Planned Parenthood's Foggy Evil

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On Wednesday morning, many Americans witnessed a horrifying, graphic, and evil act, broadcast on live TV. In Moneta, Va., a 24-year-old reporter and a 27-year-old cameraman were cruelly gunned down by a disturbed former co-worker—while the cameras were rolling.

In the hours following the attack, the shooter bragged about the murders on Twitter, uploading his own graphic, first-person video of the killings to Facebook. Before the social network disabled his account, that video—far more shocking than the one that aired on television—was reportedly shared more than 500 times, then re-posted throughout the Internet for untold numbers to see.

In the coming days, we will hear heated arguments about what this killing means, exactly which political agenda it should be twisted to fulfill, and what it ultimately says about us. There is one point that no one will debate, however, unless they fall among the still-slender ranks of proud nihilism or the profoundly deranged: This was a nightmarish act. It was premeditated murder, plain and simple. Two human beings who were loved and cherished are gone.

Earlier in the week, a different video surfaced, also purporting to present a moral horror—but in this case, not everyone agrees. On Tuesday, the Center for Medical Progress, which has spent the summer crusading against Planned Parenthood’s massive nationwide abortion network, released its eighth undercover expose. This video features Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress, who casually discusses buying fetal body parts for research—and whose organization had previously and unsuccessfully filed a restraining order in an attempt to keep the unflattering “sting” productions from the public eye.  

If you watch the latest video, you can quickly see why its unwitting stars are not pleased. Caught by hidden camera, Dyer blithely chats about “rampant, rampant bacteria” in abortion clinics, details how not-yet-desensitized lab techs “freak out and have meltdowns” at the sight of baby parts, chortles about the intricacies of shipping of “the whole calvarium” (that’s “baby skull” to you and me), and shows an unsightly enthusiasm for receiving “another 50 livers a week.” As luck would have it, taxpayer-subsidized Planned Parenthood—a “volume institution,” as Dyer describes it, with 327,653 abortions in 2013 alone—is just the operation to suit many of these needs.

In the latest video, Dyer also discusses the shipment of “intact cases," giving the disturbing impression that she regularly deals with fully formed, non-dismembered, full-bodied fetuses. Dyer now claims she was talking about intact livers, not intact baby bodies. This seems a bit dubious--on StemExpress’s own website and in Planned Parenthood parlance, “case” has commonly translated into the entire product of an abortion—but never mind. Perhaps she’s telling the truth. Maybe she only gets baby livers and baby heads, and laughs about it at lunch! Move on, already. There’s nothing to see here! 

Quibble about the details if you will—and believe me, with this topic, we shall see eternal quibbling about the details, while the growing pile of tiny corpses is studiously ignored—but one thing is clear: In order for America’s abortion-on-demand industry to survive, it needs some serious smoke and mirrors.

“They’ll open the box and go, ‘Oh, God!’” Dyer laughs, describing how “so many of the academic labs cannot fly” with the macabre surprise of receiving baby parts in the mail. “It’s almost like they don’t want to know where it comes from. I can see that. Where they’re like, ‘We need limbs, but no hands and feet need to be attached.’”

Last week, another disturbing detail in the sting videos earned pushback: It was an image of a 19-week-old human, fully formed. The original video, offering no clarification, implied that this was the victim of an abortion; later news revealed it was actually footage of a baby born prematurely at 19 weeks.  Needless to say, Planned Parenthood rejoiced: After weeks of scrambling to claim previous videos were “selectively edited,” they finally had an example. “This fraudulent smear campaign is falling apart on closer inspection,” Eric Ferrero, a spokesman for the group, told the press.

Indeed, it was a mistake by the Center for Medical Progress—the footage was included, the group’s David Daleiden argued, to show what a 19-week-old fetus looks like—and the group updated and clarified the video. But in an odd way, this slip also served to highlight the absurdity of today’s abortion debate.

“Anti-abortion video shows stillborn baby—not fetus,” The Hill declared, further informing readers that the 19-week-old “baby” had a name: Walter Fretz. MSNBC’s website, slamming Planned Parenthood’s critics, echoed the “baby not fetus” clarification; CBS News went even further, using the phrase “stillborn child.”

Serious question: Are we all taking crazy pills? For years, we’ve been told that Planned Parenthood aborts “fetuses,” not human “babies.” But suddenly, when it’s helpful to bash a relentless Planned Parenthood critic, that “fetus” automatically becomes a “baby”? How is this all scientifically possible? (Hint: It’s not.)

All of this, of course, isn’t meant to be scientifically coherent. It never has been. Many “19 weekers” are aborted. They never get a name. Meanwhile, the lab technicians dissecting their parts, as Dyer reminds us in the latest video, have one simple request: “Make it so that we don’t know what it is.” Her later comment, when you think about it, should haunt us all: “But we know what it is.”

Update: This story was changed on Sept. 18, 2015 to correct information regarding video of a baby born prematurely. An earlier version of the story said the baby was stillborn. 

Heather Wilhelm is a writer based in Austin,Texas. Her work can be found at and her Twitter handle is @heatherwilhelm.

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