Saul Alinsky was an important thinker on the American Left, and his writings have in influenced some of the most powerful figures in the Democratic Party. Where did he get many of his ideas from?
In an interview with Playboy magazine, the author talked about befriending Depression-era mobsters, stating that he “learned a hell of a lot about the uses and abuses of power from the mob, lessons that stood me in good stead later on, when I was organizing.” According to Alinsky, “The most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired results.”
These “most effective means” were summarized in a 1971 book called Rules for Radicals. It contains a list of 12 political strategies, along with advice on how to apply them. Many pro-lifers have avoided the book because it promotes a fundamentally amoral approach. Well that, and the fact that Alinsky gives a shout-out to Lucifer on the second page.
Now to be clear, I’m definitely not on board with praising the Prince of Darkness. Further, I don’t think that we should, as Alinsky suggests, “go after people” and make them “hurt.” However, there is wisdom in some of what he advocates, like recommendation number four: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
An organization that’s shown to consistently break its own rules becomes suspect and loses credibility. This has some important implications when it comes to abortion. After all, if you’re looking for flagrant rule breaking, then America’s largest abortion provider offers plenty of examples.
According to Planned Parenthood, their supreme rule is “Care. No matter what.” Obviously, it doesn’t apply to the over 300,000 lives that the group ends every year. Rather, the declaration is supposed to sum up how it treats their mothers. If Planned Parenthood’s track record is what “care” looks like, then I would hate to see their idea of being callous.
On multiple occasions, the group has helped predators to stay out of jail by aborting the evidence of their crimes. That doesn’t just happen inadvertently, as Live Action has produced undercover footage of Planned Parenthood staff telling an underage girl to lie about her abuser’s identity when seeking an abortion. Other videos shot in multiple states tell a similar story.
The group Life Dynamics has also recorded telephone calls to Planned Parenthood clinics from a woman claiming to be 14 and pregnant with her adult boyfriend’s child. Hundreds of times, staff were willing to arrange an abortion that would keep the abuse hidden and allow it to continue.
Planned Parenthood doesn’t always put much care into the facilities they offer, either. The group had Dr. Timothy Liveright preside over its Wilmington, DE clinic despite a history of allegations against him. According to staff, the facility was run like a “meat market,” with nurses Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich and Joyce Vasikonis testifying at a state legislative hearing that unsterilized instruments and bloody tables were the norm. Dr. Liveright subsequently relinquished his license to practice medicine in Delaware. He was later hired by a Planned Parenthood affiliate in California.
And then there’s the “care” that Planned Parenthood shows to human trafficking victims. In January, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) put forward legislation to crack down on human trafficking. Known as the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, it would put money taken from convicted traffickers into a fund for the benefit of their victims. I say “would” because thanks to Planned Parenthood and its allies, the bill hasn’t passed.
Why would they oppose the law? Apparently because it won’t bring them more business: it contains a provision baring the fund from paying for abortions. And indeed, some of Planned Parenthood’s employees have shown a real eagerness for taking on new clients. In 2011, clinic director Amy Woodruff was caught offering to set up abortions on child prostitutes who “can’t speak English” and “won’t know what’s going on.”
Alinsky said that whereas Machiavelli’s The Prince was a guide “for the Haves on how to hold power,” his own book was “written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.” Today, Planned Parenthood has no shortage of power. Every year, it receives over half a billion in federal tax dollars and commands significant influence on Capitol Hill.
You can help change that by signing Live Action’s online petition demanding an end to its funding. You can also tell your elected representatives to support the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. Because after all of its rule-breaking, Planned Parenthood deserves some consequences. Meanwhile, its victims could use some justice.
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