Last week was one to remember.
The Washington Post, defender of the left and of abortion in every case and circumstance, said it best: “Planned Parenthood, for being flip about aborted fetuses, you had the worst week in Washington.”
It has long been known in the pro-life universe that aborted babies are carved up and delivered to labs, but last week the penny dropped for the rest of the world.
On Tuesday, a media storm was unleashed after the Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos of Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Research, negotiating with people she believed were purchasing agents for Stem Express, a real company.
Major non-conservative media had to cover it. By the end of the week, six governors had launched investigations in their states; three congressional committees had launched investigations; and a whole lot of presidential candidates had denounced the selling of baby parts.
By Sunday evening, there had been 182,353 views of Cecile Richards’ YouTube statement. Meanwhile, there had been 2,406,136 views of the originally-released abbreviated Center for Medical Progress videos.
This news story still has a lot more life in it.
On Wednesday, President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards personally apologized that “one of our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect . . . compassion.” As if the issue were no more than a receptionist having been rude to a nervous patient. (Wonder if Dr. Nucatola will still have her job a week from now?)
Richards reaffirmed that Planned Parenthood “stands behind our work to help women and families donate tissue for medical research when they wish to.” Another PP statement said women who donate tissue “should be honored.”
There’s the new euphemism for abortion: donating tissue.
To nobody’s surprise the White House also followed PP’s talking points. On Friday, Obama spokesman Josh Ernest confirmed that Planned Parenthood “follows the highest ethical guidelines.” Like a well-trained Alinskyite, however, Ernest did leave himself a bit of wiggle room: He referred further questions to Planned Parenthood.
The Center for Medical Progress video (which uncut is three hours long) is enough to give planned Parenthood nightmares. Dr. Nucatola is seen blithely chomping a salad and sipping red wine while discussing how much money a clinic could receive for each harvested organ, and how the abortionist could position an unborn baby to salvage organs without damaging them.
No wonder Planned Parenthood is so committed to protecting access to late-term abortions: the later the abortion, the more fully-developed the organs, the higher the cash, um, the “expense” reimbursement.
And there’s the rub. It is a federal crime to sell human tissue, though reasonable reimbursement is allowed. But not if the reimbursement exceeds the cost of storing, transporting, processing, and so on.
If the PP clinic performs the abortion, and the company rep is standing by with a cooler to take away the organs, what cost has PP incurred? To a casual observer it might seem that the price paid for the abortion has already more than covered any expenses Planned Parenthood has in “procuring” the “tissue” it is ”donating” for medical research.
A figure of $30 to $100 for each organ is mentioned in the video. Suppose that PP’s ideal abortion produces a heart, a liver, one or two kidneys, a brain, a lung . . . there’s $600 right there. And how many abortions does PP do a year? In 2013, it was 333,964. Let’s see, $600 multiplied by 333,964 . . . my calculator says $20,037,840. That’s a lot of reimbursement.
Of course, not every abortion produces organs. But even half that sounds like a lot of profit. And that sounds like a violation of 42 U.S.C., 289g-2(a).
There are a lot of things to investigate.
Richards knows everybody hates politics. So she figures if she can apologize and blow off the new revelations about PP as “politics,” she’ll be able to sail away from the latest revelations. On Wednesday, she quoted Jane Austen in her Twitter feed: “My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.”
The Center for Medical Progress has a dozen more videos to release.
Keep whistling past the graveyard, Cecile, if it makes you feel better.
* * * * *
Connie Marshner is a commentator and researcher on life and family issues in the Washington, D.C., area.