What is happening right now with the Planned Parenthood videos is a “William Wilberforce moment” in our culture. Wilberforce was the Christian man who looked into his Bible, saw that racism and slavery were evil reverse-images of the gospel, and dedicated his life to accomplishing what seemed culturally and politically impossible in late-1700’s Great Britain: the abolition of the slave trade. In a decisive moment that now lives in history, Wilberforce once commanded the floor of British Parliament for over three hours doing nothing but reading gruesome horror-stories of the African slave trade to the men that politically protected its continuation and then concluded with this sentence…
“You may choose to look away, but you can never say again that you did not know.”
– William Wilberforce
On his deathbed in 1833, after a lifetime of being told abolition was impossible, he received word that parliament had passed the Slavery Abolition Bill, granting freedom to all slaves in the British Empire.
In the last three weeks, videos of Planned Parenthood officials (the organization that performs over 40% of our nation’s abortions) harvesting and selling the body parts of dismembered infant corpses have surfaced to national outrage. See them HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. Rumors are there are 8 more to come. In a nation that has been legally pro-abortion for ~40 years, why are these videos now causing such outrage? Because the reality of what abortion obviously is (the killing of a human infant) is being non-ignorably thrust into our faces. This is our William Wilberforce moment: the stories have been viscerally told and people may choose to look away, but nobody can ever say again that they did not know. A few quick, bulleted reflections from watching the events of the last three weeks…
1. This is not a political issue. Christians have historically been politically confusing. Embedded into our souls is a deep care for the poor, racial reconciliation, and love for the immigrant and sojourner – issues typically politicized as progressive. Also embedded into our souls is a belief in the sanctity and definition of marriage, value of the unborn, and sexual ethics – issues typically politicized as conservative. Christians don’t oppose abortion because it’s a political issue, but because it’s a critical moral issue.
2. A gospel issue. Abortion is the evil reverse-image of the gospel. Instead of “I’ll die for you“, it says, “You die for me.”
3. “Women’s rights.” Abortion advocates have long justified abortion by framing it in terms of women’s rights. One thing these videos are doing is making that defense seem childishly naive at best, intentionally deceptive at worst. A person can now point to video #3 and say, “What about the rights of the woman laying dismembered in a pie dish?”
4. “It’s just a clump of cells.” Abortion was legalized in 1973 before any technology that gave a clear look at the child inside the womb. “It’s just a clump of cells” was the lie we were told and we believed it because we wanted to believe it. It was so soothing to a screaming conscience: we’re not killing infants, we’re just removing clumps of cells. After these videos, no one can ever say this again with a straight face. “Clumps of cells” do not have organs that can be harvested to save human lives. Lab technicians don’t point at “clumps of cells” and exclaim, “Another boy!”
5. “These babies are just like organ donors.” No they’re not. Organ donors get to *choose* to be organ donors after their natural deaths. They are not killed without their consent to be chopped up to harvest their organs.
6. The label “extremists”. Planned Parenthood – in sheer terror at the national outrage – is trying to frame opponents as “extremists”. This is increasingly comical for two reasons. First, an estimated (and growing) HALF of our nation believes what Planned Parenthood is doing is wicked. Second, Planned Parenthood’s abortion policy would be illegal in 93% of the world. So… who’s the extremist?
7. “My body, my choice”. Again, these videos expose this statement as absurd. “No, it’s not just YOUR body. What about THAT body? The one being crushed, chopped up, and sold like an episode of Dexter?”
8. Equal Rights. As John Piper has pointed out, abortion advocates use the exact same logic that was used to justify race-based, colonial slavery. As a nation, we’ve said, “We shouldn’t treat black as less than white.” We’ve said, “We shouldn’t treat gay as less than straight.” What is keeping us from saying, “We shouldn’t treat small people as less than large people?”
9. Planned Parenthood’s racist eugenicist origins. Some quotes from Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, who wanted to unleash abortion on minority (primarily black) communities to weed out “inferior races”, producing a “cleaner race”…
We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population
We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.
I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan… [Afterward] a dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered.
The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.
We explained no matter how early [abortion] was performed, it was taking a life.
Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.
Give dysgenic groups [people with “bad genes”] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization.
10. #UnplannedParenthood. My family’s story: A teenage girl got pregnant, knew she couldn’t afford the baby, but made the decision to give birth and place for adoption. She gave us the joy of our lives: precious, vibrant Eliana. #UnPlannedParenthood