Planned Parenthood is under intense scrutiny after the Center for Medical Progress released several disturbing videos that appear to show staff at Planned Parenthood negotiating the sale of aborted baby parts, and admitting to altering abortion procedures to increase the likelihood of intact, saleable body parts, both of which are prohibited by law. Planned Parenthood insists that it has done nothing illegal, accusing the Center for Medical Progress of heavily editing the videos and maintains that fees collected cover only the collection, storage and transportation of the body parts. These claims are highly suspect, given that the unedited videos are available, and given the fact that doctors who perform abortions admit to wanting to do more than ‘break even’, and hoping the fees will be sufficient to purchase a Lamborghini.
The U.S. Senate will soon consider a bill to defund all of Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides reproductive healthcare services to women in addition to abortion, including cancer screening, prescriptions for birth control and vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases. Health care services are funded through Medicaid, meaning that women in need of reproductive healthcare services can continue to access these services by choosing different providers. Planned Parenthood may be the largest reproductive healthcare provider in America, but it is not the only one. Defunding Planned Parenthood may temporarily restrict women’s access to healthcare, but other clinics will begin to provide services, reimbursed under Medicaid. Defunding Planned Parenthood will not have any long-term impact on women’s access to abortion or the continued donation of aborted body parts to research facilities. Only by reworking the abortion law can a meaningful change be accomplished. Various states have attempted to impose restrictions on abortion, including term limits. This is the approach most European countries take, guaranteeing unrestricted access to abortion in the first trimester, and after, permitting abortion only in specific circumstances that vary by country.
Defunding Planned Parenthood will have no long term impact on abortion rates or the use of aborted body parts, but it will send a very strong message to providers that profiting from these sales is strictly illegal and the law will be enforced, and more importantly, it will punish the staff at Planned Parenthood for their callous, cruel, ghoulish approach to the death of unborn humans. Abortion providers should know that describing their techniques as ‘crunchy’ and casual references to ‘crushing’ these small bodies, while enjoying salad and wine, is unacceptably heartless. If abortion is a reality we must accept, we can insist that providers are respectful and sombre in their approach, and that body parts are treated with dignity, no matter how small. Providers who cannot cope without engaging in gallows humor to mitigate against the trauma of what they are doing might pause to consider if what they are doing is not, in fact, evil.