BY: TIAGO HIRAYAMA
A shocking disclosure of what’s really behind the scenes on the abortion enterprise, Planned Parenthood, turned things up when a courageous group that defends the life of unborn children decided to make a series of videos asking the people who work at the clinic, what is really going on? Planned Parenthood President claims that they provide health care for helpless, mistreated, persecuted, abused women, victims of a man’s chauvinistic society which does nothing to excel the value of females.
After the releasing of such videos, Cecile Richards, President of PP, came out to give a defense for such outrageous monstrosity, and by her own words, highly selective edited videos. Her intentions were clear since the beginning of the interview, to caricature the people behind the cameras as much as possible, so to discredit the videos. However, by doing so, she committed many fallacies on her answers.
GENETIC FALLACY OR AD HOMINEM
In responding the question “are you worried about what they are going show?” (concerning the other videos the group would release) Cecile Richards committed the famous fallacy ad hominem. Instead of answering the clear question made by the journalist, she said: “No, in a sense this has been a three year, well-funded effort by the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement in our country, to try to entrap doctors and doctored videos that it’s all been edited out.” She attacked the group in an effort to discredit them rather than addressing the statements made on the videos.
A TERRIFIC PREMISE
As Cecile Richards continue to attack the people who made the videos she makes an unsubstantiated accusation. She speculates “This anti-abortion movement is behind the bombing of clinics and murder of doctors and their homes and churches.” We have to be careful here; we are dealing with a serious accusation for which there is no proof; How in the world this statement passed with no observation from the journalist? Again, she is trying her best to discredit the group with ad hominem fallacies.
APOLOGY OR CIRCULAR FALLACY
As the interview continues, the Pressman asked other unambiguous questions “Have you apologized for the tone?, Have you spoken to them?” (speaking of the doctors filmed). Surprisingly enough, she said that they did not break any law. Moreover, She responds by boastfully presenting the historical achievements of Planned Parenthood, as if this would give the recognition to not apologize for anything. In other words, Planned Parenthood is great therefore it does not need to apologize.
EMOTIVE LANGUAGE (OR CAUSALITY) AND APPEAL TO PITY
This interview continues in the same tone, the journalist asking questions and Cecile Richards avoiding to answer them by devoting herself to attack the video makers. She also commits the fallacy of Emotive Language when she substitutes facts and evidence with words that stir up emotion, with the attempt to manipulate others into accepting that the videos are fake. Terms such as “sensationalized, most militant wing, highly edited and doctored videos,” displays that attempt. Another fallacy we can find in her argument is the Appeal to Pity, On the claim “one in five women in this country depends on planned parenthood for health care,” as if there are no other options for women.
Near the end of the interview, Ms. Richards states something that is worth noting. She says: “What happens in this country, at planned parenthood and other hospitals is that women in very few places are allowed to donate fetal tissue for life-saving medical research. Research, you know, developing cures for Parkinson, even the Ebola vaccine. To me, this isn’t something that should be criticized or make fun of; this is actually laudable that women and their families choose to make fetal tissue donations. To potentially save lives of other folks.”
Did you notice the words “fetal tissue for life-saving?” How can someone possibly put these two words together? It is a contradiction, for to obtain fetal tissue, they need to harvest from a living organism. In other words, How can you possibly say we kill some to save others? Not only that, this is an extraordinary claim for which there is no proof for it.
ADDRESSING THE FACTS
In the genetic fallacies of ad hominem, an approach of irrelevancy would be the best I believe. In response to her claims, I would just say: that’s irrelevant to the question, what is your evidence to disprove the claims we heard on the videos? She did not present any tangible or substantial proofs against the claims made by the doctors. Similarly, in the circular fallacies, I would just rephrase what she was saying as I did above and then state that the circular reasoning does not prove anything that she just said.
The words used to describe and address the pro-life activists are very well thought, and it falls into the Emotive Language and Causality fallacies. This inconsistency needs to be dealt with by saying that the origin or type of group who captured the doctor’s statements are not relevant to the content of the videos. What is actually relevant here is the facts and evidence to disprove the authenticity of the videos, which she did not present any.
Ms. Richards also uses the Appeal to Pity arguments to stir up emotions on the viewers. In response to her, I would just reply that the fact that women depend on Planned Parenthood for health care does not prove the necessity for such company. Moreover, Women in the United States have a variety of options as far as health care provider is concerned. Finally, the appeal to a percentage of one in five women depending on PP did not answer the question. Therefore, the argument is irrelevant.
As we know, the releasing of the videos did the opposite of its intentions; it created more antipathy towards pro-life defenders. Moreover, The two people behind the cameras are being prosecuted and accused of fifteen different felonies. But, I believe that one loss in the battle should not make us stop our endeavor to defend the helpless unborn babies. Christ Jesus has already won the war on the cross, and one day we will rejoice with those who were killed even before they came out the womb.