Backfire: The Facts Were Bad Enough

Backfire: The Facts Were Bad Enough July 16, 2015

America takes a look at the whole Planned Parenthood video and I now fear it is, once again, going to backfire on the prolife movement.

The real horror of the video (and monstrous horror it is) is the PP rep’s casual discussion, over fava beans and a nice chianti, of her crushing and shredding human beings in such a way as to preserve heart, lungs, liver, brains, etc. for harvesting. It is sick-making chat that makes the mind reel. That is what the gut reacts to. And if the video had been released with that as the focus, it would have been devastating enough.

Unfortunately, however, we live in a culture with a conscience seared to the horror of that. For every cry of anguish and outrage from the prolife movement trying to awake the dulled American heart to such evils, a great portion of our culture makes a determined effort to change the channel and not think of such things. Result: our cry “LOOK! SEE!” is met with more resolute refusals to do so.

At which point, the temptation to cut moral corners starts to kick in, which is a delight to the devil. We start looking for other tools to fight our battle. One of the big ones appeared to be the Almighty Dollar. Americans may not care about crushing and dismembering babies, but they still care about the bottom line. And so yesterday’s video was born: a video edited and marketed, not so much to highlight the mind-numbing horrors of abortion, but to try to nail Planned Parenthood on an allegation of felony.

Problem is: it is starting to appear that this charge is much more dubious and the means by which it is made much more shady. And Planned Parenthood, so far from acting like it got caught with its pants down is responding with relish and calling the makers of the video liars–which, by their own confession, they are since they falsely represented themselves to obtain the video. What remains to be seen is if they are also falsely representing the claim that PP is committing (legal) crimes (there is no question they are committing moral ones, but we Americans don’t care about that).

Investigations are under way and my dwindling hope is that PP can be charged with something here. But my near-certain suspicion after reading the America piece is that it will shown that no felony has occurred and that they will be exonerated while yet another video based on the premise of the Noble Lie will be added to Planned Parenthood’s fundraising arsenal of examples to show that prolifers are liars.

There is, I get it, immense frustration in the prolife movement over the fact that people can listen to pleasant casual chat over a light lunch about how to subject a baby to the horrors of Dr. Mengele’s lab. There is near despair that a country we love could countenance such inhuman barbarism for one second, let alone 40 years. But that fact should force us to ask not, “What can we get away with to beat these bastards?” but “How can we be sure to fight using the weapons of the Spirit, not the weapons of this world, since this is a battle that mortal weapons cannot win against the powers and principalities of this world?”

The devil’s two main tools with angry people itching to cut moral corners are temptation and accusation. He whispers “Go ahead. Do evil that good will come of it! Look how much *more* evil those guys are! There’s no comparison! Are you going to be some moral idiot who does nothing while stuff like this is going on?”

So we go ahead and attempt the Noble Lie. And when we give in to the temptation to use lies and we get caught, we then face accusation, watch everything we fought for collapse like a house of cards, and hear Screwtape cackle: “To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return–that is what really gladdens our Father’s heart.” Remedy: stop using lies. As Augustine says, “God does not need my lie.”

The angry prolife combox responses to the America piece have centered a great deal, not around the factual analysis of the video, but around the question “Whose side are you on?” and are full of accusation that the author of the piece is somehow defending Planned Parenthood. I don’t buy that at all. It seems very clear to me that he is saying, “Fight with the weapons of the Spirit or it will backfire.” As Fr. Sawyer says:

Unfortunately, the way C.M.P. positioned this video, describing as “sales” something that is considerably more complicated, has simply reinforced, for many, the pro-choice narrative about pro-life activists: unscrupulous, dishonest players willing to do anything necessary in order to control and limit women’s access to abortion. The video’s revelations about the very matter-of-fact way in which fetal tissue from abortions is treated as a resource rather than human remains—-and the way in which the women seeking abortions come to be seen as potential sources of these rare and valuable tissues—-were more than troubling enough without being carefully sensationalized.

When the issue shifts from “Is this analysis factual?” and “Are these tactics in fact winning hearts and minds to the prolife cause?” to “Whose side are you on?” that is a sure sign that the prolife movement has taken a wrong turn. If the goal is simply to reinforce Unit Cohesion in the prolife community despite the fact that Planned Parenthood is winning converts to the proposition “Prolifers are liars” then I submit that is serious mission creep. What the video shows is monstrous enough. Spinning it to try to establish a felony where none exists will only backfire and stuff millions more dollars into PP’s coffers.

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his practices and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his creator. (Col 3:9–10).

For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. (2 Co 10:3–5).

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having fastened the belt of truth around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the Evil One. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. (Eph 6:10–18).

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  • Gary Keith Chesterton

    Whose side are you on?!

    • chezami

      I am putrid scum.

      • Newp Ort

        Who’s said that about you!?

        • chezami

          It’s an old joke between me and Gary Keith Chesterton

          • Newp Ort

            Oh I know you guys are cool with each other. I was just ripping on the whose/who’s.

      • Eric

        Hey, if Colbert can get away with endorsing PP outright, I’m sure you’re doing ok with your gentle critique of misguided pro-lifers.

        • chezami


          • Eric

            What’s not to get? Colbert can praise, defend, and endorse PP and still receive your praise. These pro-lifers earn a whole post on how their method of attack on PP was wrong. I agree with you. Their method was definitely wrong. This post was needed. Still, in spite of Colbert defending PP, all we get from you is an occasional “Colbert is wrong on PP” in the comments section. The point of my first comment is basically this. If you think Colbert is Mr. Awesome in spite of his ridicule of church teaching, I’d imagine you’d feel pretty comfortable focusing mainly on the negatives of the recent PP scandal as they relate to the pro-lifers. Even if your focus (hypothetically) took away from the potential positives of this uncovering, at least your not outright endorsing PP, like Colbert. Who is totally awesome in spite of his ridicule of Church teaching.

            • Na

              we are all pigs…some of us are more equal….(because they believe in the perpetual expansion of the state, using other people’s money, regardless of the costs, alternatives, outcomes or consequences.)

  • masterhibb

    Watching the video for the first time, I never thought PP could be charged with a crime. I’m far from an expert, but I was always under the impression that the fetal remains were considered medical waste, not actual human remains. Though I will say the explicit callout of fetal organs in the cited law gave me pause.

    Furthermore, if you look at organ harvesting from an actual willing donor, I’d be willing to bet the surgeons who procure the organs and the techs who transport them get paid for their work. Do the administrators who keep up with the donor lists or inventory also get paid for their work? Again, I’d bet they do. It seems to me anyone not accepting bribes or posting a kidney on eBay is going to have trouble falling afoul of this law.

    But that’s not to say there’s no value in an investigation–let the light shine in! However the pro-aborts spin it, some facts will still have to get through. And as far as I’m able to tell, every single fact about the actual operation of an abortion is a point against the practice.

    The real story here isn’t the possibility of catching PP in a felony, the real story is the fact that this is happening. Some people will dislike it because of the squick factor, and we’ve reached them. Others will say “good! I’m glad they’re putting a wasted resource to use for Science.” This is an opportunity to remind them they are harvesting actual human organs from these “products of conception.” The opportunity to remind them that there is an industry being built on and around harvesting human organs, and letting corporate giants and government interests place monetary value on the constituent parts of human beings is probably not going to end well.

    Let the pro-abort media spin their narrative. Do not let them bury this story. Do not let them disqualify this video or the participants simply because they overreached on one legal claim. Do not let them bully you into dropping the issue simply because what they are doing is “legal.” Keep pressing. Keep hounding. Legal or not, never let it be forgotten that Planned Parenthood is in the business of chopping up babies and selling them for parts.

    And what if it is legal? I say it is an even better demonstration of our current state of affairs. Never let it be forgotten that our laws allow a government-funded organization to traffic in baby livers, but does not allow a Christian baker to refuse to bake a cake for a couple of lesbian trolls. Juxtaposing the video content with the letter of the law is only further testament to the duplicity of our legal system, and further puts the lie to the idea we live under true rule of law.

    People these days are quick to forget and move on to the next big thing. I’ve given up caring if people find me shrill or distasteful. Keep bringing it up and hammering it in until people are forced to finally square their politics and their narrative with what it means for that policy to be applied to actual human beings.

    Some will harden their hearts and choose death. So be it. You cannot reach them with the truth, and it is only false hope to allow them to continue to avoid confronting the consequences of their professed beliefs because maybe you can convince them later. God has saved worse sinners–you do your best and leave the rest in his hands. It is vanity to assume you are the only one who can reach them, and that if they stop listening to you, they are lost.

    We are at war. Stand strong, keep fighting and do not surrender an inch, because the enemy has proven time and again that he will gladly propose compromise, but never honor it.

  • crispin

    What is disturbing to me is that most people in our culture seem to know exactly what is going on, and they are completely ok with it. The real scandal now, as you point out, is how unscrupulous and dishonest we horrible anti-abortion people are.

