As you probably know, today Planned Parenthood faced the latest of 4 videos accusing them of selling body parts of aborted babies.
CNN put out an article on the 4th video, which I read and angrily posted with snarky remarks.
But, then I considered: I don’t want to be written off because I say things in haste or anger and do not think them through.
So two minutes after posting it, I deleted it, because being civil in public discourse is really important to me. I try very hard not to vilify my interlocutors and I weigh their points. I have actually been convinced of my opponent’s point in a few Facebook conversations! I truly value the dialogue we can have when we treat each other fairly and have open discussion. Many of my Facebook friends engage me on different points, from political nuance and policy to religious specifics.
So I am curious why so many of my friends, those who are normally so outspoken about justice and righteousness, have been quiet about the goings-on revealed by the videos of Planned Parenthood doctors.
Are you cautious about saying something hastily and alienating friends who hold staunch views about abortion rights?
Are you afraid that whatever you say will be misconstrued as ignorance or closed-mindedness?
I have had these fears, too.
But when we fail to speak out against injustice, we are guilty of being accomplices. Sometimes, when we say nothing, it matters more than if we say something poorly.
Everyone who knows me is clear that I am no fan of Planned Parenthood. When I post things about abortion or PP, I try to use reputable news sources and not pro-life sites alone. I try to be responsible in fact-checking. I hope that others do the same.
My thoughtful, freedom-loving liberal friends, there are suggestions (and possibly evidence?) that Planned Parenthood is trying to suppress the release of the investigative journalism that has yielded the videos. This is not responsible citizenship. Censorship is never okay. But I am not hearing you speak out against it like you normally do!
Social and cultural critic Camille Paglia nails the problem in an interview for Salon:
“When the first secret Planned Parenthood video was released in mid-July, anyone who looks only at liberal media was kept totally in the dark about it, even after the second video was released. But the videos were being run nonstop all over conservative talk shows on radio and television. It was a huge and disturbing story, but there was total silence in the liberal media. That kind of censorship was shockingly unprofessional. The liberal major media were trying to bury the story by ignoring it. Now I am a former member of Planned Parenthood and a strong supporter of unconstrained reproductive rights. But I was horrified and disgusted by those videos and immediately felt there were serious breaches of medical ethics in the conduct of Planned Parenthood officials. But here’s my point: it is everyone’s obligation, whatever your political views, to look at both liberal and conservative news sources every single day. You need a full range of viewpoints to understand what is going on in the world.”
Conservative or liberal, we cannot ignore these videos and the accusations they bring.
Speak out. Call for an investigation of these practices. Don’t let fear cage you in and make you be inconsistent with your vision of truth for the world.