As Planned Parenthood has undertaken its damage-mitigation campaign in the wake of stomach-turning practices revealed in an ongoing series of undercover videos, the abortion giant's officials have offered a string of questionable and false assertions. Here is a "fact" Planned Parenthood tweeted in mid-July:
"These programs" refer to Planned Parenthood's systematic harvesting and selling of human organs from aborted fetuses -- including late-term fetuses. The organization claims that its practices comply with all "ethics and laws," which is not true. It is against the law to alter abortion procedures for the purpose of enhancing the quality and quantity of the resulting sellable "tissue samples." Several senior Planned Parenthood officials admit to doing precisely that, on tape. One discusses strategically "crushing" certain parts of the fetus to protect lucrative organs such as livers, while another explicitly discusses "alter[ing] our process" in order to obtain "intact fetal cadavers." This is illegal and medically unethical. The tweet also states that patients "consent fully" to the sale of their aborted children's body parts. The latest video, featuring a whistle-blower, directly challenges this claim:
The series follows the personal narrative of Holly O’Donnell, a former Blood and TIssue Procurement Technician for StemExpress, a start-up biotech company from northern California that partners with Planned Parenthood clinics to purchase their aborted fetus parts and resell them for scientific experimentation. As a procurement tech, O’Donnell’s job was to identify pregnant patients matching the specifications of StemExpress customers and to harvest the fetal body parts from their abortions. “It’s not an option, it’s a demand,” StemExpress supervisors instructed O’Donnell about approaching pregnant women at Planned Parenthood for fetal tissue “donations.” O’Donnell says the StemExpress techs working in Planned Parenthood clinics sometimes harvested fetal parts without obtaining consent from the patients: “If there was a higher gestation, and the technicians needed it, there were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.” Federal laws on the procurement and use of human fetal tissue require that patients consent to the tissue donation subsequent to consenting to the abortion procedure (42 U.S.C. 289g-1).
Finally, there's the "nobody benefits financially" piece, which is patently ridiculous and easily disproven. One Planned Parenthood doctor caught on video talks about using fetal organ harvesting to help clinics "do a little better than break even." This is known as "profit." Another talks about "bump[ing] up" the agreed-upon price for body parts, joking that she wants to buy "a Lamborghini." Yet another employee boasts that the organ-harvesting side business plays an important role in the "diversification of [Planned Parenthood's] revenue stream," referring to fetal organs as "line items" that can be split up among "different shipments" to maximize revenues. "Nobody benefits financially," the home office claims, because profiting from the sale of human remains is illegal. Which brings us to sworn testimony in Madison, Wisconsin, where lawmakers are considering legislation that would crack down on fetal harvesting practices. From a local reporter who attended the hearings:
Former @PPact dir, says quota was 75 abortions/day, says employees were offered $ incentives to get women to consent to research of tissue— Jessica Arp (@news3jessica) August 11, 2015
Kleefisch: what would happen to your research if women stopped having abortions? Golden: it would have a substantial negative impact...— Jessica Arp (@news3jessica) August 11, 2015
Perverse incentives galore, in direct contradiction of Planned Parenthood's official line. Congressional Republicans and a handful of Democrats are seeking to strip the organization of federal funding. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat supports this initiative, swatting away apologists' attempts to paint Planned Parenthood as somehow pro-life. His forceful conclusion:
Tell me anything but this, liberals: Tell me that you aren’t just pro-choice but pro-abortion, tell me that abortion is morally necessary and praiseworthy, tell me that it’s as morally neutral as snuffing out a rabbit, tell me that a fetus is just a clump of cells and that pro-lifers are all unhinged zealots. Those arguments, as much as I disagree with them, have a real consistency, a moral logic that actually makes sense and actually justifies the continued funding of Planned Parenthood. But to concede that pro-lifers might be somewhat right to be troubled by abortion, to shudder along with us just a little bit at the crushing of the unborn human body, and then turn around and still demand the funding of an institution that actually does the quease-inducing killing on the grounds that what’s being funded will help stop that organization from having to crush quite so often, kill quite so prolifically – no, spare me. Spare me. Tell the allegedly “pro-life” institution you support to set down the forceps, put away the vacuum, and then we’ll talk about what kind of family planning programs deserve funding. But don’t bring your worldview’s bloody hands to me and demand my dollars to pay for soap enough to maybe wash a few flecks off.
Enough. Planned Parenthood is callously butchering unborn, late-term fetuses, violating the law, and lying about it.