisions about the end of their pregnancies where their baby probably will not survive. Nobody waits until 20-plus weeks for kicks. I think they should be subject to the same laws and regulations covering any medical donation or waste.”
Planned Parenthood Does Good Things
To her, Planned Parenthood is more than just abortion. “They offer a valuable service to the community in terms of STD testing and prevention, pregnancy counseling, including prenatal care, mammograms, well-woman care. I have never known anyone at a Planned Parenthood to try and talk a woman into an abortion. I had two miscarriages. I tried for two years to get pregnant. My beliefs about what those pregnancies were and were not in terms of human life are irrelevant. If we want to reduce abortion, we need to look at programs like Colorado had. I don’t believe that limits on abortion are effective or lead to safer, better outcomes.”
I asked what would happen if abortion were made illegal (besides saving lives of babies).
“It would be economically devastating for women who either must carry a pregnancy to term, or travel many miles for possibly days to have an abortion,” she said. “If someone at Planned Parenthood were doing something so blatantly illegal, unethical, and immoral, and placing an organization that provides a service so critical for millions of women at risk, I would be the first to call for their heads. How dare someone put women and their children at risk in such a fashion.”
On the contrary, I think Planned Parenthood, at its very core, puts women at risk. By fostering abortion, the existence of Planned Parenthood means babies who are killed before they were even born are more than at risk. I don’t think of them as a legitimate source of health care. The very idea of those babies not only dying but then being sold piecemeal for research is enough to nauseate me.
Like many other Americans, my friend views life differently than I do. It’s tempting to shout them down, but we can’t change hearts if we don’t know where they’re at. At the core, even if this video is clickbait and totally orchestrated nonsense, Planned Parenthood aborts babies. If you see these children as children, there’s no excuse for abortion. If you see them as nothing more than medical waste, no excuse needs to be made.