Matt C. Abbott
Planned Parenthood, Caitlyn Bruce Jenner, and abstract debate
By Matt C. Abbott
July 19, 2015

(A version of this column originally appeared at the American Thinker Blog.)

There appears to be much outrage within the pro-life movement about the latest development pertaining to Planned Parenthood. 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 exposť itself, Catholic author and blogger Mark Shea, along with the left-leaning Jesuit publication and website America, have 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, sadly, 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, (pro-abortion?) 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.

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, had this to say in response to critics of the video exposť:
    I have been involved in helping to uncover the sale of baby body parts within the abortion industry for over 15 years, in my partnership with those who do undercover work to expose how corrupt the abortion industry is. The people and organizations I have worked with on these projects are intelligent, ethical, and professional.

    That industry, whose key player is Planned Parenthood, is going to try to lead us down the rabbit trails of nuance and abstract debate. This is not about nuance and abstract debate. It's about recovering our humanity and the appropriate outrage that goes along with it. Abstract debate can justify anything, including abortion itself. And it can be used to justify the sale of body parts.

    Planned Parenthood admits that it harvests the body parts of these babies and that transactions occur for the transport of those brains, livers, hearts, lungs, arms and legs. Isn't that enough for us to say, 'Enough!'

    That's where the focus needs to be right now. Much of the American public doesn't know that Planned Parenthood sells abortion, much less body parts. Let's use this as a teachable moment. And if Congress moves forward with its investigations, then Planned Parenthood will have plenty of opportunity to debate the nuances and try to defend themselves both on the legal and moral fronts.
© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, WOSU Radio in Ohio, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if those emails are marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours in my column, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in very rare circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


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