The first of several hearings convoked to investigate Planned Parenthood was held Wednesday in the U.S. House Judiciary committee and spotlighted barbaric dismemberment abortions used to obtain aborted baby body parts for procurement businesses. Kansas was the first state to ban such barbaric abortions at any stage in gestation.
The hearing–entitled, “Planned Parenthood Exposed: examining the horrific abortion practices at the nation’s largest provider,”— was triggered by nine undercover videos released weekly since July by citizen journalists of the Center for Medical Progress (see full content here). The focus was whether any law-breaking is occurring in the trafficking of aborted baby “specimens” at Planned Parenthood, which corporately receives annual government funding of over $520 million dollars.
Testifying from the pro-life position were:
- National Right to Life attorney Jim Bopp, offering commentary about the legal and ethical questions raised in the videos, and
- saline ‘abortion survivors’, Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, offering their personal stories on behalf of aborted children who are not dead after abortions .
Planned Parenthood did not attend the hearing, but their position was ardently advanced by Yale attorney /professor, Priscilla J. Smith, who asserted that Planned Parenthood “is beloved, not just by me, but by most Americans.”
Smith’s “claim to fame” was her role as the lead attorney in attempting to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal ban on barbaric partial-birth abortions. She failed, and the ban has been in effect since 2007; but her commitment to the brutal destruction of unborn children has not flagged.
In fact, far and away the most noteworthy and breathtaking exchanges at the hearing from the pro-life perspective were those between Smith and several pro-life committee members who could not shake her steadfast defense of dismemberment abortions as “humane.” (See excerpt here)
In fact, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) began his questioning of the witnesses by reading two descriptions of dismemberment abortions :
- the first was from Justice Anthony Kennedy (taken from Supreme Court rulings in 2000 and 2007) describing how unborn children in such abortions are torn “limb from limb” and “bleed to death” –often, with their hearts still beating according to ultrasound monitors; and
- the second came from the current abortionists’ lawsuit against the Kansas ban on dismemberment abortions.
Smith claimed that dismemberment abortions (what she insisted on calling “D&E” abortions) are very humane, although at one point she qualified her statement to pertain to dismembering of unborn children who were not “viable.”
A somewhat astonished Goodlatte replied, “Ms. Smith, your view of “humanity” and mine are different.” Witness Jessen was also taken aback by Smith’s comment and replied to Goodlatte, “I’m speechless with Ms. Smith’s reply that she thinks that’s a humane way to die.”
The committee pro-life members were outraged that the undercover CMP videos indicate live babies were escaping abortion, but were then destroyed — in violation of the Infant Born Alive Protection Act and also, in some cases in violation of the federal ban on partial-birth abortions.
But the hearing also gave significant exposure to the barbaric procedure of dismemberment abortion, which –as a moral issue–goes well beyond questions of whether Planned Parenthood is fully obeying federal law governing fetal tissue procured after induced abortion.