  • SteveP

    The folks who staff Planned Parenthood have been assured they are on the right side of history. What has ever worked to counter such fanaticism?
    Backfire? Rather the video is a dud, a misfire, fire without effect, etc.

    • IRVCath


  • Newp Ort

    I think America nailed it right here:

    “Among the long stretches of conversation entirely edited out of the short version of the video is Dr. Nucatola’s moving explanation of how she ended up focusing her practice as a physician on abortion, which starts around 2:10 in the full video:

    ‘And on that day [at the end of Dr. Nucatola’s gynecology residency], there was patient that was transferred to me, from an outside clinic, who had had a D&E, dilation and evacuation, late second trimester abortion, she was bleeding. That patient was transferred to me and she got to the hospital and I met her in the emergency room and I saw her and she was as white as this napkin, and I still remember her name, I remember everything about her, and she looked up at me, and she said, “Don’t let me die.” And she actually bled to death…That was the day I said…I’m going to train others to do family planning.’

    What has been obscured by C.M.P.’s editing of the video for maximum impact—and what is almost always obscured in any public discussion of abortion—is that virtually no one on either side of the abortion debate has motives as demonic as their opponents would like. What is most tragic about Dr. Nucatola’s story, from a pro-life perspective, is that her grief for the patient she lost pointed her to providing less risky abortions, rather than to questioning abortion itself; that her compassion for the dying mother could not extend to the child the abortion had already killed.”

    • Michaelus

      The thing about demons is they are very good at convincing people that their evil deeds are really very good things.

      • IRVCath

        Or that if it benefits them, it can’t possibly be evil.

  • The Eh’theist

    I’m glad to read this. I’ve bit my tongue on this topic while reading the Patheos Catholic bloggers on the topic, and waited to see if anyone clarified their stance as more information has become available. Initially the story troubled me a great deal, as those I discussed it with can attest, because even a correct action done in a particular manner can have negative effects on the people doing it, and if there were illegal activities being done the harm would be greater.

    While waiting for more information, the circumstantial evidence began to concern me: why if this was so blatantly illegal, did they wait three years to expose it and then why not to the authorities? why only to sites with questionable journalistic morals, while refusing comment to media outlets until a news cycle had passed and bloggers like yourself had the opportunity to hear the initial story and post with little relative opposing content? why add the small clip to the front of the edited video except to mislead people that it referred to this event? (point for you for clarifying that)

    Now more of the story has come out and people are able to make more reasoned judgements about the whole situation. While I think the process as described by Planned Parenthood is legal, it remains to be seen if that is what all of the clinics did. I think StemExpress needs close investigation given the brochure they produced that seems to advocate unlawful activity.

    It is also a good thing to have public discussion of the whole process, so the people can understand and weigh the pros and cons involved, and decide what is acceptable to them. The one thing I think needs to be addressed in the discussion is our natural squeamishness around medicine. Those who made the video capitalized on that, doing so over lunch and encouraging the doctor to share wine with them (leading to the irresistible temptation of your chianti and fava beans reference) and discuss the details of the procedures, knowing that people would be uncomfortable.

    Except that if they had filmed lunch with a group of transplant surgeons discussing preparing organs for transplant and the surgeries themselves, people would have felt the same feelings of discomfort.Those need to be set aside, in order to discuss the issues involved, and whether the public experiences moral discomfort at the thought of medical research using foetal tissue.

    The women who had the abortions thought it was a good idea, if Dr. Nucatola can be believed (it should be easy to verify) and we can determine if the rest of society agrees with them. I believe that doing such things in a for profit manner (regardless of whether it is foetal tissue, that of a child or an adult) has the potential to desensitize us and reduce our capacity for caring, which is the reason I think StemExpress needs to be investigated.

    The other interesting piece I read on the Slacktivist blog, contained a quote from C.S. Lewis that is relevant, I believe:

    The real test is this. Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, “Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,” or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything — God and our friends and ourselves included — as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.

    When I first heard the story I wanted it to be untrue, because as noted I feel that such a market would be wrong. I’ve gotten the sense from some of the Patheos bloggers that they would be extremely disappointed to have to discard the story as presented by the creators of the video. It’s very similar to the story in Ireland about the discovery of hundreds of children in a steel container. As the facts came out on that story and the narrative changed, some were relieved and some wouldn’t let it go, wanted it to be true, want to use it as a club to make their point, showing their true priority. I think this story will have a very similar effect in clarifying people’s priorities and principles.

    • ManyMoreSpices

      The Lewis quote is a good one, but it’s less applicable here than in many other situations.

      The gravest moral outrage is the willed killing of a human. That the remains of the killed human are treated with disrespect is also wrong, but not on the same scale. When someone murders a child and attempts to conceal the crime by cutting up the corpse, burying it in a shallow grave, or burning it, our nearly exclusive concern is for the murder, not for the butchering, burying, or burning. We focus our concern on corpse-desecration when that’s the only crime.

      Some people have no moral objection to late-term abortions involving dismemberment. The hope is that some fraction of those people could look at the commoditization of organs from dead humans – and the blithe conversations surrounding that trade – and will be shocked out of complacency at the ghoulishness of the enterprise. It’s one thing to talk abstractly about “choice” and “helping poor women.” It’s another to hear that babies that could have been delivered alive are being carved up for cash.

      So to be blunt about it, my moral outrage needle isn’t moved in one direction or the other by hearing that further bad things are or are not done with fetal remains. There’s little solace to be had in hearing that a murderer didn’t abuse the body of the person he just killed.

      Having said all that, I don’t condone (i) lying to elicit incriminating statements or (ii) presenting what was said in a dishonest manner. Nor do I see appealing to the moral outrage of people who can’t be outraged over late-term abortions as an effective tactic (which is largely why I haven’t followed this story closely). But I do understand the hope that the people already doing unspeakably awful things will show themselves to be ghoulish, top to bottom, by doing some comparatively minor ghoulish things.


      Except that if they had filmed lunch with a group of transplant surgeons discussing preparing organs for transplant and the surgeries themselves, people would have felt the same feelings of discomfort.

      I disagree. I take pro-choicers at their word when they say that abortion is a difficult choice. I have no doubt that it is.

      On one hand, once a woman has an abortion, she doesn’t have to worry about the pain of childbirth or the burden of eighteen years of motherhood. She won’t have to have an abusive boyfriend in her life, though his fathering of the child. Plenty of people will tell her that she did the morally correct thing. She faces no legal sanction. A few minutes and a few hundred bucks and this very significant problem is gone. On the other hand, that woman knows that there’s a living human kicking around inside her, and no quantity of euphemisms will change that.

      So yeah, difficult choice indeed. And it’s the latter part that makes the choice difficult. She knows what she’s choosing, and by and large she knows that it’s not a good thing or a happy thing. It’s a necessary evil, or the lesser of two evils, or whatever. But she intuits that there’s gravity to what she’s choosing, and that abortion is not the same as treating a staph infection, having her tonsils or gall bladder out, or blasting a kidney stone away.

      For that reason, I don’t think equating a discussion of disposal of fetal remains with a discussion of disposal of a diseased pancreas works. Women who have abortions know the difference. And as messed up as it is, I can understand why they – and we as a society – might simultaneously think that abortion is okay, but that aborted fetuses need to be treated with some respect.]

      • The Eh’theist

        So we agree that there are two separate issues here: abortion and whether or not the use of foetal tissue for research is permissible. Your argument is consistent in that if you consider abortion to be the worse act, it should take precedence. So I agree, the Lewis quote wouldn’t apply to you.

        Given our disagreement on abortion, my prioritization of the other issues also makes sense. That’s why I think they need to be investigated, and if any illegal activities are found, they need to be addressed. Likewise, I think it’s a good thing to renew public discussion-there’s a lot of change happening very quickly and there needs to be some consensus around it.

        In terms of the reaction to medical procedures, I think we may have some agreement as well, but you may has misunderstood my overall point. I wasn’t including all concerns under medical-I separated out moral discomfort as a separate category. I think something even you would consider beneficial for a foetus, like in utero heart surgery, would be gravely discomforting to most people to watch or to hear doctors discuss with each other. It’s that instinctive response that I think needs to be set aside, to allow for discussion of the moral issues involved.

        I agree with you that this is a difficult choice for many women, If, as stated in the video, many of them choose to bring more good out of it through supporting research, then some of the comments made by others holding a position similar to yours lack the empathy you’ve shown here. Perhaps they’ll consider that with more time to think about things.

        • Joseph

          “So we agree that there are two separate issues here: abortion and whether or not the use of foetal tissue for research is permissible. Your argument is consistent in that if you consider abortion to be the worse act, it should take precedence. So I agree, the Lewis quote wouldn’t apply to you.”

