New Pro-Life Sting Videos of Abortion Clinics

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 29 2013 2:20 PM

New Pro-Life Sting Videos of Abortion Clinics

Live Action and Lila Rose pioneered the modern conservative sting video. Like Ryan Grim reported in 2011, the emotional punch of Live Action stings, in which women appeared to be advised on how to terminate pregnancies on the grounds of race or gender, helped motivate Republicans to pass Planned Parenthood defunding bills. And like Grim reported, a key video didn't hold up to scrutiny when you reviewed the full tape.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Live Action has upped its game, releasing a new series of videos—filmed last year—that attempt to prove that callous abortionists are willing to kill born-alive fetuses. This time they've immediately released the raw video from the sting (if you click through, there's plenty of dull footage of a woman waiting to fill out forms while MSNBC rolls "fiscal cliff" news), and put out a transcript.


What was the goal here? Well, the tapes are being released as the Kermit Gosnell trial ends. The goal is proving that other abortion clinics, ones that haven't come under legal scrutiny, harbor the same disregard for life. Judge for yourself, but I don't know if that's proved here. The stinger repeatedly asks Dr. Cesare Santangelo if there's any risk that her late-term abortion could fail, and she'd be stuck with a baby.

"Not here," he says. "No. It could—some people will go into labor before we do the procedure. I mean, technically, you know, legally, we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive. But, you know, it probably wouldn't."

The stinger keeps pushing; Santangelo comes up with a hypothetical. "You delivered before we got to the termination part of the procedure here. Then we would do things—we would not help it. It would be a person, a person that would be a terminal person in the hospital, let's say, that had cancer. You know? You wouldn't do any extra procedures to help that person survive."

Live Action's argument is the Gosnell activists' argument: The doctor is saying a baby that could live wouldn't be kept alive. The cancer patient analogy is exactly wrong; that, I guess, is why Santangelo now says he was "tripped up," and that he was trying to reassure a scared patient. Has Live Action proved anything about Santangelo's actual practice? No. Have they given a boost to the legislators who want to require doctors to give more and more details about the possible viability of their patients' unborn children? Oh, yes.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse

An Unscientific Ranking of Really, Really Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 23 2014 10:30 AM Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 11:34 AM Louis C.K. Crashes a Brad Pitt Interview on Between Two Ferns
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.