Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cecile the Lyin'

Cecile Richards is the CEO of the pernicious Planned Parenthood organization.  In the fallout of the Center for Medical Progress' recently released undercover videos showing multiple violations of federal law, she defended the killing of unborn children via abortion in order to use their body parts for "donation" for medical research.

Cecile Richards said that these videos were highly edited to put Planned Parenthood in the worst possible light.  Others have claimed that they were out right "faked".  I guess they didn't bother to note that the full multi-hour raw and un-edited videos were also released at the same time that the "highlight" videos were.  Of course, the edited videos show nothing out of context or contrary from the raw videos.

Her only apology was for the "tone" used by her lead abortionist in cavalierly discussing the issue to the undercover "purchasers".  Again, I don't understand why she would need to apologize if she truly thought that this was simply "tissue" that they were extracting and not human beings that they were killing.

Her indefensible defense of this evil practice and law breaking that has supported it amounts to nothing more than dissembling on her behalf.

Cecile Richards' salary is $400,000 a year and her personal net worth is over $4 million.  It seems that, with the consent of the U.S. congress and over one half a billion of annual tax payer subsidies, that Ms. Richards has a very "viable" and profitable business model to protect.  No wonder she is willing to lie to protect her kingdom!

As for the pro-abortion progressives in our country, they could seemingly care less about this controversy.  Perhaps we could get them outraged and willing to take action if we told them that Planned Parenthood was aborting baby lions instead.

8 comments:

Ryan said...

I'll start with my one compliment: the title is clever. Moving on...

You keep bringing up these violations of federal law, but I'm still waiting for a response from you on F&B on that matter. One of your accusations was false, one was possibly true but perhaps not prosecutable, and one needed to be supported because I couldn't find anything about it. At least two states have also cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing.

I don't understand why she would need to apologize if she truly thought that this was simply "tissue" that they were extracting and not human beings that they were killing.

Your eagerness to vilify Planned Parenthood gets ahead of your reasoning. In this scenario, an apology may serve not as an expression of remorse over wrong-doing, but as damage control. After all, not everyone who supports or uses Planned Parenthood would approve of this tone.

Or it could indeed be remorse, but over the fact that a Planned Parenthood employee was so tactless in her discussion of a procedure that people might accept, but do not want to hear about in full detail. And before you think to criticize people who accept the procedure but don't want to think about the details, remember that many people also don't want to think about the details of the meat industry or other, non-controversial medical procedures even though they take advantage of them. The repulsion that one might feel in these cases should not be immediately associated with morality.

Either explanation is reasonable and would have occurred to you as such if you had been more concerned with figuring out the answer to your question than with finding reasons to condemn Richards and Planned Parenthood.

One nitpick, since I've now seen you say it twice:

The phrase "could care less" should be "couldn't care less." If one could care less about something, it means that he cares about it at least a little.

Jerry Critter said...

I thought the title was very clever also. However, as for the rest of it, I am afraid that I've got to come down on the side of Ryan.

T. Paine said...

Ryan, based on federal law, an abortion provider is not allowed to change the procedures of how an abortion is done in order to be able to better harvest body parts. The ONLY consideration for the abortionist should be the safety of the mother. Obviously the child's safety and well-being are no longer of concern. Based on several situations in the released undercover videos, it is apparent that this is not always done within Planned Parenthood. From Dr. Nucatola's discussion of where the abortionist "crushes" the baby in order to save the needed parts for research, to the discussion of aborting the child with the assistance of ultrasound in order to best salvage the body, these are direct violations of law under Planned Parenthood's own admission of wrongdoing.

As for the selling of the body parts, if this is indeed happening, this is also a violation of law. In the videos released to date, it is unclear as to whether there are direct violations of this or not. They are allowed to recoup costs, but the suggestiveness of several videos seems to indicate that with their "fully intact" and "five star" bodies, that they are rather pleased with these accomplishments simply to recoup their costs. I would not be surprised to see that there is more concrete evidence to support this charge as further videos are released. The fact that Planned Parenthood is seen haggling over the prices charged for the body parts suggests that there is a profit component involved. Otherwise, the costs would simply be tabulated and passed on to the "researchers". There would not be a need to haggle.