          I’d agree with this, too. Experience shows that the *gotcha* candid camera attempts to nail PP for illegal activities never works anyway, so I’m always dubious when a new *charge* is made by one of these groups. However, I’m less disturbed as to whether or not PP is breaking the law of the land. Hell, the law of the land allows them to abort children in the womb. What’s *legal* is not at issue. It was *legal* in Nazi Germany to slaughter Jews. It would have been sort of irrelevant if there was a pro-Jew group in Germany at the time creating videos like to this to allege that Nazis were illegally selling the organs of dispatched Jews… considering that killing the Jews was the actual problem. How they did it and what they did with the remains should only highlight the evil of the murderers.

  • Evan

    Why do you hate video editing, Mark?

    • chezami

      I just do, okay?

  • anna lisa

    I’m glad the people who filmed that doctor had the courage to expose her and PP. I really doubt it will affect PP though. They have more than just worldly power, they have the Prince of this world holding court with them.

    What alarms me is indifference. I remember reading something Jennifer Fulwiler wrote, about seeing posters of dismembered late term babies before her conversion. She said the gruesome images just hardened her heart even more.

  • Cypressclimber

    You are indubitably right in at least one point: making the outrage the alleged selling of baby body parts was a big mistake.

    As you say, isn’t it enough to expose them as harvesting body parts? Which the video indisputably demonstrates.

    • Joseph

      Yes. These James O’Keefe idiots. Had they just let the video speak for itself it would have been much more damning… but… no… they had to try and *nail* them for a felony. Even *if* the sick, satanic, bitch in the video was admitting to a felony, it’s doubtful that PP would have fallen. Most likely, she would have been the fall guy, allowed to resign with a big pay day, and nothing would have happened. Why can’t we have smart people in the pro-life movement? You can’t play the game by *their* rules. Only *they* get to make false accusations and get away with it, they own the system.

  • Robert Hunt

    The real problem the pro-life movement has is that it can say no but has no alternative yes. I too think that abortion is a terrible choice. But there are a lot of other more terrible choices. The pro-life movement appears to also be anti-birth control and anti-sex education movement. It apparently wants, really wants, hundreds of thousands of deeply impoverished teenage mothers bequeathing to their multiple children their own poverty. I suspect because most pro-lifers regard unwed mothers as moral reprobates being punished by God, or more positively as fodder for an ever increasing minimum wage service industry. When I see every pro-life person volunteer to adopt as many children (of any race) as it takes so that every unsought pregnancy ends in the birth of a healthy child, and donate enough money so that every pregnant woman has adequate prenatal care, and when its members unanimously condemn both war and the state-sponsored murder of criminals then it will have the moral standing to oppose abortion. But as it stands, who can take it seriously as a moral alternative to Planned Parenthood?

    • ManyMoreSpices

      I suspect because most pro-lifers regard unwed mothers as moral reprobates being punished by God, or more positively as fodder for an ever increasing minimum wage service industry.

      Nailed me. Now if you’ll excuse me for a moment, I need to pick up my eyes, as they have rolled out of my head and onto the floor.

      Okay, I’m back.

      Are there movements other than the pro-life one to which you apply the standard of “unless you do literally everything in your power to solve a problem, you have no moral standing to object to anyone else’s solution to that problem”?

      Suppose I decide to solve the problem of homelessness by rounding up bums, injecting them with lethal drugs, and converting them into fertilizer. You object to this. But what gives you the moral standing to do so? Are you volunteering to take in every single homeless person, clothe them, and feed them? No? You’re not? Then you have no moral standing to object to my solution.

      How about child abuse? You’re opposed to parents abusing their children. Well, unless you and all of your buddies (it was your choice to place a unanimous requirement on pro-lifers, guy) personally are willing to foster or adopt abused children, you don’t have the moral standing to object to their abuse.

      Gun control? Unless you’re willing to stand watch outside the homes of people who no longer can protect themselves from home invasions because they’ve been disarmed, you cannot oppose gun ownership.

      Spousal murder? Hey, my wife is a real pain in the butt. Unless you personally are willing to marry her and get her off my hands, you can’t object if I want to chop her into pieces.

      It’s amazing to watch the contortions of those who defend the indefensible. You can’t deliberately will the death of a human. That should be obvious to you. But when you recoil from plain moral truths, you get pettifogging B.S. about “moral standing” and oblique charges of racism that you don’t have the courage to state plainly. Evil and banal.

      • Matt C. Abbott


      • Steven McCaw

        Before I start here: I *don’t* like abortion. I’m not judgmental about it. I recognize that I know nothing about being pregnant. Never will I ever call myself ‘pro-life’.

        If you *really* want to stop abortion, you need to make it so giving birth isn’t such a nightmarish endeavor. If my wife gets pregnant, the best she can hope for is that she’ll lose her job for three months, then be completely on her own when those three months are over. Child care remains so expensive that it forces mothers to stay home, it’s a huge problem for *us*, and we’re *married*. Waiting until you *are* married to have sex does *not* obviate the problems inherent to having to raise a child. Child care is expensive, we are one of the two countries (the other is Papua New Guinea and yes, the exact number varies: another figure states we are one of five, adding in a few small Pacific nations) without paid maternity leave. We are actually behind North Korea, Iraq, and Bangladesh. A sweat shop worker paid $38 per week may be poor and exploited, but if she gives birth she *still* gets paid time off. She still gets a better deal than any American worker.

        Where is your outrage for *that*? As a father, I’m not guaranteed *anything*. I don’t even get *regular* time off. Don’t tell me we can’t afford it. North Korea and Bangladesh can afford it. Greece is totally bankrupt and *it* can afford it.

        …and yet: the same people who rave about baby murder see no irony in slashing funding for public schools. I’ve never seen a pro-life movement work to fund after school programs. I’ve never heard a pro-life movement fighting for the aforementioned maternity leave.

        I’ve never seen it. Not a single word. I’ve seen plenty of ‘pro-lifers’ fighting *against* funding programs that would benefit the people who they’ve forced into the world. I’ve seen plenty of pro-lifers fighting tooth and nail against a huge group of people who would almost certainly adopt children (I’m talking about gay marriage here people). Have you ever heard of a ‘pro-life’ group supporting a program to help new mothers? Have you ever heard of a ‘pro-life’ group supporting a measure to improve access to prenatal health measures? Have you ever heard of a ‘pro-life’ group saying ‘maybe we would have fewer abortions if women had more access to contraceptives and didn’t get pregnant in the first place’? All I’ve heard is ‘let’s pretend that teenagers won’t have sex if we lie to them enough, even though it’s clear that not even our spokesman can do it when she’s paid $200k per year for nothing else.’

        Once you are born, you’re on your own. It’s hard enough to raise a child if you are married in a stable, loving relationship. I’ve *never* seen a pro-life group supporting any group that would lessen those hardships. On the contrary, if there *is* a way to make parenting harder, the same people screaming about their moral high ground are almost assuredly backing it.

        You will notice: even with all of your legislation to circumvent Roe v. Wade, abortion rates are highest in states that are ‘Pro-Life’ havens (or, very often, right across the border from them when women have to cross state lines).

        The Pro-Life Movement has no moral standing *at all* until such a time as it can demonstrate that it actually lives up to its name. You want to be ‘pro-life’? Stop making the life of parents so hard. Stop making the life of those children so hard.

        I would love it if there was less abortion. I’ll never call myself ‘pro-life’. The reason women *get* abortion is because of just how horrified they are of the life they would lead if they had that child. Less horror, less abortion.

        Until you understand *that*, until you work to help instead of just to condemn, you are Pharisees at best.

        • Athelstane

          Pro-lifers are fighting to save lives. Full stop.

          I won’t dispute that many of the problems – injustices – you point out are real. Believe me, I think that French employment and maternity support laws are considerably superior! But there’s a limit to what any movement can do, and there’s also a risk that the true horror, the true evil, of abortion gets lost in the shuffle of this broader crusade you want to see us launch. These other ills CANNOT justify the taking of innocent human life – ever.

          We’re not here to condemn, but to save lives. To stop the killing. The best sidewalk counselors understand that.

        • Guest

          You think abstinence-only education doesn’t work? Are you old enough to remember when smoking cigarettes was cool? I am – just barely – but then my generation was subjected to an abstinence-only treatment of tobacco. Nobody offered safer ways to smoke or admitted that smoking less often would be okay if that was the best we could do. No. Smoking got a full-court press in schools, government, and the culture. And now it’s conceivable that you won’t even be able to smoke in your own home in some places merely a couple of decades later.
          No, abstinence-only approaches work. What doesn’t work is geographically scattered half-measures that are ultimately undermined by the culture anyway.

        • Karen Jelleberg

          I am pro-life. I was also one of those unwed teen mothers. I support adoption, I support options to help women get contraception, I support schools that offer free daycare to it’s unwed teenage mothers, I support free birth control, I support free medical care for children whose families can’t afford it, I support after school programs, I support everything you just claimed a pro-life movement is against. What I don’t support is those people who decided knocking kids out left and right and getting welfare as their job. And the reason women get abortions (not counting medical reasons) is because they are usually too selfish to carry a child for 9 months and then give it to a family who would love it and care for it for the rest of it’s life. Or, they just don’t want to ruin their current lifestyle. You are living in a fantasy land if you think the majority of abortions are done because a woman is horrified at the life they might live. I had my daughter when I was 17. She’s now 26 and grew up seeing a mother who worked very hard for everything she had. It wasn’t always easy, but I did it and so can any other woman out there. And if they are horrified of the life they will live, there are people in this world who would be honored to raise their child for them.

