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, FetLife.com. 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:
— Jodi Jacobson (@jljacobson) August 20, 2015
There you go: abortion opponents hate sex. If you have good arguments, why stoop to stupid ones?
…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]