Planned Parenthood’s Callousness Toward Life On Video, ACT II

In her op-ed for  USA TODAY, Kirsten Powers, one of the token liberals (she’s a moderate conservative, really) on Fox News, does an excellent job of compiling the inadequate and indeed damning responses of Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion establishment to the video evidence of its executives’ stunning lack of respect for  unborn human life. (I covered much of the same territory here and here.) There is now a second video, and that means that the “this is just an aberration and one woman’s mistake” rationalization for Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical research, Deborah Nucatola casually talking about crushing the heads of living human beings to preserve their organs for medical research. Powers quotes her “friend and former Obama White House staffer Michael Wear” as tweeting “It should bother us as a society that we have use for aborted human organs, but not the baby that provides them.”

Well said. Does it bother us? It certainly doesn’t bother Democratic presidential candidates, none of whom have breathed a word about the videos. Neither have they been asked about them, because with the exception of the evil Fox News, none of the news organizations have treated the first video as anything but a one day story. Writes Powers, accurately,

It’s a measure of how damning the video is that Planned Parenthood’s usual defenders were nowhere to be found. There was total silence from The New York Times editorial board and their 10 (out of 11) pro-abortion rights columnists. Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi — both recipients of Planned Parenthood’s highest honor, the Margaret Sanger Award — have been mum.

They want the story to go away, and the reason is that the ethics of abortion is extremely vulnerable to facts and honest discussion. Shouldn’t the news media be promoting both? Let me rephrase that: wouldn’t objective, unbiased, ethical journalists have a duty to examine the issue in the light of the videos, and not shrink from them?

Of course.

But we are, instead, left with Powers, a Fox blonde who can and will be dismissed as emanating from “Faux News,” a useful smear on Fox and especially ironic when Fox is covering facts the other organizations are actively trying to hide.

That second undercover video released this week shows another Planned Parenthood official, Dr. Mary Gatter, who was president of the Planned Parenthood Medical Directors’ Council until 2014 and now works in a leadership and advisory capacity, talking about using a “less crunchy” way to perform abortions while preserving salable fetal tissue. She also appears to endorse changing the methods of abortion when harvesting organs is an objective. This is against the law, which Gatter shrugs off as a minor concern.

This evidence [Again, such “sting”videos are unethical, but the news media historically doesn’t care how damning evidence is obtained. Powers: “When Mitt Romney was caught by “secret video” making his 47% remarks, the means of attaining the information was not the focus of the story.” Bazinga.] combined with the Nucatola video—apparently there are more, too—means that it cannot be credibly denied that there is a cultural rot at the heart of Planned Parenthood, and hence at the core of our abortion-rationalizing culture. That rot threatens national values and our common humanity, not to mention unborn children.

We need to confront it honestly, and that means that the news media and our elected officials are ethically obligated to stop pretending that all is well.

_________________________

Source: USA TODAY

34 thoughts on “Planned Parenthood’s Callousness Toward Life On Video, ACT II

  1. “We need to confront it honestly, and that means that the news media and our elected officials are ethically obligated to stop pretending that all is well.”

    That it is a pretense has been obvious since “The Buck Stops Here” sign left Harry Truman’s desk. And I really hope no-one is holding their collective breaths waiting for journalists to do something…ANYTHING…ethical.

  2. The thing that troubles me most in all this is that here we have doctors, people who have taken the Hippocratic oath to do no harm, essentially peddling flesh. The fact that it is the flesh of unborn [insert your descriptor: fetus, baby, etc. here] increases the ick factor by many orders of magnitude for almost everyone not completely invested in the idea that there is no human life inside the womb.

    Even more bizarre is that African Americans, once enslaved in America, are having 35% of total abortions despite being under 15% of the total population (as of this 2008 article, anyway). The optics of two white, female doctors talking about selling the tissue of what would be a disproportionately African-American supply is gruesomely ironic — white folks held them as slaves, and are now peddling the flesh of their aborted young. Perhaps Ta-Nehisi Coates is more right than even he imagined.