        • masterhibb

          “A sweat shop worker paid $38 per week may be poor and exploited, but if she gives birth she *still* gets paid time off. She still gets a better deal than any American worker.”

          I am an American worker. I do not get maternity leave, but my female coworkers get several months’ off. In fact, our maternity package is so generous, I get several weeks off when my wife (not an employee of my American company) gives birth.

          This may not reflect every American worker’s experience, but it is pretty standard in my industry. Just because it isn’t written into federal law doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, you totalitarian windbag.

          The statement above, like the rest of your ridiculous comment is absolute sophistry.

          If you’ve never seen or heard of half the things you claim, you are willfully, stupidly blind.

        • Matt C. Abbott

          “Stop making the life of parents so hard. Stop making the life of those children so hard.”

          Huh? How are pro-lifers making life “so hard” for parents and children? By protesting the killing of the innocent unborn?

        • Joseph

          Well, you can pay for the internet it looks like… and you apparently have enough time to browse it. So, you must not be that bad off. You also have a FB rainbow flag, so, presumably you spend a lot of time on FB and have a large group of FB friends. You probably have a smartphone. I smell an American troll (he said Roe v. Wade… not exactly something that some impoverished person in the Pacific islands would have knowledge of or even care about), not an impoverished islander in the Pacific.

        • Anti-natal government policies get debated here all the time. Are you just parachuting in calling people names that you have no idea whether they actually apply?


        • Sue Korlan

          Google the Women’s Care Center and find out how wrong you are. Look in the classified ads in your Sunday newspaper for people wishing to adopt. Stop presuming a pack of lies. Jesus is the Truth, and as the original article says, we should be honest at all times.

    • Eric

      “When I see every pro-life person volunteer to adopt as many children (of any race) as it takes so that every unsought pregnancy ends in the birth of a healthy child, and donate enough money so that every pregnant woman has adequate prenatal care, and when its members unanimously condemn both war and the state-sponsored murder of criminals then it will have the moral standing to oppose abortion.”

      I’ll keep this in mind the next time I see an overweight person asking for donations for the food bank, salvation army, or any charity related to providing food for the starving. I’ll totally take them seriously when they are willing to starve themselves to death for the cause. By the way, have you adopted any kids lately?

    • Athelstane

      It apparently wants, really wants, hundreds of thousands of deeply impoverished teenage mothers bequeathing to their multiple children their own poverty.

      What we want is for them to not have sex until they’re married.

      Which, by the way, is what the Church has always taught.

      • lilycarol

        What they want for themselves might be more immediate and important than what you want for them in this multicultural society. It’s too complex to solve with promoting abstinence.

        • Doyle

          The good must be advocated. To do less is a lack of love to all involved. “Multicultural society” is a red herring intimating the falsehood that good is relative.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          That’s truly the stupidest thing I’ve heard today. I mean, not your fault, you didn’t cause the abandonment of trivuum and quadrivuum.

          • lilycarol

            I took calculus, haha. Keep it simple. Every generation wants what their parents thought was evil or wrong or perhaps wanted or did themselves, but “do as I say, not as I did.” Hence the familiar argument about not eating shellfish, so forth. Times change. Goodness is not relative, it expands to include those others’ works, those others you disdain.

        • IRVCath

          You do know that many of the cultures in a multicultural society – even non-Christians – believe it is wrong to have sex out of wedlock, right? Multicultural is not a euphemism for the desires of rich hip Westerners.

          • lilycarol

            It’s complex.

      • cmfe

        And when they don’t? Or are raped? What are mothers to do then? Is poverty their scarlet “A”? What options or social support beyond a bag of diapers and some baby clothes are offered? We as Catholics need to support social change that makes it possible for a mother to hope for more than bare subsistence. The way abortion will disappear is for there to be alternatives for women.

    • masterhibb

      The only alternative I need to murdering innocent children is not murdering innocent children. This is not an argument, it is a diversion. We make abortion illegal because slaughtering children should be illegal. We can then address teenage pregnancy elsewhere.

      Should we have waited to redress all of the terrible life circumstances of the latest school shooter before making it illegal to murder your teachers and classmates? Should we give that guy who shot up a black church a pass on multiple homicide because we haven’t successfully addressed his racial grievances?

      Of course not! It doesn’t really matter why you killed someone; Unless they were going to kill you first, you are a murderer.

    • Guest

      Somehow I don’t think you’d be very sympathetic if the ghost of Hitler complained “Well, what should I have done with all those unwanted Jews? Nobody else would take them; I had no choice!” And you’d be entirely correct.

      If the proposal is “Let’s kill these undesirable people,” opponents don’t need to offer a single counterproposal other than “No.”

      • Cypressclimber

        Actually, Hitler did make the very argument. He sent a cruise ship, the S.S. St. Louis, cruising around the Atlantic, filled with Jews. They were turned back, notably by the U.S. They ended up back in Europe — in Holland and UK, if memory serves — and sadly, many ended up in death camps after all. There was a movie about it.

        • Guest

          You can just imagine the plaintive wail about how his desire to send them to Madagascar was thwarted by Allied naval threats, too.

          Oh, if only someone else had given him an option, but we forced his hand!

        • Elaine S.

          The movie is called “Voyage of the Damned” and can be fairly readily bought or rented on video or online. Note the plot summary at Rotten Tomatoes:

          “In this film, based on a true story, the Nazis load a luxury liner with Jewish refugees. When the ship arrives in Cuba, the passengers are refused entry. This is what the Nazis wanted to happen, so they could “prove” that the Jews were the most unwanted race on Earth.”

    • No movement has the sort of 100% deep participation you are talking about. Get off your high horse and at least recognize that pro-lifers are normal human beings and like any other large group, we arrive with the perfectly normal bell curves of opinion and commitment. It’s not honest to demand perfection before you deign to allow people to be an alternative to a bunch of bloody handed people with a background in eugenics and hitler love. Look up the Planned Parenthood heroine Margaret Sanger sometime if you think I’m engaging in hyperbole. Her correspondence with Hitler is public record. Everybody has unpleasant people in large organizations but she’s still viewed as a heroine of the movement and that’s a stench that need not be tolerated.

      We currently have, with pretty easy access to abortion, the multi-generation poverty result you’re hypothesizing. Feel free to drop a link to your condemnation of Planned Parenthood’s world.

    • Cypressclimber

      “The pro-life movement appears to also be anti-birth control and anti-sex education movement.”


      I mean, please cite specific evidence of “the pro-life movement” impinging on either (a) the availability and distribution of “birth control” (however you define it) or (b) sex education.

      While I never use the stuff, I know exactly where to find birth control. I routinely come across it in various stores, when I am trying to find antacids or shampoo or soap. If there is a part of these United States (I assume that’s where you live? If not, please enlighten?) where birth control is not readily available, either over the counter or by prescription, or by way of “free, take” bowls on counters in bars and college dorms, then that will be news to many of us. Please tell us more about this pro-life-movement-induced interference with easily-available contraception.

      Same with sex-education which, to my knowledge, is included in all public schools and Catholic schools’ curriculum. Please enlighten us on exactly how the pro-life movement has interfered.

      • lilycarol

        Many, many of them practice the rhythm method and teach their children the same values. The same people are against sex education, and this is the same crowd who support creationism, so forth.

        • Jamesthelast

          You need to get out more if you think all pro-lifers are anti-science wackos.

          For example, I and many other Catholics hold everything the Church teaches to be true while also holding that sound science like evolution and man-caused climate change are true. The only time “science” gets in trouble is when scientists start talking about philosophy while still calling it evidence based science.

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            Wait a second, man caused climate change is a nebulous phrase. What change in.climate? Because it sure ain’t temperature. I mean, I support a new international ban on fossil fuels and the infernal combustion engine, but I have seen no evidence yet of ACC. Does that make me one of the troglodytes you’re trying to disassociate yourself from?

            • prairiebunny

              If you succeed in your quest for a ban on fossil fuels and the infernal combustion engine I think that the hilarious and spectacularly wrong predictions of The Population Bomb will finally come true.
              Are you trying to rehabilitate Paul Erlich?

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                That’s the kind of trenchant analysis we’ve come to expect from Bergen County. Just because a particular energy policy would make Hoboken even more unlivable doesn’t mean anything for Erlich’s crackpot theories. But thanks for playing!

                • prairiebunny

                  How do you feed the worlds population without using fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine.I don’t see how it could be done. Enlighten me.

