This week, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a second video purportedly showing a senior Planned Parenthood official talking about illegally selling fetal parts for profit. This has garnered the reactions you’d expect — those who support baby dismemberment defending Planned Parenthood, pro-lifers calling for defunding of Planned Parenthood, and at least one call for the resignation of Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards.
I’m not sure the second video shows Dr. Gatter attempting to make a profit off of organ and parts sales, and I think some pro-lifers have erred in taking seriously her reprehensible joke about wanting a Lamborghini thanks to fetal parts sales. But as the back-and-forth continues, and Republicans on Capitol Hill push for investigations and defunding, there are a few key points to this whole debate that have largely slid under the radar.
First, as CMP senior investigator David Daleiden told LifeSiteNews, the probability of Planned Parenthood using the illegal method of partial-birth abortion (PBA) to harvest parts has yet to be answered by the abortion giant:
Daleiden also pointed out that, despite Planned Parenthood’s claims of innocence, the organization is “refusing to produce Dr. Nucatola for the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s” investigation. “She admitted to using partial-birth abortions [PBA] — which [Planned Parenthood] has yet to address a week later — and indicated affiliates would be happy to ‘do a little better than break even’ on fetal tissue sales.”
“PBA and profiting off of baby parts are both highly illegal and it’s not surprising PPFA will say anything to try to get away from those charges,” said Daleiden.
Pro-lifers should remind the media and the American people that partial-birth abortion is a) illegal, and b) literally aborting a child as he or she is leaving the womb. This may be even more worthy of attention from Congress than the harvesting.
Second, and related, pro-lifers have rightly used the videos to once again make our point that abortion is heinous and that Planned Parenthood should lose federal funding. While we must take advantage of the opportunity to make our moral, cultural, and public policy cases about Planned Parenthood, it is important to not lose focus on the biggest issue: Making the case that human life begins at conception, and thus abortion is morally abhorrent.
As Alliance Defending Freedom’s Casey Mattox noted yesterday at a panel that I organized, stories are effective, which is part of why CMP’s videos are getting such enormous attention. But the real horror of the abortion industry is the rendering and tearing done to unborn children.
Third: It may end up being the case that a congressional investigation finds no illegal harvesting by Planned Parenthood. However, the methods of aborting unborn children when harvesting organs and other parts are certainly illegal. Again, from LifeSiteNews:
Regarding Gatter’s support for lying to women about how an abortion will be done, Daleiden cited 42 U.S.C. 289g-1, and said that “state laws governing consent to medical procedures would also apply.”
The part of the U.S. Code cited by Daleiden states that “no alteration of the timing, method, or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy was made solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue.” Like the subject of the first CMP video, Gatter fully backed changing how an abortion is done “for the purposes of obtaining the tissue.”
Washington Post reporters Abby Ohlheiser and Sandhya Somashekhar have more, from prominent bioethicist Arthur Caplan (who supports assisted suicide and in 2005 criticized fetal pain bills for calling fetuses an “unborn child”):
A clinic that did choose to perform one procedure over another with the express purpose of increasing the likelihood of preserving an intact specimen would be committing a “classic violation” of a long-held, industry-wide standard for abortion providers in the United States, Arthur Caplan, director of New York University’s Division of Medical Ethics, said after reviewing the video.
“They have a standard informed consent form that says, ‘We’re going to do this procedure, and we’re not going to change anything about it,’” Caplan explained in a telephone interview. He added that “it’s ethically very dangerous” to change a procedure for the purpose of fetal tissue collection. “You’re starting to put the mom’s health secondary,” he said.
Caplan said that some of the video’s other claims fall into “a big gray zone,” including the Center for Medical Progress’s assertion that Planned Parenthood has broken the law by “selling” fetal tissues and organs for profit.
“They would like the charge to be ‘Planned Parenthood sells baby parts,’” Caplan said. “I’m not sure you get this from this tape.”
Despite those questions, Caplan said the videos still raise questions about Planned Parenthood’s overall approach to providing fetal tissue donations to research. “I think Planned Parenthood is bumping up against the boundary on these tapes,” he said. “I know [the tapes] are edited, but I think they have to rethink what they’re doing if they’re going to stay in this area.”
Finally: NARAL has jumped on the Planned Parenthood bandwagon. Via Twitter:
— NARAL (@NARAL) July 15, 2015
This is rank hypocrisy from NARAL, which has conducted sting operations of pro-life centers that have been used to push discriminatory policies against these centers in several states. However, unlike CMP and Live Action, which post both edited and unedited videos of their stings, NARAL provides no proof of its claims. From a Clinton appointee in Maryland who ruled NARAL’s “investigations” were invalid in a court of law (emphasis added):
In 2010, Montgomery County passed an ordinance requiring Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women’s Center and other pro-life pregnancy care clinics to post signs stating that they did not have doctors on staff. The county claimed it wanted to prevent pro-life clinics from giving women misleading information.
Represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, Centro fought the ordinance, which did not apply to abortion clinics. On April 30, 2014, Montgomery County dropped its defense of the law after a third decision against it on March 7, in which U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow, a Clinton appointee, noted that the people who accused the centers of spreading “misinformation” were “universally volunteers from a pro-choice organization sent to investigate practices” at the centers.
Dirty tricks and deception — sound like standard fair for the industry that destroys people’s lives under the auspices of “care.”