By disrupting their website, pro-life extremists are preventing the spread of women's health information, not abortion
On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood suffered a cyber-attack in the wake of the release of a series of ‘undercover‘ videos which, apparently, according to varied arguments coming from a wide spectrum of concerned conservatives, indicate a desire, on the part of Planned Parenthood representatives, to collude in profit-making from abortive procedures.
Certainly there are many motivations for human action, however it seems likely that actively misleading staff to the effect that the conversation may lead in a certain direction so as to bring about the unintentionally given impression that abortion is solely to be seen as a business may be a tad disingenuous. To be sure, regulation, transparency, and continued funding provided at a sustainable level seem like the most efficient variables to work on in the interests of creating a lasting and ethical public health practice.
Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood executive vice president, stated that the attack represents “a new low for anti-abortion extremists; 200,000 people a day count on Planned Parenthood’s website for accurate health information […] Blocking people from accessing information on the full range of sexual and reproductive health — including birth control, sexually transmitted infections, healthy relationships, parenting and preventive care — only shows how far opponents of safe and legal abortion will go.”
So, do Planned Parenthood clinics operate like abortion mills? This is a claim often made to induce a specifically confusing mental process in those exposed to it.
Those who are quite sensitive to imaginary scenes based on house-of-horrors-type fetal slaughterhouse gore, generally respond subconsciously as if these are close to being the same thing. In reality, I doubt that a trip to one’s nearest clinic would involve a soundtrack of chainsaws, screams and cackling, abortion-addicted demon women who only seek depravity in all things.
There also seems to be a disconnect, in the current body of social dialogue, between the relative statuses of personal opinion, accepted truth, and acceptable truth with respect to behavior. Personal opinions may be static and may be derived from all manner of subjective life experiences which must include, at a very fundamental level, convincing arguments made to advance one approach or the other to any particular, sensitive issue.
This problem is very similar to one encountered in the continuing debate over the validity of the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage. This is, specifically, that the existence of ‘traditional’ marriages does not negate the validity or possibility for the occurrence of same-sex marriages.
Accepted truth, like that which applies to established patterns of human behavior as derived from biology, works on a social level. In other words, if there is a convincing argument which one cannot refute in terms of logic, then this becomes an acceptable truth in terms of human psychology if it also, simultaneously, validates one as a person in-tune with an objectively valid philosophy which must surpass all others if it is to be objectively valid. This line of thinking is best summed up in the phrase “I am pro-life, therefore abortion is murder.”
Strictly speaking, if one has a pro-life stance, this does not act to dictate definitions to all persons. One could just as easily make any number of seemingly parallel statements, inspired by medieval logic, like, “I am pro-liquid, therefore mercury is a drink.”
Inevitably, progressive interest must reside with the health of the greater public. Depriving persons, who happen to be in need of information, diagnostic services, or other medical counseling, of these things, through the illegal use of offensive force (in the case of the Planned Parenthood cyber attack) amounts to a sinister effort at qualitatively worsening the lives of fellow human beings. Generally speaking, this is a thing which progressives must define as a behavior to be avoided and actively attacked in the dialectical arena.