Much has changed in America’s abortion conversation since July 14th, 2015, when the Center for Medical Progress released their first undercover video revealing alleged illegal activity by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. Ten governors and/or state legislatures have defunded Planned Parenthood entirely or in part, while over ten states and the federal government have launched investigations into the organization, and Congress passed a bill that would have redirected taxpayer money to other federally qualified, less scandal-ridden women’s health organizations. But one of the most important consequences of the CMP videos is this: abortion advocates, rattled by Planned Parenthood’s plummeting image, have let the mask slip, revealing how the culture of death in the abortion industry has supplanted concern for women’s welfare.
Let me back up. On February 3rd, the New England Journal of Medicine released a study on the effect of a Texas law that redirected some public funds away from Planned Parenthood. The report claims that since Planned Parenthood was removed from the Texas Women’s Health Program, more Texas women have been having babies.
Now, there are plenty of reasons to doubt this dubious study. The overall birth and abortion rates in Texas fell after Planned Parenthood was removed from the Women’s Health Program. And as Professor Michael New has explained, even if taken at face value this study revealed a “crisis” of an additional 37 Texas babies.
But the response to the study by abortion advocates is nevertheless revealing. Cosmopolitan Magazine posted this on Twitter: “Texas woman are having more babies since Planned Parenthood was defunded :( "
Yes—that is a sad face.
The magazine didn’t choose to say, “Women struggle to get contraception in Texas since Planned Parenthood is defunded,” or even, “More unplanned pregnancies in Texas since Planned Parenthood is defunded,” both of which are in line with the pro-abortion messaging of supporting women’s “healthcare.” Instead of glossing, Cosmopolitan’s tweet just tells the truth: pro-abortion advocates are against babies. Babies actually make them sad.
The responses to this tweet were scathing, and after a few hours the sad face was removed from the post. The report is being attacked for multiple reasons, most notably because it was commissioned by the Susan T. Buffett Foundation, an opaque pro-abortion non-profit with strong ties to Planned Parenthood.
But the sentiment lingered. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said that the study “shows the devastating consequences” of restricting public funding. Those consequences? Babies. Live, happy, healthy, roly-poly babies. At the same time, Planned Parenthood has filed a brief in the Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, asking the Court to make sure that abortion clinics are not held to basic safety standards. A live baby is a “devastating consequence;” a law protecting women’s safety is unjust.
Now, it’s worth considering why pro-abortion advocates think of babies as such a terrible thing, so that it’s worth compromising women’s safety to destroy them. Here are a few possibilities:
- Radical feminism says that women are fulfilled and empowered when they are as much like men as possible. Some of those things are important, such as equal wages and access to opportunities. Some, however, are pretty toxic, such as the assertion that because men are biologically able to have as much sex as they want without having babies, women are entitled to that as well. The overall message—women at their best are just like men—doesn’t leave much room for babies (or women, for that matter).
- The key for Cosmopolitan Magazine was that birth rates increased among low-income women. The implication is that more poor babies are the problem, and that the government is obligated to use public funds to prevent them from being born. This nightmarish line of reasoning isn’t new; it’s been a part of Planned Parenthood’s ethos all along. Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, was transparent about using abortion and sterilization to minimize reproduction among some elements of society. The International Planned Parenthood Federation was involved in large-scale sterilization in Puerto Rico that sterilized roughly one-third of Puerto Rican women. The dark reality is that for the abortion culture, some lives are worth living, and others are not.
- As modern technology continues to reveal the stunning humanness of fetuses from the very first weeks of pregnancy, it’s becoming harder and harder to deny that the unborn are human. The claim that fetuses become full humans at birth is clearly nonsense. Pro-abortion advocates have to choose between two responses: either acknowledge that life and humanness begin in the womb and must be protected by law, or embrace the terrifying reasoning of anti-morality ethicist Peter Singer, who says that humanness is defined by usefulness, and useless or underutilized humans should be destroyed. We must be prepared for the battle for life to shift from the womb to the cradle, and beyond.
It’s easy to be filled with righteous indignation at Cosmopolitan’s tweet, but followers of Christ must temper that indignation with this reflection: Many pro-abortion advocates, though by no means all, have had abortions themselves. For them, maintaining the moral high ground in this battle is vital, because if they admit that they are wrong, they must admit that they have killed their children. Many are abortion doctors, who entered their field seeking to improve the lives of women. If they admit that abortion is wrong, they must face the truth that they are murdering humans every day.
Lies run deep in this culture of death. It is imperative that we speak the truth, because we will be held accountable for what we have seen, but we must do so in love, knowing that the battle is not only for the lives of the unborn, but also for the souls of those who have been robbed of their ability to rejoice in the miracle of life.
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