By Dave Andrusko
Each undercover video recorded by the Center for Medical Progress begins with this disclaimer: “Some viewers may find this content disturbing.”
This warning was important for videos one through four. It is imperative for video five.
For those who may not be up to watching medical assistants handling laboratory “specimens”–the body parts from babies aborted in the early to late second trimester–you can read the full transcript at centerformedicalprogress.org.
Where to begin? First, you will read everywhere in the media that the videos are “like previous videos,” supposedly “highly edited.” Compare the video and the transcript and decide for yourself. (Hint: the video does not leave misleading impressions, which is what the news account intend to suggest.)
So what is the setting? According to the CMP, what we see is “the Director of Research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melissa Farrell, advertising the Texas Planned Parenthood branch’s track record of fetal tissue sales, including its ability to deliver fully intact fetuses.”
In the transcript Farrell says theirs is the second largest PPFA affiliate, behind only Mar Monte, California. Its research department is the largest in the United States. The Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast affiliate is what Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRLC’s director of education, calls a “mega” abortion clinic. The overwhelming bulk of the conversation is with Ms. Farrell.
What else? After they discuss how other PPFA affiliates “blast” the fetal cavity with water and in the process lose organs (or make them more difficult to find), Farrell says
Yeah. Yeah. And under the scope of where we probably have an edge over other organizations, is our organization has been doing research for many, many years. And we’ve had studies in which the company or the investigator has a specific need, for certain portion of the products of conception [the baby].
And we bake that into our contract [include it in the contract], and our protocol, that we follow this. And we deviate from our standard in order to do that. So, you know, we can do it in a way that we’re still verifying that everything is there for the safety of the patient, but then we maintain the integrity of that sample. So yeah, that’s definitely something we can do. So as far as, this is our standard process, telling you then we can get creative about when and where and under what conditions can we interject something that is specific to the tissue needs.
Then the “buyer” from CMP asks about whether the abortion clinic can “adjust the [abortion] procedure” if, for example, the researcher wanted an “18 to 22 week neural [brain] specimens, both hemispheres intact.“
Farrell: Yeah, I think we could do that. Some of it is really outside, some of it will be happenstance, because you know sometimes as the procedure’s happening, you know the procedure itself, for the removal, is generally standardized. And so just depending on the patient’s anatomy, how many weeks, where it’s placed in the uterus, we’re going to potentially have some that we’re going to be able to do more or less intact, and some that will not be.
Farrell: But it’s something that we can look at and explore how we can make that happen, so we can have a higher chance. It will probably require a little bit of input from the doctors. Because the doctors are the ones asking to, really be doing that, you know, when it matters, and the cases where it’s mattered and the physicians have needed an intact specimen.
Farrell: So, we can make it happen. We just need to figure out how that we can do this under our project needs.
Farrell later informs the “buyer” about a researcher that wants “fetal tissue for [a] humanized mouse model”—specifically “120 samples” from babies aborted between 14 and 22 weeks.
What specifically do they want? Farrell replies,
Everything. CNS [Central Nervous System], brain, liver, thymus, kidney, spleen, femur , bone marrow, hematopoietic stem cells from 14-22 weeks.
But as ghastly as the nonchalant discussions about not ‘wasting’ tissue and refrigerators and freezers and Fed Ex packages and “snot” (“I can’t do it, I could never be a respiratory therapist,” Farrell says), in some ways the worse we hear prior to them going into the laboratory and handling the baby body parts is Farrell’s off-hand comments about chitchatting with staff about finding “projects” for “tissue” that would otherwise go unutilized.
Farrell: It would be exciting too if you needed it dissected, because LaShonda and I are the most Curious George of the group. I know it’s sickening on some level, but it’s fun.
Buyer: Now, let’s think about it.
Farrell: No, it’s just that those of us who are into medicine and nursing, things that other people find gross, we enjoy. Obviously.
I will not go into more detail than necessary about the exchanges in the laboratory. They use tweezers to hold up large baby body parts as they fish around for and talk about kidneys and lungs and livers and eyes (”orbits”) and intestines and calvarium (skulls) and trachea and a “long bone.”
Near the end of their time in the lab, we learn Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast perform 30 second trimester abortions a week. How about babies who are 16-22 weeks old? “ Forty or fifty, easy” per month, a nurse relies.
As the CMP investigators end their time, they are asked
You want to see some more or? You want me to rinse it for you and put it in a tray?
I think to myself, “No, thank you.” You might have perfected the state of total desensitization. I prefer to maintain my humanity.