Last week, I told readers of the Catholic World Report that we’ve arrived at the pro-life moment. I claimed that “the pro-life movement is on the cusp of the fierce urgency of now. Now is the time to launch a full-scale investigation of Planned Parenthood. Now is the time to defund an organization that already receives over one billion dollars in corporate donations and federal tax dollars every year. Now is the time to demand a ban on late-term abortions.” If I’m right, then we’d better not squander this moment.
To make sure we don’t, here are the first two things we can do right now for the cause of life.
First, we can participate in one of the many #WomenBetrayed rallies that will be taking place this week across the country.
On Tuesday, July 28, pro-lifers around the country will rally together in more than fifty cities to demand that state and federal leaders open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and defund the organization suspected of selling the remains of aborted babies. Several pro-life organizations are coordinating these rallies, including Students for Life of America (SFLA). An official press release on the website of SFLA explains that “The rallies are called #WomenBetrayed because Planned Parenthood has betrayed the very patients – women and their children – [whom] they claim to care about.”
While the demonstrations are part of a response to the Center for Medical Progress’ undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood, they also offer an opportunity to honor one SFLA member, in particular.
Mayci Breaux was a twenty-one year old student at Louisiana State University-Eunice and an active member of her school’s chapter of SFLA. In 2011, she participated in the annual March for Life. Last week, she was shot to death in Lafayette, Louisiana during a movie theater rampage that resulted in numerous injuries and the death of three people, including the assailant. At least one #WomenBetrayed rally will take place in Breaux’s home state of Louisiana.
If you miss the rallies on July 28, consider sharing one of these social media graphics on Facebook or Twitter to promote the cause. Alternatively, you can order one of the free official #WomenBetrayed Action Kits, which include “everything you need to get started defending women and children from abortion and ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood in your town.”
Second, we can demand our elected state and federal officials launch a full-scale investigation into Planned Parenthood.
The rallies taking place around the country this week have been instigated by pro-life groups like the Center for Medical Progress and Live Action.
In 2004, Lila Rose founded the ‘new media’ organization called Live Action. At the time, she was only fifteen years old. Like the Center for Medical Progress, which produced videos featuring Planned Parenthood executives, Drs. Deborah Nucatola and Mary Gatter, Rose’s group has been following the activities of Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood for some time. A website associated with Live Action – Planned Parenthood Exposed – indicates that the organization “has been conducting multi-state investigations of … the abortion industry since 2007.” These undercover “investigations and subsequent public education campaigns have revealed malfeasance, lawlessness, and contempt for human life and safety at all levels of [Planned Parenthood], from the local counselors and nurses all the way up to the CEO’s desk.” Investigative reports produced by Rose and her associates have exposed Planned Parenthood’s deceptive counseling practices, false advertising, cover-up of child sexual abuse, facilitation of sex-trafficking, and performance of sex-selective abortions.
More recently, the Center for Medical Progress unveiled its Human Capital project, “a 30-month-long investigative journalism study … documenting how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted babies.” The project’s website further explains that “Citizen journalists at CMP spent two-and-a-half years logging thousands of research hours to painstakingly gather hundreds of hours of undercover footage, dozens of eye-witness testimonies, and nearly two hundred pages of primary source documents.”
The first two videos in the series featured Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, and its President of the Medical Directors’ Council, Dr. Mary Gatter. In the first video, Dr. Nucatola describes the use of the illegal partial-birth abortion procedure in order to obtain fetal hearts, lungs, and livers. And, critics claim she discusses the sale of the remains of aborted babies for profit. Such sales constitute a federal felony punishable by “ten years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2),” according to the project’s website. The second video shows Dr. Gatter haggling over the prices of fetal remains.
The Center for Medical Progress’ Human Capital project sparked a national debate about Planned Parenthood and its practices. And, in so doing, it prompted state and federal authorities to take concrete steps toward investigating the abortion provider. Currently, three congressional committees and at least eight states are taking a closer look at the abortion rights group. Recently, Republican presidential hopeful and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal directed his State Secretary of Health and Hospitals, Kathy H. Kliebert, to send written questions to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. as part of an investigation.
Despite debates about the investigative techniques of groups like the Center for Medical Progress and Live Action, too much is at stake to fail to investigate Planned Parenthood. Therefore, we should contact our elected officials and tell them that we want these investigations to take their due course. Americans deserve to know what is going on with America’s largest abortion provider.
Both the Center for Medical Progress and Live Action, among other groups, have uploaded to their websites petitions for investigations, making it easy to bring our concerns before the proper civil authorities.