Further Ethics Observations On The Planned Parenthood Videos

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1. The fourth in a series of surreptitiously obtained videos depicting Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal body parts for research has been released. The Center for Medical Progress is the anti-abortion group that has created these videos: it defines itself as a “citizen journalist” project. Since these videos have been made using deception and without the safeguards of established journalism ethics by untrained and non-objective journalists, Ethics Alarms has consistently held that they are the result of unethical conduct, regardless of the motives behind them or what they show.

I am, reluctantly, reversing that verdict. The reason is the now undeniable refusal of the mainstream media and professional journalists to do their duty regarding the abortion issue in general and Planned Parenthood in particular. Despite the significance of these videos, the attack on Planned Parenthood and the fact that abortion is the most contentious and least resolved moral-ethical issue of our time, the news media, broadcast and print, have intentionally and unconscionably avoided covering the Center for Medical Progress videos and the issues they raise. The average American who does not monitor the news over the internet probably isn’t aware of the videos at all, and certainly has no sense of their content.

Journalism ethics codes state that deception and surreptitious means are only justified as investigative methods of reporting when more open and transparent reporting cannot obtain the facts. When professional journalists shrink from their duty to obtain the facts and report the truth, citizen journalists must take over, because democracy requires truth and transparency. Journalists should have made these videos. Because reporters abdicated their duties, those who picked up the dropped banner of probing investigative journalism regarding vital national issues should not be condemned. They should be praised, and by everyone, including journalists. If a fire fighter refuses to enter a burning building to rescue a child, and a citizen knocks down a door to do the job, I don’t want to see that citizen charged for the cost of the door, or criticized for acting. The videos are a public service, and necessary perspective on our society’s war against the unborn.

2. The continuing refusal of the networks, and the major news organizations to report on the videos and the issues they raise is a major breach of professional ethics. It is yet another smoking gun in the case against mainstream media fairness and objectivity. Journalists have long treated abortion as a sacred cow among their deeply revered liberal beliefs, and the practice is bolstered, protected and celebrated, seldom criticized or challenged. Newsbusters calculated that the networks spent more time on Cecil the lion’s demise in one day that they gave to coverage of the videos over the past two weeks. There is no defending that. It is pure public opinion manipulation and biased reporting.

3. The effort by Republicans to de-fund Planned Parenthood is appropriate, which is not to say I would vote to de-fund it.  A full airing of how the organization sees its role and is managed can only be healthy and useful. How many citizens know Planned Parenthood receives substantial federal funding? The issue isn’t, or shouldn’t be, whether Planned Parenthood does good things: obviously it does. The issue is whether this organization, with this leadership, can or should be trusted with millions of dollars of federal funds. The videos raise legitimate questions in that regard.. Those questions should be answered, and with more than protests, indignation, deflection and bluster—which is what we have heard so far.

4. The reaction by Democrats, on the other hand, has not been impressive; in fact, it has been craven and evasive. Hillary Clinton was asked by the New Hampshire Union Leader  if she had seen the videos, and she said that she had “seen pictures from them and I obviously find them disturbing.” This sounds like a bluff to me, and if it isn’t a bluff, she will really find the audio—you know, all the stuff about crushing and crunching–“disturbing.” Clinton couldn’t be bothered, as an alleged feminist, to critically examine evidence that challenges her own assumptions and those of her supporters. That’s some qualification for a President, isn’t it?

In 1996, the New York Times wrote that “particulars of any abortion procedure is something no one who supports abortion rights really wants to talk about.”  This means, in essence, “our minds are made up, and don’t challenge us with facts.”

Posts The Daily Beast: “Clinton’s campaign hasn’t responded to requests for clarification about her statement or questions about what, exactly, she found disturbing or why she hasn’t seen the full videos.” Yeah, maybe it will all blow over.

Martin O’Malley, meanwhile, told Fox, “I haven’t seen the videos. And I don’t generally make a habit of responding to right-wing videos.” Yes, he’s an utter hack. So if a video produced by a conservative organization showed footage of ISIS infiltrating the Defense Department, O’Malley wouldn’t be curious enough to watch it, correct?  Is this really what American leaders have become? Narrow ideologues who refuse to even subject their brain to non-conforming data?

Bernie Sanders was no better. He referred to the videos as being part of a “smear campaign.” “Smear campaign is usually a pejorative spinning term to suggest that there is something dishonest or unfair about uncovering and publicizing uncomplimentary facts that the public has a right to know. Earlier, he said Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards was right to apologize for the “tone” of the videos. I discussed the “tone” apology earlier, which was a weasel apology. Richards said that the “tone” of  the recorded comments of Deborah Nucatola failed to convey the organization’s compassion, but there is no compassion within the organization for the aborted, just for the women demanding the abortions. The “tone” that everyone (with a heart, a brain and a soul) finds horrifying in the videos is the cold callousness toward the tiny creatures whose livers are being harvested, not the mothers. Richards apologized for nothing, but did it in ambiguous and misleading terms. They worked for Bernie, presumably because he approves of the deceit.

