Analysis

Statements from Planned Parenthood fail to address illegal partial-birth abortion technique

partialbirthabortion

Over the past few days, we have been disturbed to discover that Planned Parenthood operates in the sale of the parts of the babies they abort. The Center for Medical Progress on Tuesday released a video showing actors posing as potential buyers talking with Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola.

During the video, Dr. Nucatola discusses the way in which a child is aborted so that his or her parts will be most intact. This is not for the sake of the child, but rather to conduct a sale of his or her body parts, adding more disrespect to an already inhumane death:

I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.

The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium—the head—is basically the biggest part.…

We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact. And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex.…

So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.

A child aborted in this manner is involved in a partial-birth abortion. Although all abortion procedures are inhumane, this one is so brutal that Congress passed a law in 2003, which was then signed by President Bush, to make the procedure illegal. The U.S. Supreme Court then upheld the legality of the ban in 2007 with Gonzales v. Carhart.

Planned Parenthood has spoken out regarding the video. A statement from Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communications, mentions in part that:

At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards. There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood.  In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field.

Ferrero’s statements cannot be true though, no matter how much he and his organization want them to be. The preborn baby cannot consent to having his or her parts sold or donated for a cost, as Planned Parenthood would like to call it. Therefore, it can not be done ethically. It is also not done legally if the partial-birth abortion technique is used.

In another statement, Planned Parenthood’s public relations firm, Camino Public Relations, called the transactions a “humanitarian undertaking.” Certainly sane persons know an illegal and brutal abortion procedure cannot be considered to be such?

Ferrero’s statement on the website appears on the same page as a video clip from Cecile Richards, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood. Richards does apologize, but more so for Dr. Nucatola’s  “tone.” Elsewhere, she is seen praising Nucatola.

Sadly and not surprisingly, Richards’ short statement does not acknowledge or apologize for the partial-birth abortions. She repeats Ferrero’s statements, including the claim that they conduct these transactions legally.

Richards mentions the word “compassion” more than once, but it is a lie to say her organization engages in compassion. Whatever fantasy world Cecile Richards is living in, the truth is her organization does not engage in procedures that are either compassionate or legal.

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