The Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting - Blaming the Labeling

"We are constantly evaluating our security policies and procedures to ensure the continued safety of the women, men and families who depend on Planned Parenthood for health care," said Planned Parenthood of the Heartland spokeswoman Angie Remington in a statement. "Even in a poisonous environment that feeds acts of violence, we will never back down from providing high quality health care in a safe, supportive environment."  ~ Planned Parenthood, critics in Dubuque Countycondemn Colorado attack

The shooting of three people at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood has rightfully been condemned by every individual who cares for life. The gunman, clearly a man with severe mental illness, took guns to this clinic and began to shoot people indiscriminately. This is wrong, and no one condemns this type of action louder than the pro-life community which is working hard to protect all life.

The problem is that the pro-choice community blames this problem on the videos which have been released revealing that the people who run Planned Parenthood have been selling the parts of the children they abort quite apparently for profit.  According to the pro-choicers, these videos have created a poisonous environment which has put the workers and the women who go to abortion clinics in danger. I find this argument to be really ridiculous for a couple of reasons.

First, the videos reveal what is going on inside the Planned Parenthood clinics. Contrary to the claims of the opponents of these videos, the videos have not been proven to be false or hoaxes or misleading. According to an article on the Daily Signal entitled “Forensic Analysis: Planned Parenthood Videos Are ‘Authentic’”:   

A forensic analysis of undercover videos about Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices are “authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing,” according to a report released Tuesday by Alliance Defending Freedom. The analysis was completed by Coalfire, a digital security and forensics firm that has worked on civil and criminal investigations. The firm had access to all audio and video investigative footage recorded by the Center for Medical Progress. “The Coalfire forensic analysis removes any doubt that the full length undercover videos released by Center for Medical Progress are authentic and have not been manipulated,” said Casey Mattox, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom. “Analysts scrutinized every second of video recorded during the investigation and released by CMP to date and found only bathroom breaks and other non-pertinent footage had been removed.”

To blame the videos for the violence would be akin to saying that Apartheid was evil and having the white supremacist government in South Africa say that the speaker was poisoning the environment because of the claim. No, the statement is accurate, it is the practice being revealed that may lead to violence. Likewise, it is not the videos that are creating the negative reaction to Planned Parenthood, it is the practices by the organization which, when revealed, bring loathing to the organization.

Second, and more importantly, what the Planned Parenthood types are trying to accomplish is to bring an end to all opposition to abortion and the government funding of their clinics. When they say that the videos are creating a poisonous atmosphere, they are really saying that any criticism of the practices of Planned Parenthood need to stop because they might stir up the people like the Colorado shooter – who was obviously mentally ill. But as anyone who has studied human nature or politics knows, any type of criticism can stir up people to act in irrational and even violent ways.

Planned Parenthood has engaged in conduct that is probably criminal and (to most people’s viewpoints according to polls) is clearly immoral. What would Planned Parenthood have those who find this practice immoral and probably illegal do? Drop it? Of course, that’s what they want, but that’s not going to happen. So, what’s the alternative? Play down the actions by using language that is less incendiary? What language is that? The language that Planned Parenthood chooses to use?

That’s ridiculous. A robust conversation about anything of import requires both sides to be able to use the rhetorical tools at their disposal. As long as the tools being used aren’t either outrageous or lies, the party using the tools is acting appropriately. Might calling the actions of Planned Parenthood “selling baby parts” stir up a crazy or two? Of course it might. But so might calling policemen racists. And so might calling Republicans bigots. And so might calling Democrats communists. And so might calling Christians homophobes. But while these other examples that I have used are of questionable truth, saying that Planned Parenthood terminates the lives of living human beings and sells parts of the aborted human beings for scientific purposes is definitely truthful. Compacting all of that into “selling baby parts” is neither outrageous nor untruthful.

Planned Parenthood is in trouble not because of the videos, but because of what the videos clearly show – and what the videos show is not a lie. They should stop blaming the messenger and deal with the fact that they are acting immorally and likely illegally. 


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