The National Catholic Review
Screenshot from video included in post

The Center for Medical Progress has released a second undercover sting video of a conversation with a Planned Parenthood official discussing arrangements and financial compensation for obtaining fetal organs and tissue from abortions. In this video, the haggling over the price-per-specimen is more blunt and obvious than in the first videos, as is the discussion of whether the actual technique used for an abortion can be modified to increase the chances of recovering intact tissue. 

Before I go any further, I should make clear that I am not approaching this news from a neutral viewpoint: I am pro-life and oppose abortion; as a consequence, I also oppose Planned Parenthood as a major provider and advocate of abortion.

This story first broke last week, as C.M.P. made its public debut with their first undercover video in which Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, casually discussed over lunch how she might choose which parts of an unborn child’s body to crush in order to make sure she could recover the desired organs. I covered this story with two posts, the first looking at the short edited video that C.M.P was promoting and the second reviewing the much longer unedited footage and transcript they also released. (The full unedited footage of the second video can be found here, along with a transcript prepared by C.M.P.)         

Watching these videos is gut-wrenching, particularly for someone who recognizes that the unborn child is a human being with inviolable dignity, deserving of our love, concern and protection. I hope that it is gut-wrenching even for those who defend abortion to hear how casually the dismemberment of unborn bodies is discussed, with no acknowledgement that their common humanity—the very thing that makes their tissues valuable—demands our compassion. It is disgusting to hear a physician attempt to establish the proper range of compensation for processing a “tissue donation” while joking that she “want[s] a Lamborghini.” To watch these videos at all is to acknowledge that there is something deeply wrong with the process of abortion as discussed here. Many of us know that that is because there is something deeply wrong with abortion, period. I pray that many more of us come to that realization.

While the videos are deeply troubling, and the P.P.F.A. representatives’ callousness in discussing how to obtain fetal tissue cannot be defended, the careful editing of the videos has provoked controversy of its own, some aspects of which are warranted. In the first video, C.M.P. accused P.P.F.A. of “selling baby parts”; they countered with a press release claiming that there was “no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood,” though in some instances the “actual costs” for processing the tissue was reimbursed. After reviewing the unedited footage of the first video, I argued that it was misleading for C.M.P. to describe what they uncovered as “sales,” particularly when paired side-by-side with citations to federal law which, while forbidding the sale of any human fetal tissue, makes allowance for the coverage of processing costs.

In the second video released today, Dr. Mary Gatter, president of the medical directors’ council of P.P.F.A., engages in a back-and-forth negotiation with the actor posing as a representative of a tissue procurement company, joking that “the person who throws out the figure first is at a loss,” but eventually suggesting that the expected “compensation” per specimen would be $75—to which the actor replies “really, that’s way too low.”

As with Dr. Nucatola in the first video, Dr. Gatter is concerned to make sure that her clinic not be seen as “selling” tissue, but only as helping to process tissue that women choose to donate after an abortion. However, in this video, it is much clearer that no real effort is being made to assess “actual costs” for processing that donation, but instead, the number reached is meant to be low enough not to raise eyebrows but high enough to make the clinic’s participation worthwhile. Unlike Dr. Nucatola, who reiterated several times that her primary interest was not in the money, Dr. Gatter says just once—even in the unedited footage—that “we’re not in it for the money, and we don’t want to be in a position of being accused of selling tissue.” In one of the lines edited out of the second video, Dr. Gatter responds to an actor’s suggestion that they could pay more for the clinic to modify the abortion procedure to one that would damage the tissue less by saying, “Well, now you’re shading into the area of you’re paying me to do something that’s not right.”

While neither of the videos clearly shows Planned Parenthood as primarily profit-driven, they both show that their concern for the law—and, more damning by far, their concern for the human remains of the aborted children in question—is far more technical than substantive. Both videos show that doctors who are at the top of P.P.F.A.’s medical hierarchy are more than willing—in fact almost eager—to discuss how both individual abortion procedures and the overall procedures of their clinics can be optimized to help obtain fetal tissue desired by the companies and presumably ultimately in demand from researchers. Neither of the videos show, even for a moment, any concern whatsoever for the fact that the fetal bodies being dismantled for parts are undeniably human bodies, which is in fact precisely what makes them valuable and desirable.

