The latest video against Planned Parenthood has surfaced, this time exposing the confiscation of baby parts without the mother’s consent. A normal commentator might chose to highlight the fact that Planned Parenthood’s denial of a mother’s choice over her baby’s remains betrays the foundation of the “pro-choice” movement. However, Meg Mott of the Huffington Post decided to lament the fact that these videos have transformed the discourse of abortion from a debate about women’s rights into a “ghoulish spectacle.”
Mott, a "gender studies" professor, begins her lament by pining for the days of Roe v. Wade when “protecting women's reproductive rights was understood as a means to ensure women's equality.” Mott claimed that the once reasonable discourse between the pro-life and pro-abortion factions has been silenced by a “spectacle” in which,
On the one side, there is the unprotected fetus, abandoned by its host. On the other side, there is a merciless corporation, trafficking in human flesh. It's no wonder that Democratic presidential candidates are not running to Planned Parenthood's defense. The sting video sets a stage on which no arguments can be made.
Apparently, Mott couldn’t bother with a quick Google search. Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders had came out in defense of Planned Parenthood, saying, “I think a lot of this attack…comes from people who simply do not believe that a woman should have a right to control her own body. That's the motive."
In any case, who or what, according to Mott is responsible for this attack on this supposed reasonable argument for abortion?
No, it’s not morality. It’s not the pro-life movement. It’s Neoliberalism.
“A key component of this theory is that…[t]here is no recognition of social groups requiring special laws to ensure their participation in the public sphere.…Without groups as a recognizable political category, there are no arguments to be made for access to abortion or, for that matter, affirmative action programs...the poor and disenfranchised are merely a random set of actors who must have made poor choices. Just like the pregnant mother working two jobs to take care of her three kids, these random individuals only have themselves to blame…What had been a public matter, worthy of passionate and reasonable deliberation, has been reduced to a private concern in an uncaring market… If you find yourself with an unwanted pregnancy, you lose.”
Mott has apparently not looked out her window since 1973. She seems ignorant of the fact that the pro-life movement has primarily used moral, rather than economic arguments to make their case against abortion. Finally, there were groups, such as the Catholic Church, who were vocal critics of abortion long before this supposed “neo-liberal” revolution.
Mott then goes into a defensive rant about the real menaces to our society:
What's striking about the most recent video is that the "sting" involves making Planned Parenthood fit the bill of a ghoulish profit-driven corporation, as if no other U.S. corporation trades in human misery.
In fact, the real ghouls behind the scene are the policy makers…who have defunded Head Start, public transportation, Section 8 housing, and have held up precarious jobs in the fast food industry as meaningful work for parents. The real traffickers in human misery are the state legislatures who put fathers in jail for drug crimes and who reduce the political participation of a large portion of the population through felony disenfranchisement. Rather than eliminate the conditions that make many abortions necessary, neoliberal policies have intensified those very conditions and then blamed pregnant women and abortion providers for being too profit-driven.”
Naturally, she never considers the fact that if Planned Parenthood never confiscated baby parts and sold them like products, there would be no sting videos to begin with. If there is anything that makes them appear “ghoulish” it’s their own actions.
Exactly how do fast-food jobs, poor public transportation, drug law enforcement and lack of ballot box participation necessitate the extinguishing of human life via abortion? How many have got an abortion because of voter suppression? How could you possibly know if they did?
Finally, Mott closes her rant by lamenting:
Right now the only category of people recognized under neoliberalism is the group known as fetuses. It says something about the state of our politics that the only recognizable category is composed of proto-beings, beings who cannot act and therefore cannot be held responsible for their failures. The only social group worthy of protection is the one which cannot rebel against inhumane policies.
If Planned Parenthood is looking for a defender in the press, they might want to reject Mott’s audition. It does little to put a happy face on their actions.