5. Richards has now doubled down with an op-ed piece in the Washington Post that should be used as a case study in dishonest punditry and demagoguery. It really is remarkable: the controversy over the videos is, first and foremost, their display of a disgusting attitude completely discounting any humanity on the part of the butchered fetuses, and the lack of any qualms at all about their deaths. Her essay doesn’t refer to the aborted offspring once. It doesn’t use the term abortion in a way to suggest what is aborted, or that anything –or anyone—is. Typically, like her organization, she only sees and cares about one side of the equation, or perhaps wants to hide it. The other side, the helpless side, those tiny lives that abortion supporters like to pretend don’t exist, and that procedure “that no one who supports abortion rights really wants to talk about” are invisible. Her entire article is a massive straw man, defending an imaginary target, and pretending the real one doesn’t exist.

“These attacks are not about us. They are about the ability of women across the country to access health care. Period,” she writes. Despicable, and a lie. Nobody, literally nobody, wants to limit women’s access to health care. Many, however, want the nation to confront the abortion issue honestly, and decide on compassionate and ethical abortion policy while fairly assessing what abortion is, what it involves, what the costs are,  how many human beings it kills, and whether all of them have to die.

While falsely framing the exposure of how her organization’s officials talk and think–that is, like butchers and ghouls—as an attack on anything but the culture and trustworthiness of her organization—the Planned Parenthood President desperately musters the same deflections, rationalizations and false logic I have exposed in previous essays.

“These extremists created a fake business, made apparently misleading corporate filings and then used false government identifications to gain access to Planned Parenthood’s medical and research staff with the agenda of secretly filming without consent,” she writes.

Attacking the messenger, nothing more. Gee, sorry you got found out, Cecile, but the issue is how your staff behaved, what they said, and how they think.

“… then heavily edited the footage to make false and absurd assertions about our standards and services. “

Yes, there is the “heavily edited” canard once again, though the raw footage is also available, and disproves none of what the shorter versions suggest.  It’s a perfect excuse, however, for uncritical abortion allies like Clinton and O’Malley who want to discount the videos without viewing them.

From Commentary:

National Review’s Ian Tuttle summarized one macabre moment the latest installment in the multipart series of investigative videos:

“At the 10:22 mark of the Center for Medical Progress’s latest video, released today, there is a picture of a hand. By the curve of the thumb and the articulation of the fingers, one can see that it is a right hand. It was formerly the right hand of an 11.6-week-old fetus; it is now part of the various organic odds and ends being sifted through on a plate in the pathology lab of a Planned Parenthood clinic.”

How can that heavy editing create a false human hand, Cecile?

“While predictably these videos do not show anything illegal on Planned Parenthood’s part, medical and scientific conversations can be upsetting to hear…”

The Compliance Dodge: yes, okay, maybe there’s nothing illegal. Abortion is legal. Lots of things were once legal that were really wrong. The videos show who abortion may be really wrong. Cecile’s brushing off the revulsion we feel–or should feel–when a Planned Parenthood official discusses the best way to crush the life out of unborn babies while preserving useful livers and other body parts, as no more than the same visceral reaction we would have to watching a hip replacement shows is exactly where the callousness toward human life comes from. Her, and the organization itself.

 

The rest of the op-ed is avoidance, misdirection and deflection:

“One in five women has relied on Planned Parenthood for health care in her lifetime.”

The issue is aborted children, Cecile, and the callousness of policies and abortionists that intentionally ignore the question of life.

Those women are the victims here.

No, actually it is the previous owner of those little hands and livers, Cecile

Planned Parenthood patients turn to us not just because they know we uphold the highest medical standards of care but also because we are part of their local community. More than half of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas. And for many low-income women, Planned Parenthood health centers are their sole source of medical care.

All of which is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. The problem is not the good things Planned Parenthood does, The issue is its cavalier attitude toward the lives of the unborn, and whether the nation, the public and the culture will continue to ignore it.

6. An honest, open, fair debate about abortion and how to develop the most humane and ethical policies for all concerned—child, mother, family, and society–is long overdue. These videos, if the news media will allow it, can be a catalyst for that. The fact that abortion advocates don’t want such a dialogue to take place speaks volumes about the soundness of the ethical foundation underlying current abortion law and policy.

___________________

Sources: Politico, Newsbusters 1, 2, The Daily Beast, Commentary,

61 thoughts on “Further Ethics Observations On The Planned Parenthood Videos

      • Absolutely, it’s both. But I have the feeling that the emotional component has long since died out for most. They would have to actually think about it, reflect upon it for there to be a desperate avoidance of the emotional impact. After 40 years, it’s just work. Once Roe v Wade legalized abortion, it became just a line of work, source of a paycheck.

          • Actually, many Nazis believed they were doing God’s work. These people are worse than Nazis by that standard; killing babies for an hourly paycheck.

              • The second you assume a fetus isn’t a baby you lose all respect in this discussion. You assume your conclusion and define away your guilt.