Official investigations into P.P.F.A.’s practices regarding fetal tissue donation—or perhaps “harvesting” might be the more appropriate term—are warranted. Those investigations are now getting started. I hope that they also grow to encompass the involvement of the tissue procurement companies and the researchers who are the ultimate source of demand for fetal tissue and organs. But above all, I hope that they encourage everyone to grapple more directly with the undeniable fact that what abortion destroys is an unborn human body, which has a value far greater than that of its liver or thymus or lungs.  

Sam Sawyer, S.J. is an associate editor at America.

Comments

Mary Weis | 7/27/2015 - 12:25am

Great article, but I have one issue. This is a Catholic magazine, right? I am confused as to why you have to tell your readers that you are pro life, and you cant be nuetral on this one. I would certainly hope not and would expect that you would defend the baby humans in this tradgedy. How disturbing that Catholic writers have to warn fellow Catholics and others that they believe in the teachings of The Church! I wonder, did any Catholics give you a hard time for your " controversial " stance on the sanctity of human life?

Charles McNamee | 7/24/2015 - 10:13am

In the plains of Africa, when an animal dies, flies come and lay eggs upon it. The hatched larvae (maggots) from those hatched eggs eat the flesh of the dead animal. Hyenas come and work at eating the remains as well and buzzards circle overhead and land to get a piece of the action. Eventually dry bones are left to ultimately be worn to dust which becomes part of the soil from which plants grow. Those plants get eaten by animals who ultimately die etc…etc…
Nothing is wrong with this process. It is natural. So too when a human dies, his body returns to the natural “dust” whether quickly into the earth or very slowly in a sealed tomb. There is nothing evil about this happening, despite all our attempts to prevent it from happening.
Where evil comes in is where we interrupt the man’s life by unlawfully killing him.
This is where the Supreme Court of the United States has come in to rule that some killings are not in themselves evil. Capital punishment for certain crimes is lawful, so increasingly is assisted suicide in many places and situations, and so too is abortion, if the woman so chooses, without regard to any rights to continued life the baby within her might have. Now since the law allows this, the law is now being asked to decide what may or may not happen with the corpse after death. May body parts be sold for scientific use and is there some kind of “morality” involved in what can be done with these parts?
It seems the door was opened when the law determined that the life of a person can be taken “for sufficient reason”. The law no longer says that blacks , women and minorities are less than full persons who cannot be owned or used by others to their own advantage, but has failed to extend those rights to the unborn child.
It is most disconcerting to realize that a majority of the public are horrified by the profitable distribution of aborted fetus parts, yet feel quite comfortable with PP and with the Supreme Court’s decisions to grant “personhood” to corporations yet deny it to future children.

The dignity of the human person comes from what is WITHIN him. Jesus has said "The Kingdom of God is WITHIN you."[Mk. 1:15-16]. Is not that Kingdom within the child from conception? Why not?

Michael Madden | 7/23/2015 - 5:53pm

Thank you, Sam Sawyer for your on-target comments on this barbaric practice. Many of your following posts have obviously completely missed the point of your article. What is/was clearly evident from the videos is the indifferent and callous savagery with which the doctors discussed the dismemberment of a human fetus. Do it to an animal and half the populace would be livid with indignation for such cruelty and demanding all kinds of investigations not to mention the complete ostracizing of the individual or organization involved.
And what is so dastardly wrong with a subterfuge interview and video? Law enforcement conducts such investigations and surveillance all the time - and is time and again upheld as admissable evidence in court. PP was certainly not going to discuss this process on a "60 Minutes", "Inside Edition", etc. or any other talk show.
Get real people! We thought we long ago had left behind us the barbaric savagery of a less evolved humankind, but it is obviously alive and well in our modern world.

VINCENT GAGLIONE | 7/23/2015 - 5:11pm

To an online comments section for an article in the July 22 edition of the "New York Times", I wrote:

"vincentgaglione NYC 20 hours ago
That any fetal tissue from a premeditated abortion is contributed or sold is obnoxious to me because the abortion is allegedly for reasons of medical necessity. When we are discussing human organs from fetuses we are discussing lives that may be immature but on the course to viability.
More disturbing to me is the cavalier manner in which staff of Planned Parenthood discussed such tissue and organ donations with anyone, legal or illegal!
Finally most disturbing to me is Mr. Daleiden and his consorts and cohorts who use deviousness and anonymity to produce videos for their shock and political values. As opposed to abortions as I am, I am repulsed by the methods being used to persuade others. Which is why abortions remain an accepted means of birth control as opposed to a truly medical necessity."

