I have not watched the Planned Parenthood videos for the same reason that I do not watch videos of ISIS beheading its victims. It is the same reason that I limit viewing documentaries about the Holocaust. There are certain images that I do not want seared into my brain. However, not watching the videos doesn’t mean not acknowledging the very real presence of evil.
Abortion occupies an unusual place in American life. The image that persuaded many good people to support abortion a number of decades ago was that of a young, innocent girl raped (possibly by her father) and dying after an illegal, unhygienic, back-alley abortion. The picture expanded to include happily married women who were on the verge of physical collapse as a result of too many pregnancies, girls-next-door whose lives were about to be ruined by one night’s mistake and other images of female victims. The women were visible and portrayed sympathetically; the fetuses were unseen and dismissed as no more human than discarded fingernails.
Scientific advances destroyed the invisibility of the baby while abortion undeniably became an act of frequent irresponsibility and apathy rather than a rare solution for extreme situations. The American public’s views on this issue have moved more conservative, with younger people supporting more restrictions on abortion than the now aging Sixties activists for whom this issue above all others dictates how they vote.
Why is it so difficult for those who uphold the abortion banner to say, “We need to reconsider,” at least acknowledging that a second look is needed? For some, abortion rights has become their religion. For others, it is a callous political calculation that keeps Democrats in office. Liberals in general prefer to focus on intentions rather than results. Admitting that ideas that sound kind and compassionate can end up causing unintended cruel consequences puts a brake on quickly implementing the next kind and compassionate sounding notion.
However, for some, I think another factor comes into play, even subconsciously. Women, in particular, replay scenes in our heads. I can still visualize a time when I tiredly snapped at a four-year-old and watched her innocent face crumble. Many women remember in detail wrong decisions and bad judgments. Imagine having to admit that you demonstrated, articulated and voted for a policy that caused pain and suffering to the most innocent of beings? If abortion has been the backbone of your political leanings for decades and it turns out that in doing so you supported the dismembering and sale of newborn babies’ body parts, what sort of nightmares will you suffer? What if there is an abortion in your past that will give you nightmares if examined too closely?
When slave-trader John Newton’s newly awakened religious sentiments led him to see Africans as human beings rather than cargo, he did not simply start transporting spices rather than people. He changed his entire life, composing the stirring hymn, Amazing Grace. When Whittaker Chambers recognized the evil of the communist master he served, he changed his entire life, helping to destroy the communist infiltration of the American government. When self-examination caused a gynecologist I know to recognize that the abortions he was performing were a form of sex-selection by wealthy, accomplished professional women, he not only stopped doing abortions, but embraced a serious Jewish life.
Saying, “I thought support for abortion was an expression of my kind nature, but I didn’t have all the facts,” doesn’t allow one to say, “oh, well,” and continue life as usual. Changing one’s view of Planned Parenthood to seeing it as more Lizzie Borden than Clara Barton demands a sea change in thinking. For gentle souls, it means an entire re-evaluation and harsh introspection. Few of us are able to bear that type of pain and the change it necessitates. It is easier to accept President Obama’s claims that the videos are examples of right-wing extremist editing than to watch them and face the truth. Yet, after six decades, the truth is relentlessy emerging.
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8 thoughts on “Planned Parenthood: See No Evil”
Lynn, I agree that the timing of Cecil the lion and the Planned Parenthood videos was not ‘coincidental’. As for the callousness, Hannah Arendt wrote a book called “The Banality of Evil.” We would like to believe that all acts of organized cruelty (such as Nazism or massacres by the Communists or 9/11) are done by frustrated, angry or crazy people. It is hard for us to accept the truth which is that educated, sophisticated, seemingly civilized people can become murderers way too easily.
I’m late reading this. I listened to the videos but couldn’t watch. The tone of the doctors voices astounded me. Hardened hearts is what I heard. No compassion. Callousness beyond anything I have heard before concerning abortion. I found it ironic that Cecil was in the headlines at the same time and that those on the left could not see what they were promoting! Personally I don’t think it was a coincidence. God is merciful but He will also not be mocked. I believe the two news stories were front and center by Divine appointment. For anyone who would be interested in a sermon series that addresses the issue of equating animals with humans I highly recommend “A Beautiful Design” from The Village Church in Dallas. The sermons delve into how our society today has blurred the lines of God’s Beautiful Design for His creation. We live in a mixed up world. Pray. We must pray continually for our society and our government.
Lora, there is a lot of money and power tied up in the abortion industry. But there was also a lot of money and power tied up in the slave industry. We can’t give up.
I didn’t watch the videos either. Someone in this country has to stay sensitive, and since I am sensitive, I will simply maintain what I have. At any rate, as horrific as the videos were, I was glad they got out. I have cheered at how medical advances have undercut the sandy banks upon which abortion is built. I am relieved when I observe the industrial slaughter take such a huge hit to their propaganda. I had heard that even food companies use fetal cells in some sort of testing. How were we to break free of a multi-billion dollar business of such cold and senseless proportions? We need to expose this stuff to the light and make people see. It reminds me of how the Americans made the Germans living near certain concentration camps come and dig the graves for the poor prisoners.
This change in people’s thinking is the result of decades of indoctrination. We have to win the culture more than winning elections. The first will lead to the second
One of the ‘right-wing extremist’ talk-show hosts observed that he found it odd that the mainstream media capitalized upon the outrage over Cecil the lion meeting his end at the hands of some poor American dentist, yet ignored the slaughter of live-born human infants to purloin their body parts for medical research or for whatever ghoulish purpose.
In this I would second the motion, and thereby I am reminded of the Rabbi’s warning: that if we elevate the animals, we blur the distinction between the animal and the human. The end result will be to degrade humanity to the level of animals. It appears that this process is already well underway, for years now. Back in the 1980’s a woman lost her worldly possessions to wildfire because she was forbidden by California law to dig protective fire trenches around her property (the burrows of little prairie dogs might be harmed!). On camera she bitterly mourned: ‘Who’s more important: little prairie dogs or human beings?’ And who’s more important: a lion who on a hungry day will devour you and me, or a newborn baby?
I don’t even think it is a lazy argument, I think it is a, “The American public is too stupid to look beyond any excuse we give them.” Your observation about your friends is very interesting. I hadn’t heard that before.
Saying the videos are edited is a lazy argument. Yes, the videos shown were edited to narrow down to the pertinent points. However, the videos are available in their entirety online. In their entirety, the horror is simply spread out.
An observation: My friends who support abortion (and were willing to talk to me about it) are all people who believed their mother didn’t want them. It sounds more like a judgement on themselves, but they are executing it on babies incapable of defending their own existence.
I’m astonished at how people are willing to defend a company that is participating in illegal practices (selling body parts, and making money at it), while they criticize companies that make money legally.
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