                You can’t just say stupid things and think it ends arguments.

                We’ve had this dance before and you were exhaustively proven wrong each time.

                Will you never learn?

                • Um…a fetus isn’t a baby. That isn’t an assumption. That’s biological fact. Using the term “baby” when you are discussing a “fetus” is inappropriate. Would you call a toddler an adult? No. Why is this hard to understand?

                  We’ve had this dance before and you were exhaustively proven wrong each time.

                  When?

                  • Um…”fetus” is a defining term for an unborn baby, just as an “infant” is a defining term for recently born baby, just “toddler” is a defining term for a baby that is in it’s crawling & rolling stages and early walking stages…

                    I don’t think “baby” is technically a strictly scientific term for a narrow period of development as fetus, infant, toddler are; so joed’s use and your misuse make sense.

                    You probably missed the very thorough discussions on just the topic you abuse here, that you can’t define away what abortion is.

                    “When”

                    Don’t play stupid, a high school debate fall back. You know we’ve had a handful of discussions on abortion.

                    • Um…”fetus” is a defining term for an unborn baby, just as an “infant” is a defining term for recently born baby, just “toddler” is a defining term for a baby that is in it’s crawling & rolling stages and early walking stages…

                      Fetus is a term for mammalian offspring between the embryonic stage and birth. I think of baby is a term for a mammal between birth and toddler. I don’t know anyone that calls toddlers babies, other than in the coloquial sense (Wherein someone refers to offspring as babies, no matter what age). Maybe I’m just in a weird family with weird friends (and in case you were going to say anything about liberal, atheist, etc…, my family ranges the full spectrum of political affiliations and pretty conservative religious beliefs. We banned religious discussions at family gatherings for everybody’s sanity and well being.)

                      I don’t think “baby” is technically a strictly scientific term for a narrow period of development as fetus, infant, toddler are; so joed’s use and your misuse make sense.

                      Medically and scientifically, baby is an infant/newborn. Colloquially, baby is a tiny person, which assumes rights and equivalency. That’s the problem with it. Why use the generic term baby when the specific term fetus is available? Other than trying to beg the question that fetuses are equivalent to newborns, is there any point?

                      You probably missed the very thorough discussions on just the topic you abuse here, that you can’t define away what abortion is.

                      I think I’ve been involved in them. I don’t redefine abortion. I think flat out claiming that fetuses have the rights of babies is an improper definition. I think fetuses may have different rights than newborns, just like newborns may have different rights then teens, and teens may have different rights than adults. There are times we argue over the different rights of humans at different developmental stages, and how we draw those lines.

                      Most of the lines are pretty arbitrary. 18 to smoke, but 21 to drink? 8 to stay home alone and 13 to be able to babysit someone under 8 (both MD law)? The various, wacky, age of consent laws? Ethically, I have issues with them that can be discussed, and I think some should be changed as a matter of law. Similarly you have ethical issues with the legality of killing humans prior to age 0, and you think it should be changed as a matter of law. I don’t actually remember where you draw the line? Supposed fetal pain? kinda looks like an infant? Fertilized egg? Implanted in womb? I don’t think you believed that condoms or birth control pills are murder of a person and should be illegal. This is where the discussion starts. It’s not “redefining abortion” to determine what the lines are and what rights should be granted to the human (and host) at that stage of development.

                      “When”

                      Don’t play stupid, a high school debate fall back. You know we’ve had a handful of discussions on abortion.

                      Yes, we have had many discussions on abortion. I just don’t remember any where I was exhaustively proven wrong.

              • Oh that’s just terrible! I’ve gone and made a fool of myself, thinking there were other people on this thread who had an opinion contrary to yours. What was I thinking? Use clinical terms if you think it insulates you from the monstrous nature of this. The Nazis were great at that, too.

                • You don’t remember tgt?

                  The man could tie rebar into the shape of pretzels with just logical fallacies and political spin alone. If he’s actually back on the forum, get ready for some knock down, drags out, where he provides the useful role of foil for logical and well reasoned arguments to be used against.

                    • As I’ve said repeatedly (I will cite if you like), generalized attacks without specific examples is the mark of an attack which cannot be backed up with specific examples.

                      I was driven from this blog at one point based on a few commenters, repeatedly and constantly, attacking my character and motives and claiming that I argued in bad faith. General attacks, without specifics, that I was committing fallacies contributed.

                      Please, please, please use specifics so I can either attempt to defend myself, or admit mistakes. I can’t do that to a generalization.

                      Also, since I supposedly either commit logical fallacies/spin or agree with you, you should be able to call out special pleading in those 90% of arguments. I’m not making the same arguments on situations we agree on, right? That should be pretty simple to see. Got any examples?

                      There’s only 10 posts on the first page, can you use them? That way there’s no cherry picking by either of us.

                      (Aside: The trump argument we’re having doesn’t seem to have any logical fallacies either way. I guess you could call my pointing out Trump’s language as racist as spin, but that’s more difference of opinion on language usage. I see that the people who (falsely) claim immigrants are prone to be criminals overlap very significantly with people who have professed other racist comments.)

