A recent video purports to show a planned parenthood staffer as calculated seller of unborn baby body parts. It was unbelievable to watch this week as the media ate up this snapshot without looking into the issue. We can all agree that perhaps the people talking could have been more sensitive and respectful. However, these fetuses are donated to help scientist solve medical problems. This is not something we should discourage. In any industry where unnerving actions are a part of daily life, the people who work on such issues day in and day out tend to talk in a more cavalier way than we would if we popped in for a day. I’ve spent a good chunk of time with a wide array of homicide detectives and they all share a common sense of humor, and it is very, very dark. Why? Because they’re dealing with murdered people. To get through the day they make jokes most of us would consider to be widely inappropriate. We need homicide detectives. Just like we need people to arrange for the bodies of infants who were aborted be transported to scientific labs where their lungs, hearts and other body parts will go towards helping our children if they fall sick. I’m grateful that someone has that job and that those bodies are going to a good cause. Here’s a story we posted months ago about the good that can come from infant bodies donated to science and one woman’s story.
Conservatives are using this scandal as a justification to try to defund Planned Parenthood, which receives more than half a billion dollars in tax subsidies annually, none of which pay for abortions. Just Sunday there was a vote on the Highway Bill and conservatives tried to include an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. It was blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. If it had been included in the Highway Bill it would have only required a majority, whereas if it is in a stand alone bill it would need 60 votes, which it is unlikely to get. Finger crossed.
The New York Times Opinion Sections addresses the issue and the controversy well. The Boston Globe had a columnist who did the opposite, I’m not sure he did any research for his piece.
Here is The Times:
Researchers use fetal tissue to study and develop treatments for diseases and conditions like H.I.V., hepatitis, congenital heart defects, retinal degeneration and Parkinson’s. Last year, the National Institutes of Health gave $76 million in grants for fetal tissue research. Planned Parenthood is certainly not the only collector of fetal tissue — clinics associated with universities also supply tissue for research.
The Center for Medical Progress video campaign is a dishonest attempt to make legal, voluntary and potentially lifesaving tissue donations appear nefarious and illegal. Lawmakers responding by promoting their own anti-choice agenda are rewarding deception and putting women’s health and their constitutionally protected rights at risk.
A hidden-camera video released last week purported to show that Planned Parenthood illegally sells tissue from aborted fetuses. It shows nothing of the sort. But it is the latest in a series of unrelenting attacks on Planned Parenthood, which offers health care services to millions of people every year. The politicians howling to defund Planned Parenthood care nothing about the truth here, being perfectly willing to undermine women’s reproductive rights any way they can.
The nine-minute video clip released by the Center for Medical Progress, an outfit apparently created in 2013, invites viewers to “Hold Planned Parenthood accountable for their illegal sale of baby parts.” In it, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, is seen discussing the collection of fetal tissue in a lunch meeting with two people posing as potential tissue buyers. A second video, released on Tuesday, shows another Planned Parenthood staff member discussing fetal tissue.
After the first video’s release, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky pledged to “introduce an amendment to pending Senate legislation to immediately strip every dollar of Planned Parenthood funding.” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas called for defunding and for “an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s activities regarding the sale and transfer of aborted body parts.” The House Energy and Commerce Committee is undertaking an investigation, and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana have ordered investigations in their states.
Let’s remember that these tissues are donated for the betterment of all of us. This is not some body snatching operation. Planned Parenthood is a place of refuge for women in need. Beside offering family planning service the non-profit also provides cancer screening and other services for women. These men attacking women’s access to health are determined to take away a woman’s right to choose. This is an issue of access for all women. This is enough already.
For those interested here are the videos in questions: