By now, you’ve likely seen the sickening undercover videos of Planned Parenthood abortionists and medical staff casually discussing the harvesting and sale of the body parts of aborted babies and picking through a pie dish identifying little arms and legs, hearts, kidneys and livers that could be sold. While it is legal to donate fetal “tissue” for research, it is illegal to sell those parts for profit.
While many pro-lifers suspected Planned Parenthood has been doing this (and other illegal activities), seeing it on tape has been heart-breaking. But for pro-choicers, or even more liberal pro-lifers, who saw the videos or read the headlines, their first reaction could be to defend Planned Parenthood and recite the talking point that Planned Parenthood services are mostly contraception, cancer screenings and well-women health exams – and only 3% of services are abortion.
Others sit back and say that while the videos are gruesome and grisly, Planned Parenthood has done nothing wrong and that they’ve followed the law.
Need some help replying to the pro-abortion arguments in favor of Planned Parenthood? We’ve got the answers.
Pro-abortion argument: Abortions only constitute 3% of Planned Parenthood’s overall services.
Pro-life response: This is a manipulation of the numbers. If a pregnant woman walks into Planned Parenthood, there is a 94% she will walk out of there without her child because of
abortion. Planned Parenthood counts every service individually so if a woman goes in for abortion, the contraception she is given counts as one service, the exam another service, the anesthesia another service, etc. Students for Life created a short video that explains this myth:
Pro-abortion argument: These videos don’t prove that Planned Parenthood has broken any laws. Fetal tissue donation is perfectly legal and Planned Parenthood said they never made a profit and that the only costs involved were those of reimbursing Planned Parenthood for transportation costs.
Pro-life response: Dr. Mary Gatter, one of the doctors in the videos, haggle over the costs of baby body parts. Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the abortionist in the first video, suggests a price of $30-$100 per specimen. And Melissa Farrell, the Director of Research at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, told the undercover investigators that it’s her department – which sells fetal specimens – that adds significantly to the bottom line. Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director in Texas, said in a hearing on Planned Parenthood at the Texas Senate, that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast made up to $120,000 a year selling fetal baby body parts. Learn how Planned Parenthood double dips when it comes to selling abortions and baby body parts:
Pro-abortion argument: Planned Parenthood is a caring organization that is only trying to help women in difficult situations. Pro-lifers should just recognize that they are here to help women and back off.
Pro-life response: Planned Parenthood’s bottom line is about making money. While they purport to care about women, they only look at them as dollar signs. Carol Everett, former abortion clinic owner, said that every woman who comes through the doors of an abortion clinic has a dollar amount attached to her. Planned Parenthood pushes abortion on women, only referring out one adoption for every 174 abortions. Then, when it comes time for an abortion, Planned Parenthood double dips by taking money from the mother to abort her baby and then taking money from the fetal tissue research companies who want the baby parts. See our video explaining this:
And that’s not all. Planned Parenthood puts women at higher risk of complications by altering the abortion procedure in order to procure the necessary organs intact of the baby, which will be sold. This is discussed at length by Planned Parenthood executives in the undercover videos. This is not only harmful but it’s illegal because they use partial-birth abortion to harvest the organs. Partial-birth abortion is banned in the United States.
Planned Parenthood abortionists are aware that a particular baby will be sold for his or her parts while the abortion is being performed is a violation of HHS regulations. The executives discuss training doctors to get better organs and in the last video the executive says that the doctors preforming the abortion are using the organs they harvest in their own research.
Florida has already discovered that four Planned Parenthood facilities have been caught breaking the law and doing abortions later than the law allows. Several other states have already launched investigations into Planned Parenthood.
Pro-abortion argument: The fetus’ were going to die anyway so we might as well use their tissue for life-saving work in medical research.
Pro-life response: There is no proof that substitute claims that using the body parts of aborted babies has resulted in any life-saving cures. Last year, the National Institutes of Health spent $76 million on this research and has produced nothing of significant value. Other therapies are more effective – like taking tissue from the umbilical cord or adult stem cells – that do not involve the taking of human life.
Pro-abortion argument: The later-term abortions that Planned Parenthood did in order to harvest the fetal tissue post no threats to the woman.
Pro-life response: Late-term abortions, those done in the second and third trimesters mostly by dilatation and evacuation (D&E) or dilation and extraction are not only gruesome and obviously fatal to the baby but are riddled with complications for the woman. Complications– such as hemorrhaging, infections, organ damage, incomplete abortions- increase the further along the woman is when the abortion happens. For subsequent pregnancies, later-term abortions put the woman at risk of placenta previa and pre-term birth.
But there’s more – the undercover videos show all the abortionists indicating that the abortion procedure is changed in order to harvest organs “intact”, which fetch higher prices. This is not only harmful to women (Dr. Deborah Nucatola talked about delivering a baby in the breech position in order to get the right organs – which opens up the woman to complications), but it’s also illegal:
The 1993 National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act states that human fetal tissue may be obtained from an abortion only if “no alteration of the timing, method or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy was made solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue” and the “abortion was performed in accordance with applicable state law.” At least some states have similar rules, too.
Even the Washington Post has noted this issue, although predictably hedged: “Buying and selling human fetal tissue is illegal in the United States. Federal regulations also prohibit anyone from altering the timing or method of an abortion for the sole purpose of later using the tissue in research. Donating the tissue for research, however, is legal with a woman’s consent” (source)
These abortions have to be done often by a grisly procedure that was outlawed in the 1990s – partial-birth abortion:
Finally, there is evidence in the videos that Planned Parenthood doctors may be violating the ban against partial-birth abortions by using abortion procedures intended to get around the ban. Per 18 U.S.C. §1531, partial-birth abortions (which really amount to infanticide) are prohibited except when they are “necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury.” This is a criminal statute that can subject an abortion doctor to two years in prison. For this statute, there is also more than sufficient evidence in the videos to justify opening a criminal investigation. (source)