Defending the Cancer

I’ve been sickened by the series of videos of late that document officials from Planned Parenthood discussing the procurement and sale of post-abortion, dead (or maybe not quite dead) baby parts to various interested parties.  I’ve been equally sickened by the comparative silence this issue has received in the media, yet ANOTHER clear indication of how media is anything but unbiased.  And finally, I’ve been sickened by the outrageous defense of Planned Parenthood by Planned Parenthood and those ideologically bound to support it.

This morning our local paper reported that our local City Council was asked to vote on a resolution acknowledging the valuable services Planned Parenthood provides.  The promoters of the resolution – our mayor who is running for State Senate and a local councilwoman, acknowledged that the resolution is unusual.  It isn’t typically a function of the City Council to pass resolutions in support of non-profits.  Nor is it typical for the City Council to do so for a federally funded organization.  Yet the Council was still presented with the resolution, which it passed 5-2.

Why would such a resolution be suggested and duly passed?  Because of the outrage that has been rightly raised (though muffled by the media) against Planned Parenthood’s disgusting sale of dead baby parts, something allegedly illegal as well as patently immoral.  Planned Parenthood and its various supporters are attempting to rally the troops to defend the beleaguered organization, and such meaningless political resolutions are part of the counter-offensive designed to convince people that the organization is innocent and the unfortunate target of a smear campaign.

Tragically, this isn’t true.  Nobody tricked these officials into discussing the sale and procurement of dead baby parts.  It was all too clear in the video footage that this is a topic they are very at ease with.  They have had many such conversations and made many such sales pitches before.  The outrage ought to be not that they are caught unawares on video, but rather that such conversations are deemed by some to be off-limits to the very tax-payers that, willingly or not, support the organization through Federal funding.

As an aside out there – if we want more accountability and transparency in our government, why don’t we have volunteers assigned to every single federally funded organization who simply listen in on every business phone conversation and every business meeting, reporting what goes on to the public?  If our tax dollars support it, we ought to expect full accountability and transparency, right?  Isn’t that what President Obama campaigned for?  Surely there are enough interested parties and retired folks out there to at least make a big start in this?  Imagine how things might change if there was a silent, objective, volunteer observer in every single Planned Parenthood office in the United States!

OK.  Back to the issue at hand.  Planned Parenthood’s quoted response to the released videotapes, as quoted in the paper today, reads “The most recent attacks on Planned Parenthood are part of a larger pattern of unlawful harassment and intimidation of trusted providers of reproductive health and it is an attack on the health and well-being of our patients.”

In other words, they have done absolutely nothing wrong.  There’s nothing to be apologized for.  No errors in judgment to be addressed.  No changes in policy.  No review of practice.  Nothing.  Everything is fine.  Anyone who criticizes them is not simply criticizing them, but jeopardizing the well-being of their patients.

It seems akin, to me, of someone going to the doctor and being informed that they have cancer.  Rather than accepting the reality of the diagnosis they insist that such a diagnosis is impossible.  They are active in their community.  They give generous and support a variety of philanthropic enterprises.  A diagnosis of cancer is untenable as it threatens all the good that they do and their family that rely on them.  The doctor is evil for even suggesting such a thing.

I disagree ideologically with Planned Parenthood.  I believe it is a dangerous holdover AND forerunner of secular humanism’s deeply intertwined relationship with eugenics and the control of human reproduction.  I pray vigorously that this institution goes away forever and is acknowledged as the dark blot on our collective moral history that it truly is.  But all that being said, if I was a supporter of Planned Parenthood, if I truly thought they provided needed and useful services to women who otherwise truly had no other options (a complete lie, by and large, but I’m speaking hypothetically here), then wouldn’t it behoove me to examine the institution in light of these videos?  To acknowledge that perhaps there are some practices that are harmful and need to be excised from the organization?  Wouldn’t I want to eliminate the cancer, rather than insisting that any such cancer is impossible and therefore no treatment is needed?

On the plus side, I hope that the arrogant attitude of Planned Parenthood in light of these videos is key to its downfall.  I hope that there is enough moral outrage both in our elected leadership as well as at the grass roots level to demand the complete dismantling of this program.  I don’t think that’s a likely hope, given the moral lassitude of our culture in general, but it’s a small hope.  And I hope that if it does get dismantled, it will be a lesson to our leaders that it is far better to take seriously your violations of the law, your flouting of your oath-bound duties, your flagrant disregard of the trust you have been given, than to insist that nothing is wrong, that you are completely innocent and that any suggestion that you might have morally strayed or failed is invalid and itself deserving of prosecution.

I understand that my leaders are human and will fail from time to time.  I can handle this.  It is part of the reason I refuse to place my trust and hope in my government.  History is unanimously in my corner on this one.  Therefore  I can’t – and shouldn’t – accept when my leaders routinely wrap themselves in moral superiority and insist that they are incapable of such failures, and that I am wrong to even suggest it.  That’s a situation that is very, very dangerous, and will ultimately endanger far more lives than the millions of babies already lost to Planned Parenthood since Roe v. Wade.

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