By Bob Allen
Anti-abortion activist David Daleiden said Jan. 21 he believes undercover videos about Planned Parenthood and the procurement of fetal organs for medical research tap into a “cruel paradox” that transcend the abortion debate.
Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, sat down with Southern Baptist Convention ethics czar Russell Moore and Jim Daly of Focus on the Family in the opening session of the first-ever Evangelicals for Life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life in Washington.
“When Jim and I started talking about this a while ago, our burden was to see the reborn stand up for the unborn and for all of those who are created in the image of God,” Moore, president of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told a crowd of several hundred and others watching live on an Internet stream.
Daly, president and CEO of the pro-family organization started in 1977 by psychologist James Dobson, voiced gratitude to “the Catholic community” for faithfully supporting the peaceful protest held in the nation’s capital each January since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade establishing a woman’s right to abortion.
“We think it’s time — Dr. Moore and I — to rally the evangelical community to stand with them in the march,” Daly said.
Daleiden, a Catholic born while his parents were in college and not yet married, described the power of videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress on people regardless of their views of abortion.
“At the heart of the whole baby parts trafficking issue is this really cruel paradox that I can never get over and part of what drove me to do a really specific study on it for two and a half years,” he said. “It’s the fact that unborn children, the human fetus, their humanity is not considered to be equal enough to our own in order to be completely protected by law, in order to be completely protected from being killed by abortion.
“But at the same time it’s precisely that equal humanity and humanity that is identical to our own that makes them so valuable for scientific experimentation and makes Planned Parenthood and researchers hunt after their body parts like buried treasure.”
“I think that contradiction throws the whole world of legalized abortion in America in a really stark way and it highlights that contrast between what some of our deepest values are about human dignity and human equality as people and as Americans,” Daleiden said. “I think it taps into a moral sense that most people have — even if they don’t consider themselves pro-life or don’t consider themselves pro-choice or haven’t really thought about abortion in a very serious, conscious way — I think that these videos are tapping into something very deep and very human.”
Asked by Moore if posing as potential buyers of fetal tissue in order to film the videos amounted to “making morality relative” by using lying and deception, Daleiden said he thinks undercover work is “fundamentally different from lying” because its underlying purpose “is actually to serve the truth.”
“Certainly in normal, everyday life, we don’t always communicate the truth by a simple one-equals-one mathematical sort of equation way of speaking,” he said. “We often use poetry and metaphor and acting and even pretext in order to communicate really important truth in a more clear way.”
“Our Lord did that in the gospels with the parables,” he said. “It’s often done throughout the Scriptures, and so I see undercover work in that same sort of vein, as a creative way of communicating and speaking that is in service of the truth.”
Moore predicted the program, which continues into Friday morning, “is going to be a good time of mutual fellowship, of building one another up with wisdom and with Scripture and with practical principles as to how we can minister to unborn children, to their mothers and to all those who are in jeopardy right now.”
The link to the Evangelicals for Life simulcast is here.