August 3, 2015
Senator Ben Sasse
It’s Week 17: Your baby is learning to suck and swallow. Her fingerprints are forming. She’s startled by noise. Her eyes are making small movements and can see some light.
If you’ve recently welcomed a baby, you’ve probably scanned a baby-development app, squinted at an ultrasound picture or browsed WebMD. Modern technology gives us surprising glimpses into human development. It helps us plan for and celebrate new life.
Awe-filled, my wife and I have watched my tiny children on a grainy ultrasound screen. It’s these memories that make recent videos uncovering Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices even more gut-wrenching.
I could hardly watch the footage. One scene reveals an abortion doctor, over a lunch of salad and wine, casually chatting about using ultrasounds to collect baby organs from a “17-weeker.”
Another includes “less crunchy” ways to extract intact organs. A third uncovers an abortionist’s best tactics for crushing the “calvarium,” what we call the head. A fourth captures a doctor admitting that selling body parts individually helps her clinic get more money. A fifth exposes body parts on a tray as medical staff exclaim, “Another boy!”
Abortion is emotional and difficult to discuss. Some days I feel ill equipped to open my mouth. Hillary Clinton recently agreed that the videos were “disturbing.” Wherever we stand on the legal fight about abortion, Planned Parenthood — an abortion business that pulls in over a billion dollars of revenue per year — can no longer hide its shady, deathly practices behind a nice-sounding slogan about “safe, legal and rare” abortion. Here’s why:
» Hardly rare: Clinton and others say they want abortion to be “rare.” But abortion in America remains a very big, very profitable business. In its 2013-14 annual report, Planned Parenthood reported performing 327,653 abortions. According to these numbers, the Planned Parenthood abortion business ended an average of 898 lives every single day — one abortion every 96 seconds.
In the same year, a pregnant woman walking into a Planned Parenthood facility was 174 times more likely to receive an abortion than an adoption referral. In its 2013-14 annual report, the abortion giant also reported collecting over $528 million from the government, more than $127 million in excess revenue and more than $1.4 billion in net assets.
» Dubiously legal: Planned Parenthood claims its practices are entirely legal. They say unedited footage proves that clinics don’t want to make money off the sale of baby organs — a practice that would be illegal under federal law.
But full transcripts show that abortion doctors just don’t want to “look” like they are selling organs. Instead, they want to help “frame” and “market” the issue, and help clinics with their “bottom line.”
When defending her doctors, Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, says that payments for “donated” fetal body parts don’t benefit Planned Parenthood’s bottom line. But full footage shows multiple abortion doctors negotiating over the asking price for body parts.
I have joined 49 other senators in asking the U.S. Department of Health Human Services to investigate whether Planned Parenthood broke the law.
» Not safe: Legal abortion often isn’t safe for mothers. The risks and complications — including hemorrhage, infections, mental health problems and even death — increase dramatically the later an abortion occurs. While Planned Parenthood poses as an advocate for women’s health, its abortionists have admitted that they are willing to change abortion methods to collect organs. In their words, those changed methods mean mothers are “now not getting the standard of care, like everyone else.”
These haunting videos obviously also remind us that abortion is never safe for unborn babies. These little ones — with brains, hearts and lungs — are human. As parents, as Americans, as humans, we can’t ignore their dismemberment or accept their abuse.
Planned Parenthood can’t hide their sickening abortion business behind a “safe, legal and rare” slogan. Pull out your app; look at the ultrasound. Even at 17 weeks, she’s worth protecting. She’s starting to swallow and to startle at noise. She’s starting to see the light.
Let’s hope the same can be said of my colleagues in the Senate when we vote to stop your tax dollars from funding the nation’s largest provider of abortion. Both mother and child are worth protecting.