- - Thursday, July 16, 2015

It is difficult to imagine a person whose conscience would not be deeply shaken by the practice of cutting up babies to sell their body parts for cash. But horrifyingly, we don’t have to imagine: In a hidden camera video posted online this week, Planned Parenthood’s director of “Medical Services,” describes casually how abortion doctors harvest lungs, hearts, livers and legs, and sell them for $30 to $100 per piece.

Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the Planned Parenthood executive, describes in the video how she and her colleagues have been able to use ultrasound guidance to extract baby body parts in a form that allows them to be sold for use in medical labs: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver,” she said, “because we know that — so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

Why? “A lot of people want intact hearts these days,” she says. “… And then, like I said, always as many intact livers as possible … Some people want lower extremities too, which, that’s simple.” The video was recorded by actors with an anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress. The actors obtained the footage by posing as potential baby-parts customers from a biologics company.

The practices Dr. Nucatola describes are sickening, and her attitude in describing them is, too. That anyone could be so casual about the dismemberment of innocent life is deeply disturbing. That a senior executive at Planned Parenthood could exhibit such a lack of conscience bespeaks an organization that is immoral and unethical at its core.

Republicans in Congress were right to respond quickly to the video, with House Speaker John Boehner and other leaders moving to investigate Planned Parenthood. Congress must hold hearings to discover the truth about what has occurred. How many babies have been cut up and their body parts sold? How much did Planned Parenthood and its affiliates make through this appalling practice? How many clinics and doctors were involved? How many companies and labs purchased babies’ body parts?

Dr. Nucatola should be called to testify. So should Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood’s president, and every other senior executive to find out what they knew about the organization’s involvement in cutting up babies and selling their parts.

State governments should investigate as well, and state legislatures should hold their own hearings to find out whether these practices occurred in their states, and whether they violated any state laws.

Congress should also move immediately to eliminate all federal funding for Planned Parenthood. It is an outrage that taxpayers are forced to fund an organization engaged in something so horrific.

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