                    • If you can’t read a smart ass reply for what it is, your going to have a hard time.

                      In plain language: In EVERY argument you use fallacious “reasoning” or political spin, I have called it out and demonstrated why it is fallacious.

                      My smart ass linking to ALL of the ethics alarms posts that contain comments by you and me should clearly read that there are too many times to remember exactly and no it isn’t making a wild assertion that is unsupportable.

                      The arguments are there, you can look them up, I don’t leave your fallacies alone. You attempted to defend yourself in those arguments as well, so no need to attempt so here.

                      And yes, your Trump argument is a strawman, most recognizable by the fact that YOU had to add meaning and YOU had to add words to get what you wanted so you could argue against that.

                      That’s a strawman and…ding ding ding…you guessed it, a FALLACY.

                    • If you can’t read a smart ass reply for what it is, your going to have a hard time.

                      In plain language: In EVERY argument you use fallacious “reasoning” or political spin, I have called it out and demonstrated why it is fallacious.

                      My smart ass linking to ALL of the ethics alarms posts that contain comments by you and me should clearly read that there are too many times to remember exactly and no it isn’t making a wild assertion that is unsupportable.

                      If it happens all the time, you should be able to pick one at random and see an example. If you can’t do that, why should I believe you?

                      Similarly, If I called Jack racist and claim that he’s racist all the time, in nearly everything he rights, but refuse to provide even one actual example, you’d dismiss it as bullshit, right?

                      Why can’t I do the same to your claim?

                      And yes, your Trump argument is a strawman, most recognizable by the fact that YOU had to add meaning and YOU had to add words to get what you wanted so you could argue against that.

                      That’s a strawman and…ding ding ding…you guessed it, a FALLACY

                      I didn’t add meaning or words. I pointed out the meaning of the words. I attacked what he said. He could have clarified that his words aren’t what he meant. He didn’t. I’m taking him at his word. Not a strawman.

                      It’s like if I called my black neighbors lazy or said urban youths just want to fight. Both are racist stereotypes. Maybe those particular neighbors are lazy, but due to the history of calling blacks lazy, it’s going to come off racist. And urban youth, while simply referring to kids in cities, is a dog whistle for black kids.

                    • “Similarly, If I called Jack racist and claim that he’s racist all the time, in nearly everything he rights, but refuse to provide even one actual example, you’d dismiss it as bullshit, right?”

                      Not analogous. For it to be analogous, you would need to call him out on racism every single time you could and demonstrate it every single time you could, to such an extent that your proofs are endemic (as mine are of your fallacies). Then maybe it would make sense for a “sweeping generalization”.

                      “I didn’t add meaning or words. I pointed out the meaning of the words. I attacked what he said.”

                      Yes you did. Not only did you print his plain words and acknowledge they don’t mean what they meant when you said “you have to read between the lines”, you then added that terminology “dark skinned people”. Come now, you are bordering on lying at this point.

                      “It’s like if I called my black neighbors lazy or said urban youths just want to fight. Both are racist stereotypes. Maybe those particular neighbors are lazy, but due to the history of calling blacks lazy, it’s going to come off racist. And urban youth, while simply referring to kids in cities, is a dog whistle for black kids.”

                      Good, then you admit it is all about feeling and that whitey better watch out what he says because any hypersensitve non-whitey can label him a racist.

                      Do you see why I don’t think you are a very logical/rational person?

                    • Yes, “driven from this blog.” We’ve had discussions about what “driven to” means and when it’s appropriate. This case surely qualifies.

                    • “Similarly, If I called Jack racist and claim that he’s racist all the time, in nearly everything he rights, but refuse to provide even one actual example, you’d dismiss it as bullshit, right?”

                      Not analogous. For it to be analogous, you would need to call him out on racism every single time you could and demonstrate it every single time you could, to such an extent that your proofs are endemic (as mine are of your fallacies). Then maybe it would make sense for a “sweeping generalization”.

                      I don’t think you understood the comparison, or missed what situation we’re currently in. I might have been unclear. Your audience in this topic was not me, it was a third party who has not read everything (or even anything) by me. Whether I had called Jack out on every comment or not, you, not having seen those comments, should have no reason to believe me. I’m arguing against you with that other person as judge, much like me arguing against Jack with you as judge.

                      “I didn’t add meaning or words. I pointed out the meaning of the words. I attacked what he said.”

                      Yes you did. Not only did you print his plain words and acknowledge they don’t mean what they meant when you said “you have to read between the lines”, you then added that terminology “dark skinned people”. Come now, you are bordering on lying at this point.

                      Uh, what? I acknowledged that certain individual words were not racist, but the sum of them was. That’s how language works. When you combine individual words, you can create connotations and idioms that aren’t in any of the individual words. The “dark skinned people” was what the words he used, in the way he used them, references. Eesh.

