Where does our callous disregard for the dignity of human life end?

Beres: Planned Parenthood videos are about the horror

Posted 2 days ago

“I remember holding him in my hands and thinking, God, what am I doing? … It’s really hard knowing that you’ll be the only one who is ever going to hold that baby.” It is difficult to listen to Holly O’Donnell describe what happened as she took part in the dissection of a fetus delivered in a Planned Parenthood facility.

The heartbreaking interview is part of the seventh video in the exposé of the nation’s largest abortion provider by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). While only 10 minutes, 37 seconds long, it is the probably the most difficult to watch of all the videos.

If even a fraction of what the videos have revealed about Planned Parenthood is true, whether laws were broken is not the issue.

The former employee of StemExpress (a company that supplies human blood, tissue and other body parts to biomedical researchers) relates the experience she had with a co-worker at the abortion clinic in San Jose, Calif.

According to O’Donnell, the co-worker told her: “I want you to see something kinda cool. This is kinda neat.” O’Donnell says what she saw flabbergasted her: “This is the most gestated fetus and the closest thing to a baby I’ve seen. And she is, like, ‘Okay, I want to show you something.’ So she has one of her instruments, 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.”

O’Donnell then describes how she is instructed to remove the brain from this child — while the heart is still beating.

***

This video, together with the others released by CMP, has placed Planned Parenthood under a harsh light. Pro-life groups maintain that the videos prove that the women’s health care organization has been illegally harvesting and selling fetal organs. Planned Parenthood staunchly maintains it has done nothing wrong.

By the letter of the law, that may well be true. But if even a fraction of what the videos have revealed about Planned Parenthood is true, whether laws were broken is not the issue.

It is the cold, indifferent inhumanity of the organization’s procedures and actions that are so offensive: Planned Parenthood appears to be as morally bankrupt as an organization dealing with human life could possibly be.

The idea of cutting up and selling baby parts is disturbing enough — but to watch the grisly business arrangements being lightly discussed over a glass of wine and a salad is stunning.

The detached indifference of several Planned Parenthood staff members when discussing best practices to deliver an intact fetus or when talking about the going prices of infant parts is stunning in its disregard for human life.

***

The Center for Medical Progress, a California-based group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring medical ethics and protecting human dignity for all, began its Human Capital project nearly three years ago. The videos are the result of hundreds of hours of research, undercover footage and eyewitness testimony. From the first video to the eighth, the obvious lack of compassion felt by Planned Parenthood for these unborn children is troubling.

Our culture seems to give more attention and show more humanity to animals than to the unborn. To date, CMP’s videos seem to have generated far less national outrage than did the death of Cecil the lion last month.

While many commentators railed against the murder of the African lion, much of the mainstream, left-leaning media has apparently chosen to ignore a video that discusses the killing of a live human fetus with a beating heart — something that could possibly be considered a homicide in many states.

Josh Earnest, President Obama’s spokesman, told reporters a couple of weeks ago that no one at the White House had bothered to watch the videos. And apparently the complicit silence is paying off. According to Ian Tuttle in National Review, 68 percent of Americans say they have heard nothing about the Planned Parenthood videos.

That much of the mainstream media has long played defense for pro-abortion groups is nothing new, of course. Annual coverage of the 42-year-old March for Life in Washington has been incredibly underwhelming for years. Rarely does the media show footage of or mention the hundreds of thousands of pro-life supporters of all ages — some old, but mostly young teens and adults — who converge on Washington every Jan. 22 to protest the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision — and remember the nearly 58 million lives lost to abortion.

***

The book of Genesis tells us that God created humans in His image. Most Christians are taught that life is a precious gift from God and, as such, only He has the right to determine when it shall end. Today’s more humanist-centered society may choose not to believe that — but where does our callous disregard for the dignity of human life end?

Hopefully, the average person still believes that intentionally taking an unborn life for the purpose of harvesting and selling its body parts is, quite simply, evil. If we don’t believe that, how are we any different from the monstrous doctors of the Holocaust? What have we become?

(804) 649-6305

mberes@timesdispatch.com

Twitter: @RobinBeres

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