    How this has escaped the notice of #BlackLivesMatter activists is… interesting.

    • Do new doctors even take the Hippocratic Oath anymore? And if they do, do any of the medical professional associations hold them to it or attempt to punish transgressions? I’ve heard protests from some when a doctor was involved in an execution by lethal injection. If there have been any regarding abortion- including those that are clear cases of infanticede- I’ve heard nothing of it.

  3. Jack,
    I don’t get why you so eagerly defend Fox news against the attacks it receives when you yourself have mentioned their numerous past ethical breaches (including the most recent Bill O’Reilly fiasco). What makes them suddenly trustworthy? I get that they’re the “only” ones currently covering this story, but why should you/me/we suddenly trust them as a source on anything if they can’t be trusted elsewhere?

    However damning the story may be to Planned Parenthood, I’m certainly not going to take Fox’s interpretation of the facts.

    -Neil

    • Trustworthiness isn’t really at stake. Fox isn’t trustworthy. But just because Fox reports on something doesn’t mean it isn’t true. And Fox reports on a lot of things that other, just as trustworthy, sources don’t. So if nothing else, Fox has utility as a source of what might be happening that other news organizations don’t want you to know, so we can do our own research and come to our own conclusions.

      That’s kind of tragic, when you think about it. News organizations aren’t good for anything but topics, so we can Google for source documents.

      • Humble Talent,
        A fair point. However, if they’re untrustworthy some of the time, they might as well be untrustworthy ALL the time, since that makes it impossible to suss out fact from fiction.

        Using them as a pointer for story outlines, which can be independently verified elsewhere is fine, but I would still argue it’s a bad call to pay their analysis too much nevermind.

        • They are ALL untrustworthy more than some of the time. Look at the New York Times warping the Reddit story to make it look like sexism. Fox News is the ONLY Broadcast news source that isn’t intentionally confounding illegal immigration with immigration. ABC, CBS, NBC didn’t cover the first PP video at all. What does that tell you?

          The analysis f a Fox journalist should be judged on its own merits. Powers was dead on, absolute bullseye. The fallacy your are arguing for is ad hominem: attack the messenger when the message is unassailable. Surely you don’t want to do that.

          • “ABC, CBS, NBC didn’t cover the first PP video at all. What does that tell you?”

            The first PP video wasn’t news. Nothing illegal was uncovered, and the peddlers of the video lied about what was in it. Why should they have covered it?

            • Did you read my post, Chris? Read the post. This is an ethics blog, remember? Illegality is not necessary for serious ethics breaches. Abortion is absolutely legal. The comments on the first video—you couldn’t have read the post, or you wouldn’t write what you did—shows 1) why it shouldn’t be, at least to the extent it currently is, and 2) how devoid of ethics the core pro-abortion culture is. Which is why it is important, which is why political candidates should be confronted with it. The legal issues raised by the second tape are similarly secondary to the more serious ethical issue. “Planned Parenthood’s Callousness Toward Life On Video” was the title, not “organ trafficking on video.”

    • Simple. 1) Not one of the other broadcast news sources is any more trustworthy, and many are less. 2) It is the only source for the stories the left-wing media ignores for partisan and ideological reasons. The “Faux News” trope is designed to keep those stories marginalized and hidden from pubic visibility and analysis.

      I won’t watch Fox News. I would watch Megyn Kelly, who is smart, gutsy and fair, as well as Wallace, but Aisles keeping a proven liar like O’Reilly on after proof of his untrustworthiness cannot be tolerated.

  4. Jack,
    As an aside: What the shortened video doesn’t show, by the way, is Dr. Nucatola explaining that Planned Parenthood does NOT profit from tissue donation, which requires the clear consent of the patient. Planned Parenthood affiliates only accept money to cover costs associated with collecting and transporting the tissue.

    “‘This is not something with any revenue stream that affiliates are looking at,’ she said.” Apparently, Federal law DOES allow facilities to be reimbursed for costs associated with fetal tissue donation, such as transportation and storage.