                      “It’s like if I called my black neighbors lazy or said urban youths just want to fight. Both are racist stereotypes. Maybe those particular neighbors are lazy, but due to the history of calling blacks lazy, it’s going to come off racist. And urban youth, while simply referring to kids in cities, is a dog whistle for black kids.”

                      Good, then you admit it is all about feeling and that whitey better watch out what he says because any hypersensitve non-whitey can label him a racist.

                      Uh, what? I didn’t say anything about hyper sensitive non whiteys and that whiteys better watch out. Referencing urban youth IS, in idiom, the same thing as talking about black people generally. How do you not understand that? That’s not irrational. That’s what the words fucking mean.

                      Maybe that’s why you don’t think racism isn’t important anymore, you don’t understand the English well enough. I know I’m somewhere on the very high functioning/low negative/low benefit side of the autism spectrum. It took a while for me to understand some of this. Might you be in a similar situation to me 20 years ago?

                      Do you see why I don’t think you are a very logical/rational person?

                      Yea, the Dunning-Kruger effect.

                      (I went and was all nice at the end of my last comment, and then I blew it there.)

                • Difference of opinion? Expected (and desired). Misuse of terminology to beg the question? Not the mark of someone who’s worth engaging with.

                  This is an attempt to use accurate terms. Baby does not apply to a fetus, just as adult does not apply to a toddler. While we don’t (and, I believe, shouldn’t) kill either toddlers or adults, we do grant different rights to both toddlers and adults. The difference in rights makes sense. Similarly, it could make sense to grant different rights to babies and fetuses. When you call a fetus a baby, you are attempting to make an end run around that argument.

                  • I made a mistake there that I need to correct. I assumed you were intending bad behavior. That was inappropriate of me. You may not realize that you are begging the question. I should not have said you are “attempting” it. I should have just said you are doing it, consciously or not. My apologies.

                  • We’ve had this discussion before

                    This one in particular was desperate on your part.

                    Amusingly, when we curtail “rights” for the youth, such as smoking or driving, it is all conduct we deem may be harmful to themselves OR others if not exercised responsibly, a responsibility we assume a youth is not ready for until a specific average age of presumed responsibility. That doesn’t quite analogize to the notion of curtailing the right to life for an unborn baby…what, for their own good?

                    Please. The “we curtail rights for age groups all the time, why not kill babies” argument is not analogous, try better.

                    • You beat me to it. I’m missing the significance of the proper terminology, too. Whether we want to call someone a baby or a fetus has no bearing on its right to life, unless you’re the sort that believes giving someone a dehumanizing name somehow negates that right.

                    • Yep. Which is precisely the focus of the earlier Planned Parenthood discussion…

                      That the constant labeling and redefining of an unborn human is all ultimately a dishonest attempt to pretend like abortion isn’t killing a human baby.

  1. The presentation of these issues in these posts is I think quite good. The more that I examine the site and study the posts the more I appreciate the excellence of the presentation as well as the time and effort – the work – to bring it all forward. Highly commendable.

    And I admit to being new to the task of thinking in these terms. So, it is all doubly appreciated. In a short time I have learned a good deal.

    The continuing refusal of the networks, and the major news organizations to report on the videos and the issues they raise is a major breach of professional ethics. It is yet another smoking gun in the case against mainstream media fairness and objectivity. Journalists have long treated abortion as a sacred cow among their deeply revered liberal beliefs, and the practice is bolstered, protected and celebrated, seldom criticized or challenged.

    I see this differently. I do not see it as a ‘breach’ I see it as avoidance, and for good reasons. In my own view, and no matter how it is talked about, or if it is not talked about, no part of that can change the material fact of what occurs in an abortion. It is possible that some people, or all people, who work in the clinics and in this field become inured. But there may very well be others who have feelings – deep feelings – but place them to the side because they understand that there is a greater good. That ‘greater good’ has been explained in numerous posts on the other threads. Charles I thought wrote one of the best pieces and there were others, too.

    Sacred Cow does not seem like the right term. I venture to say that all people have examined the issue – that is, have visualized all the processes and seen it all in their mind’s eye – and fully understood what happens. And they opt, despite all that, to work to keep abortion available, legal, and safe. Visualization is no longer required. With that in mind it is not surprising to me that the major media avoids the issue, except to refer to it in passing.

    The issue isn’t, or shouldn’t be, whether Planned Parenthood does good things: obviously it does. The issue is whether this organization, with this leadership, can or should be trusted with millions of dollars of federal funds. The videos raise legitimate questions in that regard.. Those questions should be answered, and with more than protests, indignation, deflection and bluster—which is what we have heard so far.

    I am not convinced that management at PP did anything illegal. The question as to whether ‘callousness’ is unethical or not, is separate. Let’s call it callous. Callousness can be corrected and this will not change at all that the operation crushes fetal skulls and dismembers fetal bodied. The videos indicate that the dollar amounts were consitent with the base costs to purvey them. I am not convinced that there was ‘profit’ or that profit was or is intended. And it seems very real, and reasonable, that medical research would desire access to that material for research. That is unpleasant to think on, but the women who offer it do so consciously and uncoerced (as far as I know).

