New Congress quick to focus on abortion

Planned Parenthood is doubling down.

Last Wednesday, a Select Investigative Panel in the U.S. House of Representatives released a report accusing Planned Parenthood of serious abuses and possible criminal violations in transactions between abortion businesses and fetal tissue harvesters. This came after months of hearings and investigations into a series of undercover videos showed abortion clinic workers in different parts of the country discussing ‘fetal product sales’ and the value of different baby body parts, especially if obtained intact after an abortion.

Congress started this investigation months ago and with the election year frenzy, it was probably forgotten by anyone not somehow involved with a vested interest. But it’s a whopper (full report here), finding a range of abuses in a number of clinics across the country. That same day, the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Alliance Defending Freedom issued this report on waste, abuse and potential fraud by Planned Parenthood affiliates and other abortion providers in billing for Medicaid reimbursement.

The next day, Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced essentially the defunding of Planned Parenthood and reallocation of those funds to federally qualified comprehensive community health centers for women. Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser responded quickly.

“Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion provider, performing over 300,000 abortions per year. Today’s commitment by Speaker Ryan to re-direct the abortion giant’s taxpayer funding to community health centers is a victory for women’s health care. Community health centers provide far more services than Planned Parenthood and outnumber them 20 to 1 nationwide…

“Polling in 2018 Senate battleground states shows that voters support re-directing Planned Parenthood’s funding to community health centers. Vulnerable pro-abortion Democratic Senators need to do a serious gut check, especially following the 2016 election outcome, and decide if they will stand with their constituents and women’s health care or continue to funnel money to big abortion.”

President-elect Trump has made key, distinct promises to the pro-life coalition of advisers he assembled and consulted over the final months of the presidential campaign, and in their messages of thanks and congratulations after his victory, they assured him and their nationwide followers that they look forward to seeing him follow through on those promises. Some of his top aides are pro-life, and his party platform was built partially on pro-life planks.

After the the House Select Panel issued its report last week and then Speaker Ryan announced the intent to redirect federal funds to community health centers for women, Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins was my guest on radio to talk about these and other developments in the lead up to the Inauguration and the March for Life DC just days later, which grows larger and younger and more exuberant every year. She said Planned Parenthood is on a major new, urgent campaign to raise funds and build support, and the abortion giant is taking its appeal to every social media platform and major media outlet where they can reach the most people to convince them of the importance of Planned Parenthood’s work and necessity.

It’s a battle for hearts and minds, with directly competing narratives. We will be talking and hearing a lot about abortion, and we should, for everyone’s sake. This will be a very big year for the test of scrutiny.

Pro-life movement spreads its message

The mission is to protect all vulnerable human lives.

So the old, unworkable claim that being “anti-abortion” (speaking of old terminology) is ‘single-issue’ activism about just saving babies is as incoherent as the claim that being “pro-choice” is wide-reaching activism about comprehensive care for women in need and their families. You can’t stand for the right to healthcare, free or low-cost contraceptive drugs, the personal right to ‘consult your doctor or minister’ (all of which is so often claimed) or the right to anything else if you can’t or won’t guarantee the right to live in the first place.

That is self-evident. But too may people have deluded themselves in the abortion movement, along with willing and compliant facilitators in media, politics, academia and other opinion shaping positions, it’s now a rescue mission for them as well as babies, mothers, their families and society.

This has gone on for too long to comprehend. The anniversary of Roe v. Wade just passed the 43rd year mark, and the toll is beyond breathtaking. When I see a television special, or coverage of the Washington DC March for Life, and the screen has a ticker in the corner upping the number of babies aborted since the start of that program alone, I panic and want someone to do something to stop this madness that’s so rapidly spiraling out of control. But the only difference between that moment and every other over these decades is that the ticker is right there, on the screen, in full sight, digitally ticking up the numbers to tally the latest toll as fast as abortions are happening.

