The fifth undercover video uncovering the routine practices at Planned Parenthood has recently been released. It is very hard to watch. Again, the video shows their greedy officials skating vigorously around several federal laws (or, more likely, breaking them). To quote Hillary Clinton, the videos are “disturbing.”
But it’s not the legal contortionism that shocks. What really makes an impact on the average viewer, no matter where they stand on the issue, is the absolute disconnect between the casual and matter-of-fact attitude of the clinic staff and their macabre work. It’s medical ghoulishness at its very worst.
As a physician, I know health workers have to cultivate what may seem to an outsider a dreadful insensitivity to subjects that are better treated with awe and respect—matters like death, illness, and bodily integrity. We take a human being with a devastating illness and reduce them, a little, to an “interesting case.” We joke and laugh when the uninitiated would wince and look away.
Being Casual About Bodies Is Normal for Doctors
Learning this attitude starts in medical school. I remember particularly second semester, the first day of gross anatomy. One hundred students walked into a large room where there were 25 metal tables and on each table a draped cadaver. Our professor was a seasoned veteran, an engaging and caring teacher. He knew what to expect. When he pulled the drape off the nearest cadaver, many of us gasped and covered our mouths. One young woman started to cry hysterically, and one young man fainted.
After reviving the young man and giving us time to settle down, the professor told us some things we needed to hear. He told us that these men and women lying on the tables were important people. They were mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. They were heroic people, because they had donated their bodies so medical students could truly learn, by cutting and pulling and scraping, what a human body really is. They had put aside their own bodily dignity and privacy so we could learn from them and then cure others—other brothers, sisters, and mothers.
“We will honor them now, with a moment of silence, and thank them,” he said. “And then we will start dissection.” He told us that the first cut would be hard, and the first time we pulled back skin or traced a fibrous muscle to its origin, that would be stomachchurning. He might need to come by and help us through. But soon, he told us, we would be chatting comfortably over our cadavers, and eating a sandwich with one hand while we retracted for our colleague with the other. We didn’t quite believe him, but he was absolutely right.
This natural medical comfort with body parts and death is on display on these undercover videos. As a doctor, I recognize that, and it doesn’t in the least bit bother me. I don’t think it’s wrong to be casual around the normal parts of one’s daily work.
Planned Parenthood’s Bodies Are Different
But there’s a big difference between the dissection lab and the abortion lab. The people whose bodies we were learning invaluable lessons from donated themselves to science. It was a difficult decision, I’m sure, for each of them. I can imagine the shock and confusion on their relatives’ faces when they realized there would be no body to bury, and that their beloved would be dismembered carefully over many months. It is a heroic and generous personal sacrifice, each and every time, and in the pure interest of science and medical advancement.
The fetal bodies, not much different really from the adult cadavers except in size, were donated by someone else. Obviously, none of the fetuses chose their wretched end. Their presence in the lab resulted not from generosity, but from tragedy and despair.
Planned Parenthood and its cheerleaders sell abortion as just one more personal and responsible nofuss choice on the menu of “reproductive health.” We women have been asked for years now to think of our fetuses as clumps of cells. We’ve been asked this by a culture that values self realization and sexual freedom over every other good, and teaches us that children are the worst kind of hindrance to these goals.
Planned Parenthood Profits from Despair
But no amount of feminist gilding can cover the ugly reality of those clinics. Those “donated” body parts can come only from a second or thirdtrimester abortion. No woman on the planet wants one of those. Putting aside the physical pain, the bodily invasion, and the inherent danger of a complicated surgical procedure, there is the appalling matter of her frustrated motherhood.
No matter what we’ve been told from a young age about choice and freedom, a pregnant woman knows that something spectacular is going on there, just under the surface of the skin that’s being pulled taut. She is creating a thing of indescribable beauty. She comes to the clinic because she despairs. She can’t go on any longer, or she thinks she can’t.
That’s the tragedy that filled that awful storage refrigerator shown in the video. It’s a double tragedy the nurse refers to when she reaches in for the “twin” fetuses aborted just earlier that day. Despair fills that fridge, and despair fills the coffers of Planned Parenthood.
That is what makes the abortion labs ghoulish, where the dissection labs are not. The technicians and doctors who joke and laugh in the videos are profiting from women’s pain and hopelessness, in the foulest way. They are not involved in the advance of science and the betterment of mankind, no matter how many times they write “research” in front of their department’s name.