I have to ask you a question though, Ryan. Have you watched any of the videos? Especially the most recent two? No wonder that Planned Parenthood is asking that the release of these videos be banned by the court. They are more gruesome then the most horrific horror movie. I know that many of the workers there think they are doing valuable work for the betterment of medicine and science. That said, we also learned valuable scientific information from the evil Nazi experimentation on victims there too. The ends do not justify the means, sir.

I think the whole industry needs to be shut down, obviously. Planned Parenthood is the largest contributor in the nation. The fact that they receive tax payer dollars should outrage every American, even if one is supportive of abortion.

Last, I appreciate your pointing out the "could care less" statement. Of course you are correct and I simply got sloppy. Thanks for pointing it out.

Jerry, I am not surprised that you disagree with me. I suppose I could change my mind on this issue, but then we would both be wrong, my friend.

Ryan said...

an abortion provider is not allowed to change the procedures of how an abortion is done in order to be able to better harvest body parts.

This was the accusation that I thought had some merit. However, the change in procedure does not seem to threaten the well-being of the patient and there is no reason to think that the priority becomes the fetal tissue. A court might find that this is a technical violation of the law, but not one that merits any punishment, as the spirit of the law was not violated. If it ruled otherwise, that would be fine too, though it would raise the question: exactly what changes would be legal and what changes would be illegal? In any case, it would be silly for Planned Parenthood to pursue the tissue to the detriment of the patient's health, since this could lead to lawsuits that cost them far more than even the profit that some conservatives believe they make off the tissue.

I would not be surprised to see that there is more concrete evidence to support this charge as further videos are released.

If there is, so be it. But I am not interested in mere suspicion.

The fact that Planned Parenthood is seen haggling over the prices charged for the body parts suggests that there is a profit component involved. Otherwise, the costs would simply be tabulated and passed on to the "researchers".

I addressed this as well with multiple quotes from the video that make it clear that (1) they are both uninterested in profit and concerned that profit would make them look bad and (2) the differences in cost correspond to the facility in question and the services required, as not every company that might make use of the tissue will have the same needs. You are free to look back to the F&B thread where I responded; I am not going to post all of that again here. It was titled "Fake Issues Dilute Conservative Abortion Arguments."

Have you watched any of the videos?

I prefer to read all of my news, as I usually can't stand the pace of the spoken word. So while I haven't watched the videos, I read much of their transcripts, though not from the most recent. I was interested at first, but when I decided that the "evidence" for the primary scandal (illegally selling fetal tissue) was overblown, I decided to not waste any more of my time.

With that said, I can't imagine that I would be any more bothered by these videos than ones I have seen of other medical operations or animal mistreatment and slaughtering in the meat industry. That's just the nature of the procedure. Whether these things are right or wrong has nothing to do with how gruesome they appear. You yourself would hold that abortion is wrong even if we had the technology to simply make the fetus blink out of existence, mess-free.

Ryan said...

Continued...

The fact that they receive tax payer dollars should outrage every American, even if one is supportive of abortion.

Planned Parenthood is not allowed to use the money it receives from the federal government for abortions, except for cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother's health, which Medicaid funding may cover.

One could argue that, since money is fungible, this makes no difference. Without the $500m or so from the government, Planned Parenthood would have less money to spend on its other services. To maintain its current revenue, it would have to either dip into the funds it reserves for abortions or charge more for its services--or both. However, I seriously doubt that this would have much of an impact on the abortion rate. If it seriously affected anyone, it would be poor mothers who were already struggling and who would be the least equipped to raise a child.

More importantly, it doesn't bother me. Abortion is a legal procedure regardless of public opinion. The government does all sorts of things that aren't necessarily popular with a majority of people, including spending money on dubious wars that kill people who actually have thought, feelings, and desires, even if they are innocent. At least abortion spares mothers and our society the cost of unwanted children and (up to a certain age of the fetus) avoids causing any pain or ending the lives of beings who have a desire to live.

As I see it, abortion is a legal procedure with a social benefit and no downside except the potential for harm to the patient's health. But since the procedure is optional and the information about the risks is available to everyone, that downside is not such a big deal.

