The fight for justice for the pre-born targeted for abortion took an unexpected and dramatic turn this summer after shocking undercover videos exploded online that provided hard evidence of the abortion industry’s dirty secret of harvesting and selling for profit the body parts of aborted babies. While the average citizen holds the trafficking of livers, hearts and brains from aborted babies to be a morally grotesque barbaric practice, it is a question whether or not the series of almost a dozen videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) exposing Planned Parenthood’s criminal secret have made an impact on winning human rights, including the right to life, for the pre-born.
The difference between the impact of the undercover videos on pro-life efforts in the U.S. and Canada is as stark as day and night. While the videos have galvanized the U.S. pro-life movement, empowering it to go after the abortion industry’s biggest provider Planned Parenthood, the videos in Canada have been deliberately buried by what Jonathan van Maren of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform told Christian Courier was a well-orchestrated “media blackout.”
In the United States the videos have provided impetus to pro-life politicians spurred on by their grassroots supporters to defund Planned Parenthood. A bill was passed in the House of Representatives in late October to stop the flow of most Federal funds to the abortion giant. But pro-life pundits say the bill will likely be vetoed by pro-abortion President Obama. A few states have made their own legal moves – usually with strong opposition from lawyers and judges friendly to the pro-abortion lobby – to ban state-funding to the abortion organization.
The accusations leveled against Planned Parenthood spurred the formation of a Congressional hearing in September to investigate how the organization spends an estimated $450 million Federal dollars it is granted annually. Committee Chairman of the hearing Bob Goodlatte called the details revealed in the undercover videos “horrors.”
“The conduct exposed by the undercover videos may help inform Congress on how to enact better laws, or to see to it that current laws are better enforced, to help protect innocent life nationwide,” Goodlatte stated during a hearing at that time.
Despite Planned Parenthood vehemently denying the veracity of the undercover videos, telling anyone who will listen that they are “doctored,” the amount of evidence that has piled up against them has proven too much for it to outright deny. Its claim of operating what it called a limited, legal “donation program” for scientific research no longer holds up under the torrential outpouring of revelations released by the CMP.
In the middle of October, Planned Parenthood announced that it would no longer accept payment for body parts of aborted babies delivered to medical researchers. David Daleiden, the man behind the undercover videos, dismissed the move as a “stunt” by the organization to avoid prosecution while retaining massive federal funding. He said the announcement indicated a total “admission of guilt.”
“This only raises more serious questions about what Planned Parenthood leadership has been allowing its clinics to do with money and baby parts, and intensifies the need for Congress to pursue full auditing and oversight of Planned Parenthood’s unaccountable criminal enterprise of baby parts trafficking,” he said at that time.
The content of the videos have proven so damning that the National Abortion Federation fought successfully to obtain a court order to temporarily block CMP from releasing further videos. But this move backfired when on October 22, the unedited raw footage of the blocked videos was leaked allegedly by a high-ranking congressional staffer to the conservative website where it was posted for the world to see. It remains unclear at this point if any further undercover videos remain yet unreleased.
‘Canadian clinics do this too’
It was near the end of July, as Planned Parenthood USA was reeling from the first blows of the undercover videos, that Canada’s own Planned Parenthood organization decided to try and turn the scandal to its own advantage to raise cash for its operations.
“Planned Parenthood Ottawa is suffering,” the organization’s president Lauren Dobson-Hughes posted on its Facebook page at the end of August. “You’ve heard of the recent attacks on women’s healthcare in the States, but we’re feeling the impact too.”
Pro-life Ottawa lobbyist Johanne Brownrigg criticized the organization for running what she called a “brazen fundraising campaign targeting the low information citizen” in the face of mounting evidence showing Planned Parenthood USA’s criminal activity.
A Postmedia News article on August 25 written by Elizabeth Payne – which appeared in various mainstream news outlets across the country – portrayed Planned Parenthood Ottawa in a sympathetic light while failing to mention anything about the illegal harvesting and selling of human body parts that caused the backlash against Planned Parenthood in the first place.
On a different front, Canada’s largest abortion think-tank responded to the scandal by encouraging women to donate their own aborted children for research.
“If you ever need an abortion and would like to donate your fetal tissue towards research, here’s how,” the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada posted on its Facebook page July 23 with a hyperlink to an external source. It added: “Canadian clinics do this too. Everything is handled under strict regulations and ethical guidelines.”
Pro-life groups such as Campaign Life Coalition, the political arm of the country’s pro-life movement, suggested that the pro-abortion group may have been simply “blowing smoke” in an attempt to support its south-of-the-border counterpart. Canadian law is clear on the matter, stating: “No person shall buy, sell or otherwise deal in, directly or indirectly, any tissue, body or body part for the purpose of a transplant or for a therapeutic purpose, medical education or scientific research.”
An investigation led by LifeCanada in August found that Planned Parenthood Canada does not perform abortions, but focuses on delivering what it calls “sexual and reproductive health information and services.” The organization does however, refer for abortion.
Instead of responding to the massive human rights violations and gruesome horrors depicted in the videos – what amounts to front page news material – Canadian mainstream media quietly pretended like nothing had happened. Van Maren told Christian Courier that, consequently, the videos have had little or no impact in Canada.
“Unless you’re reading news from sites like LifeSiteNews, Live Action or other conservative sites like Breibart or Fox, you wouldn’t have heard about the Planned Parenthood videos at all. People who aren’t conservative or aren’t pro-life generally don’t read these news sites and are unaware of what is happening,” he said.
Van Maren said that to his knowledge only two reports mentioning the Planned Parenthood scandal appeared in mainstream media, one in National Post and another in Ottawa Citizen, both lacking detail and context.
“I know the Canadian media has intentionally spiked this story. For the most part, the Planned Parenthood scandal never really escaped this Social Conservative bubble in Canada,” he said.
Pro-life activists are left wondering that if this scandal of butchering babies and pillaging their body parts doesn’t make mainstream news and fatally wound the abortion juggernaut, can anything?
For activists like van Maren, the answer is simply that anyone who wants abortion ended and who owns a computer needs to start sharing the undercover videos with their friends on social media sites like Facebook.
If we want these videos (available at centerformedicalprogress.org/blog) to go mainstream and turn the tide, the number one thing is to share them on social media, he said, adding that it’s something that takes courage.
“For a lot of people, just posting a Planned Parenthood video takes a lot of guts, a lot of courage. They’re really putting themselves out there. But that’s the number one thing someone can do to make a difference. Post the videos so all your pro-choice friends can see what is really going on. That’s what these videos are there for. So, if that’s what we can do, let’s get to it,” he said.