Planned Parenthood Videos Surprise: Forced To Defend Abortion Ethics Acknowledging The Existence Of A Second Human Life In The Equation, Advocates Run Out Of Arguments (Part One)

The Center for Medical Progress released a trailer yesterday promoting its yet to be released eighth undercover investigative video, this one, like the last, focusing on StemExpress, a biotech company in northern California, that has worked with Planned Parenthood to obtain aborted fetus tissue to be used in research. In the clip, StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer explains that her company receives “intact” aborted fetuses from the abortion clinics they work with.

“Oh yeah, I mean if you have intact cases – which we’ve done a lot – so we sometimes ship those back to our lab in its entirety,” Dyer says on the trailer.

Later, she jokes about shipping little aborted heads. “Tell the lab its coming,” she chuckles. “They don’t want to open the box, go, ‘Oh God!’”

I can’t wait.

Undoubtedly the allies of abortion-on-demand feminists and progressives will attack this video as they have the rest, focusing on anything and everything but the single powerful issue it raises that the abortion movement has successfully obscured, denied and obscured since Roe v. Wade and before. These are small, helpless, innocent human beings being killed, chopped up and distributed like prime beef, and the adults doing it and insisting on it have devolved into callous, cold-eyed mutants incapable of considering what their conduct is. They have not had the courage or integrity to confront the ethical conflicts that abortion raises. These videos are making that avoidance increasingly difficult. As I wrote yesterday, bravo for the The Center for Medical Progress and their allies, who are finally forcing the passive public and cynical political class to consider the issues.

The most fascinating revelation is how weak the case for abortion appears to be, once its advocates are required to stop pretending that there is only one human being—the mother—involved. We know it is weak because the attacks on the videos have largely not addressed the ugly fact on display in them—that human, unborn babies with beating hearts and functioning organs are being killed—nor found a persuasive justification for it.

They haven’t had to do either since Roe v. Wade. “It’s my right!” has been enough, though this is a rationalization that does not address the question of right and wrong. Meanwhile, by adopting the deceitful and misleading label “pro-choice,” aided by lazy and sympathetic journalists to facilitate a deceptive framing of the issue (we are seeing the same process now as “immigrant” is substituted for “illegal immigrant”), the pro-abortion lobby has warped all policy debates into a discussion of the effect of an unwanted pregnancy on women, and never about the effect of ending those pregnancies on the women’s’ off-spring. (They die.)
Suddenly, the videos have made the existence of other human beings in the abortion dilemma is unavoidable, so what are the pro-abortion advocates and their allies doing? Let’s survey them; I’m not going to rehash all the earlier deflections of the videos by Planned Parenthood and pundits (“All medical procedures are hard to look at!”) and the usual hyperbolic accusations of evil motives (“This is a war on women! They want to control our bodies!”). I’ve covered them before, and they should be self-rebutting anyway.

“The videos are illegal!”

Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens told The Hill that she believes the videos are illegal and that Planned Parenthood is “considering everything” in going after the Center for Medical Progress”I absolutely do believe that they have violated laws in terms of how they secured these videos,” she said in an interview at the group’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. “But the fraud is also in how they have presented them and in the editing.”

They might be illegal, just as a warrantless police raid that find a meth lab or young girls being readied for sale in Abu Dhabi is illegal, but as the drug peddler or the sex slave merchant scream “My rights have been violated!”, they are only trying to change the subject to something where they have a a strong argument. Yes, Dawn, but what about what we see and hear on the videos? Legal or not, what about it? What about all those living unborn babies? Why don’t their lives matter? Why don’t you talk about them, think about them, care about them? How do you justify taking their lives? The issue isn’t just choice, or it it is, why?

“The videos were deceptively edited!”

This is another misleading deflection, though one that the Planned Parenthood foes have invited by focusing too much on alleged profit-making by Planned Parenthood in handing over fetal tissue (and little livers and kidneys) to researchers. Most attacks on the videos have made the case that they don’t really show that. I don’t really care, although if true such lawbreaking should be prosecuted. The core issue raised by the videos is whether a moral, ethical, civilized society dedicated to the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should be killing unborn human beings and acting as if there is nothing wrong with it, or worse, as if they aren’t human beings at al . The issue is what is done to these unborn children when they are alive; after they are dead, their heads crushed, it’s not their problem.

“Planned Parenthood doesn’t break any laws!”

Stipulated: abortion is legal. We know that. The question is whether it should be in all cases, whether it is right, and whether a terrible human rights crime is taking place in the United States with the government’s and the public’s approval.  The fact that five states so far have found no evidence of illegal activity by Planned Parenthood in quickie investigations overseen by politicians dedicated to pro-abortion voting blocs has no bearing on this question. It doesn’t even prove that Planned Parenthood isn’t profiting off of baby parts, but never mind. That’s still not the issue, but abortion advocates feel they are on much firmer ground talking about that than the ethics of crushing little heads while little hearts are beating to preserve little kidneys and livers for state-of-the-art research.