Here’s a screen full of numbers. Look at any box, especially the one tallying the number of abortions since you loaded the page. From the time I opened it to link it here, to mere minutes later, it showed nearly 700 new abortions worldwide. Watching it tick up is horrifying. Every number is a human life. When I started these last few sentences, I refreshed that page and that one number went back to zero with the reload. On quick glance, it’s already up to 154 and I don’t want to look again at what it’s up to since this sentence was started. (Okay,  I just did, 207.)

I just closed that page, not to have to look again. But see, that’s exactly the point. Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life has always said “America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion.” Out of sight, out of mind. Multiply that toll exponentially by the countries that have legalized abortion (hence the worldwide counts on that abortion ticker page) and the genocide of unborn boys and girls is horrific. And not so out of sight anymore, since the trial of notorious late term abortionist Kermit Gosnell in 2013, and the series of undercover videos documenting Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts that emerged in 2015.

Just about every sentence here calls for further elaboration, and that will come in the days, weeks and months ahead. This is a prominent issue in the American presidential election this year, one among many but a very important one for many candidates still in the race in the GOP, their supporters, and  citizens who may be holding out on politics at the moment, but holding stronger views on protecting innocent, vulnerable human life. Democrats have no candidate running for the presidency who holds pro-life views, and Democrats for Life have to hold their own in the party that has forced their numbers to dwindle.

Amazing, the irony of noting the analogy to The Emperor’s Clothes and calling it obvious.

The 2015 March for Life in DC chose the theme ‘Pro-Life and Pro-Woman Go Hand In Hand’. Fr. Pavone explains:

The real difference between those in the pro-life movement and those in the “abortion rights” movement is not that we love the baby and they love the mother.

The real difference is that they say you can separate the two and we say you can’t.

We love them both. And we are convinced that you cannot serve the mother while destroying her child, and that you cannot save the child without helping the mother.

Much more to come on that.

Planned Parenthood’s reckoning

Congress counts the costs.

A one year funding ban was a start, as investigations continue into the abortion industry giant being held to account for how Planned Parenthood conducts business, and just what kind of business the organization conducts.

After years of deceptions perpetrated by Planned Parenthood with the cover of complicit media and high level politicians, it took ongoing congressional investigations to finally get the admission on the record, from the head of Planned Parenthood herself, that all claims to the contrary, they don’t do mammograms, a big selling point as to why they were allegedly necessary for delivering women’s health care.

After that admission, Richards tried to turn the tables and make her best defense a robust offense in her testimony.

“The latest smear campaign is based on efforts by our opponents to entrap our doctors and clinicians into breaking the law—and once again our opponents failed,” Richards said in testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Not this time. Anyone who has seen any of the undercover videos saw clearly that the words came out of the mouths of abortion clinic workers, or Planned Parenthood medical directors, and the attitude, tone and content of those conversations were caught on film. So was the cavalier way baby body parts were either talked about in terms of marketing and profitability, or handled in abortion clinics in graphic scenes showing dismembered human bodies in their earliest stages of growth before they were ‘terminated’ by abortion.

Members of Congress wanted to see the videos for themselves, especially since they were held up by a legal battle after the first ten videos were released.

U.S. District Judge Wiliam H. Orrick III, the same judge who issued a temporary restraining order on behalf of the National Abortion Federation in late July, said that CMP may release all videos and transcripts to the Congressional committee that had sought them.

“I will not countenance a game of hide the ball with respect to these documents, video footage and communications, that interferes directly with these proceedings,” he concluded…

“In our Constitutional system, there are three equal branches of government, and courts should refrain from creating needless friction with a coordinate branch of government.”

Meanwhile, some big media continue to try to provide Planned Parenthood cover. In vain, when keen journalists like Mollie Hemingway are watching.

Which brings us to this unbelievably awful CNN report by Drew Griffin that aired this week. It also made me scream because of the errors, half-truths, and deceptions that it contained in its lengthy defense of the country’s largest abortion provider.

