It's only February, and already I have whiplash from the news speeding past me from the U.S. abortion front.

The frenzy began on January 17, when a Philadelphia abortion doctor was indicted for killing a patient. Next came the revelation that he had also gruesomely killed eight babies and that his filthy clinic had not been inspected for 17 years. At Pro Publica, Marian Wang reported, "According to the grand jury report … Pennsylvania health officials deliberately chose not to enforce laws to ensure that abortion clinics provide the same level of care as other medical service providers."

Then, on February 1, Live Action, a California based "new media movement for life," released a series of videos in which actors posing as sex traffickers secretly recorded Planned Parenthood employees giving out unethical and sometimes illegal advice. A clinic worker in New Jersey, for example, was fired and denounced by Planned Parenthood for advising the impostors to have underage sex workers lie about their ages so that clinic workers could avoid reporting them to authorities. "As long as they don't say [they are] 14, and as long as there's not too much of an age gap [with 'boyfriends'], then we just kind of … play it stupid," the worker said.

On February 16, Live Action moved on to the next thing, which was to enlist Abby Johnson, author of the memoir Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life-Line, as its chief research strategist. (CT reviewed Johnson's book in January.)

National Review published an interview with Johnson on the 18th. Kathryn Jean Lopez asked the convert to Catholicism what she would say to a young, idealistic Planned Parenthood worker like she had once been. Johnson said, "I would tell her that I know her intentions are good and she has dived into an organization that does help women in many ways. However, I would want her to know that she can help them in better ways. I would encourage her to take that leap of faith I did, and join me in helping women in a wholistic way, because that is not going to be offered in the abortion industry."

The big news on the 18th, however, was that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal federal funding of Planned Parenthood, or more precisely, to repeal funding of its non-abortion services. When the Senate takes up the measure next week, its version is unlikely to pass. (The Hill reported that Republicans have prioritized two other abortion bills.) Still, Live Action was accused of timing its video releases to influence the vote, which the organization denied.

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Lopez reported that Live Action's timing was instead "expedited" by Planned Parenthood's January 18 letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The organization asked Holder to investigate possible sex trafficking that it suggested could be a hoax.

Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society told Lopez that "Live Action's investigations have been carefully planned and researched and found to be in strict accordance with the applicable laws." Still, in a blog post of my own, I questioned both the efficacy and the ethics of the amateur investigations.

Pro-choice writer Will Saletan jumped into the fray with a series of seven abortion-related posts that ran from February 16-23 at Slate. The most newsworthy detailed how pro-choice activists in Florida had, from 1989, worked to limit oversight of the abortion industry. He wrote, "The Miami Herald and the state department of Health and Rehabilitative Services had found dangerous—and, in one case, fatal—conditions at four Florida abortion clinics. [Governor Bob] Martinez wanted new regulations to address the problem, but pro-choice groups and lawmakers were arrayed against him. They had the votes to crush him, and they were resolved to do it."

Then, this Monday, 84-year-old pro-life icon Bernard N. Nathanson died. Nathanson was an abortion doctor who helped found the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Law (NARAL Pro-Choice America) but later became a pro-life activist. The New York Times reported that while he was an intern, Nathanson "observed the effects of illegal abortions on the mostly poor black and Hispanic women who came under his care, and he soon became convinced that the laws prohibiting abortion must be changed." After performing 5,000 abortions himself and overseeing 70,000 more, he relented and served as narrator on the landmark 1985 film Silent Scream.

So, what does this frenzy of news tell us? Is change on the horizon?

The stories of Johnson and Nathanson teach us that personal experience can be an incredibly powerful force in conversion. Nathanson was emotionally invested in abortion but came to see his position as intellectually untenable. Johnson was undone by the sight of a nun praying regularly outside her clinic, and by her participation in a sonogram-guided abortion. By comparison, the defunding bill in the Senate seems like a legislative stunt meant to generate more heat than light. And Live Action's investigative work raises serious questions about deceit and lawbreaking. These recent victories seem to have served merely to entrench the opposition further.

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In one of his articles, Saletan said the pro-choice lobby resembles the gun lobby in that both resist any regulation in fear of rights eradication. It turns out that journalists, reporting without bias on the enforcement of real violations of law, can shed light on far more horrific deeds than those manufactured by activists. It's painstaking, collaborative work and it, along with those two other bills in the Senate, offers the best hope for moving the debate forward. That's what I take away from the scene.