The conscience of much of our country is shocked in the wake of new undercover videos showing high-ranking Planned Parenthood officials discussing how the nation’s largest abortion provider goes about harvesting organs from the babies it aborts. More videos will be released over the next few weeks, but the first one shows a Planned Parenthood official hammering out the price of each organ — hearts, lungs, livers — to undercover reporters posing as buyers looking to use the organs for scientific research.
Planned Parenthood calls these organs “tissue donations” and claims to make no money off the deals. That said, one Planned Parenthood official — in the second video — is shown haggling over prices and even pushing a potential buyer to make the first offer so as to keep the upper hand in the negotiation process.
The first video shows a top Planned Parenthood leader dining at a restaurant, wine in hand, as she casually eats salad and discusses how best to abort a baby without “crushing” valuable internal organs that might be “donated” for a price of $30 to $100 each.
While most traditional news outlets are downplaying the significance of the footage, it has taken social media by storm, inspiring a push for national, state and local investigations into Planned Parenthood and calls to strip the organization of its taxpayer-funded grants and contracts.
Planned Parenthood’s national president Cecile Richards has released several responses to the videos, as have local affiliates, including Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest that runs abortion facilities in Alaska.
Most striking about these responses is that they make no attempt to address the shocking moral concerns raised in the videos, namely that a company kills unborn babies, places a price on their body parts and then extracts them for scientific research. Rather than address these stark revelations, Richards simply attacks the messenger as releasing “deceptive, dishonest videos,” which she claims are “heavily edited.” She urges supporters to help fight “dangerous misinformation and lies from extremists” who wish to defund Planned Parenthood, a company that enjoyed $540 million from taxpayer-funded grants in 2013.
The problem with Planned Parenthood’s responses is that they are plainly false, even to many who approve of abortion.
The videos don’t lie. They are released in both shorter, eight to nine minute clips, as well as in full length, unedited versions. Additionally, the videos are accompanied by full transcripts. Any claims that they are “heavily edited” fall flat in light of this extensive effort for full transparency.
So we are left with hard facts and a decision to make. Do we as a nation, as Alaskans, as local towns and communities across our state want our public money to go toward funding a company which commits acts so grisly they are difficult even to speak of?
Planned Parenthood points out that it provides breast exams, cancer screenings and sex-education, and that without taking in millions in federal, state and local funds at-risk women will be left in the lurch with nowhere to turn for these services. This, too, is misleading. There are many medical providers who offer these other services. We should demand that tax dollars go to organizations that do not sear the conscience by killing unborn human beings and harvest their organs for science.
As Alaskans we can visit, write, call and email our national, state and local representatives, asking that they prohibit Planned Parenthood from contracting with our local schools, community service outreaches and government-run health programs. We have options when it comes to legitimate health care. Planned Parenthood is not one them.
The writer is editor of the Catholic Anchor, the newspaper and news website for the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska.