What did we learn from accounts about Wednesday’s congressional hearing on “Planned Parenthood Exposed”?

By Dave Andrusko

HouseTestimony3reAdmittedly, it is only a small sample, but I did peruse a number of accounts reporting on the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing titled, “Planned Parenthood Exposed: Examining the Horrific Abortion Practices at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider.” Some were awful, some matter of fact, and one pretty good.

As you would have anticipated, the New York Times couldn’t be bothered with sending one of its own reporters. It ran an Associated Press story.

How about Mother Jones? It ran (sigh) “Fact-Checking the GOP’s Deceptive Planned Parenthood Hearing,” which recycled the same old, same old bogus criticisms.

But in an unintentionally revealing sentence, Molly Redden began, “The first witness, Gianna Jessen, who was born after an unsuccessful abortion…”

That speaks volumes about the pro-abortion mind, don’t you think? In the 1970s, saline abortion was a commonly used “technique” to kill huge babies by scalding and poisoning the child to death.

But one reason it is no longer commonly used (if at all) is that occasionally there would be what the Philadelphia Inquirer once famously labeled “the dreaded complication”–a live birth–aka “an unsuccessful abortion.”

Not to be outdone, NPR called what Redden described as “unsuccessful abortions” of Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden “botched abortions.” Drats. If only the abortionist had poured in another cup or two of concentrated salt.

That the baby ordinarily died a death of unimaginable pain (this was used after the 16th week) is not deemed worth mentioning.

I found the comprehensive Washington Post account written by Sandhya Somashekhar of great interest. Here is the first of several quotes from the story. (“Smith” is Prof. Priscilla Smith.)

Smith, the Yale law professor, was repeatedly challenged over her use of the term “pre-viable fetuses” rather than “babies,” which some of the antiabortion members preferred. In her view, she said, the term “baby” gives an incorrect and biased image.

“That makes us think about full-term gestated babies rather than fetuses in a very early stage of gestation,” she said. “When you juxtapose those images in your mind, it becomes very distasteful.”

Well, if you also “juxtapose” in your mind the undercover videos taken by the Center for Medical Progress–both the actual scenes in an abortion clinic lab and the descriptions of what PPFA and “tissue procurement” companies are actually doing–you will learn what happened to unborn babies, some of whom clearly were viable.

Just speculating, but I suspect Prof. Smith will never watch the videos and, if she did, it would still not be “very distasteful.” Keeping your lunch down, I guess, is a “problem” only for pro-lifers.

Somashekhar also included the exchange between committee chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Smith. After quoting from Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy–who was quoting from abortionist LeRoy Carhart–which described the horrific way a baby is torn apart in a dismemberment abortion, Goodlatte asked, “Do you believe this practice represents a humane way to die?”

“I believe for a pre-viable fetus that, yes, dilation and evacuation is a very humane procedure,” Smith responded.

Alluding to the CMP videos, Somashekhar also noted

But the videos have thrust the issue of abortion more broadly back into the spotlight, especially given the sometimes cavalier descriptions of abortion procedures captured on hidden video by the undercover activists. Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has apologized for the tone of the first video, which showed an official of the organization graphically discussing abortion techniques over a lunch of salad and wine.

And finally, the reporter added a little known fact:

In 2007, Smith represented a Maryland abortion provider who unsuccessfully challenged the federal “partial-birth abortion” ban, in a case that went before the Supreme Court.

The “abortion provider” was LeRoy Carhart. (You can hear the argument at www.c-span.org/video/?195290-1/supreme-court-partial-birth-abortion-ban-oral-arguments.)

If you haven’t had a chance already, please take a few minutes to read “Five Takeaways from Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on ‘Planned Parenthood Exposed’”