Today the Center for Medical Progress released a third undercover video of Planned Parenthood staff talking nonchalantly about "procuring" intact organs after an abortion. Typically, the Center (a pro-life fact-finding organization which presented itself to Planned Parenthood as a "tissue procurement" middleman) provides an edited video for sharing on social media, with the unedited or complete footage available on line as well.
There has been a bit of an escalation as we have gone from one video to the next, with the tone becoming (as if that were even possible) more callous and matter of fact about the challenges of modifying a procedure (the abortion) in order to harvest the greatest number of usable organs, and the best approach to handling the "fees" the organization expects for this service to science. Today's video, we are warned, is extremely graphic. I have decided to stick with transcriptions rather than subject my memory to the images of an unspeakable horror.
In this continuing public relations nightmare, Planned Parenthood has attempted several different approaches, typically describing the video producers as violent lawbreakers while apologizing for the insenstive "tone" of the doctors whose frankness about dollars and cents doesn't square with the "caring" image the organization has spent so much money fostering. The reactions to the revelations has also left PP official sputtering that the videographers failed to get signed releases for the filming, and used "deception" to spread "false tissue donation rumors". Since the video released today shows the actual remains of aborted babies, Planned Parenthood even has the gall to accuse the videographers of violating patient privacy (since the mothers did not sign a consent form for their child to appear on camera?). (A press release warned the news media not to make the mistake of putting any of this content on the air, lest they, too, fall afoul of the law.)
Yet I pray that this a "moment of grace" for Planned Parenthood, the way "hitting bottom" is a mysterious moment of grace for an addict. These videos (and those to come) are holding a harsh mirror to an organization that, for decades, has promoted itself as the best friend of modern woman. Hopefully, many of the women who have trusted Planned Parenthood to look out for their best interest are now seeing what the organization really looks out for, and will go elsewhere. Hopefully, many of the women who work for or volunteer at Planned Parenthood will find that their desire to help women in need has been manipulated in favor of the bottom line, and will look for more positive ways to accompany women in need. Hopefully, even the well-compensated hierarchy of Planned Parenthood will feel the first healthy waves of shame that can invite them to re-evaluate the time and mental energy they have devoted to a destructive cause.
Abby Johnson (former director of Planned Parenthood and author of unPlanned) remembers when she was involved in harvesting fetal organs for Planned Parenthood. She helped establish "And Then There Were None," an organization that helps abortion industry personnel transition out of the sickening business. (It's not as easy as saying "I quit!"; people need jobs, but they also need healing.)
Pray also that in some way known only to God, these horrible revelations will provoke a moment of grace in women who, having had abortions at Planned Parenthood, signed forms donating the "tissue" for research. Many of them might have thought that the good of medical research could offset the harm and loss of the abortion itself. The fact that Planned Parenthood coldly calculated just what "fees" it could gain for process and handling their babies' body parts may traumatize these women; it is important that we not only pray for them in this delicate hour, but be very careful of what we say (and how we say it) with regard to women who have had recourse to abortion out of fear, desperation, force or ignorance (an ignorance Planned Parenthood has worked hard to foster).
Read about the mission of "And Then There Were None" in their newsletter archives, and you'll see grace at work. We could be witnessing a moment of grace even now.
Update: Here's a first-hand description of an unlikely moment of grace for one former abortion clinic counselor: http://www.harvestisabundant.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-many-women-did-i-counsel-for-second.html?m=1