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    By a combination of changes in how we approach the problem, diverting the huge amount of energy squandered by, to pick one example from the plethora, the McMansions of Bergen County and the rest of America. Not just the electric, heating, and air, but also the space, lawns, ornamental landscaping, concrete and lumber, As well as the fat, lazy, shirtless paperpushers living in them.

                    Let’s be honest, you’re not really afraid of masses of starving people, but the changes in lifestyle you would have to endure in such a world.

                    • prairiebunny

                      You did not answer my question.All you have given me is gibberish.

            • Jamesthelast

              Saying that there isn’t evidence that man is causing climate change either means you are ignorant, or believe that the international scientific community and the Pope are all in a Dan Brown style conspiracy to lie to everyone.

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                No, I believe neither of those are correct , Because I am aware that the RSS data is both regarded as the most reliable record of global temperatures, by that same international scientific community , and indicates no warming for the last two decades.

                That you feel the need to stoop to invective and false binaries probably says something about the validity of your beliefs, but I will leave it to others to make that inference.

                • Jamesthelast

                  You just cherry picked data that supposedly fits your view instead of taking in the whole picture. Also, the actual RSS website has two plots showing both lower and higher levels of the atmosphere. The lower level plot shows an increase in temperature, while the higher level shows cooling, or less heat escaping to space. This is exactly what the man-cased climate change hypothesis says will happen with increased greenhouse gases. So your evidence doesn’t even match what you said.

                  You also show ignorance if you think satellites are regarded as more reliable than surface temperature readings and therefor are the only thing that matters. They are all important parts of figuring out the big picture.

                  You can’t say my binary statement is wrong when you confirm it by saying that the international science community is lying when they say that temperatures are rising.

                  • Hezekiah Garrett

                    Luckily, I’ve never made the claim that the international science community is lying. I wrote in plain simple English, and if you honestly can’t comprehend that, then I find nothing to gain in continuing discussion with you.

                    • Jamesthelast

                      You aren’t making any sense, here’s what you posted:
                      “Wait a second, man caused climate change is a nebulous phrase. What
                      change in.climate? Because it sure ain’t temperature. I mean, I
                      support a new international ban on fossil fuels and the infernal
                      combustion engine, but I have seen no evidence yet of ACC. Does that
                      make me one of the troglodytes you’re trying to disassociate yourself
                      from?” So you don’t know anything about what has been going in climate science for the past 50 years?

                      “No, I believe neither of those are correct , Because I am aware that
                      the RSS data is both regarded as the most reliable record of global
                      temperatures, by that same international scientific community , and
                      indicates no warming for the last two decades.” Wait, I thought change in temperature doesn’t mean anything for climate, now it does?

                      You’ve contradicted yourself. My binary still stands, you either have no idea about the scientific consensus that man is causing climate change, or you think the consensus is wrong, which means you think the climate scientists are lying. You aren’t directly calling the scientists liers, but that’s the logical conclusion from saying they are wrong.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      Then yeah, you don’t understand my point at all. Climate is changing. I see no way modern man’s trashing of the environment can’t be causing some of that. But changes in climate, even disastrous ones, need not mean that global temperature is rising.

                      If you average out the two sets of RSS measurements, and account for the margin of error, you will find that there is no demonstrable increase the last two decades, although just such an increase has been repeatedly predicted by the hypothesis.

                      And yes, It is widely acknowledged that surface measurement is far less accurate than remote sensing. In fact, It is precisely this lack that is used to justify altering the concrete data derived from surface measurement stations. (See, thermometers need to be readily accessible in order to be recorded frequently. Large amounts of thermal mass have been added to the areas in and around many of these stations over the past century, altering the microclimates at these stations. Measurement of microclimate temperatures in areas clad in concrete, asphalt, macadam, etc, are unreliable indicators of temperatures in macroclimates lacking such concentration of heat sinks.)

                      Since the unreliability of surface measurement is the justification for data indexing by NOAA and others, are you sure you know who’s contradicting themselves?

                      It is quite possible to examine the publicly available information and reach a different conclusion than the authorities without assuming the authority’s possible error results from conspiracy. In fact, I impute no I’ll will, malevolence, or dishonesty on those, LIKE MY OWN WIFE, who do such research and reach the consensus conclusion. In fact, I quite enjoy discussing the issue with her and her colleagues.

                      I just don’t have time for twits who insist any who dissent are ignorant, or conspiracy minded, as though it is impossible for multiple theories to be derived from the same data. That viewpoint betrays some amount of ignorance of the philosophy of science itself.

          • lilycarol

            I didn’t equate all pro-lifers with creationists. I agree with you otherwise.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          Wait, who practices the rhythm method and supports creationism? I’m so sorry, honey, but you’ve been misled. Catholics are WAY past the rhythm method, and very nearly NONE of us support creationism.

          I get it, you’re trying to support the team, but you sound like a fucking idiot.

          • lilycarol

            How Christian of you to call me names. I’m talking about current fundamentals like Assembly of God members. My Catholic friends of yore are fallen away or conflicted about the lack of tools they carried into adulthood. I grew up Lutheran and had enough trouble shaking that off.

            • IRVCath

              You do realize this audience is majority Catholic, right?

              • lilycarol

                My Catholic friends never call anyone a fucking idiot, but they have had issues with changes in the church, even if they stayed. Did I go off topic? I’ve had experience, as commented below, with abortion, stillbirth, post-partum depression, live birth, and with PP, one of whose nurses treated me badly about 40 years ago by screaming at me, “You don’t want to get pregnant again, do you?” I quit donating to them after that. I can’t even watch the video because I don’t support abortion after 20 weeks, but early abortion saved me from suicide twice, as I mention below, if you are interested. Abortion is about women making tough choices and deciding to live. If some women are casual about it, that’s not my attitude.

                • Jamesthelast

                  I don’t much about your situation, but I pray you find healing with God.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              You should learn to read for content. I said you sound like a fucking idiot. I didn’t call you any name whatever. And your response reinforces my initial impression.

              • Jamesthelast

                Hey, be charitable.

            • Joseph

              Excuse me, but from what I recall, you started commenting in this combox with your anti-Catholic screed full of unfacts to back up your bigotry. When an anti-Catholic bigot starts defending their position with unfacts (yes, I just made that word up for fun) that could easily be dispelled with maybe a couple of days of reading actual objective historical fact (rather than history as seen through the predisposition prism of other anti-Catholics), how in the world should they expect anyone to not think that they are clueless?
              When you start talking about Ireland like you know anything about it (what makes it tick, what the culture is, why they do certain things) when you clearly don’t, it also makes you look stupid. So, I don’t know exactly what you’re objecting to here. You came here, you barfed your ignorant, bigoted, anti-Catholic screed. What the hell did you expect?
              Am I sorry for the struggles you’ve had in life? Yes. But, that doesn’t mean you get a pass for talking nonsense.

        • Cypressclimber

          Where do you get this stuff? Jack Chick booklets?

          • lilycarol

            Never heard of him. I’m going on my experiences with real people that I know. Does that count?

            • Cypressclimber

              Sure, it counts.

              Please tell us exactly how many real people you know who “practice the rhythm method.” And how many people you know who are “against sex education,” and who “support creationism.”

              My point being, you rely on your personal experience to make statements about the larger prolife movement — which amounts to tens of millions of people. It’s hard for me to believe that you could have sufficient personal experience to justify characterizing the views of so many millions of people, but perhaps you know a LOT of people?

              • lilycarol

                I’m saying I’m not interested in what appears to be a graphic novel character, but interested in real people. The “anecdote not data” argument doesn’t negate the lessons I’ve learned in life. I had once moved from a cosmopolitan city to a city of 80K, not knowing that many people I would work with or meet either got drunk regularly as recreation or were religious (Assemblies of God) in a way I hadn’t experienced with my Lutheran and Catholic friends. The city was in turmoil over creationism being taught in the schools, except the recreational drinkers who didn’t care, as I did not. I’m not judging either group. I drink alcohol. I don’t support 3rd trimester abortions except to save the life of the mother because I know what a 24-week-old fetus (my dead son) looks like. Heck, you’re almost there, just have the kid and give it up for adoption. Some of my friends would not accept this attitude from me, so I don’t discuss it. I had 2 abortions because after my living child was born, I had severe PPD which still affects me and made my life tough until I got on citalopram and clonazepam. My family has a genetic component for PPD, anxiety, and depression but I was the first one to talk about it. We are talented and effective people. I have friends who are pro-life and I respect them, but I would be dead from suicide if I hadn’t had those ABs (one impregnated while I was on an IUD and caused me great grief to abort). I have a right to life. My church in that little city had a day vilifying Wade vs. Roe with roses at the front of the church, each rose signifying a thousand or million entities lost through abortion. I just wondered where the roses were for the women who had to make the decision.

                • Cypressclimber

                  I’m really sorry for all the trials you been through.

    • Na

      how did anyone survive before planned parenthood? you are idiot with thinly disguised motives…there will always been an excuse unless it affects you.

    • Jamesthelast

      Wait, how is dying a better choice than living? If you think your logic through, you’re basically saying that the best way to eliminate poverty is to kill all the poor.

