By Dave Andrusko
The reliably pro-abortion National Public Radio ran a piece today under the headline “Planned Parenthood Controversy Proves Complicated For Democrats.” It’s actually fairly balanced–at least for NPR–and includes this curious concession near the end:
It’s a tricky issue for the left, says political scientist Rachel Caufield of Drake University in Des Moines.
“It creates an environment where the pro-choice supporters have to be in a position to justify some of the practices of Planned Parenthood,” she said.
Hold the presses! “Justify”? Democrats don’t “justify” anything PPFA does. Theirs is a symbiotic relationship.
Put another way, they are joined at the hip, and, ordinarily, not only is criticism of one treated as criticism of the other, but they compete for who best can lecture the public how wonderful they both are.
But, that aside, what might, just might, have to be justified? Let me count just some of the ways.
1. Treating the dissection of aborted babies as a joke, something to smirk about between bites of salad and sips of red wine.
2.Quibble/haggle/barter/wrangle/dicker–take your pick of descriptor–over the price of intact lungs and livers and hearts and brains. Whichever you choose, it places PPFA’s image as a disinterested “non-profit” provider of “women’s health” in an entirely different light.
3.Possible changes in how the abortion is done in order to extract intact fetal organs. There are a lot of suggestions that changes are made. The most well-known is using “less crunchy [abortion] techniques.” But there are others.
For example, the same Dr. Mary Gatter also had this exchange with the uncover investigators:
Gatter: Let me explain to you a little bit of a problem, which may not be a big problem, if our usual technique is suction, at 10 to 12 weeks, and we switch to using an IPAS or something with less suction, and increase the odds that it will come out as an intact specimen, then we’re kind of violating the protocol that says to the patient, “We’re not doing anything different in our care of you.” Now to me, that’s kind of a specious little argument and I wouldn’t object to asking Ian , who’s our surgeon [abortionist] who does the cases, to use an IPAS at that gestational age in order to increase the odds that he’s going to get an intact specimen, but I do need to throw it out there as a concern. Because the patient is signing something and we’re signing something saying that we’re not changing anything with the way we’re managing you, just because we agree to give tissue. You’ve heard that before.
Buyer: Yes. It’s touchy. How do you feel about that?
Gatter : I think they’re both totally appropriate techniques, there’s no difference in pain involved, I don’t think the patients would care one iota. So yeah, I’m not making a fuss about that.
And then there is this, from Dr. Deborah Nucatola:
After nonchalantly extolling PPFA for its adeptness at “crushing”–“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–“ Dr. Nucatola is shown on the hidden camera video saying
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.
What is their defense? PPFA President Cecile Richards, appearing on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” over the weekend, talked about how women in a few cases made such “donations.”
And “ that women and their families choose to make fetal tissue donations in order to potentially save lives of other folks” is “laudable.”
To which Stephanopoulos adds, “As long as the procedure is never altered and you’re stating that unequivocally.”
“That’s right,” Richards responds.
Other defenses are far more nuanced. The quote above–about “crushing” and delivering the baby head first–would be seen by almost any neutral party as altering the method of delivery.
Dr. Nucatola immediately adds, “So the preparation would be exactly the same, it’s just the order of the removal of the products is different.” [My emphasis.]
No change in delivery, just in the “order” of how the baby’s body is removed. If you believe that…
There is another other way of finessing what they do. The PPFA affiliate in Mar Monte, California, has a “client information for informed consent” form. The very, very last item on a separate form the abortionist signs reads
No substantive alteration in the timing of terminating the pregnancy or of the method used was made for the purpose of obtaining the tissue. [My emphasis].
There are loopholes here big enough to run a truck through.
And, by the way, in response to a question about possible benefits to PPFA clinics from this grisly trade, Richards says unequivocally , “There are no financial benefits to the clinics.”
“Absolutely?” Stephanopoulos asks.
We’ll see how that blanket denial holds up.