Hillary Clinton deserves credit for her reaction to the Planned Parenthood videos.
“I have seen pictures from them and obviously find them disturbing.”
So much so that she supports a national investigation. Other people who’ve watched them tell me they’ve felt physically ill. It’s no wonder the Washington Post labeled the first one as containing graphic language. George Will summed it up as follows:
“…a salad-nibbling, wine-sipping Planned Parenthood official explaining how “I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above” whatever organ (“heart, lung, liver”) is being harvested.
However, Clinton is also standing by and defending Planned Parenthood, claiming that people trying to strip federal funding from the organization are somehow against women’s health care.
Like Elizabeth Warren, Clinton is trying to change the subject. Efforts to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood aren’t aimed at cutting overall spending on women’s health care. Rather, they involve transferring that spending to organizations that don’t conduct abortions (and sell body parts).
Sarah Silverman weighed in on the subject with the following tweet:
“Abortion is still legal in the great U.S of A. It would be insane not to use fetal tissue 4 science & education in such cases. #StandwithPP.”
Presumably Silverman takes the rather extreme position held by some that George Will summed up in his op-ed.
“At no point in the gestation of a human infant does this living being have a trace of personhood that must be respected. Never does it have a moral standing superior to a tumor or a hamburger in the mother’s stomach.”
Having grown up in New Zealand — where abortion is rarely, if ever, a topic of political conversation — I’d never given the subject a great deal of thought. But having become a father, attended every of my wife’s OB/GYN appointments for each child and witnessed the ultrasounds that we started seeing from eight weeks on, I now appreciate why we refer to the “miracle of life”. My own general position on abortion is similar to Bill Clinton’s: it should be safe, legal and rare. And having seen my own babies develop in the womb, they very early on do deserve moral standing and more.
Ramesh Ponnuru takes Silverman’s argument to its logical conclusion:
“The death penalty is also still legal in our great country. Should we employ methods of execution so as to yield the highest number of usable organs? Should prisons be able to donate these organs in return for some compensation for their costs–maybe enough to break even, or do a little bit better than break even?”
He goes on to explain that we don’t do these things:
“…because we treat even killings the law treats as justified as having a moral gravity and seriousness that precludes these actions; because we treat executions as the taking of human lives invested with dignity and not to be reduced to the level of objects for our use.”
At least the same level of dignity should apply to the lives being ended in the abortion clinics of Planned Parenthood. Because none is afforded to them, we should all find the videos disturbing.