The Abortion "Onion" : Layer 1

A few days ago, mbecker posted a diary that shares information about events taking place in the states of Connecticut and New Jersey that pertains to indictment of two physicians who have been charged with murder in relation to late-term abortions.    I was greatly heartened to hear how our legal system is responding to these situations, and even more so after the events that occurred in the state of Pennsylvania earlier in 2011 pertaining to Dr. Gosnell.  (For those who are not familiar with Dr. Gosnell’s story, you can find that information at this link.)  Dr. Gosnell has since been convicted of 8 counts of murder…seven children and one adult.

These two cases indicate what may be a developing trend that could bring about the end of abortion on demand.

There is also another shift in trends that has been taking place, namely that fewer doctors are considering participating in abortions.

Both trends indicate that pro-life advocates may have a door of opportunity that is opening to them to bring about changes that would serve this nation well in protecting and preserving the sanctity of human life.

Since the implementation of Roe v. Wade, our society has moved in the direction of believing that abortion on demand is a right that women are “entitled” to receive.  It’s a portion of the “entitlement culture” that has established by government that we don’t often consider in these terms.  Challenging this mindset will not be easy.

This won’t be a case of waving a magic wand and suddenly having Roe v. Wade disappear from our society.  Realistically speaking, above and beyond the scope of this law, there are specifics pertaining to the abortion industry itself that could prove to be far more significant obstacles in bringing about changes than simply a mentality of “entitlement”.

The only way to understand what those obstacles truly are requires understanding how the abortion industry works.  Unfortunately, understanding the specifics of how the abortion industry works is a bit like peeling an onion…if you do manage to succeed in peeling back a layer, you find another layer right before you…and you feel like crying the entire time.  Even for myself, I’ve only managed to peel back a few layers so far.

Trying to delve into all the information at one time is a bit much, so I’ll only lay out the basic premise for sustenance of the abortion industry in this diary, and then attempt to present other “layers” as time permits.

If there are obstacles that I do not mention that others are aware of, please feel free to share them.

Motivation within the Abortion Industry to Sustain Abortion on Demand

In both of the legal cases mentioned above, aborted babies were found in freezers at the facilities of the physicians involved.  In response to a comment made another RS poster, MBecker asked a few important questions.  Why were the bodies of these babies kept?  Why were they frozen?  Is it possible that they were kept for fetal tissue harvesting purposes?  (And I’ll add another possibility as well, i.e. that these physicians were fully aware of the fact that their activities were illegal and could not take the risk of following the law pertaining to bio-hazard waste retrieval procedures).

If you go back and look at the information that was provided in the article, you’ll see that the number of murder charges filed against Dr. Brigham (a total of ten, five first-degree and five second-degree) doesn’t even come close to the total of 35 bodies that were found in the freezer.  The same type of scenario presented itself in Dr. Gosnell’s situation as well.  So apparently these bodies weren’t being kept solely because the abortion that had been performed was illegal and the physician was trying to conceal evidence of such.  This indicates that there could be another reason these bodies were kept…which brings us to the possibility of fetal tissue harvesting.

Fetal tissue harvesting for profit is illegal, but there is a legal path, i.e. the Anatomical Gift Act, coupled with the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, by which fetal tissue harvesting can take place and it legally allows money to exchange hands.

Note:  At this point, I’ll add an “irony alert”…in an earlier diary that I had posted on this topic, I had included a link directly to a quote from a Planned Parenthood website pertaining to the manner in which exchange of funds for fetal tissue harvesting does take place.  Someone has since “killed” the page.  It no longer exists.   I do still have access to the information provided within that quote, which I’ll include here:

Both (NATO Act and NIH Revitalization Act) do permit, however, “reasonable payments” associated with the removal, transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, and storage of the tissue (USCA, 1988; USCA, 1993). (Emphasis mine)

It’s a relatively simple process.  Mother wants abortion and signs consent to release tissue for donation. Abortionist donates tissue to tissue broker, who then donates tissue to research facility. Research facility pays tissue broker a processing fee and tissue broker pays abortionist a site fee and/or procurement fees. Somewhere in all of that, abortion referral agencies get a cut on the action. Research facilities get grant from NIH for fetal tissue research, partially driving the demand for fetal tissue.  No money goes to the mother.

To get an idea of the type of research being funded by NIH, you can check out the information being provided in this article regarding the Birth Defects Research Laboratory at the University of Washington in Seattle.  According to the article, during the year 2009, this laboratory filled requests for more than 4,400 fetal tissue and cell lines.  The NIH grant provided to the laboratory was in the amount of $579,091.  For one year.  For one facility.  Just for research alone.  This doesn’t even begin to consider money that could exchange hands for commercial products developed from fetal tissue research.

The same scenario is true at the University of Wisconsin, where there is currently a legal challenge to this practice.  Plus University of California and Texas A&M.  Plus who knows how many other universities, organizations and business entities are involved.

The point is that fetal tissue harvesting is a lucrative business.  Very lucrative.  There is a legal path that allows it to occur, i.e. the path of research and development.  Within this context, it is one of those reasons why sustaining abortion on demand is deemed to be a necessity to those directly and/or indirectly involved in the abortion industry.

Okay, so this ends “layer 1” of the Abortion Onion.  Jump into the discussion if you’re interested.

What options do you see so far that Conservative might have in attempting to stem the tide of abortion on demand?

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