Saturday, August 01, 2015

'Delenda Est Carthago': Defund Planned Parenthood

A bust thought to be of Cato the Elder

In the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC, there was a great struggle for Mediterranean dominance between the Roman Republic and Carthage, with three devastating wars fought between the two powers. Cato the Elder (234-149 BC) was a Roman statesman, orator and writer who, toward the end of his life, was obsessed with the fear that Carthage would once again grow into a major power and destroy Rome.

To that end, he ended all of his speeches in the Roman Senate, with the phrase "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" ("Moreover, I consider that Carthage should be destroyed"). The phrase is oftentimes abbreviated as "Delenda est Carthago".

His speech may have been about agriculture, or infrastructure, or commerce, or the latest events in the city of Rome, but he (according to history) always concluded by saying "Carthage must be destroyed." By consistent repetition and determination, he was able to turn Roman opinion to his side, and Rome drew Carthage into a third and final conflict that resulted in the total destruction of Carthage in 146 BC.

I contend that we need a new Cato.

Most of you have probably already seen or heard about the undercover Center for Medical Progress videos showing Planned Parenthood harvesting organs from aborted babies, and selling them. Planned Parenthood claims that they are simply "following the law" -- an argument reminiscent of the infamous 'Nuremburg defense' given by Nazi war criminals ("we were following orders").

The first video showed a senior director for Planned Parenthood munching salad and sipping wine while discussing how "a lot of people want intact hearts these days", how they're getting good at crushing above and below organs in order to get it intact, and hinted that they use partial-birth abortion techniques (which are highly illegal).

The second video showed another senior Planned Parenthood official haggling over prices for fetal tissue, and joking that 'I want a Lamborghini'.

The third video featured a former Planned Parenthood employee discuss, among other things, how her job was to "identify pregnant women at Planned Parenthood who met criteria for fetal tissue orders and to harvest the fetal body parts after their abortions."

The fourth video showed a Planned Parenthood medical director say "I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it", and another staffer dig through freshly aborted body parts while exclaiming "another boy!"

More videos are coming. Planned Parenthood has publicly aired fears that as much as nine hours of recordings may be released.

Planned Parenthood receives over half a billion dollars in federal funding, primarily through Medicaid. Federal law (the Hyde Amendment) prohibits the funding of most abortions, yet giving Planned Parenthood any of my taxpayer dollars for one part of their activity frees up resources for abortions. Abortion is the greatest moral blight in America's history, and funding this atrocious organization in any way is despicable.

As a result of these videos, several states are opening up investigations into Planned Parenthood's practices. Congress plans investigations as well, and legislation has been filed in the House and Senate to officially defund Planned Parenthood. This is all good, but signs are appearing that GOP leadership isn't really committed to following through with it.

The House left for August recess without a vote. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), the chief sponsor of the 'Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015', condemned the move, quoting Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." At least the Senate is going through the motions to schedule a vote, although we'll see if that actually happens.

I am tired of empty promises and vain rhetoric from the Republican leadership in Congress. We've been sold a bill of goods for years about how Republicans are pro-life, and how they're going to do something about it "when we win this coming election", yet time after time they fail to follow through.

We need a new Cato to stand up and shout a modern Delenda est Carthago! from the floor of each respective chamber of Congress.

When Congress returns from August recess, somebody in the House and Senate needs to take to the floor every single day and demand that Planned Parenthood be defunded.

They need to speak on every piece of legislation that comes up in committee or on the floor, and insert that Planned Parenthood needs to be defunded.

They need to amend every piece of legislation in committee or on the floor until Planned Parenthood has been defunded.

Who will be the William Wilberforce of our time, and fight the abortion juggernaut in the halls of power? Who will stand up, carry the banner and fight when no one else will? Who will stand alone and carry the cry until people listen?

If the GOP fails to act on this issue, if they fail to defund Planned Parenthood, if they fail to take a stand, then they deserve a purging the likes of which has never been seen in American history.

Defund Planned Parenthood!

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This post wouldn't be complete without giving suggestions on taking action. It's one thing to read about an issue and agree with it, but it's another to go to the lengths needed to carry that out. Here are some suggestions:

Go here to sign a petition hosted by
Contact your U.S. Representative here, and ask them to defund Planned Parenthood.
Contact your U.S. Senators here, and ask them to defund Planned Parenthood.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Jamison. Excellent piece. Bonhoeffer had it exactly right. These practices must be stopped, and the Federal government ought to decouple itself from this organization.


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