Planned Parenthood Videos – Is This a Wilberforce Moment for the Church?

Why you should see the Planned Parenthood videos and how you can make a difference

Screen shot from the movie "Amazing Grace" (2006) where British politician William Wilberforce, played by Ioan Griffudd, stands on the deck of a slave ship and demands that upscale British society members look at what is going on in the slave trade — and then take action.

By Lael Arrington Published on August 1, 2015

LAEL ARRINGTON — Planned Parenthood supporters are leaning on Congress and the media to kill the story of what’s really going on inside America’s abortion trade. It reminds me of how England’s slave ship owners did not want the British people to see what went on inside the slave ships. We are living in Wilberforce times, no?

William Wilberforce was the British Member of Parliament who led the fight to abolish the slave trade. If you haven’t seen Amazing Grace, the 2006 movie about that struggle, now would be a good time. It is especially a good time to see the scene where Wilberforce has arranged for a pleasure cruise of British lords and ladies to pass by the moored slave ship Madagascar. Watch them recoil at the chains and manacles draped across the stern that had recently bound its human cargo. Imagine the stench as they hold their noses.

Ioan Griffudd as Wilberforce calls out from above the manacles, “I want you to remember that smell … remember the Madagascar … remember, God made men equal.”

Wilberforce and his friends in the Clapham Circle feel compelled by their love for God and each person he created not just to tell but to show the truth about slavery. Thanks to them and the encouragement of Prime Minister William Pitt (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), eventually things change. But only as the public becomes more and more aware of the abominations that are out of sight and out of mind.

Back to the present day. In addition to the Planned Parenthood supporters who want to keep hiding the truth from public outrage and legal investigation, I’ve heard too many conservative newscasters and friends say they do not recommend watching the undercover videos because they’re too graphic. Please don’t follow their advice.

Here’s why: It would be like saying, “Don’t read about the crucifixion of Jesus or the books of Jeremiah, Lamentations or Ezekiel. They’re just too graphic.” The church through the ages has shown that we are a people who can handle the truth. We can confront the darkness and offer grace and hope in the deepest pits of human suffering.

Ours is a tradition of bold, prophetic voices who speak truth to power. We know that sometimes we need to be appalled, shaken out of our apathy and generalized “concern” that does not translate into actions. Actions matter far more to God. We stand in a long line of believers who read scriptures like Proverbs 24 and ask God how he would have us respond:

 Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? (Proverbs 24:11-12)

With these videos we’ve been handed the truth on a platter. It took years of investigative journalism to prepare. It is being served to us by thoughtful pro-life people who have risked much and who are being slandered and threatened with prosecution each day these videos are still available. Just a few days ago a legal attack succeeded in restraining a planned video release. It forced the rush release of another (fourth) video — (see below) — before the window of opportunity might close.

Now is the time not only to admire a man like William Wilberforce, but to be inspired by him. What can we do to end this human suffering?

  • For starters, watch the videos. We have them linked below, together with analysis from editors at The Stream.
  • Then, encourage others to do the same.
  • Stand on the stern of social media and ask passersby to …
    • Remember the callous indifference to discussing the sale of body parts over a glass of wine.
    • Remember the lab dish full of tiny hands and eyes and kidneys and the PP doctor advocating to market it in the best way to see what they can get out of it.
    • Remember, we have all been endowed by our Creator with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Especially the least of us.
  • You can also pray. In your churches. Small groups. Families. Quietly before God. Bring the power of heaven into these unspeakable circumstances here on earth.
  • You can sign the Pro-Life Declaration sponsored by pro-life leaders.
  • You can donate to cover the mounting legal expenses for the under-cover journalists at The Center for Medical Progress.
  • Finally, you can reach out to teens and women in crisis pregnancies. Connect them to Online for Life or local pregnancy centers with life-affirming staff that can help them choose life for their child and obtain the long-term support they need.


It’s so simple. We just have to pluck up our courage. And speak from a gentle spirit and a broken heart so we can invite others to be broken with us over this dismemberment and sale of innocents.

You can also watch the videos on the website of The Center for Medical Progress (here and here). If you are concerned that they may have been heavily edited (as any newscast usually is) you can watch the unedited footage, also available at the Center for Medical Progress site.

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  • Dean Bruckner

    Grew article! This may also be an “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” moment. We hope and pray that it is, and that today’s slavers and murderers in PP and NAF and the Democratic Party will repent and fall upon God’s amazing grace.

  • saa5of5

    Someone needs to do exactly what you suggest: Put that scene from Amazing Grace together with clips from these videos. I am sure permission would be granted. Anyone out there with the skills and a free afternoon!?

  • Dean Bruckner

    Amistad is another heart-breaking movie about slavery, but also suffused with hope.

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