Opinion

Baby parts videos expose barbarity, pose threat to Planned Parenthood

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Americans deserve to know whether an organization that receives millions of their tax dollars every year is breaking federal laws against selling human organs and limbs.

But ultimately, the first video released by the Center for Medical Progress – which reveals Planned Parenthood Federation Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing the fetal remains trade – is devastating to the abortion giant for a simpler reason. This reason is entirely unrelated to whether or Planned Parenthood receives anything more than “transportation reimbursement” for “research donations.”

First, consider Dr. Nucatola’s own words:

So then you’re just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers, you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that, you know, we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m going to basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.

Next, peruse this “Tissue Order Form” from the organ procurement company Planned Parenthood works with, StemExpress. In a selection Victor von Frankenstein would drool over, you can buy brains, hearts, lungs, livers, spleens, intestines, bladders, kidneys, stomachs, spinal cords, eyes, ears, noses, tongues, muscles, blood, bones, and more. You can also specify the gestational age of the dead baby from which you’d like your parts.

It’s like some nightmare version of a high-end butcher’s shop.

Regardless of how much money Planned Parenthood makes off this, how they skirt the letter of the law, or whether they get their patients’ consent — no matter what abortion apologists say to spin this macabre practice — there’s no denying what “goods” are being exchanged. There’s no hiding behind euphemisms like “products of conception,” “uterine contents,” or “aborted pregnancy.”

As a story about Planned Parenthood and other parties’ interest in babies’ bodies, discussion of it cannot help but draw attention to the humanity of what abortion destroys — perhaps more so than even ultrasound law debates. Planned Parenthood knows it can’t get away with denying its most inconvenient truth anymore, so it settles for the next best thing: keeping people from thinking about it as much as possible, distracting them with talk of women and health and poverty. As long as people feel good and think little about Planned Parenthood’s work, they’re in the clear.

This story, by honing in on what’s done with the victim’s corpse long after it no longer matters to his or her mother, blasts through the emotional boilerplate and zeroes in on the ugly reality of what their violence leaves behind. What’s the market for? Human body parts. What are they from? Human babies. Why don’t the babies need them anymore? Because Planned Parenthood killed them. There’s no way to ask or answer these questions while leaving their clean, humane façade intact.

The closest one can get to trying is probably the spin Amanda Marcotte tries at Slate, in between spinning the video’s contents and hurling ad hominem attacks at Live Action:

As someone who is squeamish, it was extremely difficult for me to listen to Nucatola talk about extracting liver, heart, and other parts to be donated to medical research. (I nearly fainted when a friend showed me the video of her knee operation once.) But people who work in medicine for a living do, in fact, become inured to the gore in a way that can seem strange to those of us who aren’t regularly exposed to it. She also thought she was speaking to people in her profession who would be similarly accustomed to this sort of thing.

Abortion is gross, no doubt about it. It becomes grosser the later in a pregnancy it gets. But so is heart surgery. So is child-birth, for that matter. We don’t deny people who need help in those cases because the help is gross. Nor should we deny people that help when it comes to needing abortion. We also shouldn’t deny women who want to donate fetal or embryonic remains to science any more than we would deny someone who wants to be an organ donor, even though the latter is also quite gross to ponder.

If Marcotte really didn’t know better (and let’s face it, she does), this would be nothing less than infantile.

What makes StemExpress’ and Planned Parenthood’s work revolting is not the aesthetic unpleasantness of human organs and extremities separated from their owner, but the affront to decency by which they were obtained.

The thoroughly dissected cadaver of a man who died peacefully and donated his body to science is “grosser” in Marcotte’s usage than a homicide victim who shows no clear signs of external injury, but the latter is more disgusting in the same way abortion disgusts. The gore matters here because it emphasizes how it got that way: murder.

While the abortion debate is confused and sanitized by various myths, lies, and distractions that can ensnare uninformed but well-meaning people, beneath it all is ultimately a simple question not subject to debate: either your soul recoils at savagery toward our young, or it doesn’t.

This story challenges every American to ask which camp they fall into… a contest Planned Parenthood ultimately knows it can’t win.

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