    The reaction by Democrats, on the other hand, has not been impressive; in fact, it has been craven and evasive. Hillary Clinton was asked by the New Hampshire Union Leader if she had seen the videos, and she said that she had “seen pictures from them and I obviously find them disturbing.” This sounds like a bluff to me, and if it isn’t a bluff, she will really find the audio—you know, all the stuff about crushing and crunching–“disturbing.” Clinton couldn’t be bothered, as an alleged feminist, to critically examine evidence that challenges her own assumptions and those of her supporters. That’s some qualification for a President, isn’t it?

    Linking H Clinton with this seems, to me, disingenuous. In so many ways, all annunciated in post after post, and comment after comment, we learn that Hillary is a slime-dog. The entire political establishment reeks of similar material. Hillary is irrelevant to the main issue.

    In 1996, the New York Times wrote that “particulars of any abortion procedure is something no one who supports abortion rights really wants to talk about.” This means, in essence, “our minds are made up, and don’t challenge us with facts.”

    No, it doesn’t. It could mean that they have visualized it all, seen it all, winced, and having thought it all through opted to make efforts to keep it available and safe. I notice that you often jump to prejudiced conclusions. Not wanting to think about an unpleasant thing already thought through and decided on, is not the same as avoiding discomfiting facts.

    Richards has now doubled down with an op-ed piece in the Washington Post that should be used as a case study in dishonest punditry and demagoguery. It really is remarkable: the controversy over the videos is, first and foremost, their display of a disgusting attitude completely discounting any humanity on the part of the butchered fetuses, and the lack of any qualms at all about their deaths. Her essay doesn’t refer to the aborted offspring once. It doesn’t use the term abortion in a way to suggest what is aborted, or that anything –or anyone—is. Typically, like her organization, she only sees and cares about one side of the equation, or perhaps wants to hide it. The other side, the helpless side, those tiny lives that abortion supporters like to pretend don’t exist, and that procedure “that no one who supports abortion rights really wants to talk about” are invisible. Her entire article is a massive straw man, defending an imaginary target, and pretending the real one doesn’t exist.

    Now the ‘heavy terms’ come out, like heavy artillery. I suggest these terms take full advantage of semantic charge. I watched the video and did not see ‘punditry’ nor (for heaven’s sake) ‘demagoguery’. I saw though a typical, and common, public relations presentation to counter other sharp and pointed, and devious in their own way, public relations ploys that seem to me more demagogic, or demagogic in the more accurate sense of the term. The Pro-Lifers will often stop at nothing, including assassination, calumny and much else to enforce their will. If this were a really ‘balanced account’ of the issue, would you not be required to bring all that up? They are extremely zealous people (and I do not necessarily condemn them for it. I fully understand it).

    “These attacks are not about us. They are about the ability of women across the country to access health care. Period,” she writes. Despicable, and a lie. Nobody, literally nobody, wants to limit women’s access to health care. Many, however, want the nation to confront the abortion issue honestly, and decide on compassionate and ethical abortion policy while fairly assessing what abortion is, what it involves, what the costs are, how many human beings it kills, and whether all of them have to die.

    I do not buy the characterisation – yours. There exits a faction – often and mostly of religious fanatics – who have deep issues with sexuality, with sensuality even, and who desire control of women and of their reproduction. I do not even condemn them for this since I feel I understand the more old-school view of woman. They have desired to keep specifically female sexual health care, on all its levels, difficult or impossible of access. Over the last 40-50 years all that has changed, certainly, but the facts of the history cannot be avoided.

    I can’t say though that I disagree with all of the last sentence, at least not all of it, for reasons I mentioned in other posts.

    • The Pro-Lifers will often stop at nothing, including assassination, calumny and much else to enforce their will. If this were a really ‘balanced account’ of the issue, would you not be required to bring all that up? They are extremely zealous people (and I do not necessarily condemn them for it. I fully understand it).

      Complete, utter, and asinine straw man. A very small number of fanatics committed murder in the name of “Pro-Life”. They were wrong, and immediately condemned by all within the Pro-Life community. Bringing up this utterly irrelevant issue is simply trying to discredit and disparage the group that is investigating the attitude of Planned Parenthood abortion staff.

      Thousands of doctors nationwide perform abortions, at Planned Parenthood, private practices, and elsewhere. How many abortionists have this cavalier attitude? Unknown, because the media is refusing to look into the issue.

      They have desired to keep specifically female sexual health care, on all its levels, difficult or impossible of access.

      Baseless and irrelevant. You have lost your credibility.

      • Maybe not all credibility, I haven’t read through everything you’ve posted, but there have been literally only EIGHT “Pro-Life” murders in the United States since Roe-v-Wade. To characterize this as “often” is character either ignorance or malice!

        • I have to agree that Alizia’s analysis here is avoidance, spin and dishonesty, intentional or not. I am having to cherry pick items in this thread to respond to, because I’m ill right now and my energy is limited, but honestly..THIS..

