On pieces of human beings

One of our team members offers commentary on the undercover videos exploring what some Planned Parenthood affiliates do with the bodies of the fetuses aborted in its clinics. (This post was originally written on July 28, 2015.)

By now, you’ve probably heard of the Human Capital video series made by the Center for Medical Progress. Their “citizen journalists” and activists have gone undercover at Planned Parenthood facilities across the United States. Top executives have been filmed discussing the sale of aborted children’s organs to research companies over dinner.

The news and commentary branch of a similar organization, Live Action, has published an article on the first documentary episode made from the footage. It was released July 28th. Among other horrifying elements, a lab technician is shown putting together parts of an aborted fetus. She must ensure the entire body has been removed, as well as check the health of kidneys, the liver, and other organs available for purchase.

I don’t usually have a weak stomach, but I can’t bear to watch any of it. Looking at Live Action’s coverage was enough. A screenshot showed a gloved pair of hands examining bits of a person in a Petri dish. Beside it, there was a close-up image of the tiny arms and legs. My stomach started doing backflips at the sight of (what first appeared to be) a spine. The feeling did not let up until I left my desk two hours later. All I could picture was a little human being plucked out of her home piece by piece – or sucked into a vacuum – with the spine and feet the last to go. Who would she have grown up to be? How much pain did she experience? Where would those little feet have taken her?

Of course, that doesn’t really matter. One’s history does not cancel out the fact that all human beings deserve the most basic of human rights. The fact that someone has not developed the ability to feel pain does not give us licence to violently torture them before they die.

So, today I grieve. For the child whose life was literally ripped apart beyond repair. The parents, who were driven to the abortion facility in their dread and uncertainty. The Planned Parenthood staff trapped in the business, whether by a desire for “routine,” a belief that their services help women, or fear of the consequences of leaving. And for a society which has been able to claim ignorance of these realities until now.

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