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.

The bottom line of what the Planned Parenthood videos reveal

Read it and weep.

The simpler, clearer version of what’s going on in the abortion industry all this time.

If you haven’t watched the damning videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal tissue donation (or, in plain language, exchanging aborted babies’ body parts for money), you should watch them now before you read further.

The first alarming question is whether Planned Parenthood illegally sells aborted fetuses’ organs and tissue. This is what Planned Parenthood and its defenders have repeatedly focused on, insisting that they are compliant with all laws.

But it is what precedes that “fetal tissue donation” that needs attention. Specifically, does Planned Parenthood regularly flout the federal ban on partial-birth abortion using loopholes? How do they get away with this? Do their patients—the women who apparently choose to donate the “fetal tissue”—know what’s going on in explicit terms?

Good questions. Let’s be clear about what’s really going on in abortion clinics, behind the sterile terminology and semantic gymnastics.

Many Americans may not know that the term “partial-birth abortion” is not a medical one but a legal one. And, according to Planned Parenthood doctor Deborah Nucatola, some abortion providers don’t consider it with any seriousness. In her own words, “It’s not a medical term, it doesn’t exist in reality.” What?

It’s clear Nucatola thinks the law is irrelevant—or, as she says, up for “interpretation.” She explains how abortion providers get around the law by injecting a fatal quantity of digoxin, a cardiotoxic drug, into the baby’s heart before dismembering or delivering it.

As hard as those videos are to watch, this is hard to read. Read on.

She explains: “Providers who use digoxin use it for one of two reasons. There’s a group of people who just use it so they have no risk of violating the Federal Abortion Ban. Because if you induce a demise before the procedure, nobody’s going to say you did a ‘live’—whatever the federal government calls it. Partial-birth abortion.” The second reason providers use it is “because they actually think it makes the tissue softer and it makes it safer and easier to do the procedure.” She counts herself in the second group.

So, if you “dig,” you’re guaranteed a dead baby and a successful abortion without having to worry about the law. Moreover, you’ll find that a baby that has already died from a heart attack is apparently “softer” and easier to pull apart with metal instruments.

We are talking about a human life here. In each and every case. The sheer lack of recognition of that basic fact in this kind of discussion about these kinds of procedures takes the breath away.

And it gets worse. When you follow the ‘abortion logic’ explained here. As horrible as the thought, language, and reality is of ‘crushing’ parts of a baby above and below valuable organs, this is the reality, for selling body parts. I can’t believe we’re at this point…

These babies are being strategically maneuvered, crushed, and dismembered under ultrasound guidance—while still alive.

This poses an ethical question. Do the women consenting to fetal-tissue donation understand what’s happening during the procedure? Do they know that their babies are alive at the start of the butchering? A 2001 study showed that 91 percent of women in the study “preferred their fetuses were dead before the abortions.” How “informed” is their informed consent?

It also poses a legal question. Is Planned Parenthood breaking the law—whether in its procedures for “donating” fetal tissue or by altering abortion methods—in order to get better specimens? If so, stripping it of federal funding would be a half-measure.

If Planned Parenthood is not breaking the law, then we need to change the law.

Full stop.

Abortionist charged with murder

Jarring headline. Not that abortionists don’t end human lives every day. But startling to see that law enforcement and media actually noticed.

It took a particularly gruesome example to get their attention.

A Philadelphia doctor performed thousands of illegal late-term abortions and murdered newborns after inducing labour, prosecutors have said.

Dr Kermit Gosnell, 69, was charged with murder and other offences in the deaths of a patient and viable babies born as late as the eighth month of pregnancy.

Prosecutors said he made millions of dollars treating and sometimes maiming mostly poor minority women.

Nine clinic workers are also charged with murder and other counts.

Lawyers on both sides tried to find the right words to put to this horror, given abortion’s legality and all. The defense attorney called the allegations “very, very serious.” The DA started his statement acknowledging that abortion is “a hot-button topic.” He also said…

“A doctor who knowingly and systematically mistreats female patients, to the point that one of them dies in his so-called care, commits murder under the law.

“A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law.”

