It’s not easy to get over the shock of this week’s news.
After all, an institution that has become, for so many, a paragon of the American virtues of freedom, choice, and healthcare has been put in the crosshairs.
From the perspective of Planned Parenthood, the best-case scenario is that an underhanded attack has occurred to its sterling reputation as a champion of women’s health.
Tweet This: Is the #PPSellsBabyParts video a hoax? Good question.
The video captures a lunch meeting where Planned Parenthood’s top medical director, Dr. Deborah Nucatola describes the precise procedures the organization undertakes in order to harvest specific organs during an abortion from the unborn child.
Telling potential buyers how expert her national team has become in harvesting specific organs during an abortion, Dr. Nucatola points out that the abortion providers she trains utilize ultrasound and change the position of the baby during the procedure in order to dismember him or her in a way that keeps specific organs intact.
“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,” Dr. Nucatola says in the video.
As it has been pointed out universally, Dr. Nucatola’s shockingly cavalier tone—for which Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards apologizes in the video—underscores what those in the pro-life community call the depravity, or inhumanity of abortion itself.
But honest questions have arisen since the video’s release this Tuesday. I want to highlight three of the best questions I’ve come across, and engage these questions with integrity and (I hope) clarity.
1. Is the video valid in the first place?
The validity of the video ought to be the first question we ask ourselves, before resorting to whichever is our default stance on abortion.
Is the video real? Does it depict the conversation in context? In truth?
I have to admit, when I first saw a link to the video Tuesday morning, I passed it off as clickbait.
Harvesting and selling baby body parts? Get real, fellow pro-lifers. After all, for years it has been publicized in pro-life corners that Pepsi uses fetal cells in its products… Wait, where are you going?
Yes, as I said, my first response on seeing the headlines for Planned Parenthood harvesting and selling baby body parts was to pass it by. (This coming from someone whose job it is to write about pro-life issues!)
In other words, if you’re skeptical, I’m with you. But remember, a true skeptic asks questions. That’s the difference between a skeptic and an agnostic. One asks questions, while the other just, well, questions.
But, my fellow skeptics, here are a couple of facts about the video to consider:
First, the video is posted in its entirety, unedited in all its shocking glory. If you have close to three hours and don’t mind watching someone eat salad and drink red wine while they talk about disassembling and selling babies, I highly recommend you watch the whole thing.
Planned Parenthood and the mainstream media would have us believe the PR drivel about the 9-minute video’s being edited. But if you’re a skeptic, be skeptical about that kind of response from an organization with a reputation and $500 million per year in taxpayer funding on the line.
Be skeptical enough to watch the whole video.
Tweet This: #PlannedParenthood response to #PPSellsBabyParts video speaks to its authenticity.
Second, Planned Parenthood has responded to the video and apologized for it. Why, we must ask, would an apology—minute as it was—be in order if there was nothing to the video in the first place?
Has any organization, ever in the history of PR, apologized for a baseless attack from the enemy?
From my lofty perch as a communications director at Heartbeat International, I can tell you without reservation that we never apologize when we are on the receiving end of vicious, baseless, and might I add video-less attacks on pregnancy help organizations from the likes of NARAL Pro-Choice America or Cosmopolitan.
Even in today’s topsy-turvy world of morality, an apology is an admission of wrongdoing.
Now, that Planned Parenthood apologized for the tone of its highest-ranking medical official—referred to in the video as a “staff member”—doesn’t necessarily mean that the video is legitimate.
But let’s just make a mental note that, at least Planned Parenthood thinks the video’s real.
Another objection to the video’s legitimacy is the argument that the mainstream media hasn’t run with it because they aren’t convinced that it’s authentic. Borrowing from Mollie Hemmingway’s excellent piece over at the The Federalist, it’s fair to say that the mainstream media doesn’t, as a rule, wait for a video to be authenticated and put into context before they generate and spread the story far and wide.
After all, this is the same mainstream media who were convinced about Manti Te’o’s dead-yet-nonexistent girlfriend because of a couple of Tweets.
If there’s anything to remain skeptical about, direct your skepticism to the response to the video, not the video itself.
2. If not used for science, what should we do with the remains from aborted babies?
A friend asked me on Facebook last night, “What did you think was being done with the remains of the aborted?”
This is an excellent question It will lead us right to the heart of the matter, if we let it.
We are outraged not merely at the harvesting and sale of the body parts of America’s aborted babies, but the monstrous worldview it points to. What was once unwanted in its whole—a baby—is suddenly wanted for its parts, like an old clunker at Pick-N-Pull.
But my friend is right to point out the alternative, which is to simply throw away the remains of an aborted child. Put his or her body in the dumpster?
Of course not! To do so would be to betray our commitment to the eternal truth of, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”
Tweet This: Whoever said abortion was necessary? #PPSellsBabyParts
Here’s where the question leads to the heart of the matter: It assumes abortion as a necessity, like food and water. This simply isn’t the case.
Just a glance at the disproportionate supply and demand equation for adoption—36 couples waiting to adopt for every adoption—tells us that every child is already a wanted child.
Furthermore, of the 1.2 million American abortions every year, fewer than two percent are related to the so-called “exceptions” of rape, incest, and life of the mother combined.
If you go further into the rabbit hole, you find former abortionists like Dr. Anthony Levatino, who has testified before Congress that, in 1,200 abortions, he never saw a case where abortion was necessary to save the life of a mother.
Whatever we think about the video, surely we can agree that human beings amount to more than the sum total of our parts.
3. What about the mother signing an informed consent form?
Did you know that, in the case of an organ transplant, there are two separate teams who are specifically separated so each can attend to the best interests of both the donor and the recipient?
In an interview at The Gospel Coalition website, bioethicist Jennifer Lahl, president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture, makes this reality known, pointing out that the separation between medical teams of donor and recipient is ensured by federal law.
However, as Lahl goes on to say, “Unborn children do not have the status, in the United States, as a patient, so they’re not protected by laws that normally would protect patients.”
What the video of Dr. Nucatola demonstrates, beyond the shadow of a doubt, is that unborn babies—while not considered persons legally—certainly have “human organs” like livers, heads, legs, and hearts.
The gruesome logical disconnect between a being who is comprised of human body parts and an actual human being—a person—is difficult to fathom.
But it cuts right to the heart of the matter. This is what it means to have “Abortion on-demand and without apology.” Our children are treated as if they do not exist, while their organs are treated as valuable commodities, spare parts.
It’s very possible that the mothers who are robbed of motherhood by Planned Parenthood’s abortion practitioners routinely sign consent forms for the distribution and sale of their dead babies’ body parts.
As much as Big Abortion wants to parrot its own, “My body, my choice” propoganda, the fact of the matter is, when it comes to selling baby body parts, we’re not talking about a woman’s body, but about a baby’s.
And maybe we should’ve been talking about that all along.
Tweet This: My body my choice? Not in this case. #PPSellsBabyParts