    Or am I wrong (I legitimately want to know)?

    Best,
    Neil

    • It does. In her case, the evidence for wrongdoing is weak. The latest video is much worse on that score. It’s the crushing and the crunching, however, that is most damning.

    • Patient?

      What are you talking about.

      A patient is someone who receives medical treatment.

      An abortion is not a medical treatment, no matter how dishonestly spun.

      Even worse, if an abortion *was* a medical treatment, the baby would be the patient, not the mother.

      Only in the instance where a baby’s life threatens that of the mothers could the mother be termed a patient.

      • I cringe whenever abortion is euphemized as “reproductive care”.

        As though facilitating reproduction were a motivating factor…

    • It’s a distinction without a difference anyway. As you can see from both videos, the price-points are completely arbitrary, and it’s normal for non-profits to make sure that “donations” for services far exceed actual costs. Even legitimate, charitable non-profits still draw paychecks and have salaries. They aren’t calculating the per-baby costs and making sure not to profit off of the tissues. They’re making sure that they come out ahead. Which means, legal or not, Planned Parenthood is hawking dead-baby parts. But hey, if you’re cool with that, you know, as long as they’re not breaking any laws.

  5. When I die, my organs (assuming they are in decent shape) will be harvested and reused for other medical purposes. There are costs associated with that — doctors still charge for their time to remove, airline flights, specialty personnel, etc. There are contracts that detail what those costs are — they are just not discussed on the nightly news and how hospitals are reimbursed. An eyeball costs X amount of money, etc.

    I have no doubt that there are horrible people who work for Planned Parenthood, but the fact remains that abortion is legal. If there can be any good that comes of using the dead fetus after it has been terminated, then that is a good thing. Would you feel better if the organs were just thrown out with the trash? What is the acceptable way (in a society where abortion is legal) of disposing of the remains? A funeral at the public’s expense?

    Of course anyone who is pro-life is going to be horrified at this practice — in your view, it is life that is being callously killed and then chopped up for parts. And even someone with more moderate views like me (I think abortion is evil, but it is a necessary evil), the idea of hearing about the actual procedure and disposal disgusts me. But it would also disgust me if the tissue was NOT reused.

    • I have no doubt that there are horrible people who work for Planned Parenthood, but the fact remains that abortion is legal. If there can be any good that comes of using the dead fetus after it has been terminated, then that is a good thing. Would you feel better if the organs were just thrown out with the trash? What is the acceptable way (in a society where abortion is legal) of disposing of the remains? A funeral at the public’s expense?

      This is utilitarianism at its worst. “If we are going to kill unborn children, we might as well harvest them for parts.” NO!

      Abortion is wrong. Dead wrong. To create any sort of economic incentive perpetuates the process. To allow mothers to feel some “relief” that at least they are benefiting science is wrong. They are making a decision. They must live with the consequences. Guilt is an important consequence. If people never felt guilt, ethics alarms could never be programmed.

      the idea of hearing about the actual procedure and disposal disgusts me. But it would also disgust me if the tissue was NOT reused.

      Exactly. Using dead children for research is the legal equivalent of putting ones fingers in one’s ears and pretending nothing bad is happening.

      There is a reason we created Gettysburg National Cemetery. The blood of those fallen men consecrated it far beyond our ability to add or subtract.

      There is a reason we perverse the battle fields. There is a reason we preserve Normandy Beach. There is a reason we built a moment to the victims of Benedict Arnold’s betrayal overlooking Groton and New London.

      We build these things to remember. War is “legal”. War is “evil, but a necessary evil”. That is why it is Tragic. We build monuments to remember awful tragedies we must strive to never repeat. We build monuments to teach the other side not to provoke.

      Yet with Abortion, we sweep it under the rug. Abortion is at least equally tragic to every war we have ever fought. Yet we throw babies away in dumpsters and pretend they never happened, or cut them up for parts to feel better about our “choice”.

      What is the acceptable way (in a society where abortion is legal) of disposing of the remains? A funeral at the public’s expense?

