An Early Choice of Direction
Some folks take up a cause at a young age and astonish with their success. Such is the case with Lila Rose, who recently described her experience in an essay for First Things. Rose began her pro-life group, Live Action, at age fourteen. The source of her inspiration for the direction of the group remains horrifying to hear:
Our idea—to investigate the abortion industry at the ground level—wasn’t new. In 2002 Mark Crutcher, of the pro-life group Life Dynamics, ran a study that surveyed over eight hundred Planned Parenthood clinics and National Abortion Federation affiliates. An actor posing as a thirteen-year-old girl impregnated by a much older man—a rapist—called the facilities. As Life Dynamics recorded these conversations, the group found that over 90 percent of the clinics promised to cover up the rape the girl had suffered and to provide her with an illegal abortion—a plan and procedure unreported to either police or parents. For reasons difficult for most people to fathom, the abortionists took it on themselves to perpetuate the vicious cycle of sexual abuse.
It is indeed “difficult to fathom” the mindset that makes such a benefit of abortion that helping to stop and prevent rapes must become secondary to allowing a child to be born. As Rose found, in her first investigation, rape isn’t the only evil to become tolerable in the name of facilitating abortion:
By phone, James posed as a racist asking whether he could donate to Planned Parenthood for the abortion of a black baby. Like the racism that James acted out, the response to these proposed race-based donations was horrific. No Planned Parenthood employee hung up the phone. All agreed to accept the donation or find a way to do so, and some made understanding remarks about the racism or showed excitement about the race-based donation. In one conversation with a Planned Parenthood office in Idaho, when James said there were “way too many blacks,” the development director laughed and said, “Understandable, understandable.”
To me, the most disturbingly profound aspect of Live Action’s finding isn’t the line that Rose draws from current Planned Parenthood employees to the eugenics supported by its founder, Margaret Sanger, but the way in which a refusal to admit the clear truth about life’s beginnings paints those of a pro-choice mindset into an intellectual corner. I’ve had women who had just explained their support for abortion as a matter of supporting women’s rights and freedom — which they presented as their first principle — turn around and argue on behalf China’s one-child policy. Similarly, “choice” rings peculiarly in the context of cultures that encourage the abortion of daughters, specifically; shouldn’t women’s primary right and freedom be to be born once conceived?
It’s an interesting, sometimes frightening, dynamic in human thinking, and a constant reminder to be aware of cognitive dissonance in one’s own positions.