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Fetal Parts for Sale?


After Super Tuesday, it was defensive Wednesday for abortion groups like Planned Parenthood. On one side of the street, the Supreme Court was debating common sense clinic regulations — and on the other, a panel of House members was getting to the bottom of Planned Parenthood’s black market of baby body parts. Both events hold tremendous sway in the future of the abortion business, which has been under heavy scrutiny since last year when undercover videos caught the industry’s own joking about the dark world of baby organ harvesting.

“There is something going on,” said Select Investigative Panel Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), “something that deserves investigating and that demands our best moral and ethical thinking.”

In the panel’s first hearing, six witnesses (two invited by Democrats and four by Republicans) talked about everything from futility of fetal tissue research to the exploitation of women. Casting doubt on the need for Planned Parenthood’s grisly side business, Kathleen Schmainda pointed out, “It needs to be made clear that no current medical treatments exist that have required using fetal tissues for their discovery or development…there has never been a scientific reason requiring fetal cell lines for vaccine development…”

One Democratic witness, Dr. Lawrence Goldstein, insisted he followed the law but admitted that there is a financial side to tissue donation. The Center for Medical Progress was especially interested in his testimony, since he was a frequent customer of Planned Parenthood’s. In a statement before the hearing, CMP urged the panel to “ask Dr. Goldstein the hard questions about how much money he gave Planned Parenthood in exchange for aborted babies’ brains, and what Planned Parenthood may have done to their abortion process to accommodate his orders.”

The GOP brought up some of the more disturbing documents they found through their investigation, including an email where a researcher specifies his/her need for a “first trimester human embryo, preferably around 8 weeks, and up to 10 weeks gestation.” Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) was disgusted by the chain. “This is not dignity. This is not respect for human life,” she said. “I want to ask the panelists — have we reached a point in our society where there effectively is an for human parts, including entire babies?” Hopefully, that’s a question the panel will be able to answer as it continues its work.

In the meantime, we applaud the House for placing a priority on human dignity — not a price on it, as Planned Parenthood has done.


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