Sean McDowell | August 26, 2015

What is the Planned Parenthood Debacle About? Cold Hard Cash

What is the Planned Parenthood Debacle About? Cold Hard Cash

For the past few weeks, the Center for Medical Progress has released a number of disturbing videos that reveal how Planned Parenthood has been dealing body parts of aborted fetuses. Rather than defending the practice, supporters have tried to avoid the real subject, claim the videos have been edited, personally attack pro lifers, and suggest that defunding Planned Parenthood would actually increase abortions. This, of course, is nonsense.

There is a question, however, that I want to briefly address in this post: What is at the heart of the Planned Parenthood debacle? How could people defend such a barbarous practice such as slicing through the face of a baby to preserve its brain?

The best way to answer this question is to look at a larger issue that drives many of the injustices we see today. In his recent book Onward, Russell Moore shows how the culture of death is motivated by one key factor—money. Moore is not speaking specifically of the Planned Parenthood videos since Onward was written before the videos were released. But in light of the expressed desires of the Planned Parenthood director to have a Lamborghini for buying and selling aborted baby body parts, his insights nevertheless seem prophetic:

Joined to this cultural confusion about the meaning of humanity is something else: cold, hard cash. The slaveholders’ wicked regime was about trafficking persons for their own economic benefit. Jim Crow likewise was built off of a planter regime that wanted to use persons for economic power. The trafficking of girls and women around the world is motivated by the profits of pornographers and prostitution cartels. Militarism is driven, often, by the profits that can be attained by weapons manufacturers and others. And the abortion culture uses the thoroughly American consumerist language of “choice” and “empowerment,” but what’s at stake are billions of dollars. The culture of death is sustained by more than simply the penumbra and emanations of an old Supreme Court decision. That’s why, despite their talk of adoption as a “choice,” the abortion industry hardly ever leads women through an adoption process relative to how often they promise them the “fix” of a “terminated pregnancy.

We shouldn’t be surprised by any of this. Money and power, abstracted from the kingship of Christ, always lead to violence. Pharaoh ordered the execution of the Hebrew children because they threatened his pyramid-scheme economy in the elite “1 percent” of the ancient world. Herod carried out the same decree because he wanted to protect his kingship, a kingship that carried with it the generous financial support of the Roman Empire. No one, Jesus told us, can serve both God and Mammon. In saying this, Jesus personalized money in a disturbing way. When capital becomes god it is no longer merely something but someone. The demonic force of rapaciousness so distorts the soul that, when it is threatened, someone is going to be exploited and someone is going to die (p. 148).

For a further post that makes this same point, see the recent article by Father Frank Pavone, “Planned Parenthood’s Collision Course.”

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University. He is a best-selling author of over 15 books, and is an internationally recognized speaker. He also teaches part-time high school classes on theology and worldview. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell or at his blog:

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, a best-selling author, popular speaker, and part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell, TikTok, Instagram, and his blog: