Nazi-esque is my preferred label for recent sensational disclosures that Planned Parenthood has (allegedly) been selling organs retrieved from children aborted in their clinics. Activists from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) posing as “buyers” of the recovered body-parts – including hearts, livers, lungs and other viable organs – secretly filmed a discussion conducted last July over lunch with Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical research, about which organs are in demand and what their price might be. Dr. Nucatola casually described how she delicately “crushes” the fetus to death during an abortion, so the organs she wishes to salvage are preserved.
In her own words: "We've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver …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."
The video is so disturbing – so absolutely barbarous – that some have claimed that it must be a spoof. The CMP stands by its accuracy, however. And calls have erupted from the pro-life side of the political spectrum for immediate hearings and legal action. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner issued a statement in which he said:
"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…"
In response to demands by pro-life members and activists for congressional hearings, the House’s Energy, Commerce and Judiciary committees have announced plans for investigations. Energy Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Michigan) called the video “abhorrent,” saying it “rips at the heart.” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a GOP presidential candidate, has ordered an investigation in his state and called for an immediate suspension of the group's license, pending further review.
Planned Parenthood immediately released a counter-statement declaring that the allegations made about the video were politically motivated, “outrageous” and “flat-out untrue.” President Obama – usually quite ready to speak out on issues that play to to his party’s liberal base – has been uncharacteristically silent on this matter, as it plays out in the media and Congress. Charles Lane – a liberal Washington Post columnist and Fox News contributor – has admitted that the nine-minute video was “very hard to watch.”
Political commentators note that disclosures about the retrieval and possible sales of fetal organs might well reignite the debate over whether government should even be funding Planned Parenthood. Indeed, the proposed ban on abortions conducted beyond 20 weeks gestation will gain new traction. Gov. Jindal has declared:
"If the Republican Party can't turn defending innocent human life into a winning issue nationally, we should fold up the Republican Party and start all over again.”
It is clearly illegal to sell body parts, but Planned Parenthood claims the discussions shown in the undercover video refer only to organs “donated” for research. PP claims to receive compensation only for their shipping and handling costs in these transactions.
Charles Lane and other analysts aver that the only legal question in this case is whether the organs are sold. But this is neither the sole issue nor the true concern of Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion political lobby. Those parties comprehend that the real danger is widespread exposure of the callous disregard for human life and the dark butchery that festers at the heart of the entire abortion industry. That industry is not humane. It is not affirming. It is neither positive nor compassionate in any way. It is an industry of death! – a fact that only the most willfully ignorant or downright evil individuals can possibly fail to see.
With the blood of fifty million children on their hands, these legal killers have labored mightily over the 40-plus years since Roe vs. Wade to convince the public that the fetus is naught but a “blob of tissue.” They have fought like tigers to keep every abortion “client” away from ever seeing or knowing that she is carrying a living child – entirely recognizable as such within mere weeks of conception. The sonogram is the abortionist’s mortal enemy, as it clearly shows that the fetus is definitely a child. Data indicate that high percentages of potential abortion candidates are persuaded by their baby-sonograms to go full term to a live birth. Mandatory viewing of that sonogram by every woman seeking an abortion would almost certainly destroy the industry.
Radio commentator Rush Limbaugh argues that dramatic revelations like the CMP video will never change the minds of hard-core abortion-advocates. No doubt he is right. They are beyond the reach of the normal human impulse to value and protect all life – individuals that the Bible says the Lord has “…given over to a reprobate mind.”
But these are fringe elements – not the majority of Americans who tacitly accept abortion by avoiding the bloody details. The great malleable “center” of the American political spectrum contains millions of people who either are simply ignorant of the truth about abortion, or who deliberately avoid it. These folks have never seen the horrific sonogram-images of a living fetus desperately trying to avoid the abortionist’s lethal forceps. Most broadcast networks regarded those images as “too disturbing” for their viewers to see. (If the grisly clip doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you’re not breathing.)
No doubt most of those same networks will suppress, on the same grounds of “delicacy,” the disgusting clip of Dr. Nucatola explaining how she preserves valuable fetal organs as she destroys a living child in the womb – comments made while she is “popping canapés into her mouth” (in Charles Lane’s incisive description). Americans watching the evening news while they eat their supper would be revolted – just as my wife and I were.
In the 1950s, television images of southern cops knocking down black women and children with fire-hoses, and of slavering police-dogs attacking peaceful protestors turned the stomachs of Americans. We were shocked at what we had become. Just so, Americans will react to the Planned Parenthood video similarly. All over the country, millions of people will ask, “Is this America? Is it what we stand for now?” Although many networks will try to keep the damning images from reaching the public, this tactic will fail. This is no longer the 1950s, when a few powerful networks can control what the public sees. Today the Internet furnishes universal access to any information. ‘Hiding the ball” is no longer possible.
Years ago I heard a radio interview with Dr. James Dobson – the founder of Focus on the Family and noted expert on child psychology. It was at a time when several abortionists had been assassinated near their clinics. Those reports received much media attention as part of a general debate on private property rights and individuals’ freedom to conduct their legal businesses, even when some parties oppose them. The interviewer asked Dr. Dobson for his opinion on these matters – possibly hoping to draw him into an impolitic statement. Dr. Dobson replied that he thought the issue hinged on whether Christians “believe their own rhetoric.” He noted that Christians often say abortion is the “murder of a child.” But do we really believe it? To illustrate his meaning, Dr. Dobson posed this theoretical example, which I cannot quote verbatim but render essentially as he said it:
‘Suppose it became known that a facility outside town was actually killing children? Not unborn fetuses, but actual, live children. Would we be drawn into a hypothetical debate about property rights and infringement of individuals’ ability to conduct their businesses? God help us! We would do no such thing! We would go out there with fire and sword and destroy that evil place, as well as any villains who tried to stop us! The murder of innocent children is something Christians cannot countenance…’
Dr. Dobson left the matter there for listeners (as well as the interviewer) to contemplate. We shall do well to do the same.
Dr. Josef Mengele was the evil Nazi doctor who performed grotesque “medical” experiments on concentration camp inmates. His grisly title, The Angel of Death, was well earned. Today, Christians – indeed, all Americans – need to decide how far into Dr. Mengele’s infernal underworld we want to venture before we finally shout, “Enough!” The Planned Parenthood video shows how close we are close to the point of no return.
Knowledge is the key to changing public attitudes. Abortions have dropped significantly over the last decade. As more and more truth about what abortion really involves reaches people in the political center, those numbers will drop even farther. Eventually – in God’s good time – the legality of this barbarous practice might be repealed entirely. I pray for that time to come during my lifetime.
“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” (Alexis de Tocqueville; Democracy in America, 1835)
Alexis de Tocqueville