Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi, sed saepe cadendo. --OvidA week ago, when I first wrote about the undercover video scandal that is hollowing out the Planned Parenthood empire (Silence of the Lambs), I didn't really think a movement to de-fund the world's largest and most politically powerful abortion provider would gain traction. After all, I went to my first March for Life in 1979, and many more after that when I lived in the eastern half of the country. I was involved in pro-life work in college and full-time for more than three years after that. Through all this I developed an intense interest in how the life issues are covered in the news, and it has never been a fair fight. It's almost as if the major media outlets and the Democratic machine have been colluding in secret for more than 40 years to ensure only favorable or neutral coverage of the abortion industry, and only negative or at best neutral coverage of the pro-life movement. But now, in the age of YouTube and Facebook, we have a little more access to the full story. The average Joanna, and all those of us who are gifted with insatiable curiousity, can view the whole story for ourselves. Momentum does seem to be building at the grassroots level to demand a removal of federal funds from Planned Parenthood (currently more than half a billion dollars annually). My intent today is to provide the essential links to coverage of this developing story, if you are investigating this on your own.
A drop of water hollows a stone, not by force, but by falling often.
The Center for Medical Progress has all its videos up here. The most recent one, released this morning, I will embed here, with a strong caution: It is very disturbing and contains footage of aborted baby parts being prepped for shipment to researchers. DO NOT watch if you are highly sensitive to graphic images. Now, if you saw the slide shows that were going around evangelical churches in the 1970's and 80's, these images are much the same. But the mainstream news media have, so to speak, crushed above and below any attempt to get a wider circulation of pictures that would undermine their preferred pro-abortion narrative. Again, watch this video only with great discretion... the graphic footage starts around the 8 minute mark.
To summarize if you didn't watch it, it interviews a young woman, a phlebotomist (blood draw technician) who did a search for jobs and wound up hired by a middleman tissue procurement company, Stem Express, without any information about her actual job responsibilities. She passed out in shock her first day on the job, collecting specimens at a Planned Parenthood clinic, and was told that some people "don't ever get used to it." Screen shots of Stem Express' website show a program of partnership with abortion clinics that "fiscally rewards clinics" for contributing tissue for research. This is a keynote of the case that CMP is building, because it is illegal for abortion providers to be compensated any more than "cost" for tissue donations. And then there are scenes of the back room of the clinic, where prospective buyers list the organs they want from what is available on the glass dish: liver, thymus, brain and spinal cord... and we learn that the clinic directors like to price these per item, not per each abortion, so "we can see what we get out of it." This is Episode 1 of "Human Capital", and CMP has been releasing videos every Tuesday. So we can wait for the next drop of water in the cascade.
- I'm not the only one who feels the mainstream media is not adequately covering this scandal: Ideas for Reporters.
- But Democrats are calling for a Department of Justice investigation of the Center for Medical Progress. Because corrupt human traffickers hate nothing more than a whistleblower.
- And Planned Parenthood is sending out threatening notices to potential media outlets.
- The always eloquent Charles Krauthammer has this to say on the price of fetal parts. We know what abortion does to the human fetus, but what does it do to us?
- Today in over 50 cities across the U.S. there were "women betrayed" rallies calling for the de-funding of PP. As always, I have to love the grassroots of the pro-life movement. This came together with very little advance notice, and all on a volunteer basis.
- Kirsten Powers calls for defunding of PP.
- Here's something I was not aware of until yesterday: Abby Johnson, the woman behind "And Then There Were None" outreach for clinic workers needing a fresh start, reveals that PP's claim of abortion services making up a miniscule portion of their business is supported by strategically and dishonestly "bundling" or "unbundling" the way they bill their services. So if you go to one appointment and leave with a prescription for 12 months of birth control plus a few tests done at the appointment, it may actually be billed as 12 or more separate services. But an abortion, no matter how many visits are required, will only be counted as one service.
- For a better understanding, check out this video on how exactly they cook abortion statistics to make it look like they don't do that many. If I could manipulate numbers that well, I'd be quite rich by now... but I guess that's the idea.
- Maria Gallagher on how PP's soundbites are not working so well anymore.
I also took one for the team and watched/listened to the entire footage of the long versions of the first two videos. I learned more than any sane person should want to know about fetal tissue procurement and the personalities behind Planned Parenthood. Here are my observations... and they are just my observations, and I'm sure others who did this would have different things jump out.
In the first video, I learned that Dr. Nucatola, the young abortionist, entered her profession after discarding several legitimate medical specialties: orthopedic surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics... it's a sad story, really, because she had to perform an emergency hysterectomy on a woman who was dying from a botched abortion; and after losing that patient, she decided to become an abortionist because she was skilled at the D&E technique and wanted to make sure skilled doctors were providing that "service." And she's proud of the work she does, but knows that she has to be cautious in talking to strangers. It makes me amazed that anyone, no matter how carefully constructed the cover story, would be able to gain her trust, but I guess it speaks to the need for human connection that even the most inhumane people must have. And this goes for all the PP staff I've seen... they really do believe they are the good guys. Or maybe they're just comfortable where they are because they are making a good salary.
Also from the first video, and just in passing, I caught that certain conditions such as sickle-cell anemia and Down syndrome sometimes come on the market, but apparently there isn't much demand for Down syndrome tissue. (I have a daughter with DS). This corresponds with what I know about the relative lack of well-funded research in Down syndrome... you really need to follow the money to find the trending research, and Down syndrome is not trending in that way. I also have a hunch, and I sincerely hope it's true, that most DS researchers are more ethical than those who would put in orders for aborted tissue. After all, it is a condition that is being targeted and gradually eliminated by prenatal testing and abortion. Why bother to research treatments?
In both videos, PP executives speak about the "volume" of abortions done at various clinics, and encourage the prospective buyers to seek out and enter into relationships with clinics that do not yet have a designated procurer to send their baby parts. High-volume clinics would be better for sourcing tissue, I suppose, but it hardly supports the narrative of abortion as "safe, legal, and rare."
I could stay up much later and try to write more, but it's already a very long blog post. More is most likely to come. I hope if you've read this far you are inspired to demand accountability for the people who have been profiting from abortion, and particularly, the de-funding of Planned Parenthood and at the very least, a restriction on abortion after the age when an unborn child can feel pain. For the sake of our common humanity, this is something all sides in politics ought to be able to agree on.