If Cecile Richards thought a belated apology over the “tone and comments” of the undercover video from Center for Medical Progress would muffle public outrage, multiple media outlets disagreed. Tim Stanley, a columnist for the British newspaper Telegraph, penned a column for CNN yesterday that argues that regardless of the specifics of law and transactions involved, the video paints a compelling and disgusting picture of contemporary America. Our culture has degraded to the point where we mouth euphemisms about pulverizing fetuses over wine and salad:

Nucatola sips wine, describing the destruction of fetuses with a frighteningly casual air. Even if you regard abortion as a tragic necessity, or the donation of tissue as a potentially helpful byproduct — there’s something immoral about the way in which it is all discussed over a salad.

“I’d say a lot of people want liver,” she says, before going on to throw out euphemisms for how they are protected from the forceps: “I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.” And when the vulgar subject arises of the price of these body parts, she talks like an expert in public relations: “They just want to do it in a way that is not perceived as: This clinic is selling tissue. This clinic is making money off this. In the Planned Parenthood world, they’re very, very sensitive to that.” …

Whoever thinks about the reality of abortion unless they actually have to participate in one? Whoever considers the crushed organs: the hearts, lungs and livers? We all prefer to mask this truth behind euphemisms, of which Planned Parenthood is simply the market leader. Reproductive health centers. Medical services. Procedures. Anything but calling it what abortion really is — the obliteration of a fetus. …

The Planned Parenthood video holds up a mirror to a society that has become compromised by horrors that it regards as “every day.” The face of 21st-century America is Nucatola’s: discussing pulverized lungs and hearts between mouthfuls of salad.

At The Week, Michael Brendan Dougherty writes that sanitization is the real lie and dishonestly edited argument, and it’s coming from Planned Parenthood and abortion apologists:

The media went to extreme lengths to avoid quoting this doctor on which parts of an unborn child she “crushes” to preserve valuable organs. The media also failed to mention that she discussed Planned Parenthood affiliates that want to “do a little better than break even” on these transactions. And the reports don’t mention that a firm associated with the sale of these fetal livers, hearts, and heads advertised the fiscal benefits of preserving them, and had that very day taken its website offline.

Planned Parenthood’s top talking point was that the video was “dishonestly edited.” The truth is more the opposite. The video revealed the reality that Planned Parenthood and its defenders are working hard to spin. When Planned Parenthood gives one of its patients this consent form for organ donation, the language is dishonestly edited, referring to hearts and livers as “blood and/or tissue.” When speaking candidly to presumed professionals in the biz, however, PP’s top doctor is far more precise. After all, how do you think Planned Parenthood would react to legislation requiring it to explicitly ask patients if they want to donate the “heart, liver, or brain” of their aborted child to research? …

Someone who knowingly accepts the “crushing” and “snipping” of developing children as part of life in enlightened times, who resolves themselves to this practice as society’s comprehensive and just response to a pregnant woman in crisis, is a person whose conscience is at the ready to accept or wave away any enormity around the practice. If you forced yourself to contemplate them at length, you might question the moral character of the whole enterprise. So you dismiss as local crime Kermit Gosnell’s horror-clinic, where plunging the sink revealed a baby’s arm, and you turn away from stories about hospitals that burn the remains of unborn children as part of a renewable heating energy source. Planned Parenthood’s financial transactions in recently severed baby heads is just the humanitarian advance of “Science! FTW!” Could you object if they labeled a bag of heads with a meme of Neil deGrasse Tyson? What, are you such a troglodyte that you are “grossed out by science?” We’re just plunging science deep into some necks — I mean “tissue” — here. …

The reason the pro-life activist video has to be dismissed as a “hoax” is the same reason the hailed pro-choice activist kept the film of her own abortion framed from the neck up. And it’s the same reason Planned Parenthood wants media outlets to use their bloodless language about “tissues.” Because the clinic, the media, and the culture want your approval of abortion as ordinary, lawful, and competently chosen. They can’t let you see what it actually is: the violent destruction of a human life.

It’s the stripping of the euphemisms, of the polite vocabulary for a brutal act, that had Planned Parenthood and its apologists panicking this week. Deborah Nucatola revealed the exploitation of women inherent in this enterprise, putting their needs as secondary to the desire to harvest organs while they sell the procedure as nothing more than removing a “clump of cells.” Nucatola only exposed the cynicism of the argument that the fetuses aren’t human beings by describing the keen desire Planned Parenthood has in protecting the human organs retrieved from killing the humans that were developing them.

That flip, casual destruction of the façade of lies alongside a nice Chianti is why the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza awarded Planned Parenthood the Worst Week in Washington:

It’s never a good look to be sipping red wine while discussing the costs associated with fetal tissue culled from abortions.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, released a video Thursday amid the hubbub, apologizing for the tone of the employee but defending her organization’s practices. “This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements,” Richards said. “The allegation that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true.”

No matter. A congressional investigation had already been launched in response to the undercover video, ensuring that Planned Parenthood and its practices will be front and center in the days to come.

Planned Parenthood, for being flip about aborted fetuses, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

But let’s not forget the transactional nature Nucatola described of the organ harvesting, too. Nucatola describes how Planned Parenthood trains its abortionists to change procedures (illegal also) to maximize their harvest, and discusses how affiliates hope to come out “a little ahead” of break even with the extra income, which is a profit in real terms, if not in legal definition. Nate Beeler of the Columbus Dispatch sums it up with this excellent political cartoon:



Update: The House Energy and Commerce Committee has sent a letter to Planned Parenthood requesting Dr. Deborah Nucatola brief the committee on all of the issues she discusses in the video. I put the odds of Nucatola pulling a Lois Lerner at 50/50:


Looks like the ECC will be looking closely at all of the potential legal issues, but it’s interesting that “consent” is the first priority on the questionnaire, and that manipulating the abortion process for organ harvesting is second. Those two are going to be Planned Parenthood’s biggest legal challenges.

Update: Initially I wrote that Nucatola was being called to testify at a hearing, but the committee is calling her to brief the committee’s staff. I’ve fixed the headline and the update text.