original article: Live Action, Snopes and Planned Parenthood’s “Prenatal Care”
February 4, 2017 by Truthbomb Apologetics
Recently, I shared the following video on social media from Live Action:
For those who haven’t seen the video, it features Planned Parenthood (PP) President Cecile Richards claiming that Planned Parenthood offers prenatal care at their clinics. Then the video features sound bites of numerous women calling various PP clinics across the country seeking prenatal care only to be told that “PP does not provide prenatal care.” Out of the 97 affiliates contacted, only 5 actually provided prenatal care. The obvious conclusion of the video is that PP is being deceptive in claiming that they provide prenatal care at their clinics.
However, the folks at Snopes.com – “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation” – have challenged the conclusion of the Live Action team. In this response, they argue that Live Action is guilty of: 1) taking PP President Cecile Richards out of context; and 2) leading people to believe that PP has claimed to offer prenatal care at all their facilities when it has never claimed any such thing.
Now let me be clear. I am unapologetically pro-life; however, the pro-life cause is not served by deceptive actions. If this video does include any type of deception, I want to publicly denounce it and distance myself from it.
So, is Live Action being deceptive, or does Snopes.com have it wrong? Let’s take a look.
The Video Quotes
In the first quote featured in the video, Cecile Richards says, “Prenatal care. These are the kinds of services that folks depend on Planned Parenthood for.” So here we see that she is clearly claiming that PP does provide prenatal care (a “kind of” service), but she does not explicitly say that all of PP clinics provide prenatal care.
Conclusion: This quote shows that Cecile Richards claimed that prenatal care was one of many types of care offered by PP. Even Dan Evon in his Snopes piece writes, “…it’s clear that Richards was listing several services that Planned Parenthood provides.”
The second quote featured in the video features a quote from Richards while she is campaigning for Hillary Clinton. The quote from the video says, “…a president who will fight for prenatal care.” The entire context of the quote is as follows:
“They want a president who believes access to health care isn’t a luxury — it’s a human right.
They want a president who understands that being pro-choice also means being able to choose to have a child — and a president who will fight for prenatal care, head start, health care for kids and first class public schools because it takes a village!
They want a president who will stand up to the gun lobby and demand safety for kids in schools, folks in church, and women getting healthcare — no matter what.
They want a president who will demand nobody is paid less just because they are a woman — we deserve 100 cents on the dollar!
They want a president who believes that access to health care isn’t a luxury it’s a human right. They also want a president who understands that being pro-choice actually means being able to choose to have a child. And a president who will fight for pre-natal care, and head start, and health care for kids, and excellent public education. Because as someone so famously said, it takes a village to raise a child. ”
Interestingly, Snopes claims that Richards is quoted out of context and, at first glance, this seems true. Clearly the context is not provided! However, one can safely infer from the above quote that Richards is implying
that PP provides prenatal care. How so? Think about it. Here we have the president of PP saying, “…a president who will fight for prenatal care.” While I am quite sure PP has nothing to do with the majority of the other services mentioned by Richards, who else would Richards be referring to here but PP? Certainly no Republican candidate ever
insinuated that they would take away all prenatal care across the country! But they have expressed their desire to defund PP. Therefore, what Richards is essentially saying is, “We need a president that will protect PP and the prenatal care we offer.” Otherwise, the reference to prenatal care makes no sense
Conclusion: In this quote, Richards claims that PP offers prenatal care.
The third and final quote featured in the video comes from Lori Lamerand, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan. In the video, she states, “Prenatal care! Um — and that — that is what we want to focus on. That is what is so vital.” The context of this quote was not readily available, but Snopes.com claims that PP said, “Lamerand ‘spoke about the vital services like birth control, pap smears, and preventative cancer screenings, which PP provides to women who otherwise might go without.'” So, according to Snopes, “PP told us that this had little to do with prenatal care; therefore, it doesn’t.” This from the “definitive internet resource”?
So, while Snopes.com
would have us believe that Lamerand was taken out of context, this is far from clear from the available evidence. One should strive to be more modest with their claims.
