March 17, 2011

Planned Parenthood, Starbucks & no apologies

By Andrew Haines *

A recent video is causing some waves on YouTube – one that offers a vivid glimpse into the mindset of today’s pro-choice America. [Warning: because of some censored language and strong opinions, the video is not suitable for children. However the content is not morally objectionable.]

In light of recent debate over whether or not defunding Planned Parenthood is a good idea (economically, politically, and otherwise), both pro-life and pro-abortion factions have become increasingly vocal about the meaning of women’s healthcare and the role of the state in footing the bill.

From all this, at least one thing has become clear: being pro-choice is not about protecting a woman’s right to choose; rather, it’s about promoting access to abortion with the intent to exploit.

If you haven’t watched the video yet, I suggest that you do. You’ll see what I mean.

Two things struck me most about the outspokenness of young people defending Planned Parenthood: a desire not only to keep abortion legal, but to make it popular; and a willingness to offer personal testimony of its therapeutic effects. This short video captures each of these sentiments with shocking clarity.

“I’m so glad to be a future doctor,” says one Walk for Choice marcher. “And I will perform abortions and I’ll be proud of it.”

“There is no shame in abortion,” another young woman assures a large crowd. “I am planning on being an abortion provider. I had an abortion a few weeks ago – my insurance actually covered it!”

This much is certain: these aren’t the words of people who have the well-being of women in mind. Rather, they’re an evangelium of death – testimony promoting a disdain for unborn human life in favor of a selfish pursuit of personal power.

“Abortion on demand and without apology!” another marcher exclaims. It’s a clarion cry for those plunged headlong into the murderous cycle of abortion rights, sexual liberation, and government-sponsored infanticide. As a result, Planned Parenthood rallies look more and more like fascist demonstrations, and their underlying message has become almost indistinguishable.

Perhaps the most elucidating point of the clip comes during a short interview with a young man who claims: “I want Planned Parenthood to be like Starbucks. I want a Planned Parenthood on every corner.”

If it was mistakable before, it’s not any longer. The idea is simply this: to make abortion services not only “safe,” affordable, and abundant, but even fresh, trendy, and popular. Given its business model, Starbucks has revolutionized American society in just a few short decades. And by the same model, Planned Parenthood can and will destroy it.

This radical mindset of the pro-choice left poses a new problem for anti-abortionists. In sum, we’ve put a lot of resources into a ground game based on the defense of a fetus as real human life. But that’s not what’s being denied. Rather, as Mattias Caro notes, the question is “when and why are the best conditions to bring that fetus into the world.” What’s being rejected is no longer the medical fact that a zygote is a full human organism. Instead, it’s the moral principle that ending innocent human life is an evil. (“They wanna’ talk about morality? Look at what we represent right now: Abortion on demand and without apology!”)

While it’s relatively difficult (although not impossible) to sabotage the value of scientific certainty, undermining the stability of morals is much easier. We who are pro-life ought to reconsider our strategies for combating such an inimical foe. Testifying to the fact of human life isn’t enough; we must attest to its dignity. And we need to arm ourselves with the information, insight, and arguments that will stand up to the abortion empire in court, on campuses, and in the workplace.

Defending human life is intuitive. But combating a prideful initiative to debase moral norms is another story, entirely.

Andrew Haines is president of the Center for Morality in Public Life and a PhD student in Philosophy at The Catholic University of America. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Kathleen, and their son.

* Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency.


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