To the Mormon Woman Who #StandswithPP: A 10-Point Response (Part 2)

  • Pro-Life Utah
  • 06/03/2018

This is Part 2 of a two-part series responding to the article “I’m a Mormon and I stand with Planned Parenthood #standwithPP." Click here to read Part 1.


In the summer of 2015, Planned Parenthood found itself embroiled in controversy regarding videos that purported to show the selling of fetal tissue. Pro-lifers were horrified and recommitted themselves to working toward an end to abortion, while pro-choice advocates insisted the videos were fake and claimed that Planned Parenthood  is necessary and helps prevent abortions.


Here in Utah, amidst talks of Governor Herbert cancelling federal funds, Planned Parenthood supporters came out in full force. They rallied at the Capitol, showed their solidarity on social media, and were loud and proud in pink. One woman, Crystal Young-Otterstrom, wrote an article on Mormon Press detailing why she as a practicing Mormon supports Planned Parenthood. Specifically, she argues that abortion should be legal even if she herself is personally opposed to it.  


It’s been a few years since this piece was written, but Planned Parenthood of Utah is again in the spotlight, and it’s important to reexamine some of the arguments made in favor of this organization (and in favor of legalized abortion). Here is the second part of our 10 point analysis of why Ms. Young-Otterstrom is wrong:


6. Young-Otterstrom is wrong when she refers to the videos in questions as “heavily edited.”


The videos that caused the storm of controversy were dismissed by the media as “deceptively edited,” but two separate forensic analyses showed them to be authentic:


Coalfire Systems is an internationally recognized digital and forensic company. Their report says that the “recorded media files contained on the flash drive indicates that the video recordings are authentic and show no evidence of manipulation or editing” and that the only footage cut was  “commuting,” “waiting,” “adjusting recording equipment,” “meals,” or “restroom breaks.”


But even Planned Parenthood’s own investigation through Fusion GPS said that their “analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.”


And here it becomes clear why she has written this article. As a board member of Planned Parenthood of Utah’s Action Council, Young-Otterstrom is attempting to do damage control. Utah was not featured in any of the videos put out by the Center for Medical Progress (years later, founder David Daleiden tweeted out that Utah abortion doctors were the only ones who actually scared him), but Planned Parenthood’s reputation had come under serious attack, and its spokespeople tried desperately to restore their name.


7. Young-Otterstrom is wrong about fallopian tube (ectopic) pregnancies.


One of the justifications that the author gives for believing that abortion should remain a legal choice is that two women she knows choose abortion. She recounts that her Young Women’s President had to “abort her fallopian tube pregnancy.” Those familiar with the topic, however, understand that management of an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion. In these sad scenarios, the tube must be removed to save the life of the mother, but this is very different than intentionally killing the growing fetus. It’s also important to note that Planned Parenthood does NOT manage ectopic pregnancies: if they determine via ultrasound that a woman has a tubal pregnancy, they will immediately send her to the hospital.


Some may question whether or not differentiating between ectopic pregnancy management and abortion is simply a game of semantics. After all, the child/ fetus won’t survive in either case, right? Consider the following: you are a lifeguard and witness two people drowning. You only have time to save one person before the other drowns. You did the best you could but were unable to save both. You did not cause anyone’s death. Now consider that you witness two other people drowning. You save one but push the other further underwater. In this case, you’ve spared a life while intentionally ending another.


This philosophy is known as the Principle of Double Effect and it relates to the issue of ectopic pregnancy. The mother’s health is first consideration, but in no case is a child intentionally killed to spare her life.


To learn more about the “health of the mother” issue, watch this interview with former abortion provider Anthony Levatino.


8. Young-Otterstrom doesn’t clarify why abortion should be “rare.”


Early in the piece, the author says she has adopted the school of thought that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. Why does she think it should be rare? Admitting something should be rare is acknowledging that there is something wrong with it.


And is abortion rare at Planned Parenthood of Utah? They first began performing abortions in 2010, and since that time, their market share of abortion has skyrocketed even as the number of abortions in Utah have fallen.


(all data taken from PPAU’s annual reports available here).


9. Young-Otterstrom is wrong that abortion is “safe.”


The purpose of an abortion is to intentionally disrupt the continuum of life. Most people call that killing. An abortion is not deemed successful unless someone dies. An abortion can never be safe for the one being aborted.


But what about the woman?


Was abortion safe for Tonya Reeves, a 24-year old woman who bled to death during a botched abortion in Chicago?


Was it safe for this Colorado woman when Dr. Warren Hern left her baby’s head in her uterus during a late-term abortion?


Was it safe for Holly Patterson, a teenager who died from septic shock following infection related to an incomplete chemical (pill) abortion?


Was it safe when Catherine Glenn Foster changed her mind about the procedure on the table but had four medical staff hold her down and force her to endure an abortion she didn’t want?


“Oh, but those are just anecdotes!” some may say. There are literally hundreds more of these stories (carefully concealed by the abortion industry of course). I wonder how many women have to die or be injured before Crystal Young-Otterstrom thinks there may be a problem with “safe” abortion.


10. Young-Otterstrom is wrong about sex education.


The author asserts that Planned Parenthood prevents abortions by their sex education programs. She cites no sources for this claim.


Monica Cline is a former Title X health educator who explains how Planned Parenthood’s sex education programs were about normalizing promiscuity and creating relationships with young people, who would then become paying clients for birth control and abortion. “Planned Parenthood is very aggressive. They are a sales team. They want to make money, and they want as many customers as possible,” she says.


So what is responsible for the lower rates of teen pregnancy? The CDC reported a longitudinal study showing  that less teens were having sex, NOT that they were practicing what Monica Cline called “risk reduction” that is taught in comprehensive sex education.



Crystal Young-Otterstrom is wrong on every point when it comes to abortion and Planned Parenthood. Her views are inconsistent with the LDS faith and are not representative of the majority of Utahns.



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