      The only way to curtail abortion is to confront it. Peal away the rationalizations and excuses. A large potter’s field with 30 million little crosses, or stones might go further than any ultrasound or waiting period…

    • Beth: If you don’t mind, I’m going to make “I think abortion is evil, but it is a necessary evil” an Ethics Quote tomorrow. I think it advances the discussion considerably. I may even agree with it, to some extent.

          • If we treated it that way, I think I could be behind the process. “Abortions are for the really hard calls, when something has seriously gone wrong, when the mother’s life is in danger, when she’s about to give birth to ‘The Fly’s” Larvae, or something critically serious or grave”. But that’s not how the other side approaches it, that’s definitely not how PP treats it. More black children are aborted than born year over year in New York. Real statistic. There are groups that use abortion as a contraceptive. That’s not necessary, but it is evil.

            • “There are groups that use abortion as a contraceptive.”

              Abortion can be used as the crudest form of “birth control”, but not by any honest definition, as “contraception”.

    • If you believe that it make sense for the tissues to be reused, then you must understand that there is absolutely no way that a lucrative market for those tissues will not exist, and that many, many abortions will happen BECAUSE of this, and that many, many backroom deals will transpire to turn those baby-parts into profits. That’s just the way the world works.

      (It’s no secret that Planned Parenthood’s policy has always been to push women and girls towards abortion and discourage adoption; that’s been going on for a while now. Abortions are where the money is. So I assume you’re already ok with that part.)

    • “What is the acceptable way (in a society where abortion is legal) of disposing of the remains? A funeral at the public’s expense?”

      Why the public’s dollar? Why not the parents? Why should we as society be on the hook for their stupid choices?

      “Of course anyone who is pro-life is going to be horrified at this practice — in your view, it is life that is being callously killed and then chopped up for parts.”

      That accurately sums it up for me. Talking about crushing skulls and groins to preserve livers while sipping wine may have contributed to the ‘callous’ distinction, or maybe it was the part where Nucatola didn’t know why people wanted legs. “Maybe for the muscle?” that showed that she really just didn’t care. “Maybe they want to build a manikin out of baby legs, who cares? We aren’t using them anyway!”

      This might be a personal failing on my part, but I don’t understand anyone’s acceptance or even tolerance of this.

  6. This is pretty misleading. Im gonna go out on a limb, and assume that the issue that most pro-lifers have with the practice, is not how the remains are disposed of, or that a silver lining is coming from such a barbaric practice. It is that the point of the practice harvest human organs, from a being that is simultaneously considered non-human. That the very definition of the being, human or non-human, rests, not in a dictionary, not in science, but in the minds of 158 million women, who one day can just “decide” that what was one day a baby, is the next day, not. And thus, what was murder one day, is the next day not, simply because, for some (not all, or even a significant minority…but 1 is 1 too many) women, the wind changed direction. And that anyone who dares speak up against the lunacy of it all, is shouted down as someone who just wants to control women’s bodies, and leading the War of Women (as if I actually give a crap what any woman does with her body, so long as it has no affect on the life of those who cannot defend themselves). Am I part of the War on Women if I try to stop a grown woman from beating her small child into submission? What’s the difference?

    And Planned Parenthood, the organization who provides “compassionate care” whist “crushing” and “crunching” the unborn is at the heart of this hypocrisy. And somehow, I and people who think like me are the enemy. That so many people accept this line of thinking, in the name of “women’s freedom” makes me so angry, Im shaking as I type this.

    • Sigh….this was supposed to be in response to Beth’s post, but rather than hit “Reply” (to her post), I must’ve just started typing in the “Leave a Reply” section. Maybe my shaking is actually part of a cognition issue….

    • The majority of abortions are done due to pressure or threats from a man anyway, commonly against the woman’s will or better judgement, so the whole idea that this is a net plus for the empowerment of women has always been a joke. And that’s apart from the whole murder thing.

  7. I don’t have a problem with Soylent Green being people. If people are dying anyway, I’d be disgusted if they WEREN’T being turned into food.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.