Just under 30 hours after the ghastly and chilling undercover video of a Planned Parenthood executive describing their trade in fetal organs emerged, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that Congress would investigate the practices of the nation’s leading abortion-mill chain. Boehner also called on the Obama administration to rebuke its political ally, and for HHS to act to stop Planned Parenthood’s harvesting program:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement on the video released yesterday documenting the grisly practices embraced by Planned Parenthood:
“Nothing is more precious than life, especially an unborn child. When anyone diminishes an unborn child, we are all hurt, irreversibly so. When an organization monetizes an unborn child – and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video – we must all act. As a start, I have asked our relevant committees to look into this matter. I am also calling on President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to denounce, and stop, these gruesome practices.”
Just a few minutes later, The Hill reports, House Energy and Commerce chair Fred Upton (R-MI) said his committee would take the lead on the probe:
Minutes after Boehner’s statement, the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced it will begin a probe into the video, which was produced by a previously unknown anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress.
“This video is abhorrent and rips at the heart. The committee will get to the bottom of this appalling situation,” a group of Republicans, including Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), wrote in a statement.
There will be plenty to investigate from this video — and in fact, more questions keep emerging. Mollie Hemingway questions whether Planned Parenthood is getting full consent for harvesting the organs from the babies being aborted:
Planned Parenthood responded to the release of an undercover video showing one of its executives discussing the harvesting of aborted baby organs with people posing as purchasers of said baby organs. In one press release, they claimed that mothers of aborted children sometimes want to donate their aborted babies’ “tissue” to help with research. Further, they claimed, they help women who want to donate their deceased children’s tissue …
And yet Planned Parenthood executive Deborah Nucatola’s own words contradict the forms used by Planned Parenthood providers to procure consent from women seeking abortions. The full, brief, consent form can be seen here. It asks women to confirm seven statements, including:
I understand there will be no changes to how or when my abortion is done in order to get my blood or the tissue.
Doctors are required to sign that:
No substantive alteration in the timing of terminating the pregnancy or of the method used was made for the purpose of obtaining the tissue.
This brings us back to the issue I raised in my earlier post about Nucatola’s discussion of techniques. Under federal law, it is illegal to alter the procedures of an abortion to maximize the harvesting of tissues, but Nucatola not only describes how she herself does so but also how Planned Parenthood trains personnel to adapt procedures to demand for organs. If the consent forms state that no changes are being done, then clearly Planned Parenthood understands the illegality of this practice — and is lying to their patients about what the technicians are doing to their bodies and the bodies of the babies they’re aborting.
Lawbreaking by Planned Parenthood is not limited to types of abortion and the harvesting of organs. Six years of undercover videos from Live Action have found that clinics have covered up statutory rape and illegally hidden that information from state authorities. Likewise, employees have ignored reporting requirements when people posing as pimps and trafficked women have asked for abortions.
Last year, officials in Oregon ended a program where aborted babies from Canada were used as a source of energy as abortionists shipped them to an incinerator in Oregon. These unborn children were qualified as “medical waste.”
Since the Center for Medical Progress released its video, tens of thousands of tweets have condemned Planned Parenthood. Members of Congress and presidential candidates are calling for an investigation into America’s largest abortion provider.
Such an investigation would highlight Planned Parenthood’s consistent practice of breaking laws related to organ harvesting, partial-birth abortions, sex trafficking victims, and abuse of minors. And it should lead to the immediate end of Planned Parenthood’s reliance on the public teat.
Frankly, that end should have come quite a long time ago. The national media didn’t want to spend much time probing the inner workings of abortion clinics, preferring to offer a sanitized, generic image. That blew up in their faces during the trial of Kermit Gosnell thanks to the public shaming initiated by J. D. Mullane, one of the few reporters who attended the trial from its beginning. Kevin Williamson shows how the sanitizing process is starting all over again this time around:
Sandhya Somashekhar and Danielle Paquette of the Washington Post, who teamed up for sacred-cow defense duty, describe this as a conversation about “the costs associated with sharing that tissue with scientists.” Watching the video leaves it impossible to conclude anything other than that Somashekhar and Paquette are misleading the readers of the Washington Post with malice aforethought. Nucatola is in fact quite straightforward about what sort of business is being transacted and on what terms — and about the necessary deception: “They just want to do it in a way that is not perceived as: ‘This clinic is selling tissue,’” she says. “In the Planned Parenthood world, they’re very, very sensitive to that.”
Where you are negotiating prices for fetal lungs and livers while discussing how to avoid the perception that you are negotiating prices for fetal lungs and livers, you are engaged in a conspiracy to violate federal laws — something that Washington Post reporters once gave a damn about. Richard Nixon wanted to burgle in a way that was not perceived as: “This president is a crook.” But he was a crook.
And it is manifestly the case that the people who run Planned Parenthood are crooks, too.
They’re certainly ghouls, especially Nucatola. They may well be criminals, but first you’d have to find a prosecutor with some interest in investigating Nucatola and Planned Parenthood. Or at least media outlets willing to report on something other than the PR spin coming from the ranks of abortionists.