Culture, Science & Faith

Fetal Harvesting on Film?

It's possible the Center for Medical Progress managed a game changer.

Arnold Ahlert · Jul. 27, 2015
PP pres Cecile Richards

Never before has the time-honored adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” held more potential than it does right now.

On Thursday, Planned Parenthood (PP) sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee announcing they would not honor a request to produce Chief Medical Director Dr. Deborah Nucatola to answer questions about possible illegalities surrounding the taxpayer-funded organization’s harvesting of fetal organs. A stomach-churning video produced by a pro-life undercover group, Center for Medical Progress (CMP), shows Nucatola casually discussing the various abortion techniques needed to preserve as much of the fetal tissue as possible. That video was followed by another featuring Dr. Mary Gatter, who is shown discussing “less crunchy” abortion techniques needed to procure “whole specimens,” and haggling over fetal tissue sales prices because she wants “a Lamborghini.” CMP was able to get these videos because they posed as representatives of Biomax Procurement Services, a fake tissue procurement company founded by David Daleiden, who is also the founder of CMP.

As bad as those videos are, they’re small potatoes compared to PP’s latest worry. In that letter they sent to Congress, they discussed the possibility that CMP may have filmed the harvesting process itself.

“Biomax set up exhibits at our National Medical Conference and our National Conference over the last couple of years,” the letter states. “We believe that on at least one occasion a representative from Biomax was shown a highly sensitive area in a clinic where tissue is processed after abortion procedures. While this work is standard and essential during any abortion procedure, any filming in such an area would be an extremely serious invasion of our patients’ privacy and dignity.”

The potentially devastating exposure has sent “ricochets of alarm throughout the abortion provider community,” writes Sharona Coutts, vice president at RH Reality Check, an organization dedicated to “news, commentary and analysis on sexual and reproductive health and justice issues.” What really infuriates Coutts and her fellow travelers was CMP’s ability to “infiltrate deep into the abortion care world” and attend two National Abortion Federation (NAF) conferences “that require at least two letters of recommendation before any attendee can register.” Security is necessary at such conferences, Coutts insists, because pro-abortion advocates’ safety and possibly their lives are “at risk at the hands of anti-choice terrorists.”

There is nothing the pro-abortionist crowd fears more than people being exposed to the graphic images of abortion. And not just abortion. PP has a long history of opposition to informed consent laws that would allow a woman to see an ultrasound, even if that choice was optional rather than required. A quote by PP physician Dr. L. Lacroix published in 2000 gets to the heart of the matter: “Abortion is a hard enough thing for any woman to decide without the torture of seeing the baby on an ultrasound screen.”

The torture of seeing a baby? Isn’t that a double-dose of blasphemy among the champions of “reproductive choice” who also prefer deliberately obscurant terms such as “embryo,” “fetus” and “clump of cells?”

Moreover there have been countless objections to pro-lifers showing pictures of aborted babies, especially on college campuses such as the University of Georgia, where such images were deemed “hateful speech” when they were displayed last year. It is no secret why. “Photos are anathema to pro-abortion advocates because they expose the grim truth that abortion is both repulsive and grisly,” said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, in 2013. “If America insists on abortion rights, it must face up to these ugly results.”

Not really. “Many [people], who can readily envision the woman and her body, who cry out for her right to control her destiny, barely envision the fetus within that woman and do not imagine as real the life it might have been allowed to lead,” writes staunch abortion supporter Laurence Tribe. “For them, the life of the fetus becomes an … invisible abstraction.”

An organ harvesting video would exponentially alter that equation, in all its visibly disturbing details.

Unsurprisingly, the American Left is circling the wagons around PP, as the threat to cut off the approximately $500 million a year it gets from taxpayers is gathering steam in Congress. Some Democrats are urging the Justice Department to investigate … CMP. In the coming days Americans will hear arguments about which laws may or may not have been broken by either side in this developing saga.

None of it will matter an iota. While much of America has become a morally indifferent nation drenched in a low-brow leftist culture, where the capacity to be shocked has been virtually extinguished, there are still things capable of evoking visceral disgust and anger. It is impossible to believe a video depicting the removal of organs from an aborted baby isn’t one of them.

Freedom of choice? PP has freely chosen to harvest fetal organs, claiming they’re necessary for medical research. That’s untrue. Science has evolved to the point where adult stem cells are far more viable than fetal stem cells. It is the “ethics” of the pro-abortionists that remain frozen in time.

And it’s about time that any discussion of choice include the first choice, as in having sex with no regard for the consequences. Consequences that might produce an unwanted pregnancy. For far too long, far too many Americans have embraced the idea that that choice should be consequence-free. Yes, people make mistakes, but the 57 million abortions performed since 1973 — an average of more than 1.3 million per year — suggest an entirely different dynamic is at work. One that completely obliterates the leftist catchphrase that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” Rare? In New York city in 2012, there were more black children aborted (31,328) than born (24,758).

Americans can take whatever side of the abortion debate they desire, but if they’re being honest they can’t run away from an uncomfortable truth: Abortion cheapens life. Fetal organs have been reduced to commodities to be bought and sold. Far too many Americans can reconcile that grim reality because it is that so-called “invisible abstraction.”

Making it visible could be the ultimate game-changer.

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