      Also, the Catholic Church in way teaches that making unwed mothers carry through with child as a “punishment from God.” That’s a dumb GOP thing. No, we need to be loving and caring for everyone. Being pro-life isn’t just protecting birth, but all of life.

      • IRVCath

        “If you think your logic through, you’re basically saying that the best way to eliminate poverty is to kill all the poor”

        You have to understand that a vast number of Americans actually believe that.

    • Sue Korlan

      My step-brother and his wife were able to adopt one American baby but not two. The reason so many people who want to adopt go overseas to find a child is that there simply aren’t American babies available for adoption. Here in Indiana the Women’s Care Center supports many women with crisis pregnancies, and allows them to earn the things they need for their children by setting goals for themselves and meeting them.
      I do get tired of people who aren’t aware of how pro-life actions are ignored by pro-aborts who want to pretend those actions aren’t happening while they try to shut down the centers where they happen.

    • Cypressclimber

      Two days ago, I asked you for some substantiation of your factual claims. No response. No surprise.

  • RustbeltRick

    The video solidifies opinions on both sides. Pro-lifers are reminded of how horrified they are by the reality of abortion, and pro-choicers are reminded that the other side is incapable of discussing the issue straightforwardly and honestly, without doctoring videos and demonizing those who simply believe the choice to have an abortion should rest with the mother, not with the government.

  • Michaelus

    “The most damning admission about money in the entire video is… the admission that clinics “want to break even. And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.” Even if interpreted uncharitably, this is a far cry from “selling” tissue from abortions.”

    That is actually a lie. I give you baby heart, you give me money. That is a sale. That is selling. PP sells parts of murdered babies. It is also selling if they say the little hearts and livers are free and charge $200-$300 $500 for”shipping and handling”

    What is next – telling us that butchering a child as it is being born is morally acceptable as long as Nucatola was really desiring the good of the mother not the obvious and intentional death of the child?

    • Guest

      Now that you mention it, we still consider it a sale even if the business takes a loss on the item.

  • Guest

    This meme, however, is not affected by the update:

  • Na

    wow…i can’t wait for Mark to engage in this ritualistic scourging every time the church says anything about poverty, economics, climate change….don’t be mean, don’t be too loud, say it nice but engaging, stand on your right foot and circle your left hand and then ….then people might listen to you.

    of course Mark has no comment on the press and democratic politicians who either blatantly ignored or spin this terrible story because there is no moral dimension. They are doing everything “A ok”.

    • Jamesthelast

      Except pretty much everyone in the choir Mark is preaching to here knows how dumb the media is when it comes to abortion.

      Also, why are you comparing this to Church statements? This video in question isn’t a Church document.

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        Because sodium is drawn to jackasses like potassium (K) is drawn to elephants?

      • Na

        so if this person lied to expose slavery would there be a ritualistic scourging and hand ringing about the means which is so disproportionately insignificant. Are doctors engaged in perpetual attacks against the innocent entitled to the truth so they can continue their work without any inconvenience?

        Video=Church Teaching.

        • chezami

          Obviously, the real goal here is to make sure that as many children are killed as possible, not to make sure that the prolife movement is as robust as possible and not constantly falling prey to consequentialist thinking that backfires. Your keen sense of discernment has totally smoked out the real issue: disloyalty to the prolife movement. Please continue this very very very smart approach.

          • Na

            backfires? really? please attach the links to all the stories where the coalition of the “ascent” …feminism, environmentalism, liberalism…admitted one mistake ….forget about ritualistically scourging themselves???? And these are the groups running the show…they have the power….they control academia, culture, media, politics and even large parts of the church…they should be the most self critical. and they don’t have one second of self reflection

            remember …hands up, don’t shoot….well even the liberal DOJ concluded it was a complete lie…where are the apologies? where is the scourging? where are the peace makers? why hasn’t the press repeated the truth with the same rapidity with which they repeated the lie? it wasn’t hands up don’t shoot…it was “don’t charge a police officer sitting in his car, punch him, try to steal his gun, wrestle for his gun and discharge his gun…”

            worse than the PP video…it fosters a cycle of animosity and hatred …that leads to more violence, division and hatred. But on the plus side, it creates a permanent constituency that will vote for the democratic party regardless of outcomes. I’ll answer to God for no one scourging themselves over the PP video….you can answer for that.

        • Joseph

          The pro-life movement is surrounded by enemies (nevermind the enemies within). When that’s the case, using espionage tactics to extract information like this isn’t going to win your enemies to your side. They *will* exploit your dishonesty and they *will* win because of it.
          The pro-life movement has it’s hands tied as to what it can do as it is counter cultural and is like the one country under economic sanctions that is not allowed to develop nuclear weapons by order of the rest of the greater powers (to use an analogy that should not be seen as me sympathising with Iran, please). The pro-life movement will always be quashed when it attempts to use nuclear weapons (the weapons they use… lying).

          • masterhibb

            Your analogy is hyperbolic; Lying is not like using nuclear weapons–a closer analog would be murdering abortionists or bombing abortion mills.

            Honestly, though, what would you have them do? I don’t think it matters one whit that they got the video under false pretenses–the reaction from the pro-abort establishment would be essentially the same. Do you think if they had asked the same questions in full earnestness they would have gotten any response? Do you think if they had stolen some documents or eavesdropped on a conversation between the doctor and a real buyer (definitely less legal, but probably more moral), the response would have been any less heated or persuasive?

            Yes, you are giving them a chance to exploit your dishonesty, but I don’t know what outcome that has on who the “winners” are. They could also win because they have a bigger megaphone, more powerful allies, or simply lie _better_. I don’t think this information would have been made public at all if not for the videographers’ initial misrepresentation of their motives.

            To step back a bit, what about undercover police officers? Would we have the same reaction to a cop posing as a junkie, john, or arms dealer and wearing a wire to gain intel on a drug network, human trafficking ring, or terrorist cell? Would the situation be more moral if they gotten the same information by actually using the drugs, having sex with the prostitute, or selling the guns? I mean, at least they wouldn’t be _lying_ to get it.

            You could say this is different because the prolife movement is fighting more of a PR battle, and you’d probably be right–tactically. But I don’t really see the difference morally. There’s a fine line between undercover investigation and entrapment, but I think these guys are much closer to the former than the LiveAction guys posing as pimps were. Where the line actually falls in either case is open for debate.

            Here’s the thing, though: I actually find myself applauding the honesty of the video makers for the simple fact that they released the unedited video. Yes, they may have made a sensationalist edit, but at the same time, they had to cut that runtime down quite a bit to get in front of the eyes of the TL;DR internet crowd. Are they really misrepresenting the interview, or are they making a highlight reel for their specific argument?

            In this case, they’ve given you the tools to reach that conclusion for yourself! The mere fact that they released the interview in its entirety automatically means they are doing a better job of producing honest, unbiased public information than the journalists in the news media proper.

            They seem to be pretty up-front about what they’ve done to obtain their information, but I understand the sentiment that they are confessed liars. Information doesn’t exist in a vacuum, though. Instead of ritually disavowing these guys and everything they’ve done because they’ve sinned (are you able to cast that first stone?), why don’t we treat this like any other dubious piece of information? See if the facts support the charge, and follow up accordingly. Why does it matter at all what spin your opponents put on the facts now if you are able to support this evidence with further research?

            Facts are facts, and narrative isn’t real. Don’t let them bully us into retreat with narrative. It’s the preferred weapon of nearly everyone who stands against the truth. I know it sounds like something a jaded consequentialist would say, but I do think that sometimes a lie can help you find the truth. What makes the difference is how the rest of the movement deals with the lie.

            Complete disavowal of these guys and everything they’ve discovered is the wrong answer–it gains us nothing, because our opponents will not allow us the disassociation, and we’ll have only colluded with the enemy to ensure this entire topic gets flushed down the memory hole.

            Using this one video as absolute, unassailable proof that we’ve got PP’s equivalent of Capone’s tax evasion is also really foolish, and I think a much more valid concern for blowback than the fact that we have a couple of undercover citizen journalists on our side of dubious integrity.

            But using this as a stepping stone to shine a light on PP’s own lies, so that maybe we can all approach this topic in a more straightforward, honest manner–actual legal investigations, checking records, greater public awareness–strikes me as a good thing. Whether we get PP’s funding cut or not–even whether we stop them from trafficking fetal body parts or not, I think simply forcing them to continue the practice openly is a real win.

            Honestly, I don’t know if that would support the prolife movement politically or not, but I don’t care much about politics. As I see it, this would ultimately be a victory for Truth. If our entire culture must continue sprinting down the highway to Hell, at least let us do so with our eyes open. I firmly believe it would lead to at least a few more souls turning from that path.

            • Joseph

              When a man lies he murders some part of the world. – Merlin
              A lie can’t be considered a nuclear option? Since when?

