You may remember that some time ago a bunch of enthusiastic young pro-lifers did an undercover expose of sorts on abortion providers in the U.S. This involved posing as a woman seeking an abortion, or as a pimp of under age prostitutes seeking abortions for them, and then releasing the embarrassing videos documenting the complicity of abortion providers in providing unethical and illegal services. On other occasions, they pretended to be seeking non-abortion services, such as mammograms, then showing the world that many of the abortion providers in fact do not provide those services.
They problem is they outright lie to achieve these exposes. And they are back at it again, this time showing that abortion providers in the U.S. don’t mind helping people seeking sex-selective abortions to terminate foetuses on the basis of gender. Scarily, comedian Sacha Cohen hits the mark in the post credits of his new movie, where his character asks: “Are you having a boy, or an abortion?”
A lie is, according to the constant tradition and teaching of the Church, always wrong, a sin. I can allow that there are times where it is not a particularly grave sin, or that under pressure or duress our culpability in lying can be significantly lessened, but a lie is always wrong.
Unfortunately, even respected Catholics such as Peter Kreeft now attack this teaching. But here are some good series of articles defending the Catholic teaching on the wrongness of lying by Edward Feser, Mark Shea and Fr Ryan Erlenbush.
But if people who want to lie to fight abortion won’t listen to these solid philosophical and principled arguments, perhaps they will consider this pragmatic argument. If you allow yourselves to lie, and promote that fact, in attempting to make the fight against abortion more efficient, are you not in fact, shooting yourselves (and everyone else) in the foot? How can anyone, pro-life or pro-abortion, accept as true other things you say? If you are going to attempt to be more efficient in the small game, why not consider the effects that has on the efficiency of the big picture?
Sure you might discredit Planned Parenthood, or Obama, or whatever, but you also discredit yourselves, and worse, all the rest of us pro-lifers that live from the honesty and integrity of Jesus.