“The whistleblower is a slut and a weirdo!”

You don’t get much more desperate, hypocritical and detestable than this:

Feminist, pro-abortion site RH Reality Check attacked Holly Kaitlyn O’Donnell,  the former StemExpress technician who appears on some of the videos describing the callousness of her colleagues towards human remains, by investigating her social life and on-line comments and photos through her accounts on the dating site OkCupid, the photo-sharing site, Instagram, and the fetish site, It then published the most sensational and embarrassing content.

Asks Reason: Why is any of this relevant to the discussion of abortion, reproductive rights, or sexual freedom? The short answer is that it isn’t, but it sure is salacious, isn’t it?

RH Reality Check’s defended its doxxing of O’Donnell with this statement:

“While there is nothing wrong or shameful about an adult’s consensual sexual preferences or practices, the fact remains that O’Donnell is an unusual choice as the face of a campaign that has so far only otherwise been represented by the buttoned-up [activist David] Daleiden, who has carved a career as a conservative Catholic anti-choice activist, and whose allies oppose LGBT equality and speak in terms of moral absolutism when it comes to the sex lives of other consenting adults, especially women. O’Donnell too has demonstrated a willingness to judge and condemn others, and to assume that she knows the motivations of Planned Parenthood providers with whom she worked and countless women who have had abortions, in some cases, donating the resultant tissue to medical research. Her sexual practices would not themselves be of note, but for her decision to step forward as a moral arbiter of the private decisions of others.”

This would be a classic Tit for Tat rationalization if what O’Donnell did was judge or condemn others. What she did was what whistleblowers are supposed to do: raise the curtain on practices the public doesn’t know about or understand. All RH Reality Check was doing was leveling an ad hominem  attack on the messenger without honestly trying to rebut her troubling and important message. Moreover, it slut-shamed her, which is conduct that same site vociferously condemns when it is used against feminists.

The editor in chief of RH Reality Check , Jodi Jacobson promoted her site’s despicable hit job on O’Donnell with this tweet:

There you go: abortion opponents hate sex. If you have good arguments, why stoop to stupid ones?

Finally, the story was taken down after the site was pummelled from left and right for its hypocrisy. Jacobson posted this jaw dropping explanation, saying in part [My comments in BOLD]

…I therefore take full responsibility for what was an ill-considered decision to publish this article. I apologize unequivocally for the publication of the article in the first place and the unintentional though understandable assertion that it was meant to shame people for sex. [ It was meant to shame O’Donnell, and since much of it had to do with her sex life, it was obviously meant to shame her for sex. How can anyone trust an advocate for anything that lies like this?]

RHRC is devoted to evidence-based reporting on sexual and reproductive health and justice. […unless the evidence counters your position, like the evidence in the videos that these are living beings, not tumors, warts or parasites as pro-abortion cant insists.] One part of our mandate is to influence other media reporting on these issues for the sake of accuracy and to fight against the false equivalencies around sex, sexuality, and reproduction represented in so much of media today. [Huh?]Another part of our mandate is to fight back against false narratives perpetuated by the anti-choice movement. [There’s that deceptive label again. Let’s compromise: call it the “anti-choice to kill unborn children movement.” Fair?] These and our other goals mean we are making decisions, often quick ones, about how and what to report with integrity. [Quick or not, they are supposed to fair and responsible decisions. Rapid decisions are part of the news media job. If you can’t do it ethically, leave it to those who can.]

The far right, of which the anti-choice movement is a central part, focuses on shaming people who engage in sex for pleasure, for managing their fertility, or for loving whom they love. [ Talk about false narratives, unfair generalizations and ad hominem attacks. Do you have to be an extreme conservative to have ethical problems with abortion? ] The obsessive focus of the right on “eliminating access to birth control” and abortion is but one part of this agenda. [ Attaching birth control to abortion is another desperate tactic,falsely pairing an irrational position held by few with anti-abortion advocacy. Nobody except certifiable fanatics want to “eliminate access to birth control”.] The movement works assiduously to deny millions of people throughout this country access to critical health care and sexual agency whether through fighting access to birth control under the ACA, denying women access to safe abortion care, denying same-sex couples the right to adopt, or denying health care to transgender persons. Their daily work is based on stigma and shame—of women, sex workers, LGBTQ persons, and youth—or really anyone who exercises sexual agency and seeks sexual pleasure on their own terms. [ This is a filibuster to move the discussion as far away from abortion as possible. What does the ACA or gay adoption have to do with whether killing unborn babies is ethical? She is widening the ad hominem attack.]

Our reporting on O’Donnell was intended to focus on the hypocrisy of a person who has and wants to enjoy sexual freedom and autonomy all while seeking to deny this right to others. Full stop. [What flagrant dishonesty! There is nothing hypocritical in the least in what O’Donnell did.]