  • lilyleft

    when you remove all pedophile priests from their offices and turn them over to be charged; when you remove all bishops and others who hid pedophiles and let them be charged; when you apologize for hiding Nazis and your support for them; when you apologize for all the babies you stole from Spanish mothers (and any other mothers) to sell to others; when you apologize for all the jews you tortured and killed; when you apologize for all the women you tortured and killed as witches; when you apologize for all the native peoples you killed; when you apologize for the INFANTS AND CHILDREN you killed in Ireland at mother’s homes; when you STOP telling Africans that it is wrong to use condoms—THEN AND ONLY THEN will I listen to you about your moral superiority—I can’t begin to explain how I despise the catholic evil and what you have done in the past and how you are still worthy of condemnation for all these terrible crimes

    • Eric

      Wow. That was so moving. I can really sense how much you care by your blanket condemnation of the catholic evil. There’s nothing more reassuring than when the atheist equivalent of the westboro baptist church shows up.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Your government is so weak that you can’t charge a priest for pedophilia until he’s removed from ministry by the Roman Catholic Church?

      How’d you ever invade multiple nations in the 21st century?

      • lilyleft

        in Spain, Mexico, the USA, and Ireland also, many crimes are ignored or dismissed done by the church because of the tradition of privilege the catholic church claims they deserve. People are waking up now to the conspiracy of crimes committed by the hierarchy. –Ireland voted to allow gay marriage and others are finally realizing the catholic church is not above the law and secular morality

        • Joseph

          Wow. You are incredibly stupid! Ireland didn’t vote for gay marriage because they are finally realising that the Church is not above the law (how you even come to that conclusion is simply… retarded). The Church did not mandate anyone here on a ‘NO’ vote. Wanna know how I know? Because I live here. Don’t project your nonsense on people you aren’t even affiliated with. Makes you look dumber than you actually are.

        • Sue Korlan

          Your proof for this? A list of specific crimes committed by the Church with names, dates and places attached, along with the names of those in authority who knew what was going on and Ignored or dismissed the specific crimes mentioned. Until then this simply reads like ignorant hate mail.

    • Evan

      If by “support for [Nazis],” you mean repeatedly condemning them and later hiding fleeing Jews in convents and arranging safe passage for them, then I guess you’re right.

      Here, some educational reading:

      • lilyleft

        I stand by everything I said–about the catholic church and Nazi sympathizing and hiding Nazis after the war so they would not be prosecuted. ck this out evan—

        • Joseph

          People who are a little empty in the brain case do typically stand by what they say, even when they’re horribly wrong.
          What this has to do with PP is beyond anyone’s reach. The old tu quoque: PP butchers unborn children then sells their organs. Yeah, well Catholics have done bad things, too!
          Logical fallacy.

    • Joseph

      Cool story, bro. Guess you didn’t learn anything from the post… you know, about unsubstantiated damning accusations and such. Moron.

      • lilyleft

        these are not instances of abuse that I ‘made up’ they are genuine actions–and not a comprehensive list–of immoral acts done by the catholic church through the centuries. the privilege the church still demands and gets lets it break the law and be given a pass. In Ireland also, many crimes are ignored or dismissed by the church because of this tradition of privilege. we are finally waking up a bit–Ireland voted to allow gay marriage and others are finally realizing the catholic church is not above the law and secular morality

        • Joseph

          If you understood how the hierarchy works in the Church, you’d understand how bad priests and bishops can get away with doing bad things. It doesn’t change the teaching which is clear that those bad things are bad. Being a priest, bishop, or nun doesn’t make you a saint. Anyhow, if you want to start the body count and corruption war, atheists have Catholics beat by a long shot. You wanna go there?
          What you ‘made up’ (well, if you were intelligent enough to… rather you peeled from an obviously biased site that is grossly ignorant of actual history) was the Nazi bit.
          You appear to have a penchant for sensationalism when it comes to anti-Catholic reporting as well. So, there’s no convincing you. You’re just basically an anti-Catholic. Go on with your bad self.

    • iamlucky13

      Summary: you guys did bad things in the past (some of which are false or inaccurate), therefore I refuse to even consider that killing unborn human beings might be wrong.

      This was a popular attitude among southern slaveholders, too.

  • hebbron

    Oh my, the outcries that would be heard around the world if the video had been about the “harvesting” of animal organs. Sadly, in our country, animals appear to have more rights than unborn infants. May God forgive us.

  • Dave G.

    I just watched CNN talk about this. While CNN admitted that the video was likely edited, it still pointed to problems that Planned Parenthood might need to address. So CNN, not exactly the cheerleader against abortion rights, seemed to think the focus should be on something other than the editing or the video itself. And that’s worth thinking about. As Americans (and this is a European/American tendency) it might be worth remembering that while we can mourn the Japanese camps in America, or Hiroshima, or Dresden, let’s not forget the Holocaust, or the terror state of Imperial Japan. While we want to do the right thing the right way, and we don’t want to sink into validating evil that good may come of it, we need to balance it. We can’t take our eyes off the Devil just because our brothers and sisters trying to fight the good fight aren’t better than the angels. After all, as we used to say, if God wanted perfection or nothing, He would have picked someone other than people to do His work on earth. So keep striving for the better way, keep encouraging each other not to slip down that slope of evil for the greater good, but don’t ever take the focus off the greater evils we are trying to fight. And don’t let those happy to embrace something like mass murder tell us that until we have reached a perfection better than Jesus could muster, they should have no obligation to listen to what we have to say. Just thinking out loud after I watched CNN and where it focused on the story.

  • Andy

    I read with interest in comments below about the concept that pro-life people do not support life. I believe that as individuals pro-life folks do support all aspects of being pro-life — they support maternity leave, health care and so on. Unfortunately as a movement, note movement, the pro-life movement has aligned itself or been co-opted by folks who are anti-abortion, but not really ready to support life in all its stages. That allows individuals who support abortion or question the pro-life movement the ammunition to question the true nature of pro-life.

    • tt

      I will NEVER forget the pro-life people–people who spent their weekends protesting at clinics–who informed me that helping my cousin when she was a pregnant single mother with a toddler was morally abhorrent and an act that “encouraged her to continue to sin”. Because they were my superiors in a “Christian” place of employment, it was even more disgusting to me. Too many pro-life people do not, in their own daily lives, get much beyond the ideology. The practicality of advocating for life and for women is lost to them in their moral outrage. That was the end of any involvement whatsoever with the anti-abortion movement in my life.

      • chezami

        I hope you will return to prolife work and bring with you a consistent ethic of life that sees *all* of human life as precious, born and unborn. Otherwise you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.

        • tt

          I remain committed to helping those in need around me, especially single mothers. I can do so without engaging a hypocritical, ideological movement. There are better ways to reduce abortion than screaming in people’s faces near a clinic while you ignore the women and children in need in your own family or neighborhood.

          • TJ

            You are right. Outside the clinics, there should only be people like 40 Days For Life, which is prayer, fasting, and offering resources. They are strictly non-combative. It is necessary to have people outside the clinics thougj, because so many women going in those places are desperate for someone, some sign, something to help them see there is a better way. Then the sidewalk prayer peeps can helpthem find people who dont want to make money off their distress, but actually help them. There are probably crazies who yell at the clinics, but most are peacefully praying and offering alternatives.

            You would be so good helping at a pregnancy care clinic with the parenting classes and continued material help, baby sitting, filling out paperwork for assistance, etc that women who have chosen life often need. I live in a great Diocese where all Catholic parishes are told by the Office for Social Ministry to support the care clinics ( we even have a full medical practice that sees women in crisis pregnancies for free pre natal care) and so we have tons of them and they continue to help after the choice is made. This all done with donations and mostly through volunteers. We put our time and money where our mouths are.
            Don’t give up on us prolifers! We’re not all like your crazy former employers. 🙂

            As far as “ideology”, does the insanity of a few negate it? So you ran into some crappy representatives of anti abortion ideas. Does their nonsense thenmean abortion is less atrocious? For analogies: does the bad example of the Black Panthers negate the civil rights movement? Does Julie’s failed aspic mean ” Mastering the Art of French Cooking” is useless? Obviously not. You can’t judge something’s value by the failures of those who claim it while grossly missing its point.

            Bless you and thank you for your honesty. Hopefully you can come back on this side and help those who miss the “love them both” part to get it.

  • Caspar

    Get Religion, at least, is saying that the video does in fact indicate profiting off of organs was discussed:

    “… The revised story introduced additional errors, including that Nucatola
    was not caught “explicitly talking about selling organs” (she was), and claiming that Planned Parenthood doesn’t profit from these organ sales, even though Nucatola specifically talks about making more money than breaking even.

