Fact-checking veracity stew on Live Action sting

Ad hominems and unsubstantiated assertions.

In a May 30 article entitled “Lila Rose Lies About Planned Parenthood, Part Deux,” the author makes a haphazard attempt to apply the fifth rule from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to Live Action’s latest undercover sting on Planned Parenthood.

“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.” – Rule 5, Rules for Radicals, by Saul Alinsky

The article’s author Beth would do well to note that baseless ridicule may be quickly disregarded. Instead of infuriating the opposition, it will rather confirm that she is turning to ad hominem attacks as a last resort.

Reading the article, one would wonder if the name of the blog (Veracity Stew) couldn’t do with some improvement. Veracity is defined as “commitment to accuracy.” Ironic, then, that this headline should be above an article drenched in inaccuracies and trite rhetoric.

Beth launches out in her article, citing Live Action founder Lila Rose as “the pro-life movement’s favorite little liar and manipulator.” However, she fails to provide any grounds for this statement. She then focuses on the video, referring to it as “a hot mess of slick propaganda, “with anxious, melancholy music and shaky camera shots, along with emotionally manipulative images of fetuses in the womb.”

Music is relatively subjective – I found the music used in the video suitable for a documentary such as this. However, I can understand an advocate of legal abortion suffering feelings of anxiety and melancholy as she watches this undercover footage of her own side engaging in unethical behavior and corruption.

Of course the camera shots are shaky. This isn’t a big-budget blockbuster; this is a tiny camera attached to the undercover-investigator’s body. No fancy cinematography here – just cold, hard video evidence.

Beth then decides that showing images of prenatal development is emotionally manipulative. Again, no grounds are given for this claim. How can more information be a bad thing, let alone emotionally manipulative? Perhaps if Live Action had photoshopped the images, Beth would have a case – although then she’d be guilty of hypocrisy, really, considering that she did the same thing to a photo of Lila Rose – the featured image in her article…

Then we are provided with “proof” that sex-selection abortion is not a problem in the United States. Coincidentally, this “proof” is courtesy of Planned Parenthood’s research arm, the Guttmacher Institute. The statement from Guttmacher (in response to the Prenatal Nondiscrimation Act) provides no assurance that sex-selection abortions are not taking place in America. It does however, reveal Planned Parenthood’s true concern with the bill:

In February, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation to ban sex-selective abortions. Among other actions, the bill would allow criminal prosecution of health care providers who perform such abortions, and of medical and mental health professionals who do not report suspected violations of the law. It would make no exceptions to save the life or health of the mother, or to allow for medical, sex-linked reasons for an abortion.

Whereas the research shows that sex-selection abortion in the U.S. is in fact an issue that needs to be tackled. U.S. census data and national vital statistics show that indeed, sex-selection is a growing problem in America. Americans are employing sex-selection techniques in their reproductive decisions. Professor Abrevaya’s review of census and birth records showed that Americans have sex-selected thousands of baby girls.

The article concludes with the following statement:

[M]ake no mistake, this is … meant to demonize and shame women for the unspeakable right of having sovereign control of their bodies[.] … I am a sovereign human being, with “supreme authority” over my own body, fully capable and empowered to make my own decisions.

Beth is incorrect on her first point. The pro-life movement’s call for an end to sex-selection abortion is for the purpose of restoring human rights to all women, born and pre-born. However, I wholeheartedly agree with her on her second point. Women are indeed sovereign human beings with “supreme authority” over their own bodies, and fully capable of and empowered to make their own decisions. Though it should go without saying that my right to make a decision is contingent on whether or not that decision would affect another person. And because the pre-born child is a unique and separate person, there is no “right” to abortion.

In a previous article covering the news that Planned Parenthood suspected an upcoming sting, Beth wrote:

A second “sting operation” sh*t storm is the last thing Planned Parenthood needs at this time.


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