Horrible. But wait….that’s what happens in partial-birth abortions, which the pro-choice movement refers to as the ‘so-called partial-birth abortion’ procedure which they prefer to call ‘late-term abortions.’ And to look at this even more closely and clearly…living, breathing babies who survive abortion attempts would be protected under the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which a certain Illinois senator could not support when it came up for a vote….because it would confer constitutional protection on a fetus and render abortion illegal….

See how entangled this becomes when we follow an idea or argument through to its logical conclusion?

Justice Anthony Kennedy was so firm in his written opinion about the Carhart (partial-birth abortion) ruling that he spelled out clearly for the record what grisly things happen when a doctor performs one.

The New York Times stated flatly in its headline Doctor is Charged in Killing of Newborns. Here’s the lede:

An abortion doctor who served minority and immigrant women in his clinic in Philadelphia was charged with multiple counts of murder on Wednesday in the deaths of a woman and seven newborn babies whose spinal cords had been cut with scissors, the district attorney’s office said…

When labor was induced and a baby was born, Dr. Gosnell would kill it by cutting into its neck and severing its spinal cord in a process he referred to as “snipping.”

But the difference between that and the ‘late term abortion’ the pro-choice movement has vigorously defended is a matter of inches  and minutes. When the baby is in the middle of being born and the scissors are plunged into the base of his or her skull etc…it’s still called abortion. When the scissors end the life of that child moments later outside the birth canal, it’s murder.

That should generate a vigorous debate. As well as the obvious question raised in the grand jury report, noted by the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

The 262-page jury report, available at the Web site of the Philadelphia Office of the District Attorney, devotes considerable attention to the question, “how did this go on so long?”

“This is a baby.”

That’s how an IBM commercial begins, one that’s currently airing during big prime time schedules. The first time I saw it, something about it grabbed my attention…

Then after seeing and hearing it again, I knew why.

Watch the video.

This is a baby. A baby generating data in a neo-natal ward. Every heartbeat, every breath, every anomaly…from over a thousand pieces of unique information per second helping doctors find new ways to detect life-threatening infection up to 24 hours sooner.

On a smarter planet, analyze the data and you can predict what will happen faster. So you can do what they do in Toronto, and build a smarter hospital.

Let’s build a smarter planet.

Then the IBM logo fills the screen as the theme music winds down.

It’s simply beautiful. And says in 30 seconds what can’t successfully be conveyed in years of activism by whole movements of passionate people. Which can be summed up in this question…

What makes this not a baby just hours or minutes before arriving in the neo-natal ward, in the logic of partial-birth abortion advocates?

Kagan’s quagmire

There’s no question Elena Kagan will be confirmed by the Senate to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. But there are plenty of questions about her political ideology and its likely influence on the Court, questions she either dodged artfully, or ones that weren’t asked at all during that show they called a ‘hearing’…

The Chicago Tribune editors called it “Pointless” and there’s no disputing that.

She deflected every attempt to get her to reveal how she may come down on the great issues that await her on the court.

It’s the ‘system’ now, the editorial notes.

Ever since 1987, when Robert Bork participated in a stimulating discussion of his distinctive approach to constitutional interpretation — only to be rejected by the Senate — appointees have chosen to give their questioners as little information as possible, as pleasantly as they can. Senators have taken the opportunity to give long-winded speeches in the guise of questions for the nominee, to show how wise the senators are.

Especially those in the majority party, who know this is a slam-dunk anyway so they use the time for grandanding and soliloquy.

Senators would be far better off ransacking their writings, speeches and judicial opinions (if, unlike Kagan, they have served on the bench) for illuminating clues.

Actually, some did. And they tried to confront Kagan with her writings and political interventions in such consequential matters as partial-birth abortion. Though the ‘hearing’ process allowed her to evade the issues, she can’t and shouldn’t escape the scrutiny they raised.

Add pro-life Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns to the list of lawmakers in the Senate who are officially opposed to the nomination of pro-abortion activist Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court Johanns joins several Republican colleagues who say Kagan is too much of a judicial activist to merit confirmation…”As an advisor to the Clinton administration, Ms. Kagan led the fight to keep partial-birth abortion legal. She even went so far as to insert her own personal beliefs in the place of science—extremely disturbing given the horrific nature of partial-birth abortion,” he said.

