Published July 21, 2015
Planned Parenthood is in full damage control mode. It is working on impugning the credibility of pro-life undercover investigators from the Center for Medical Progress who just today released another video on the abortion provider’s barbaric practices.
It is also defending the technical legality of its practice of harvesting organs for a fee during abortions, deploying its allies in the media and the White House, and seeking desperately to restore its carefully constructed and ferociously defended image as an organization primarily focused on women’s health, and only secondarily involved in providing abortions.
But the edifice is cracked and no amount of attacking the messenger or hair-splitting legal argument can change the fact that Planned Parenthood’s own medical directors have unwittingly offered rare and much-needed clarity about the nature of the business that Planned Parenthood has chosen, and shared (if inadvertently) the truth about precisely whose lives are destroyed as a result.
Regardless of the legal technicalities involved (which should be investigated), the words of Dr. Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s medical director, last week and Dr. Mary Gatter, president of its Council of Medical Directors, today make it perfectly clear that Planned Parenthood’s business is killing.
Between bites of salad and sips of wine, Nucatola described how she kills unborn children so as to harvest their vital organs, which are then conveyed to biotech firms for a fee.
In her own words: “you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax so that, you know — 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.” She also explained (albeit in more antiseptic and technical terms) how she can even harvest the intact portion of an unborn child’s skull by first turning the body in the womb to a breach position just before evacuating the child’s brains with a suction device.
Dr. Gatter today explained how her abortionists are able to use “a less crunchy technique to get whole specimens.”
These grim descriptions are unambiguous about who is destroyed as Planned Parenthood goes about its business. The being killed by Planned Parenthood’s abortionists is a human being, albeit at the earliest and most vulnerable stage of her life. Indeed, her organs are valuable to others precisely (and only) because they come from a human being.
Crushing human bodies. Evacuating human skulls. Harvesting human vital organs for a fee. This is what Planned Parenthood does. This is its business.
And business is booming. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the world. According to its most recent annual report, in 2013 Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions – an increase from previous years, despite an overall nationwide decline in abortions. This constitutes 94 percent of all “pregnancy services” provided during this time period. At an average price of $500 per abortion sold (according to various sources including Planned Parenthood’s website), this amounts to roughly $164 million per year (almost 54 percent of its non-government health services revenue for 2013). U.S. taxpayers provide Planned Parenthood with $540 million per year.
Like any big business, Planned Parenthood protects its brand and promotes its agenda in the political and cultural spheres.
In both 2012 and 2014, its political action committee spent more than $1 million to oppose all restrictions on abortion (including laws requiring informed consent, parental involvement, limiting federal funding, and banning late term abortions).
Planned Parenthood collaborates directly with television and film producers (e.g., HBO’s “Girls”) and women’s magazine editors (e.g., Cosmopolitan) to promote its brand and abortion rights. It seeks to discredit and destroy any organization that sullies its brand. In 2012, Planned Parenthood and its supporters ferociously attacked the Susan G. Komen Foundation when it sought to discontinue a handful of small grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates. Its allies in the White House threatened to strip states such as Indiana of all Medicaid funding unless they restored state taxpayer dollars to clinics that provide abortions.
The American people should be thankful for Dr. Nucatola’s and Gatter’s words, and even for the coarse and graphic manner in which they were delivered.
In doing so, they offered a rare glimpse of the horrible truth about the nature and human cost of Planned Parenthood’s work. Thanks to them, Planned Parenthood’s slick corporate image as merely an altruistic defender of women’s health is shattered. Having its true face revealed, the path forward is clear. No minimally decent society can support an organization whose business is killing and harvesting body parts for money. Defund Planned Parenthood now.
O. Carter Snead is the Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture and is a Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.