Could the latest Planned Parenthood video expose backfire on pro-lifers?

There appears to be much outrage within the pro-life movement about the latest development pertaining to Planned Parenthood – a story Thomas Lifson documents in a July 15 blog post.

As someone who worked in the pro-life movement in years past and strongly supports it at present, I share that outrage.  Planned Parenthood is an evil organization.  Period.

Regarding the video exposé itself, Catholic author and blogger Mark Shea, along with the left-leaning Jesuit publication and website America, has expressed certain reservations about it.

Sam Sawyer, S.J., an associate editor at America, writes:

The problem with how [the Center for Medical Progress] edited the video is that it has helped convince many pro-choice people that pro-life activists are unscrupulous and dishonest. If we believe that we are called to help people come to see the truth, rather than just to provoke outrage, then we can’t accept this video uncritically. Nor can we accept Planned Parenthood’s defense uncritically. What we can do is watch the whole video and be honest about what we see. Only after that can we start making judgments about how to respond.

Essentially agreeing with Father Sawyer’s viewpoint, Mark Shea writes:

When the issue shifts from ‘Is this analysis factual?’ and ‘Are these tactics in fact winning hearts and minds to the pro-life cause?’ to ‘Whose side are you on?’ that is a sure sign that the pro-life movement has taken a wrong turn. If the goal is simply to reinforce Unit Cohesion in the pro-life community despite the fact that Planned Parenthood is winning converts to the proposition ‘Pro-lifers 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 [Planned Parenthood’s] coffers.

Food for thought.

So where does that leave us?

To me, even if nothing significant happens to Planned Parenthood as a result of this story – and, sad to say, nothing will except for perhaps a slap on the wrist – at least it keeps the abortion industry’s filth in the news (for a time).

Someone like, say, Caitlyn Bruce Jenner seems to relish the limelight, whereas Planned Parenthood almost certainly does not.  Yet they sure want that taxpayer money to help keep their baby-killing business going.

Thomas Lifson adds:

The tactic of decrying the editing when a covertly filmed video (or audio) tape is posted has been standard operating procedure for the left for decades:

Back in 1992, when embarrassing tapes emerged of conversations between then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton Gennifer Flowers, Anthony Pellicano, touted as an expert on tapes, declared them "doctored" because portions were missing. This enabled the mainstream media to dismiss the tapes from the national conversation.  

The same thing happened to Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe of Project Veritas, even when, as in this case, the complete recordings were also made available.

What else can you do when caught incriminating yourself while recorders were running?

What is most damaging to Planned Parenthood is the callous attitude on display, especially in a relatively opulent setting of a fancy restaurant with wine bottles in the background.  Our side argues that human life is cheapened by abortion, and we can see how little regard for it a senior executive at PP actually has, as she enjoys her lunch.  These images do lasting damage.

I am not concerned about what the naysayers proclaim.  Planned Parenthood has lost a lot in the public’s eye.

There appears to be much outrage within the pro-life movement about the latest development pertaining to Planned Parenthood – a story Thomas Lifson documents in a July 15 blog post.

As someone who worked in the pro-life movement in years past and strongly supports it at present, I share that outrage.  Planned Parenthood is an evil organization.  Period.

Regarding the video exposé itself, Catholic author and blogger Mark Shea, along with the left-leaning Jesuit publication and website America, has expressed certain reservations about it.

Sam Sawyer, S.J., an associate editor at America, writes:

The problem with how [the Center for Medical Progress] edited the video is that it has helped convince many pro-choice people that pro-life activists are unscrupulous and dishonest. If we believe that we are called to help people come to see the truth, rather than just to provoke outrage, then we can’t accept this video uncritically. Nor can we accept Planned Parenthood’s defense uncritically. What we can do is watch the whole video and be honest about what we see. Only after that can we start making judgments about how to respond.

Essentially agreeing with Father Sawyer’s viewpoint, Mark Shea writes:

When the issue shifts from ‘Is this analysis factual?’ and ‘Are these tactics in fact winning hearts and minds to the pro-life cause?’ to ‘Whose side are you on?’ that is a sure sign that the pro-life movement has taken a wrong turn. If the goal is simply to reinforce Unit Cohesion in the pro-life community despite the fact that Planned Parenthood is winning converts to the proposition ‘Pro-lifers 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 [Planned Parenthood’s] coffers.

Food for thought.

So where does that leave us?

To me, even if nothing significant happens to Planned Parenthood as a result of this story – and, sad to say, nothing will except for perhaps a slap on the wrist – at least it keeps the abortion industry’s filth in the news (for a time).

Someone like, say, Caitlyn Bruce Jenner seems to relish the limelight, whereas Planned Parenthood almost certainly does not.  Yet they sure want that taxpayer money to help keep their baby-killing business going.

Thomas Lifson adds:

The tactic of decrying the editing when a covertly filmed video (or audio) tape is posted has been standard operating procedure for the left for decades:

Back in 1992, when embarrassing tapes emerged of conversations between then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton Gennifer Flowers, Anthony Pellicano, touted as an expert on tapes, declared them "doctored" because portions were missing. This enabled the mainstream media to dismiss the tapes from the national conversation.  

The same thing happened to Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe of Project Veritas, even when, as in this case, the complete recordings were also made available.

What else can you do when caught incriminating yourself while recorders were running?

What is most damaging to Planned Parenthood is the callous attitude on display, especially in a relatively opulent setting of a fancy restaurant with wine bottles in the background.  Our side argues that human life is cheapened by abortion, and we can see how little regard for it a senior executive at PP actually has, as she enjoys her lunch.  These images do lasting damage.

I am not concerned about what the naysayers proclaim.  Planned Parenthood has lost a lot in the public’s eye.