We believed answers to the question, “Who is Holly O’Donnell,” were germane to the political debate in which she has placed herself front and center, and from which she has never sought to recuse herself in the weeks since the videos including her came out. [This is an ethical debate that those who don’t have ethics on their side would make a political debate. All that matters in assessing a whistleblower’s trustworthiness is whether she had access to the information she is exposing. Her habits m character, even her motives do not enhance or diminish the import of the facts relayed.]

That said, our piece clearly crossed a line by providing far too much information about her personal life, which in turn made it seem like we were engaging in the same practice of shaming someone for sex we decry on the right. [ It made it seem like that because that is exactly what it was, and what  it was intended to be.] Targeting O’Donnell’s personal life is, unlike, say, Josh Duggar, unlikely to influence public perceptions of the anti-choice movement as a whole. To target her and open her up to harassment based on her sexual preferences was wrong. [What does Josh Dugger have to do with this? Why should  the fact that Josh Dugger is a lying, sex-obsessed slime-ball affect public perception about abortion? The ethical issues are the same whether the practice’s opponents are saints or human scum. This woman is ethically inert.]

[End of Part One]


Sources:, The Hill, Daily Kos, Newsbusters

14 thoughts on “Planned Parenthood Videos Surprise: Forced To Defend Abortion Ethics Acknowledging The Existence Of A Second Human Life In The Equation, Advocates Run Out Of Arguments (Part One)

  1. It’s remarkable and consistent that social progressives insist on complete autonomy and non-judgement for whatever sexual practice they enjoy and also insist that social conservatives not be allowed to enjoy those same practices.

    I wonder is sexually abstinent social progressives are held in similar contempt by social conservatives? Sort of virgin shaming. I picture a religious group whispering “That hypocrit! He has his nerve condemning us he’s a virgin too!”

    • The obsessive focus of the right on “eliminating access to birth control” and abortion is but one part of this agenda.

      When they say “access to birth control”, they really mean forcing employers to provide for insurance coverage that includes the cost of contraception without co-pay.

      Not even the NRA claimed that the state is violating the Second Amendment by refusing to force employers to provide insurance coverage that covers the costs of guns or ammunition without co-pay (even if some members would support such a policy).

      It is as if these people do not know the difference between negative rights and positive rights.

  2. After reading the chapter in “Freakonomics” on abortion and crime I am wondering if it isn’t a necessary evil that rids the world of scum and that the human beings that are sacrificed should be considered just collateral damage in the important business of ridding the world of scum. Yes this is dark and cynical view of humanity; definitely not and attitude to be held by a citizen of the “shinning city on the hill.”

    • Which, to pretend this is serious, I think it’s an abhorrent view that for some reason, poverty compels crime.

      Seems crime was remarkably low when we taught people that material possession wasn’t the end all be all of life, but that there is transcendent good to achieve.

      • Yes, this was a little “tongue in cheek” and aimed at the use of the word scum for some human beings.

        I agree that the view that poverty compels crime is an abhorrent view. Some of the activities on Wall Street and in the banks would show that poverty is neither a necessary nor a sufficient cause for crime. On the other hand back when stuff wasn’t the end all and be all of life it does seem that one of the transcendental goods was that witches should not be suffered to live.

    • I’ve no doubt that abortion has played a role in reducing crime. I’ve even known pro-choicers who trumpeted that fact, as well as the fact that abortion has reduced teen births AND teen pregnancies! (Fun fact: aborted pregnancies are generally not counted as in widely-used teen pregnancy statistics.)

      Here’s the thing, though: when the slavery debate was going on, the trump card used by most of the racists was something along the lines of “I’m sure you don’t want all of these Negroes marrying your daughters, running around with no jobs, living in poverty and driving the crime rate up.”

      Today’s racists now trumpet the fact that those past racists were RIGHT! “Look! Crime rates are high among the descendants of slaves!” They even have statistics! So….slavery was for the best?

      Once it became obvious that a “maybe we can send them all to Africa” solution was not doable, higher crime rates and poverty were challenges America was willing to take on, in order to NOT HAVE SLAVERY ANYMORE. And this was the correct decision. Because the best decision is the one that involves not enslaving people or killing millions of babies.

      One also has to consider the kinds of unintended consequences that come from a social game-changer like Roe v. Wade. How many ill-advised sexual encounters (including rape) went ahead because of the knowledge that even an actualized pregnancy can be terminated before it becomes a “problem?” How many soul-crushingly bad decisions and outcomes resulted from this, and to what extent did this erode the natural tendency to be cautious about sex? And how much did of the fallout from this result in more demand for even more abortion down the line?

      I’m hopeful that in my lifetime there’s going to be a cheap and effective form of male birth control pill, and/or some other scientific advance that will render abortion unnecessary. Then a generation or two later, we’ll all look back with disgust at the horrors of the current era, and “progressives” will claim that they were always against abortion, and appropriate the language and legacy of anti-abortion protesters as their own in their quest to ban white men from using space-Twitter or whatever other silliness they’ll be up to by then.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.