    Of course, the official also specifically said that affiliates like
    to “do better” than “break even,” which Calmes doesn’t mention:

    If it’s just reimbursement for clinics’ expenses, what in the world
    would Nucatola mean by that? Further, how do we know that these price
    claims represent actual expenses? What are the expenses for baby organ
    harvesting, exactly? …”

  • Kristiburtonbrown

    I’m really interested in what basis you have to suggest the video may be based on lies. I’m assuming you’ve read the full footage transcript, but are you an attorney or have you had an attorney analyze it? I am an attorney, and I’m very concerned that there truly are felonies going on here. Additionally, are you sure it’s wise to accuse them of lies when you haven’t even seen their next dozen or so videos? Your accusations seem very premature to me.

    • Joseph

      They lied by pretending to be someone they weren’t in the first place. So, there’s one lie. With regard to PP selling body parts of their victims to make ends meet, well, I think he’s stating that making that allegation based on this footage is not enough. It won’t hold up in court, especially not the court of public opinion which has already resulted in a major backfire.
      He saying that there was no reason to make it about PP illegally selling body parts of their victims. Had they not made that accusation, the grisly details of how the stupid, evil bitch makes sure that when she’s dismembering unborn children she doesn’t crush the organs that can be sold (donated for a price… whatever) would have been enough to repulse even the most liberal person with a conscience… especially while she stuffs her ugly face with lunch and a glass of wine. But because the idiot *gotcha* crew decided to make the felony allegation, it took to focus on what this Hitler enthusiast was actually saying.
      Black Lives Matter right? Think of all of the little black babies this disgrace crushed in a way to make sure she could harvest their organs for sale (or donation for a price).

      • Kristiburtonbrown

        My question still remains as to whether you/he has had an attorney analyze this. It’s also rather senseless to evaluate it purely in the context of this one video alone – though there is a lot here. CMP has released a host of documents as well, and has stated their other videos will prove the sale. So this article is a highly premature judgment with no real legal analysis.

        I agree with you both that even the potentially legal part of her discussion are highly disturbing. However, even her discussion on the crushing of baby parts while eating involves something that’s very likely illegal. Do you/the writer of this article know that it’s illegal and medically unethical to modify a medical procedure for the purpose of harvesting organs? Nucatola admits to that point blank. Again, this is why I’m asking how much real legal analysis had been put into this article.

        Finally, if you want to object to the investigators lying that they were fetal parts buyers, it rings pretty hollow when you feel so free to call Nucatola a “stupid bitch” with an “ugly face” and describe fellow pro-life people as idiots. That’s clearly not an example of high morality. If we don’t need to “lie” to win the argument, how do we need to call names and be flat out rude?

        • Joseph

          I’m not going to apologise for my characterisation of Nucatola. My description is apt. It’s what she is. I don’t have very many complimentary synonyms for Hitler either. As for the idiots who decided to go for the jugular with the accusation of a felony, had they not made it about that, people watching the video could have likely come to their own conclusions and perhaps a real investigation without the political wrangling would have occurred. But because of the *guilty before proven innocent* approach, the contents of the enlightening footage are completely washed away to the average person.

          • Sue Korlan

            How do you know how the average person is reacting to this?

            • Joseph

              Good question. How much traction has this gained for the pro-life movement again? If the answer is between *not very much* and *it actually ended up hurting the pro-life movement* then you have the answer to your question.

              • Connie Boyd

                Joseph is right. Those who have always wanted to destroy Planned Parenthood anyway are responding to these videos with secret (or not so secret) glee because they think it’s a “gotcha.” Everyone else can see that the people who carried out this elaborate hoax are not to be admired. Their disreputable background and the tactics they have used have made it easy for Planned Parenthood to position itself as a victim. No proof has been offered that Planned Parenthood broke any laws, which is what the video-makers claim. But they themselves broke laws in the process of setting up their sting. As the controversy that almost destroyed the Susan G. Komen Foundation showed a few years ago, millions of American women are passionately loyal to Planned Parenthood and are predisposed to take its side when it is under attack. The timing is fortuitous, too. The year before a national election the “War on Women” meme has been resurrected. Right-wing Republican politicians as clueless as Todd Aiken (remember him?) are jumping into the fray. The title of this blog post, “Backfire,” perfectly sums up what is happening as a result of anti-abortion extremists’ overreach. Again.

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          So lawyers are technical experts in deceit? Not nearly enough members of the Bar are so forthright about their specialty.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      I course, if you want to identify deceit you’d consult an expert in the field.

      Lawyers -beyond parody since forever!

  • iamlucky13

    “And Planned Parenthood, so far from acting like it got caught with its
    pants down is responding with relish and calling the makers of the video
    liars–which, by their own confession, they are since they falsely
    represented themselves to obtain the video.”

    While that is true, the lie they used to get the Planned Parenthood employee to brag about how good they are at crushing babies is not the lie Planned Parenthood dismisses them as having told – that they traffic in human organs.

    They simply draw a line between trafficking in human organs and trafficking in inhuman blobs of fetal tissue and declare the lie.

    Since almost everybody in this country will view the controversy from the perspective of their current view on abortion, not from a perspective of trying to make up their mind, Planned Parenthood has no need to fear anyone who isn’t already anti-abortion noticing that the accusation of lying does not relate to the actual lie told, but the fact that the actual implications made by the video don’t match Planned Parenthood’s own lies.

    Planned parenthood also will not call out the makers of the video for lying about their reasons to want to interview the employee, because Planned Parenthood also believes little white lies are morally positive.

  • AquinasMan

    A lie is a lie is a lie. And I think Mark is correct in asserting that the net result is a loss to the Pro-Life movement, because the serpent, indeed, wants us to take “just a nibble” at the apple — just a wafer thin nibble — because, you know, we’ll win the war on abortion if we just take a nibble and no will even notice, and isn’t the outcome the important thing?

    What’s even more disappointing is that, ultimately, it doesn’t seem enough people are really all that motivated to change their view on abortion. If the mere description of partial birth abortion — if the public horror of Kermit Gosnel — if the plain math isn’t enough to move the hearts and minds of the public, then neither is getting the dope on organ harvesting and the kinder, gentler “crushing” of a human being so that the demons that abet PP can make a few extra bucks on the side. It’s turning into a Telemundo soap opera instead of using the highest forces of good — the messages of the Gospel — to call a spade a spade.

    Look, the way I see it, this PR war is so in the books, it’s not even up for debate. I talk to enough people who are “personally against abortion, but …” to know that not even people who are personally pro-life think they have the right to expect others to be so, as well. It’s un – believable. Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and abortion. The achievable mission is not to win the hearts and minds of a society that has already wholesale turned itself over to the Prince of Darkness. Ain’t gonna happen, because God will not impose His grace on a people that doesn’t want it. And it ain’t gonna happen with undercover video. The achievable mission is to speak the Truth loudly and clearly — to be voices crying out in the desert — and hope that even one soul turns back from the abyss and repents from this evil. To all who ignore the voice of Truth, their fate is, ironically, their “choice”. But we should each be able to stand before God and say, “I called for people to turn from their evil, and I did it in a way that is pleasing to you.” Trickery will get you nowhere.

    • veritasetcaritas

      The video stands on its own. I’ve watched both and to take Mark’s argument as something for ignoring what the video depicts because it was done in such a mendacious fashion is to ignore the elephant in the room which is the only reality that matters in the long run. What is stated in the video needs no marketing campaign nor distraction as Mark is doing in this article nor the disingenuous distraction that Planned Parenthood is slyly manipulating. People should watch the video and decide for themselves. I for one am glad this video was produced to shock the conscience of so many dormant souls out there. We need more John the Baptists out there than we currently have, especially those that don’t compromise The Gospel for the niceties of the current post-modern reality.

  • Robin Warchol

    so liars (PP) is accusing an investigative reporting and video of lying? If the shoe fits then wear it. This stuff is so sick and gross and the people behind it are heroes in my book. Evil should always be exposed for what it is and cutting up babies so someone can buy a car is about as gross as it gets. I understand your concern but don’t really agree with it. We need to stop being afraid of exposing them for what they are which is cold blooded killers.

  • Mike

    To kill a baby on purpose to harvest organs is i hope illegal to do it for profit damn well better be illegal.

    To directly kill a baby for whatever reason is immoral and everyone knows this.

  • TJ

    How is what CMP did so very different from what undercover cops do to infiltrate criminal organizations?

    At the very least, i hope these revelations help women considering abortion by making them pause and think “wait a minute. If it’s just a blob of tissue, if it is not a human life, how does it yield developed human organs? Let me see that ultrasound!!”

    • chezami

      How is it that Christians look to uniformed authority figures instead of to Christ and his Church for their moral formation? Do you really think the CIA and Donnie Brasco are the place to start forming your conscience?

      • TJ

        Um, no. I am just pointing out a double standard i think we all have here.

  • JohnE_o

    I think the mistake on the part of the pro-life crowd was to lead with “Planned Parenthood is committing a felony by selling aborted babies,” when, as I understand the law, the women having the abortions may choose to donate the fetal remains for medical research and Planned Parenthood may legally be reimbursed for costs associated with collecting and processing those remains.

    When one cries “Felony” and the response is, “Nah, that’s actually legal”, then much is lost by the the exercise.

    • chezami