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On Tuesday, an undercover video was posted online and reported on by various news outlets that showed a Planned Parenthood executive talking about the organization’s operation of selling body parts of aborted children. After learning about it, I was immediately struck with deep emotion. It is hard to believe this is occurring in the United States of America.

I realize that our nation remains divided on the issue of abortion, but surely we are not divided on the procurement and sale of human organs. Babies were discussed, in the video, like they are an item to be casually harvested then purchased in a grocery store. How far have we come as a society when we resort to harvesting body parts for monetary gain?  

These innocent children are deemed valuable enough to have their organs, as the Vice President of Communications for Planned Parenthood said, “help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases,” but their own lives are not given the same value.  We are talking about human organs – if the organs are human, so is the person. 

The harvesting of body parts is a callous disregard for human dignity. And not only is the act reprehensible, it is illegal. There is a federal ban on selling fetal tissue for “valuable consideration.” In the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act, Congress made clear its intent to criminalize the buying and selling of organs for profit, noting “that individuals or organizations should not profit by the sale of human organs for transplantation.”

The graphic nature of the procedures described in this video shows both the humanity of the victim and the inhumanity of what is being done to them. The video shows that Planned Parenthood is conducting abortions with the goal of harvesting particular organs. In the video, the Planned Parenthood executive states, “you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that, you know, we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m going to basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

The Planned Parenthood executive also notes that in some cases, abortions are being performed in such a way as to increase the chances of getting those organs.  She said, “in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex, because when it’s vertex presentation, you never have enough dilation at the beginning of the case, unless you have real, huge amount of dilation to deliver an intact calvarium. So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.”

She went on to say that “If you induce a demise before the procedure, nobody’s going to say you did a ‘live’—whatever the federal government calls it. Partial-birth abortion… The Federal Abortion Ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation.”

Not only is the law clear, it certainly is not open to interpretation by Planned Parenthood. The sale of human organs is illegal and so is the practice of partial birth abortion.   

Aborting a baby at any stage is reprehensible, but this story also serves as a reminder that late-term abortion still exists in America. There are only seven countries in the world that allow abortions after the 20-week period—a time that it has been scientifically proven babies feel pain. Surprisingly, the United States is one of these countries, along with Canada, North Korea, China, Vietnam, Netherlands and Singapore. This is unacceptable. It is time for Congress to take up and pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.1553) to ban abortions after 20 weeks and stand up for the right to life.  

We must also stop providing taxpayer support for abortion through funding organizations that abort children or engage in the harvesting of body parts. By the way, Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million in taxpayer money every year.   

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act (S. 582) would enact a permanent, government-wide prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion. S. 582 is needed to ensure that taxpayer money never goes to the killing of innocent life. Although Americans are divided on the issue of abortion, it is common-sense that we shouldn’t force a person that is passionately opposed to the killing of the unborn to assist in paying for the procedure.

One of our generation’s greatest tragedies is that in the United States of America, we allow elective killing of our children. In our Declaration of Independence, the Founders of America declared that everyone is endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including and especially life. That is a child, not a collection of organs and tissue for sale. We have got to stand for life.