          “I do not see it as a ‘breach’ I see it as avoidance, and for good reasons. In my own view, and no matter how it is talked about, or if it is not talked about, no part of that can change the material fact of what occurs in an abortion. It is possible that some people, or all people, who work in the clinics and in this field become inured. But there may very well be others who have feelings – deep feelings – but place them to the side because they understand that there is a greater good. That ‘greater good’ has been explained in numerous posts on the other threads. Charles I thought wrote one of the best pieces and there were others, too.”

          …is chilling. The news media exists to inform, but to Alizia the news media avoiding the task of informing the public isn’t a breach of its ethical duty because it serves “the greater good.” Stain and Big Brother could hardly have put it in starker terms.

          How do you like ending up on the same side as people who reason like this, deery? Beth? Charles? Doesn’t this set off some ethics alarms? It should.

          Then there’s Alizia’s defense of this indefensible statement, which I, accurately, called a lie:

          “These attacks are not about us. They are about the ability of women across the country to access health care. Period,”

          “Period” makes it clear that the PP leader falsely asserts that the only reason anyone is exposing those icky aspects of crushing fetus heads and brains…no different from toe surgery, really, right, Alizia?–is to make women sick and keep them barefoot and pregnant. Alizia’s justification—this from someone who has written Joyce-like (pompous and impenetrable) prose about the intellectual analysis process—is that there are sexist, religious wackos out there, so that only means that all abortion critics are wackos. That is both deranged logic and a lie. The religious nut wackos are irrelevant to the reasoned arguments against the ethics of abortion. Is Patrice a wacko? Am I? This is false argument by association: A and B oppose abortion at will; A does so because he opposes female autonomy, so B must base his opposition on the same unethical objective. That’s exactly what the PP chief is saying, and that’s what Alizia is endorsing. Shame on her. It has been the dishonest, emotional, fall-back, reflex defense of the pro-abortion movement whenever it is out of bullets, because the movement refuses to deal honetly with ( or acknowledge the reality of what abortion is (killing an unborn human being? WHAT human being? I don’t see any human beings! Just cells, just a “theoretical” being, just anything that I can argue isn’t worth caring about)…what Alizia outrageously says “everybody understands.” If everybody understands it, then why is PP trying to spin the videos? Or suppress them?

          I, and many, many like me, have deep ethical reservations about abortion that society has an obligation to confront honestly. I also believe that women must have as much autonomy and personal liberty as the respect for human life can ethically permit. Therefore the official PP spin that “These attacks are not about us. They are about the ability of women across the country to access health care. Period” is a lie, slander, and intentional deflection and misrepresentation to avoid the real issues.

          Does aiding and abetting this dishonesty implicate Alizia’s intelligence? Maybe, but it definitely indicts her intellectual honesty and integrity.

          • That was precisely my reaction to “the greater good”. I recall something she said in an earlier post (having trouble finding it now) where, if I remember correctly, she stated that one can’t argue against abortion without ultimately falling back on an appeal to religion. I’ve never had to rely on religious dogma to logically deduce that a human life is being extinguished, but calling it wrong is a question of morality. This, I think, was what she meant by religion. I thought that atheists insisted that one could, and should, lead a moral life without fear of divine retribution. But if morality has no place in her utilitarian world view, what place does The Greater Good have? What wouldn’t be allowable to achieve this greater good, and how would she measure this good in her relativistic system? I shudder to think.

          • Maybe I’m thinking more of emotional intelligence, or being tuned in to that 3rd-person observer in your subconscious that says “you know you’re blowing a lot of hot air, right?”.

      • Amazing to me how somebody who seems intelligent could be so bereft of wisdom. I’m just seeing all sorts of linguistic contortions, smoke and mirrors, being applied by her. You know, the “if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance….” variety.

  2. Jack.

    This is an error I think. Don’t you know Cecil is exponentially more important than the wanton destruction of thousands and thousands of our babies?

    Let’s get back to what’s important.

  3. According to the latest Popehat post, the Center for Medical Progress may have broken a few laws in its latest sting video. This doesn’t make them wrong, but it does underscore how untrained they are.

    That said, these videos serve a valuable purpose: they show how the sausage is made. Like Upton Sinclair’s novels, they show us the hidden cost of the comforts we enjoy, and challenge us to do a fresh accounting. Alas, far too many people prefer to simply shut their eyes to horror, pretending that it isn’t there. If only Sinclair were still around, maybe he could make people pay attention.

  4. Until now, I believed in a woman’s choice concerning her body and abortion. after observing the Human Body in a dish, crushed and torn apart, with a tiny hand and arm starring me in the face, was SHOCKING to say the least. And, for Taxpayer’s funding these actions, transferring 1/2 a billion dollars to this ABORTION Crime Family, needs to stop IMMEDIATLY. Congress needs to act and DEFUND this Criminal Corporation and stop this Criminal Act against Humanity.

