Slate Writer: Planned Parenthood's Actions Are 'Commendable,' Abortion Is An 'Act of Altruism'

In a recent piece for Slate, Mark Joseph Stern argued that the videos released showing Planned Parenthood to be trafficking fetal body parts give him hope. Is it the possible defunding of the organization that gives him hope, you might ask? Nope. Stern opined: “The graphic images of aborted fetuses are meant to disgust me, to convince me that abortion is a barbaric act of killing. But I don’t see death in these videos. I see hope.” Later in the piece, after outlining the supposed medical benefits, he claimed abortion “is not an act of killing. It is an act of altruism.” 

The author also suggested that the cure for ALS “may very well be derived from stem cells taken from aborted fetuses.” Stern said he could not help but “remember that fact when I watch the videos, taken by undercover anti-abortion activists, of Planned Parenthood technicians discussing how to preserve fetal tissue to be donated for research.” 

Stern, in an irritated tone, stated his lack of “patience for those who claim, incorrectly, that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue.” Instead, he has sympathy “with those who feel distress or moral outrage at the sight of an aborted fetus.” Stern described Planned Parenthood’s willingness “to transfer fetal material” as “deeply commendable.”

Relevant portions of the article are below. 

STERN: There is currently no cure for ALS. There will be some day. And that cure may very well be derived from stem cells taken from aborted fetuses.
    
I can’t help but remember that fact when I watch the videos, taken by undercover anti-abortion activists, of Planned Parenthood technicians discussing how to preserve fetal tissue to be donated for research. The graphic images of aborted fetuses are meant to disgust me, to convince me that abortion is a barbaric act of killing. But I don’t see death in these videos. I see hope.

[...]

This research might have been advanced enough to include him if Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush hadn’t banned federal funding for research on fetal tissue from abortions. (The research progressed once Bill Clinton reversed the ban.) More recently, fetal stem cell research has been less controversial than embryonic stem cell research. That may be because fetal stem cells are taken from fetuses that have no more potential for life. Embryonic stem cell research, which generally requires the destruction of the embryo that could theoretically be implanted and develop, has lately drawn much more debate and political attention. Now activists have shifted the attention back to fetal tissue donations, which allows them to show gruesome images of aborted fetuses—a time-worn and very effective anti-abortion strategy.
    
Although I have no patience for those who claim, incorrectly, that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue, I sympathize with those who feel distress or moral outrage at the sight of an aborted fetus. Still, to my mind, a woman’s decision to donate her aborted fetus to medical research—and Planned Parenthood’s willingness to transfer the fetal material—is deeply commendable. No woman is eager to have an unwanted pregnancy, but if she decides to terminate it, Planned Parenthood can help turn her misfortune into a mitzvah. That is not an act of killing. It is an act of altruism.

NB Daily Abortion Media Bias Debate Liberals & Democrats Slate Planned Parenthood

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