This all sounds to me like the argument over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Clearly the Vatican itself during World War II issued fraudulent baptismal certificates to Jews and hid them in cloistered convents and monasteries. They did not require them to be baptized. How was that not a direct deception? Were those hiding Jews from the Nazis or English householders hiding priests from Queen Elizabeth's henchmen required to answer "yes" when asked if they had Jews or priests in the house? "Oh, yes, they're upstairs hiding behind the false wall in the bedroom." How would the two theologians address that situation? Today as then real lives are at stake.
I worked for eight year at a crisis pregnancy center with an ambiguous name that many called "deceptive" because we withheld information from women phoning for abortion appointments. We never told a direct lie but we were well aware that we were misleading women. If a woman called seeking an abortion we never told her we didn't do them we just evaded the question. A phone call might go like this.
Woman: Hi, can you tell me how much your abortions cost?Most women made appointments and we saved about half the babies in danger of abortion. Some counselors were uncomfortable with the mental reservation so we had an in-service with a priest who talked about truth. Not everyone has a right to the complete truth. Withholding information can certainly be morally licit in particular cases. The obnoxious neighbor who calls Mom three times a day has no right to know that she's home. Saying "She's not here (for you)," is perfectly legitimate. In fact, there was a day when people "paid calls" and sent up their cards. Getting word back from the butler that no one was home didn't mean they weren't physically there. It meant they weren't receiving callers.
Counselor: When was your last period? Have you had a pregnancy test?
Womn: I'm three weeks late and I took a home test and it was positive.
Counselor: Why don't you come in. About half the women we see aren't pregnant. We use a very accurate medical test. We'll do the test and have you speak to a counselor.
Woman: How much is the abortion?
Counselor: An abortion can cost anywhere from $250 on up depending on how far along you are and whether there are any complications. But we have lots of ways of financially assisting. Why don't you make an appointment and come in and talk to one of our counselors and we'll go from there.
Woman: Can I have the abortion the same day?
Counselor: Virginia requires a 24 hour waiting period. We can answer all your questions and explain all your options and how we can assist you when you come in for the appointment.
I haven't listened carefully to the Live Action tapes of the recent sting. I did watch the videos of Lila pretending to be a 13 year old minor seeking an abortion and I think it would be morally legitimate to respond to the query, "How old are you?" with "(I look) thirteen."
As for leading people into sin. A friend of mine responded to that nonsense saying, "The PP employees may have been led in to a false/hypothetical or deceptive situation...but they had the opportunity to act of their own free will to choose to do good (report the sex traffickers) or evil (support sex trafficking, knowing some girls were underage) in that situation, & they chose evil."
If Planned Parenthood really cared about the women the video might have shown a counselor saying, "You're boyfriend is committing statutory rape, dear. We'll have to report him." But that truly is a fantasy when speaking about the leading abortion provider in the world. Abortion is their bread and butter. The more the monier.
I agree that the end doesn't justify the means. I just don't see the means in these cases being a problem any more than the investigative reporters from the Sun Times (years ago) who went into Chicago abortion mills with male urine samples to see what they would do. Almost all declared the male urine "positive" for pregnancy. Seems the abortion mills didn't need much encouragement to be "led into sin."
It's interesting that the focus has been taken off Planned Parenthood's evil to focus on Lila Rose and Live Action's tactics. I say right on, girl! Pray and fight and if saving babies and young women requires mental reservation and withholding truth from those who aren't entitled to it, go for it!
What do you think readers?