It’s so tremendously bad that I don’t actually know where to begin.

But she systematically goes through the seven biggest problems with that CNN report.

About a day later, a major leak of hours of undercover videos got posted by an online news site, with yet more shocking revelations.

The footage appears to show top-level abortion industry executives discussing their baby parts harvesting trade. Got News, the group that released the tapes, say they “obtained all of the videos from a source on Capitol Hill.”

Video footage seen here says it was obtained from a “National Abortion Foundation’s annual meeting in San Francisco, CA, on April 7th, 2014.” We do not know of a group called the National Abortion Foundation and believe this description is a typo of National Abortion Federation, which issued a letter in response to the apparent leak.

On the tape titled “2nd Trimester Provider Self Care” shows panelists discussing the “stigma” associated with the procedure. Attendees respond with laughter and applause as former National Abortion Federation Executive Director, Dr. Uta Landy, read comments by abortion providers…

Who was behind this revelation? WaPo claimed ‘a controversial blogger and an infamous hacker’ teamed up on the project, in an interesting turn of events and reporting on them. And the spin and blame and deflection continued.

Meanwhile, quietly, another new video was released by the Center for Medical Progress.

The eleventh video release from The Center for Medical Progress in the ongoing Planned Parenthood baby parts scandal shows the abortion doctor for Planned Parenthood in Austin, TX, Dr. Amna Dermish, describing a partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term fetuses which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.

Dr. Dermish admits she was trained by the Senior Director of Medical Services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Dr. Deborah Nucatola. Nucatola described a partial-birth abortion technique to harvest fetal organs in the first Planned Parenthood video released July 14 by CMP.

“My aim is usually to get the specimens out pretty intact,” says Dermish, speaking to actors posing as a fetal tissue procurement company. Dermish admits that she will sometimes use ultrasound guidance to convert a 2nd-trimester fetus to a feet-first breech presentation: “Especially the 20-weekers are a lot harder versus the 18-weekers, so at that point I’ll switch to breech.”

Which is illegal. And revolting and stunning, given the fact that “20-weekers’ are five month old babies, who are being negotiated for sale of their body parts.

The state of Texas recently moved to disbar Planned Parenthood from taxpayer funding on account of Medicaid fraud and abortion-related crimes. Governor Greg Abbott recently said in an interview that the state of Texas is now in possession of “hard evidence” that Planned Parenthood is engaged in “violations of federal and state law concerning abortion procedures.”

“Less than 4 miles away from the Texas state capitol, Planned Parenthood routinely practices barbaric partial-birth abortions on living, late-term fetuses,” notes CMP Project Lead David Daleiden. “Planned Parenthood’s crimes are not just the result of local bad actors, but are tolerated and even encouraged at the highest levels of the national organization. State-level criminal investigations must press charges, and Congress’ new select committee must pursue a deep and comprehensive accounting of Planned Parenthood’s atrocities against humanity.”

They’re working on it.

Planned Parenthood, Congress, more video, and presidential candidates

There’s no going back to ‘plausible deniability’ for the abortion giant, or its defenders.

People in media and government can’t not know what’s been going on.

Last week, the House Judiciary committee held the first of a series of hearings investigating the abortion industry giant. Two women who survived attempted abortions, Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, testified. So did a longtime lead attorney steeped in experience in government hearings and court arguments involving fetal tissue research for nearly three decades. In fact, all three of them brought nearly three decades of lived experience to this panel.

Here’s the video, all of it, on C-SPAN.

Here are some takeaways.

Amazingly, after 18 hours of being burned in her mother’s womb, Gianna was delivered alive in an abortion clinic in Los Angeles on April 6, 1977. She told the committee

Thankfully, the abortionist was not at work yet. Had he been there, he would have ended my life with strangulation, suffocation, or leaving me there to die. Instead, a nurse called an ambulance, and I was rushed to a hospital. Doctors did not expect me to live. I did. I was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, which was caused by a lack of oxygen to my brain while surviving the abortion. I was never supposed to hold up my head up or walk. I do. And Cerebral Palsy, ladies and gentlemen, is a tremendous gift to me.

