“I wonder if we’re going to be able to strike the video from your memory?”

House Judiciary Committee’s second hearing on PPFA

By Dave Andrusko

Rep. Bob Goodlatte

Rep. Bob Goodlatte

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), held the kind of remarkable hearing on Planned Parenthood that you knew would garner almost no media attention.

Because nothing of substance happened? No, to the contrary. The committee’s work had to be largely ignored because in holding a second hearing on “Planned Parenthood Exposed: Examining Abortion Procedures and Medical Ethics at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider,” PPFA’s business of baby-body-part harvesting and trafficking was exposed in all its gruesomeness and soul-crunching brutality. Fortunately you can watch the entire hearing here.

There were moments of absolutely riveting testimony, beginning with former abortionist Dr. Antony Levatino. He described D&E abortions, and even though I have heard him explain this before, my stomach again got queasy.

Dr. Anthony Levatino

Dr. Anthony Levatino

Dr. Levatino told the House Judiciary Committee

The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby’s head. The head of a baby that age [24 weeks] is about the size of a large plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you.

Congratulations! You have just successfully performed a second trimester Suction D&E abortion. You have affirmed her “right to choose.”

Speaking personally, I will most remember two extraordinary moments. The first involved an exchange between Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and Ms. Caroline Frederickson, a pro-abortion sloganeer extraordinaire.

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Forbes showed a brief excerpt from the first undercover video published online by the Center for Medical Progress in which investigators talked with Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director for medical services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

[The following is the full quote]

[Y]ou’re just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers, 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. And with the calvarium [the skull], in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex [head first], because when it’s vertex presentation you never have enough dilation at the beginning of the case, unless you have real, huge amounts of dilation to deliver an intact calvarium.

“Is that procedure too brutal for you?” Forbes asked Frederickson. Dodge One:

“Ultimately this is an attack on women’s…” Forbes moved on before she can say (yet again) reproductive rights.

“Too brutal or not?” Dodge Two:

“Abortion should be safe and legal…”

“Is that procedure too brutal?” Dodge Three:

“I am not a doctor and I can’t…”

Forbes then asked if Frederickson had a small dog that needed to be put to sleep, “Would you think it would be too brutal for the veterinarian to crush that dog in two different places?” Dodge Four:

“I trust a woman and her doctor…”

The second came later when a testy Rep. David Cicilline’s (D-RI) demanded a vote to have a video presented by Dr. Levatino stricken from the record. Just after the first [voice] vote, which failed, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Az.) asked Cicilline a question, make that the question: “I wonder if we’re going to be able to strike the video from your memory?”

Democrats then asked for a recorded vote and because a number of committee Republicans were out of the room they succeeded. A subsequent vote reinserted the video back into the record.

Earlier in the hearing, Rep. Forbes made the point to Frederickson that “the reality is there is no point that our friends on the other side [the Democrats] would look at this organization and say we might like you but that’s just too far and we can’t condone that.”

If ever that assertion was in question, it could no longer be after yesterday’s hearing.

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