The founder and executive director of Mercy For Animals, an animal rights group, has written an article in USA Today defending the videos released by The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) exposing Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting business. Nathan Runkle explains that the law shouldn’t be used to “stifle” the CMP videos as has happened through the Los Angeles Superior Court.
As LifeNews previously reported, a temporary restraining order has prevented CMP from releasing footage from meetings with Stem Express, the organ harvesting company that Planned Parenthood sells their aborted babies to.
In July, multiple videos surfaced showing the abortion company’s top executives haggling over the price of aborted babies’ body parts, admitting to altering abortion procedures to procure salable organs and casually discussing ways their doctors can “crush” unborn babies to obtain fully intact parts.
In the USA Today column, Runkle’s defense is persuasive because he explains that undercover investigations are critical for exposing many types of abuses, including animal rights violations. He writes, “Without undercover investigations, sadistic and often criminal acts of animal cruelty on factory farms would go undetected, unaddressed, and unpunished as would major threats to public health and the environment. This is a fact to which Mercy For Animals can attest.”
Runkle believes that those who conduct undercover investigations should do so in an ethical manner; however, he indicates that it is erroneous to say that CMP is acting unethically simply because the footage is edited. He explains, “The Center for Medical Progress has been accused of heavily editing its footage, splicing clips together to bolster what some call a conspiracy theory. Any organization that conducts undercover investigations should expect this; the mere fact that such allegations are made is no surprise at all. But prosecutors, judges and juries aren’t confused by clever editing.” Later he adds that this argument is weak anyway because the unedited footage is available online.
The crux of Runkle’s argument is that undercover investigations need to take place because they “play an important role in a society in which greedy, cloistered corporations reign supreme.” He elaborates, ”They shine a bright light on inhumane practices that most Americans find abhorrent, such as cramming animals into cages so small they cannot turn around, mutilating them without painkillers and slitting their throats while they’re still conscious. Thanks to the dedicated work of whistleblowers, millions of Americans now know what happens behind the closed doors of factory farms.”
Additionally, he gives a few examples of how his organization’s undercover investigations have led to the prosecution of animal abusers. In 2014, Mercy For Animals conducted an undercover investigation at Butterball Turkey and found that newborn birds were being abused. Remarkably, their investigation led to a felony cruelty conviction and caused other groups to adopt animal welfare policies. In total, Mercy for Animals has conducted 40 undercover investigations that have exposed animal abusers and placed those responsible behind bars.
In a society where animal rights are often disproportionally placed above human rights in regards to abortion, it is refreshing that Mercy for Animals is pointing out that CMP’s investigation can be undercover while simultaneously being legitimate.