An antiabortion group on Tuesday released a disturbing undercover video showing a high-ranking Planned Parenthood official discussing casually over wine and salad the graphic intricacies of the organization’s process and cost structure for preserving and extracting aborted fetuses’ organs and tissues for scientific research.
The group claims that the video proved Planned Parenthood was illegally profiting from organ sales. Planned Parenthood has vehemently denied this accusation.
While the ethics of such practices is up for the debate, the callous and crude nature of the conversation isn’t. The executive revealed that Planned Parenthood doctors sometimes change their surgical procedures to make sure popular fetal organs in the scientific research marketplace are more widely available.
Here’s how the Planned Parenthood official, Deborah Nucatola, described it: “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.”
Or to put it more bluntly: “A lot of people want liver.”
Nucatola’s indifferent disposition revealed a disturbing attitude. She had no problem casually discussing her organization’s participation and leadership in what Pope Francis has called an “economy that kills.” But what’s perhaps even more troublesome is the radio silence from the progressive community in the wake of the video’s release.
To date, no high-ranking Democrat in the United States has commented on the video. That’s unfortunate, because progressives should be leading the fight against this grotesque act of selectively removing and preserving aborted fetuses’ organs for scientific use.
Deeply rooted in the foundation of our nation is the belief that every human being has dignity and the right to live in that dignity. As progressives, we further believe that the government plays a crucial role in protecting that dignity, especially among those who face adverse societal conditions: the poor, the unemployed, the uninsured, immigrants, the LGBT community — and yes — pregnant women and their unborn children.
This radical inclusivity is at the heart of the progressive tradition.
What Planned Parenthood doctors do with aborted fetuses is an affront to this ideal. If doctors, as Nucatola suggests, alter procedures to meet the request of researchers for certain organs, they could unintentionally endanger the lives of women seeking abortions.
Even if one supports abortion rights — even partial-birth abortion rights — no one can defend this practice of preserving and distributing fetal organs for research.
So then where are the voices of our “progressive” leaders to stand up and say no this isn’t who we are and this isn’t what progress looks like? Who will have the courage to fight against this social Darwinism that pits the needs of scientific researchers against the health of pregnant women and their unborn children?
Who will say no to this growing indifference towards others’ invisible sufferings, toward unseen violence, and toward hidden injustices that has metastasized in our national conscience? Who will speak truth to the rich and powerful and denounce Planned Parenthood’s participation and leadership in this throwaway culture and an economy that debases, excludes, and kills?
My former colleague Michael Wear said it so well: “It should bother us as a society that we have use for aborted human organs, but not the baby that provides them.”
It’s time for progressives to change course on this crucial issue. We must begin to realize that we all lose in a country where the death of an innocent child is considered a measure of progress and freedom.
Abortion is — in fact — the antithesis of progress and of a forward-thinking society. And pro-life progressives must start making their voices heard on this, one of the most crucial social justice issues of our time.