Conclusion: Here, once again, we find a PP CEO (leader) mentioning prenatal care. At best this demonstrates that a PP CEO implied that PP provides prenatal care. At worst, it is inconclusive. If one wants to claim the quote is “taken out of context,” they will need to demonstrate this.
So, if I am right, we have evidence that, at the very least, suggests PP’s leaders imply they offer prenatal care on a much grander scale than they actually do. However, do more explicit claims exist from Planned Parenthood regarding parental care? To answer that question, we need more evidence.
Lifting the Fog
In this video
, Cecile Richards is very
clear about PP and prenatal care. She explicitly
states that it is a service they offer.
Moreover, in this tweet from Richards in May of 2016, Richards claims prenatal care is an essential service they provide. And, as you can see, they later tried to back away from this claim after the video from Live Action was released.
Further, in February, when Governor of Ohio John Kasich signed a bill defunding Planned Parenthood, this is how Richards responded:
“This legislation will have devastating consequences for women across Ohio. John Kasich is proudly eliminating care for expectant mothers and newborns;”1
Now, I am no doctor, but that sounds a lot like prenatal care. Further, when has PP ever provided services for newborns?
Also, as featured in the video, a on-hold phone recording from the Virginia Beach, Virginia, Planned Parenthood says: “Did you know that Planned Parenthood can take care of all your reproductive health needs? Whether it’s an annual exam, pregnancy testing and counseling, prenatal care
, we’re here for you with high-quality, low-cost services.”2
So, it seems that we have sufficient evidence to conclude that PP leaders do claim to offer prenatal care, but in fact offers very little in relation to the other services they provide.
However, one might also conclude that Live Action could have made their argument more clear. They should have simply argued that PP’s leaders have claimed, several times, that they offer much more parental care than they actually do. They actually offer very little.
Finally, I am disappointed with the lack of balance in the Snopes.com piece. While Live Action could have made their argument more clear, PP is certainly guilty of being misleading and deceptive.
However, I will not spend much time debating this issue. It is secondary. I encourage readers who are interested in learning more to checkout the links I have provided and investigate the matter on their own. Draw your own conclusion.
The Primary Issue
The main objection I have to Planned Parenthood is expressed in the argument that follows. If the argument is logically valid and the premises are more plausible than their negations, then the conclusion of my argument follows logically and necessarily.3
1. PP performs abortions
To confirm the truth of this premise, I will simply refer you to PP’s own website here. Further, PP themselves reported that they performed 323,999 abortions in 2014. 4
2. If abortion is the killing of an innocent human being, it is morally right to oppose PP.
This premise seems intuitively obvious. What morally healthy individual would claim otherwise? We should all stand against the killing of innocent human beings. Anyone who would deny this premise is morally handicap, and their handicap should not call into question what most of us clearly see: it is our moral obligation to oppose the killing of innocent human beings.
3. Abortion is the killing of an innocent human being.
Admittedly, this is the premise my argument hinges on. However, for those willing to follow the evidence where it leads, science, philosophy, and critical thinking demonstrate its truth.
The Scientific Case
As others have shared before me,5 conclusive scientific evidence demonstrates that human life begins at conception. This is no longer a matter of opinion.
The conceived embryo is a individual, living, human being by definition:
Individual: The zygote is distinct from her mother, father, and all other living things. She has her own unique and complete genetic fingerprint; distinct from either of her parents.
Living: The zygote manifests all the characteristics of biological life: metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli and reproduction.
Human: She carries human DNA with a human genetic signature.
Being: She is a self-contained, self-integrating, living entity with her own nature.
We see from science that, from conception, she has everything needed to proceed through the full series of human developmental stages. No other human single cell has this inherent capacity. All that is needed is proper nurturing and a proper environment to advance through all the stages of normal human development. This is not different than you and I. 6
This is confirmed by leading embryology books. For example, in their book The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud write, “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”7
Further, even former Planned Parenthood President Dr. Alan Guttmacher was perplexed that anyone, much less a medical doctor, would question this. “This all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn’t part of the common knowledge,” he wrote in his book Life in the Making.”8
The Philosophical Case
As thinkers such as Greg Koukl and Scott Klusendorf have pointed out, there are only four differences between the unborn and a newborn; none of which are morally relevant reasons for denying them personhood and protection.
Klusendorf asks us to think of the acronym SLED
to illustrate these “non-essential differences:”
Size: Are preschoolers less valuable than teenagers, or women less valuable than men because they’re smaller? Size does not equal value.
Level of Development: Is a four-year-old less valuable than her mother because she can’t reproduce? Value is not determined by abilities.
Environment: Does your value change when you cross the street, or even roll over in bed? Where you are-in the womb or out-has no bearing on who you are.
Degree of Dependency: Should we disqualify those who rely on insulin or heart pacemakers just because they are dependent? Viability doesn’t determine worth.
It’s far more reasonable to argue that, although humans differ immensely with respect to talents, accomplishments, and degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal because they share a common human nature.7
If you are tempted to resist the science and philosophy that demonstrates that the unborn are human persons, more critical thinking will lead you to the conclusion that, even if we didn’t have the above evidence that a fetus is a human person, abortion is murder. George Fields explains:
“…I contend that whether the fetus is a person at any given moment of pregnancy is a non-issue, since, whatever it is now, it will, in fact, become a person. Therefore, to abort the fetus now is to annihilate the person that fetus would have naturally become.”9
He goes on:
“Abortion has the same quality as all forms of killing. If I were to kill someone, I would have fundamentally transformed the nature of the universe from one with this person to one without it. The evil of murder does not derive from the fact that a death has occurred, for death comes to all. All murder does is expedite an inevitable event. The evil of murder, rather, is in the fact that the world has changed for everyone else who keeps on living. A hole has been made in the tapestry of life; Christmas dinner now has an empty chair. So it is with an abortion.”8
For the intellectually honest individual, the evidence is clear. Science, philosophy, and critical thinking demonstrate the truth of premise 3- abortion is the killing of an innocent human being.
4. Therefore, it is morally right to oppose PP.
In this brief piece, I have argued that:
1. Planned Parenthood’s leaders imply that prenatal care is an important service they offer when, in reality, they offer very little. This is misleading and deceptive.
2. Live Action could have made their argument more clear. They should have simply argued that PP’s leaders have claimed, several times, that they offer prenatal care when they offer almost none.
3. Planned Parenthood kills innocent human beings; therefore, it is a moral right to oppose PP.
Courage and Godspeed,
Resources for Further Investigation
An Explanation of Planned Parenthood’s “3%” Statistic
9 Things You Should Know About Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger
For Planned Parenthood abortion stats, ‘3 percent’ and ’94 percent’ are both misleading
Late-Term Abortion, the Life of the Mother and the 3rd Presidential Debate
When Pro-Abortion Choice Rhetoric Hurts
Could Acceptance of Abortion Be a Matter of Ignorance?
1. Kristi Burton Brown, “Cecile Richards tries to claim Planned Parenthood helps “expectant mothers and newborns,” Feb. 23, 2016.
2. Kristi Burton Brown, “Yes, Planned Parenthood claims to do prenatal care, and yes, it’s a lie,” Jan. 25, 2017.
3. For a brief explanation about how deductive arguments work, go here.
4. Debra Goldschmidt and Ashley Strickland, “Planned Parenthood: Fast Facts and Revealing Numbers,” Jan. 17, 2017.
5. Tim Stratton, “Pro-Choice: The Wrong Side of History, Science and Logic,” Sept. 13, 2016.
6. “Pro-Life Defense, Making Your Case,” 2015 Gregory Koukl, Stand to Reason.
7. Scott Klusendorf, “How to Defend Your Pro-Life Views in 5 Minutes or Less.”
9. George Fields, “Why Abortion Kills a Person Even If You Don’t Think the Unborn are People Yet” Jan. 28, 2017.
abortion, bias, false, fraud, indoctrination, left wing, lies, pandering, propaganda, relativism, scandal, video