Citizens for Medical Progress has released another installment of its investigation into the harvesting of baby organs by Planned Parenthood.
Like last week’s installment, this one consists of mostly cuts from the previous undercover videos interspersed with an interview of a former StemExpress employee named Holly O’Donnell. But there is some new undercover video as well. In terms of emotional impact, it will not hit like the initial videos, but, nevertheless, it is a significant contribution towards exposing the organ harvesting trade and keeping the pressure on Planned Parenthood.
O’Donnell’s job was to hang out at a Planned Parenthood abortuary and package parts for resale. In this one we learn that live infants are dissected to obtain organs.
O’Donnell describes the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘I want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
The San Jose Planned Parenthood does abortions up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Referring to the beating heart of the aborted fetus, O’Donnell remarks, “I don’t know if that constitutes it’s technically dead, or it’s alive.”
State and federal law require that the same treatment be given to an infant born-alive after an abortion as to a normally delivered baby (1 U.S.C. 8, CA Health and Safety Code 123435). California law also prohibits any kind of experimentation on a fetus with a discernible heartbeat (CA Health and Safety Code 123440). StemExpress has been cited in published scientific literature as a source of fetal hearts used for Langendorff perfusion, which keeps a heart beating after it is excised from the body: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2015/730683/
Independently of the CMP video, a medical researcher named Dr. Theresa Deisher* has opined that babies are almost certainly kept alive in order to extract their hearts.
“If you read scientific publications, in which they use the fetal material for some indications, particularly, cardio-vascular, or nerve cell research, they discuss the necessity of having tissue in the digesting buffer solution within five minutes for optimal yields,” Deisher explains.
“So, within five minutes of death, you would have to have the heart removed, and flushed of all blood, cleaned of any extra tissue that might be there, and the heart put into a liquid with enzymes that would digest the connective tissue and release the muscle cells.
“Sometimes, they use an apparatus where they hook the heart up and they would flush fluid through it to keep it alive and beating,” she continues. “And you can’t have a dead heart that’s going to work in that kind of process.”
In order for the organs of aborted babies to be viable for research, Deisher says that the baby have a beating heart in order to get go through the process.
“Biomedical companies prefer gestational ages of greater than 20 weeks for heart muscle,” Deisher says. “This is from reading their publications; so, I have always suspected that the babies in some of these cases were alive until their hearts were cut out.”
Skip to 4:35 for the new investigative video. Here we see clear cut cases of infanticide being described:
The video also features recordings of Dr. Ben Van Handel, the Executive Director of Novogenix Laboratories, LLC, and also of Perrin Larton, Procurement Manager of Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. (ABR). Novogenix is the company that has harvested fetal organs from abortions done by Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, in Los Angeles, while ABR is the oldest fetal tissue procurement company and works with Planned Parenthood in San Diego and other clinics around the country. Van Handel admits, “There are times when after the procedure is done that the heart actually is still beating,” and Larton describes abortions she has seen where “the fetus was already in the vaginal canal whenever we put her in the stirrups, it just fell out.”
The more we know about the business of procuring organs from aborted babies the more troubling it is. The CMP videos probably have done more to move the needle on abortion than any other single event. In the Daily Beast, Reuben Navarette writes in a story titled I Don’t Know if I’m Pro-Choice After Planned Parenthood Videos:
It’s jarring to see doctors acting as negotiators as they dicker over the price of a fetal liver, heart, or brain, and then talk about how they meticulously go to the trouble of not crushing the most valuable body parts. This practice is perfectly legal, and for some people, it is just a business. With millions of abortions each year in America, business is good.
David Daleiden, head of The Center for Medical Progress, issued an unsurprisingly stronger statement: “Planned Parenthood’s system-wide conspiracy to evade the law and make money off of aborted fetal tissue is now undeniable. Anyone who watches these videos knows that Planned Parenthood is engaged in barbaric practices and human rights abuses that must end.”
I agree with that assessment, and I’m pro-choice. At least I thought I was until recently. These days, each time, I express concern, outrage, disgust, or horror over another video—which should come with warnings that they may produce nightmares—some supporter of the organization responds by attacking me and insisting that I was never really pro-choice to begin with.
As I’ve only realized lately, to be a man, and to declare yourself pro-choice, is to proclaim your neutrality. And, as I’ve only recently been willing to admit, even to myself, that’s another name for “wimping out.”
At least that’s how my wife sees it. She’s pro-life, and so she’s been tearing into me every time a new video is released. She’s not buying my argument that, as a man, I have to defer to women and trust them to make their own choices about what to do with their bodies. To her, that’s ridiculous—and cowardly.
“You can’t stand on the sidelines, especially now that you’ve seen these videos,” she told me recently. “That’s bullshit! These are babies that are being killed. Millions of them. And you need to use your voice to protect them. That’s what a man does. He protects children—his own children, and other children. That’s what it means to be a man.”
I didn’t like the scolding, but I needed to hear it. For those of us who are pro-choice, the Planned Parenthood videos are a game changer. As to whether that means I’ll change my view, I’m not sure. I’m on the bubble. Ask me in a few weeks, after the release of more videos.
Others are not as eloquent but feel the same way:
Latest Planned Parenthood video is … well, I’m pro-choice. I’m also pro-electric power. But I don’t want to buy my power from Mr. Burns.
— Popehat (@Popehat) August 19, 2015
What we are seeing in these videos is, without any hyperbole, not very much removed from anything for which we hanged Nazi doctors and didn’t hang Japanese ones. And largely for the same reason. We saw the victims of Unit 731 as something less than fully human.
*Dr. Deisher holds some controversial views, I’m quoting her because of the fact that she is an MD and a medical researcher and is speaking on a fairly basic topic