Planned Parenthood’s Latest Lies

Sometimes it’s better to stop digging. That at any rate would be my advice if I were in the business of helping liberal news outlets in their desperate attempt to downplay the significance of this now-infamous video, in which we see Planned Parenthood medical director Deborah Nucatola expounding on her expertise at killing half-born babies. She’s mastered the art of crushing babies to death without damaging their usable organs, which are wanted by Planned Parenthood affiliates for commercial (research) purposes. Apparently human baby livers are in hot demand.

Once it was clear that the story wouldn’t die on its own, liberal outlets scrambled for a way to kill it. It’s just “a flat-out lie,” they argued, that Planned Parenthood is trafficking in baby organs. Of course, that isn’t because anyone disagrees that “doctors” like Nucatola are out there, surgically removing the organs of live (or just-killed) babies. Sure, that happens. But those evil right-wingers have completely misled the public about the profit margins! Trafficking, you see, involves making money. And Nucatola’s comments indicate that the profit margins on baby organs are slim-to-nonexistent. So clearly, this is all just one big nothing-burger.

Here’s what I keep wondering. Do liberals like Kevin Drum, Bob Cesca and Amanda Marcotte actually not understand why a video like this leaves some of us feeling nauseous? Or is that just part of their damage-control posture? The latter would be less disturbing, but I think they may really not get this.

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In a way, you can see their point. We already knew that Planned Parenthood is in the baby-killing business. Right? And we knew that those babies had organs. Why is it so upsetting to put those organs to good use? As part of the grimly hilarious flailing, some suggestion was made that Planned Parenthood pays the mothers of the unborn for their dead babies’ organs (Oh, well! That’s all fine, then.), and at last, Nucatola apologized for her offensive “tone.”

Truthfully, there is nothing that could be said to diffuse, debunk or ameliorate the offensive video, because it speaks for itself. The real problem is not with the line-item specifics of Planned Parenthood’s funding. The problem is that Nucatola is an established member of society’s elite class, politically connected and well paid (given Planned Parenthood’s pay scale, she surely earns well over six figures), and she gets that by crushing the life out of half-born babies. And she can happily discuss the details while enjoying her lunch (complete with a generous goblet of wine). This efficient crush-and-disperse is literally business as usual for Deborah Nucatola. We’re still talking about live babies, in case you blacked out mid-paragraph and forgot.

Planned Parenthood has always survived through aggressive efforts at misdirection. It’s not really a baby; it’s more like a chicken yolk. Okay, it’s not a chicken yolk, but it can’t really think or feel. Or actually … let’s stop thinking about abortion itself, shall we? Let’s think about “women’s health” and “reproductive rights.” Just focus on the Roe v Wade celebration parties.

Even the name itself is a lie. Planned Parenthood supports neither planning, nor parenthood.

Most nominally pro-choice Americans can live with themselves mainly because they don’t think too much about what actually happens inside an abortion clinic. But this video shows what happens to a person who really buys into the ethos of Planned Parenthood. The reaction of liberal pundits is similarly revealing. They actually don’t see why it is so ghoulish for a woman to reach the point where she can do unspeakable things, and then chat about them over lunch.

Ironically, it was Amanda Marcotte, the left’s enfant terrible, who made the most relevant response when she suggested that people’s reaction to the video was really fairly natural insofar as abortion is “gross.” But, she points out, many other medical procedures are equally “gross.” Consider open-heart surgery, or even birth. We expect doctors to steel themselves to such things, but it’s natural for the rest of us to be squeamish.

She’s so close to getting it, but still so far away. Yes, we’re bothered by the “grossness” of abortion, and the callousness of Nucatola’s attitude. But it’s not primarily about “fluids.” See, there’s kind of a difference between abortion and birth. Let me see if I can illustrate, for Marcotte or anyone else who is still confused about this.

I’ve never been present for an abortion, but I have to imagine that it finishes with the packing up of baby organs in some sort of carrier, followed by the disposal of a mutilated baby corpse in a waste container. That’s how that procedure ends.

I’ve given birth four times, so I’m aware that “gross” fluids are involved. But at the end, I’m cradling a tiny little human close to my body while my husband (proud papa and photographer) takes pictures of tiny hands and tiny ears and a soft, beautiful little head. Usually the baby wants to nurse within a few minutes of birth. Then he lies quietly for an hour or so, studying the faces of his parents with wondering eyes. I’m not at my most eloquent on such occasions; I can normally only think of one phrase, and it’s thoroughly conventional. But it feels right, and it keeps coming into my mind, so I whisper “I love you” multiple times before he drifts off into a contented nap. That’s how the birth process ends.

Do you see a difference here? If so, you see why many Americans are upset by Nucatola’s interview. If not, please get help. There’s something wrong with your soul.


  • Rachel Lu

    Rachel Lu, a Catholic convert, teaches philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota where she lives with her husband and four boys. Dr. Lu earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at rclu.

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