A fifth undercover Planned Parenthood video has dropped, and at this point the criminality is almost becoming old hat: we know now that Planned Parenthood is regularly and happily breaking the law, that it views baby body parts as “a matter of line items,” that it violates federal law as a routine matter of course in order to make as much money as possible from butchered babies. No doubt Planned Parenthood will insist that the videos are “heavily edited;” then after a few days they’ll insist that it’s all a politicized misunderstanding; then they’ll assume enough time has passed that they can bring out the “heavily edited” canard again. Cecile Richards will have one heck of a time spinning this from whatever eastern European asylum country she’ll eventually be holed up in.
It is now, as it has been for the past forty-plus years, a question of what we are going to do about it. The criminalization of abortion must be the endgame, but in the meantime we must also ask ourselves what else we can do. In our political discourse, there is a very powerful and very inexplicable tendency to call for “moderation” on the issue of abortion, as if the subject of murdered babies can possibly brook any moderate stance whatsoever. You’re either for it or against it. If you’re against it, then the Planned Parenthood videos provide ample evidence that legalized abortion is not compatible with a civilized, law-abiding society: it’s killing babies, and it will apparently create a market in dead baby body parts, and as these videos show, it doesn’t matter how many laws you pass: if people want murdered baby liver and heart, they’ll get murdered baby liver and heart.
So, the question as it stands is: what are we going to do about it? I am aware of the practical limitations of divesting Planned Parenthood of taxpayer funding—it will not make abortion illegal, after all—but just the same, it’s a good place to start. Planned Parenthood is primarily a non-unique establishment offering non-unique services that can be found at many, many other medical centers and clinics. There is no reason to funnel half a billion taxpayer dollars into an organization whose only distinctive business function is infanticide. But how will we go about defunding this monstrosity? It won’t be easy:
[U]nlike other political dramas that fade after a vote or two in Congress to satisfy outraged lawmakers and activists, the Planned Parenthood storm has the potential to gather oxygen and suck in everything around it — up to and including this fall’s debate to fund the government.
Here’s a step-by-step look at how the Planned Parenthood debate could conceivably shut down the government…
Normally I would be loath to recommend this kind of parliamentary tactic: when Republicans tried this in the past, it did not work out for them in the slightest and indeed ended up being counterproductive. But now I’d say it’s worth going for. If you’re not going to shut down the government over profiteering baby-murderers, what are you going to shut it down for? Put the Democrats on the defensive: have them explain why they want to shut down the government over a criminal organization that sells the body parts of dead boys and girls to the highest bidder. It will admittedly be extraordinarily difficult to pull this off: the media is very happy to carry water for the Democrats during such times, and they’ll be eager to dust off the grandma-might-not-get-her-Social-Security-check-because-of-Republicans meme if given half a chance. No matter: grandma will still get the check, and if Republicans play it right—a big “if,” but still possible—they can show the country that the Democratic Party is literally the party of infanticide, and that it prefers legal, taxpayer-sponsored baby-killing over a functional government.
This tactic will win favors for no Republicans whatsoever. But that’s not the point, and it never has been. Dead babies should not be subject to the tenets of a popularity contest; dead babies demand action, and they demand it no matter what the political cost. If Democrats want to put up a fight about this, Republicans should give it to them, happily; we should all be so lucky as to fight on behalf of unborn children. Defund Planned Parenthood. If necessary, bring on the shutdown.