I know that your moral calculus, including as it does the variable of the well-being of the fetus, arrives at a different answer, so there's no need to explain why you disagree. I simply don't hold that being alive and having human DNA are enough to make something valuable and I have never heard an argument that even begins to compel me to think otherwise.

Ryan said...

I keep calling it F&B, but it's really F&U, isn't it?

T. Paine said...

It would seem that you and I have pretty much exhausted most of our arguments on this topic, Ryan. I don't see much point in simply reiterating with only nuanced changes what has already been said by each of us .

The only thing I would add would be in response to your one statement:

"As I see it, abortion is a legal procedure with a social benefit and no downside except the potential for harm to the patient's health."

Legality does not always mean something is moral, as you well know. I find the "social benefit" to be highly dubious. And as you implied, not only do abortions increase the likelihood of certain cancers for the otherwise-would-be mothers, but often they have life-long negative psychological effects on the women as well.

I find it to be truly frightening when we marginalize and dehumanize even third trimester and late second trimester babies as "tissue" in order to assuage our consciences with their deaths in order to supposedly benefit the mother and perhaps researchers. Many of the worst atrocities in the last two centuries occurred because some people started out by marginalizing and then dehumanizing others for the "gain" of others. Some people were viewed as property, or sub-human Jews, or menaces to the good order of society. Since 1973 and the death of 57 MILLION unborn babies, I cannot help but wonder when this current holocaust will end. I know... one intentional death is a murder, but 57 million is simply a statistic. I cannot even fathom what greatness we have destroyed in the deaths of all of those children. It truly does make me so very sad and forlorn what legitimately well-meaning and good people support without realizing the true ramifications.

The last word is yours, if you care to have it.

Ryan said...

There shouldn't be anything dubious about the social benefit itself. It's quite similar to the social benefit of birth control in a society/species that does not reserve sex for reproduction. Of course, that benefit does not outweigh the costs involved if you believe that abortion is murder.

Many of the worst atrocities in the last two centuries occurred because some people started out by marginalizing and then dehumanizing others for the "gain" of others.

These are atrocities because the beings who were harmed were actually people: they could think, feel, desire, etc. Even though they wanted to be free, others imprisoned or enslaved them. Even though they didn't want to feel pain, others hurt them. Even though they wanted to live, others killed them. (And on top of that, they were also humans who could just as easily have been any of us. The differences between people that oppressors cited to justify their actions were irrelevant, irrational, and insufficient.) In contrast, the fetus--up to a point--is incapable of having these desires. I do not recognize any obligation to care about something that not only does not care about itself, but cannot.

Once we pass the point at which the fetus exhibits signs of sentience, anyone who still seeks to justify abortion has to appeal to something else.

One might argue that preserving the mother's bodily autonomy is more important than preserving the child. I am somewhat sympathetic to this position but far from convinced, as it tends to be justified with poor just-so arguments. Perhaps technological advancements will settle the issue for us by making the fetus viable at earlier and earlier ages.

Or one might argue, as Peter Singer does, that a being needs additional qualities to have a right to life, such as autonomy and rationality. I agree with him that killing a more developed human being is (almost always) worse than killing a newborn child: the developed human is more likely to have stronger desires, social roles, relationships, etc. In short: it does greater harm (i.e. thwarts more and greater desires). However, I would not go so far as to say that this difference means that the child should not have a right to life. The weakness in his position as I understand it is that autonomy and rationality are not things that one simply either has or does not have. One person can be more rational than another and one can have greater autonomy. I don't see a way to apply his standard except by setting the bar at some arbitrary age. And if it's arbitrary, it's not compelling.

Still, even these unsatisfactory justifications for later-term abortions are superior to those that slave-owners or Nazis used for their oppression, so they should not be grouped together. The former are trying to take the other party of the pregnancy (the mother) into account or determine what makes a life worthwhile and why, while the latter appealed to unsupported claims of racial superiority and similar nonsense to excuse barbarity in which they were already inclined to engage.

After this comment, I won't hold you to your offer to let me have the last word.