    • What makes abortion palatable to the millions of dupes out there is the fact that it’s so clinical and sterile. I wish the mothers had to watch what actually goes on with an ultrasound, while it’s happening. Birkenau was a very clinical and efficient operation, too. If only the gas chambers had been better soundproofed, the effect would have been complete.

  5. Here were some words from Rev. Wayne C Cooper of Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church.

    HERE IS A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO ALL MY FEMALE FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS!
    Dear Ladies:
    As we all know, the issue of abortion has been in the news a lot lately due to the atrocious videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the abortion process and financial incentives that comes with each abortion.
    I make it no secret as to my Biblical and moral position of being unapologetically Pro-Life, and that is because when I read passages of Scriptures in Jeremiah 1 and Psalm 139, there is irrefutable evidence that life begins at conception and that God has a divine purpose for every life.
    That being said, my message to ALL OF YOU is that if circumstances in your life has caused you in the past, recent or distant, to abort your baby, I want to be a voice for the Lord and share just a couple of brief truths that I hope will give you MUCH ENCOURAGEMENT:
    First, the abortion that you may have had is NOT unforgivable! In other words, it is NOT the unpardonable sin.
    Second, even though your choice to abort your baby is not what God wanted for you, be assured that He STILL loves you VERY MUCH!
    Third, if you have sincerely repented and asked the Lord Jesus to forgive you, be assured that He has not only forgiven you, but that He remembers your sin no more!
    Finally, if you still haven’t come to that place of recognition that what you did by the way of aborting your baby, was wrong, you can still come to Christ to confess what you’ve done and repent of it, and ask for forgiveness, and Christ will extend the same forgiveness to you as well.
    To any MEN that may have played a role in assisting a woman to having an abortion, whether you paid for it, encouraged it, or coerced it, all the truth that I just delineated with the women, applies to you as well.
    “IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.” (I JOHN 1:9)
    Be Encouraged Today!

  6. Neil A. Dorr and to a lesser extent Chris, in the previous post about these videos, made the point that nothing illegal had been uncovered. I think that point is unsustainable now. The new videos clearly show PP officials explaining how they intend to make a profit off of the tissues, how they dishonestly frame these transactions as “just covering the costs” when that isn’t true, how they are willing to sell tissues to businesses as well as researchers, the process by which they maintain deniability in all of this, and how they take care to present a “different face” to the public that doesn’t accurately represent what’s going on.

    It’s already been well-known (by everyone who WANTS to know, anyway) that Planned Parenthood profits from abortions but not adoptions, and a small army of former employees have come clean about how the organization compels its workers to push women and girls towards abortion as the best option whenever possible. They’re salespeople, women are their marks.

  7. You know…. When the first video came out, and we were told that they had taken years to produce, I was flabbergasted. Why on Earth did it take so long? When the second came out, I suspected that there would be more, and the group wanted to compile a truly damning amount of evidence. When the third came out, I realized that they were going to get worse, and that the first few had been bait to get all the progressives to defend PP before the bottom fell out. And now there’s a fourth…. Guys… I think it’s going to get worse.

  8. Your post doesn’t make sense.

    You claim that mainstream media dropped the ball, but why couldn’t the citizen journalists have picked up the ball ethically? You skip this step. Do you assume citizen journalists can only work unethically? Look at Photography is Not a Crime (PINAC). They’re citizen media that expose bad behavior ethically.

    You move on to various attacks on abortion that are independent of the journalists.

    Defunding Planned Parenthood is right? Even if the investigations that have been completed show no illegal activity? And some of the calls for defunding are in states where Planned Parenthood doesn’t even perform abortions (See Louisiana. How can that be about anything other than access to healthcare?) Also note that the defunding is not just not directly giving them money, it’s no longer allowing them to accept medicaid money for basic services. How does that do anything but hurt the poor?

    You move on to attack the ick factor of abortion (which, you normally call bullcrap)

    Should I continue? You don’t return to any journalistic issues. You attack abortion and people who facilitate abortion. You want a new discussion on abortion. None of that has anything to do with the ethics of this group or what they did.

    Aside: I think that you have a big cause and effect issue on the callousness, and even using that word. Dead tissue is dead tissue. It’s talked about that way because that’s what it is. That you think we should treat this dead tissue like it’s special is traditional, but it’s not backed by evidence. A dead human is to a dead pig as a dead pig is to a dead horse. It also seems likely to be special pleading. Do you have a problem with medical school cadavers being treated as dead tissue?

    • Technically, you return to what you claim are journalistic issues on the coverage of abortion, but that should be a completely separate issue from the journalistic issues of this one group’s actions.

  9. THE HILL-DABEAST IS GOING DOWN!!!!! The FBI has the server, and it has TOP SECRET documents on it! Not FOUO, not confidential, not SECRET, but TOP SECRET!! That is 20 YEARS in the pokey! I am so happy right now! Woo-hoo !!

    • Is she?

      If those servers haven’t been completey purged so she can say “see? Nothing here” then there’s probably little left on there that won’t be rationalized away.

      It’ll flow right off her back…

      Now wouldn’t it be awesome if there were emails between her and Trump…

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