A moment later, in another testimony to her faith, Gianna said

Hear me clearly, I forgive my biological mother.

And then

General Counsel James Bopp, Jr., who came next, perfectly complemented Gianna’s testimony…

Mr. Bopp, who has testified before many congressional committees and argued multiple cases before the United States Supreme Court, was, as always, keenly on mark. One of his opening remarks captures the thrust of his testimony

One of the great tragedies of human nature is that, what history later judges to be gravely immoral, seems perfectly moral to those engaged in the action at the time. Human sacrifice, slavery, genocide, gladiatorial moral combat, and capital punishment for minor offenses are all examples of activities once thought to be moral, but are now considered gravely immoral. That is the position we are in today. Current practices employed by Planned Parenthood and various tissue procurement companies, not only violate federal law when applicable, but also many ethical and moral principles. Furthermore, continuing to allow procurement and sale of human fetal tissue makes one complicit in the act of aborting a child.

Then Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte cited a quote from a dissent written by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy who, himself, cited graphic quotes from the testimony of partial-birth abortionist LeRoy Carhart:

Dr. Carhart agreed that “[w]hen you pull out a piece of the fetus, let’s say, an arm or a leg and remove that, at the time just prior to removal of the portion of the fetus, … the fetus [is] alive.” Dr. Carhart has observed fetal heartbeat via ultrasound with “extensive parts of the fetus removed,” and testified that mere dismemberment of a limb does not always cause death because he knows of a physician who removed the arm of a fetus only to have the fetus go on to be born “as a living child with one arm.” At the conclusion of a D&E abortion no intact fetus remains. In Dr. Carhart’s words, the abortionist is left with “a tray full of pieces.”

And then

the committee heard from Melissa Ohden, who also miraculously survived a saline abortion in 1977. Melissa is well known to those grassroots pro-lifers who attend the annual NRLC convention where she frequently presents both to adults and teenagers. Her conclusion yesterday was spell-binding:

As you consider the horrors of what happens at Planned Parenthood each day, I would urge you to remember my story, and Gianna’s, too. We may not have survived abortions at Planned Parenthood, but the expectation for our lives to be ended by abortion are the very same as those who do lose their lives there. And I have long believed that if my birthmother’s abortion would have taken place at a Planned Parenthood, I would not be here today. Completing over 300,000 abortions a year provides them with the experience to make sure that “failures” like me don’t happen. As a fellow American, as a fellow human being, I deserved the same right to life, the same equal protection under the law as each and every one of you. Yet we live in a time where not only do such protections not exist, but my own tax dollars and yours go to fund an organization that has perfected the very thing that was meant to end my life.

This must end.

Within days of that congressional hearing, the tenth video came out, revealing even more of the inside business of Planned Parenthood involvement in the marketing of baby body parts, and manipulations done in the abortion clinic to obtain “fresh” human body parts.

And then came the GOP presidential debate on Wednesday night. As in the first debate, this galvanizing issue featured prominently in the CNN debate with several candidates speaking out about the need to defund Planned Parenthood, and defend innocent human life. None as passionate and direct as Carly Fiorina, who issued a fiery challenge: watch the video.

I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”

A breathtaking moment.

Columnist Mollie Hemingway herself challenges media, politicians, readers.

There have been 10 videos exposing Planned Parenthood since July. The media have struggled to cover most of the them, even though they are full of scandalous information about human organ harvesting. In addition to the 10 videos, lengthier footage of the hours-long meetings from which they were gleaned is also available. Everyone who cares about humanity should watch these videos…

If that gets too difficult to look at, go back and look at Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, listen to their pleas, and do it for the millions of others who didn’t have a voice at the table, other than theirs.