Papers in Progress Discussion

A discussion related to Jack Carlson’s project, “Slaughter, Lies, and Videotaper: Live Action’s Exposé of Planned Parenthood,” will take place Friday, Nov. 4, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Dowling Hall / Humanities Center, room 212.

About the discussion: The elimination of public funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, long has been a goal of the pro-life movement. This past year a new-and morally controversial-tactic has emerged, specifically within the group “Live Action.” Representatives have visited Planned Parenthood offices and represented identified themselves as pimps and prostitutes who, among other things, employ underage sex-workers now in need of abortions. Planned Parenthood personnel have been videotaped responding with suggestions as to how to avoid legal sanctions (e.g., against sex-trafficking) in various jurisdictions. Tapes and transcripts of the visits have been released-resulting in a call, in some cases successful pending judicial appeal, for a de-funding of Planned Parenthood. But is this tactic, which involves knowing misrepresentation if not outright lying, morally acceptable? Proponents of the pro-life movement, including Catholic philosophers and theologians, have disagreed about this question. Carlson offers a discussion in light of entries from his forthcoming work, Words of Wisdom: A Philosophical Dictionary for the Perennial Tradition (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012).

Copies of the full essay are available in the philosophy department or from Carlson at [email protected].