“When the Supreme Court struck down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortions in 2000, it backed up its decision with language from a purportedly non-partisan physicians’ group. Yet it has been reported that the critical part of that statement was not written by doctors, but by Elena Kagan, who at the time was a White House policy adviser to President Clinton,” Johanns explained.

“This language essentially overrode scientific findings against partial-birth abortion in favor of Ms. Kagan’s view,” he concluded.

This support for a “monstrosity”  is enough to disqualify her for the highest court in the land, some are saying. And some it can’t be said enough…

The Washington Times released an editorial column today on the nomination of pro-abortion activist Elena Kagan to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. The Times says Kagan’s supporting partial-birth abortion (infanticide) should be the “kiss of death” for her nomination…

The Times’ editorial staff is not surprised Obama would pick an abortion advocate who is credited with helping keep partial-birth abortions legal for years more as “this nomination is in tune with President Obama’s career-long devaluation of human life.”

The paper says Kagan “may be more responsible than anyone for keeping partial-birth abortion legal for an extra decade.”

When the Clinton White House considered legislation to make partial-birth abortions illegal, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reported it “could identify no circumstances under which this procedure … would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.”

The Times points out Kagan pronounced this news a “disaster” because “it could give Mr. Clinton reason to restrict partial-birth abortions. She then set to work convincing ACOG to add a sentence making the practice seem more reasonable. Courts later quoted that sentence in deciding bans on the procedure were unconstitutional.”

The magnitude of her involvement in making partial-birth abortion accessible is enormous. But that didn’t matter to the majority on that hearing panel…

Senators asked Kagan about the memos during Judiciary Committee hearings and she explained her actions away by saying she wanted to help ACOG form a more accurate opinion.

After citing her role in lobbying the medical organizations, the Times says senators need to keep this in mind when they vote.

“Democratic senators who harp about ethics – such as Pennsylvania turncoat Arlen Specter and Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold – should take offense at Ms. Kagan’s serious fudging under oath. Senate Democrats who claim to oppose partial-birth abortion – such as Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln and Nevada’s Harry Reid – should be held to account if they vote for her,” the Times wrote.

Which is why politicians aren’t exactly rushing to admit it.

And until they do, some keen observers like these ones at the WSJ are giving them the chance – and the nudge – to ask the right questions. Keen insight here

…there’s some crucial unfinished business the Senate should insist on before voting on her nomination to the Supreme Court. To wit, she ought to recuse herself from participating as a Justice in the looming legal challenges to ObamaCare.

In response to Senate queries, Ms. Kagan has said she’ll recuse herself from participating in 11 cases on which she represented the government in her current job as Solicitor General. The challenge to ObamaCare isn’t one of them, though the cases brought by Florida and 20 other states were filed in March, well before President Obama announced her nomination on May 10.

Ms. Kagan was never asked directly at her hearings about her role as SG regarding the health-care lawsuits. The closest anyone came was this question from Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn: “Was there at any time—and I’m not asking what you expressed or anything else—was there at any time you were asked in your present position to express an opinion on the merits of the health-care bill?”

Ms. Kagan: “There was not.”

Regarding a potential recusal, that’s not the right question. Ms. Kagan was unlikely to have been consulted on the merits of health-care policy, and even if she did express an opinion on policy this would not be grounds for recusal. The legal precedents on that are clear.

Recusal arises as a matter of judicial ethics if as a government official she expressed an opinion on the merits of the health-care litigation. This is what she would have to render a judgment on were she to be confirmed for the High Court. It is also the question on which she is likely to have participated given her role at the Justice Department.

This is an incisive piece. Read it carefully, and consider…

Ms. Kagan would sit as Mr. Obama’s nominee on the nation’s highest Court on a case of momentous Constitutional importance. If there is any chance that the public will perceive her to have prejudged the case, or rubber-stamped the views of the President who appointed her, she will damage her own credibility as a Justice and that of the entire Court.

If the damage hasn’t already been done…