I'd imagine that most people find these investigative videos from Live Action are exceedingly difficult to watch, regardless of their stance on abortion. Which is probably the point. Yesterday, the group released its first clip in a series of hidden-camera exposes, in which a late-term abortionist in the Bronx cheerfully describes the gruesome nature of the procedure she administers for a living. She tells the pregnant woman that at 23 weeks, the unborn child is "fully grown." When the young woman asks what would happen if she went into labor and gave birth prior to the conclusion of the two-day abortion procedure, the so-called medical professional offers this counsel: "Flush it." Round two features a late-term abortionist in Washington, DC. Live Action's investigator tells the death doctor she is 25 weeks pregnant, more than six months into gestation. Watch as he explicitly affirms that his clinic would violate the law if the baby survived the abortion and was born alive. "We would not help it:"
“Technically – you know, legally we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive. But, you know, it probably wouldn’t. It’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point. Let’s say you went into labor, the membranes ruptured, and you delivered before we got to the termination part of the procedure here, you know? Then we would do things – we would – we would not help it. We wouldn’t intubate. It would be, you know, uh, a person, a terminal person in the hospital, let’s say, that had cancer, you know? You wouldn’t do any extra procedures to help that person survive. Like ‘do not resuscitate’ orders. We would do the same things here.”
As Ed Morrissey points out, "do not resuscitate" orders are a critically flawed analogy in this case because DNR patients reach that decision for themselves and sign off on the paperwork. No unborn child has ever signed up to be killed. Indeed, witnesses at the Gosnell murder trial have testified that some born-alive infants (or "viable fetuses," as the New York Times called them) at that clinic struggled mightily to survive. Incidentally, Planned Parenthood -- an organization that receives hundreds of millions in taxpayer funding and literal blessings from President Obama -- was aware of the unsanitary house of horror Gosnell presided over in Philadelphia. By their own admission, they did nothing. A few more thoughts on Live Action's latest video, and this issue in general:
(1) If you look closely at the 1:04 mark, you'll notice that the clinic's television is tuned to MSNBC. How very appropriate.
(2) Around 2:40, the abortionist downplays the possibility of the abortion failing to "take," resulting in a live birth. He concedes that it "could" happen, but assures the patient that such an outcome had never transpired at his facility. "Not here." Just over two minutes later, the doctor sneers that in a backwards place like Virginia, hospital attendants would likely do everything within their power to save such a child. He adds, "that's happened before, to tell you the truth." He calls Virginia doctors' actions to save born-alive infants "the stupidest thing they could have done," condemning their course of action as "everything thing they shouldn't have done, which was to help [patients] deliver." If you were an unborn child, would you rather live in Virginia or Washington, DC?
(3) In one sentence ("that's happened before, to tell you the truth"), this abortionist contradicts then-State Senator Barack Obama's assertion that these scenarios never arise, a falsehood upon which he based his three-time opposition to the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act. Obama's spin ignored sworn testimony from whistle-blower nurses in Chicagoland. Obama's ex post facto justifications of his extremism on this issue have long since been debunked. In short, he claimed he would have supported the Congressional version of the bill, which passed without a single dissenting vote -- but when that verbatim legislative language was introduced in Springfield, Obama blocked it again. For a guy who was notorious for voting "present" on tough issues, Obama repeatedly went to the mat for infanticide.
(4) The Bronx expose begins with a soundbyte of Obama concurring with President Clinton that abortions should be "safe legal and rare." Obama's 2008 and 2012 DNC platform dropped that formulation altogether. "Rare" was apparently deemed too judgmental within pro-abortion circles.
(5) Obama opposes virtually all limitations on abortion, including grisly late-term procedures. His friends and benefactors at Planned Parenthood can't say if they believe if life necessarily begins at birth:
Translation: If a woman wants that pregnancy "terminated," she's entitled to a dead baby. Definitional determinations about the status of a child's post-birth life are still up to the woman "and the physician." Repulsive. I'll leave you with a few words from a survivor of an attempted late-term abortion, Gianna Jessen:
UPDATE - Wow, the late-term abortionist in today's video, Dr. Caesare Santangelo, lashes out at Live Action and the young woman who exposed his practices, labeling them "terrorists:"
Santangelo, 56, said he’s been a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist in the District since 1987. He said he keeps a low profile, partly because he worries that the controversial nature of abortions could make him a target for violence, but also because he prefers to stay out of the politics. He said he sometimes refuses late-term abortions if he feels women have been coerced or are in extramarital affairs, are seeking to terminate because of the sex of the child, or seem unsure whether they want the procedure...He said he has not watched the video because “I don’t like to feed into these people. I really consider them terrorists.”
In damage-control mode, Santagelo now says of course he understands that once a baby is born, she's entitled to rights. Except that's not what he said in a conversation with a prospective client that he thought was private. Here is a man who makes money killing and dismembering viable human babies calling other people terrorists. Also, he claims he sometimes declines to perform late-term abortions for women who are trying to cover up extramarital affairs or for reasons of sex-selection. Even if that's true, why? What makes those babies less killable than the others? Live Action founder Lila Rose responds to Santangelo's smear: “For Dr. Santagelo to call a 24 week pregnant woman a terrorist, after having just admitted he would leave struggling babies to die after surviving abortion, is a desperate attempt to distract from his own horrific actions. The numbness Dr. Santangelo displays to his victims is both heart-breaking and shocking. It is time to investigate the inhuman and brutal practices that happen behind the closed doors of these facilities across the country.”
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography