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It's time to defund Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood is in full damage control mode. It is working
on impugning the credibility of pro-life undercover
investigators from the Center for Medical Progress who just
today released another video on the abortion provider’s barbaric
It is also defending the technical legality of its practice of
harvesting organs for a fee during abortions, deploying its
allies in the media and the White House, and seeking desperately
to restore its carefully constructed and ferociously defended
image as an organization primarily focused on women’s health,
and only secondarily involved in providing abortions.
But the edifice is cracked and no amount of attacking the
messenger or hair-splitting legal argument can change the fact
that Planned Parenthood’s own medical directors have unwittingly
offered rare and much-needed clarity about the nature of the
business that Planned Parenthood has chosen, and shared (if
inadvertently) the truth about precisely whose lives are
destroyed as a result.
Regardless of the legal technicalities involved (which should be
investigated), the words of Dr. Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s
medical director, last week and Dr. Mary Gatter, president of
its Council of Medical Directors, today make it perfectly clear
that Planned Parenthood’s business is killing.
Between bites of salad and sips of wine, Nucatola described how
she kills unborn children so as to harvest their vital organs,
which are then conveyed to biotech firms for a fee.
In her own words: “you try to intentionally go above and below
the thorax so that, you know — we’ve been very good at getting
heart, lung, liver, because we know that — so I’m not gonna
crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna
crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.” She
also explained (albeit in more antiseptic and technical terms)
how she can even harvest the intact portion of an unborn child’s
skull by first turning the body in the womb to a breach position
just before evacuating the child’s brains with a suction device.
Dr. Gatter today explained how her abortionists are able to use
“a less crunchy technique to get whole specimens.”
These grim descriptions are unambiguous about who is destroyed
as Planned Parenthood goes about its business. The being killed
by Planned Parenthood’s abortionists is a human being, albeit at
the earliest and most vulnerable stage of her life. Indeed, her
organs are valuable to others precisely (and only) because they
come from a human being.
Crushing human bodies. Evacuating human skulls. Harvesting human
vital organs for a fee. This is what Planned Parenthood does.
This is its business.
And business is booming. Planned Parenthood is the largest
abortion provider in the world. According to its most recent
annual report, in 2013 Planned Parenthood performed 327,653
abortions – an increase from previous years, despite an overall
nationwide decline in abortions. This constitutes 94 percent of
all “pregnancy services” provided during this time period. At an
average price of $500 per abortion sold (according to various
sources including Planned Parenthood’s website), this amounts to
roughly $164 million per year (almost 54 percent of its non-
government health services revenue for 2013). U.S. taxpayers
provide Planned Parenthood with $540 million per year.
Like any big business, Planned Parenthood protects its brand and
promotes its agenda in the political and cultural spheres.
In both 2012 and 2014, its political action committee spent more
than $1 million to oppose all restrictions on abortion
(including laws requiring informed consent, parental
involvement, limiting federal funding, and banning late term
Planned Parenthood collaborates directly with television and
film producers (e.g., HBO’s “Girls”) and women’s magazine
editors (e.g., Cosmopolitan) to promote its brand and abortion
rights. It seeks to discredit and destroy any organization that
sullies its brand. In 2012, Planned Parenthood and its
supporters ferociously attacked the Susan G. Komen Foundation
when it sought to discontinue a handful of small grants to
Planned Parenthood affiliates. Its allies in the White House
threatened to strip states such as Indiana of all Medicaid
funding unless they restored state taxpayer dollars to clinics
that provide abortions.
The American people should be thankful for Dr. Nucatola’s and
Gatter’s words, and even for the coarse and graphic manner in
which they were delivered.
In doing so, they offered a rare glimpse of the horrible truth
about the nature and human cost of Planned Parenthood’s work.
Thanks to them, Planned Parenthood’s slick corporate image as
merely an altruistic defender of women’s health is shattered.
Having its true face revealed, the path forward is clear. No
minimally decent society can support an organization whose
business is killing and harvesting body parts for money. Defund
Planned Parenthood now.
O. Carter Snead is the Director of the Center for Ethics and
Culture and is a Professor of Law at the University of Notre
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