Cecil, Cecile, and a Calloused American Culture

Timothy Tardibono - Monday, August 24, 2015
By now, most Americans, maybe even most humans on the face of the planet, know who Cecil the Lion was.  In a matter of a few hours, the world was made aware of the loss of Cecil in Zimbabwe to a dentist from Minnesota who shot him in what was called a hunt. As the facts of the hunt were revealed, potential illegalities mounted. Because of the legal investigations that are occurring on both sides of the Atlantic, Mr. Palmer’s $55,000 trip is about to get much more expensive.
What would normally be an obscure story of an unsportsmanlike hunt across the ocean, captured the world’s attention and sparked all manner of outrage, petitions, and social media mayhem.  Some protesters going as far as calling Mr. Palmer a “poor excuse of a human being” and that he should “rot in hell”, be hung, or left alone in Cecil’s game preserve to nature’s ravages.  His dental practice’s reputation has been attacked online and Mr. Palmer has gone into hiding.

However, most Americans, and certainly most inhabitants of the planet, don’t know who Cecile is. Cecile Richards is the President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).  Like Mr. Palmer, Ms. Richards finds herself trapped in a scandal but not about the death of a lion, but about the death of pre-born babies and the sale of their baby body parts by her organization.

Recent videos show PPFA officials discussing the “less crunchy” medical tactics to use in abortion and ways to “crush below” or “crush above” the baby’s body parts that are to be sold. Ms. Richards’ immediate response was to issue a statement in which she admits that the PPFA officials used a “tone” that did not show the level of “compassion” PPFA expects for its patients—presumably not the babies being crunched and crushed. But more videos were released that reveal that compassion is exactly what Cecile and Planned Parenthood need.

Another video shows a freshly aborted 11.6 week pre-born baby being dissected in a medical dish as internal organs are identified and financial costs discussed. This is after one of PPFA’s medical staff states “It’s a baby.” After PPFA medical staff dissect a 12 week pre-born baby they identify him as “another boy.” Yet another video shows a PPFA official talking about how the sale of baby body parts can lead to a “diversification of revenue streams” for her Planned Parenthood facility.

While arguments continue about whether taxpayer funds are best utilized going to an organization like PPFA that seems to be guilty of trafficking baby body parts, this scandal should give Americans time to pause to reflect on important societal questions like:

Has America’s cultural conscience become so calloused that big game hunting in other countries is more shocking than the crushing, dismembering and sale of innocent, pre-born human life?

Or: If we are outraged by potentially illegal animal killing in a foreign country, when do Americans re-open the discussion as to when a pre-born human life is worthy of legal protection?

Maybe the harsh, divisive political battles over pro-life vs. pro-abortion positions and the constant “gotcha” questioning of candidates on abortion has made Americans callous to the humanity forming and growing inside a mother’s womb and the plight she faces in even considering terminating her baby’s life in the first place. Yet, the Planned Parenthood videos graphically highlight what we already know: that as early as 12 weeks gestation the baby has toes, fingers, a beating heart, brainwaves, and can respond to stimulus. We also now know that Planned Parenthood sells the baby’s human body parts in both the first and second trimester while cashing in on the monetary benefits of abortion as an industry.

Medically, the way to remove a hardened callus is to gently trim away the dead skin or use a moisturizing cream to soften the skin and allow it to heal back to its normal, healthy condition. Perhaps, this unlikely intersection in the news of Cecil the Lion and Cecile the Planned Parenthood President can serve as an American wake-up call to soften the calloused view of what a baby in the womb really is.  As Nelson Mandela said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

If you would like to do more please consider the following:

Prayer—Pray that the conscience of Americans would be softened to the humanity of pre-born babies and the risks to their mothers. For specific guidance on how to pray, please review this blog post from our friends at Bound4Life:

Become aware—To watch the videos, visit here. Warning—at times the videos can be extremely graphic as aborted babies are shown. Despite the graphic content, awareness can be an important first step towards action to protect pre-born babies and their mothers.

Support—Oklahoma’s Pregnancy Resource Network provides support and assistance to those going through an unplanned pregnancy. Learn more about Pregnancy Resource Centers in your area and prayerfully consider how to support them.

Oklahoma Pregnancy Resource Network:

Take action—Our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom have developed a resource page where concerned Americans can take action through petitions, etc.

Timothy Tardibono is the President of the Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma. FPIO is a non-profit, non-partisan research and education organization with the goal of protecting families and strengthening communities to improve the well-being of Oklahoma’s children and families. 

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