I remain more convinced than ever that the Bishops of the United States have actually contributed to undermining the creation of a national conscience about abortion by choosing political strategies that have backfired. In the first place, there are those of many other religions and none who do not find moral grounds for opposition. They find the Bishops behaving as theocratic tyrants. For a large segment of women citizens, including Catholics, the issue of self-preservation motivates their opposition to total abolition of abortions. They find the Bishops cavalierly intrusive in serious, personal dilemnas. "Thou shalt not" only works when a conscience that is informed, guided, supported, and shepherded makes the personal decision for herself.
No woman makes such a decision offhandedly and without personal doubts. Whether it is Planned Parenthood's staffers, Daleiden and his crew, or the Bishops, maturity, prudence, decency, empathy, and compassion addressing the subject are better means to convince than what we are seeing and hearing and reading about!

Bill Mazzella | 7/22/2015 - 2:11pm

We really have to distinguish between the practice of abortion and the "selling" of fetal parts. As the president of PP said in the video, they are not in it for the money. They are just covering costs. C.M.P is clearly goading PP to charge a higher price. The C.M.P rep. derides the PP President for charging so little and says she wants to pay more. This is the ends justify the means where the means are trickery, deception and outright lying. Shame on C.M.P.

The abortion issue is one things. But criminal action to discredit PP is another This applies to you Sam Sawyer, S.J. also. You want to talk about abortion fine. Good of you to admit that you are not an objective party. You might check out your ethics also. Stay on point. Is PP making a profit or not?

Sam Sawyer | 7/22/2015 - 3:20pm

I raised the question above about whether or not they're actually making a profit, and acknowledged that covering costs is legal. I don't think it's possible for us to know whether or not there's any actual profit unless Planned Parenthood opens their books to an outside investigation.

But that's actually not the main point—the main point: is Planned Parenthood carefully determining how to dismantle the bodies of unborn children for parts, or not? I'm concerned about that even if they lose money.

Bill Mazzella | 7/22/2015 - 6:11pm

I am concerned because your weight is against PP and Not this guy who used unethical means to get information. None of which hurts PP except for the soundbite which politicians are using to attack and defund PP now. The woman is aggressively baiting the PP president to charge more. This is low life stuff. Secondly, why are you not as concerned when there is a miscarriage and the parts are thrown in the garbage? The anti-abortion movement has been quiet about this for decades. 3. Your doubting PP as to whether it is making money while you do not express a scintilla of criticism for CMP is curious to say the least.

THOMAS FARRELLY | 7/23/2015 - 6:40pm

People will react to the video in different ways, depending on their beliefs regarding abortion and PP. Those who oppose abortion will focus on the question of whether PP is selling body parts for profit, and are not willing to accept PP's assurance that it is not engaging in this illegal practice. Those who favor a right to abortion will focus on the aggressive journalism of the video's producers and label it unethical, and are happy to accept PP's denial as conclusive. And in your case, imply that Father Sawyer's ethics are questionable; I find his article sober and his ethics excellent.

Sam Sawyer | 7/23/2015 - 2:13pm

From the post above: "I argued that it was misleading for C.M.P. to describe what they uncovered as 'sales,' particularly when paired side-by-side with citations to federal law which, while forbidding the sale of any human fetal tissue, makes allowance for the coverage of processing costs." There's much more extensive criticism in the second of my earlier posts on this issue, also linked above.

If I may, I notice that you don't seem to be expressing any criticism about the callous way the P.P. doctors are treating unborn human bodies as sources for parts. C.M.P.'s not above criticism, but neither should P.P. be. And on the scale of moral gravity, undercover sting videos and somewhat deceptive editing while also releasing full footage is far less serious than organ harvesting from unborn children.

 

Crystal Watson | 7/23/2015 - 5:06pm

I think I'm one of the few women commenting on this post and probably the only person here who has any first hand experience with Planned Parenthood. The fact that the purpose of the video is to fool people into believing PP sells body parts for profit when that is not true should matter. I'm not sure why donating fetal tissue after an abortion is any worse than providing the abortion in the first place. The video seems to exist for one reason - to stir up hatred for PP.

MARGARET BETZ | 7/23/2015 - 6:41pm

Crystal W's comment is well-said. As another with actual experience with PP, I know they do wonderful things especially for poor women, and have saved many, many lives with their emphasis on reproductive health, and allowing women to be agents in the decision when to bear children. Most men seem not to see how oppressive have been the attitudes about women traditionally propagated by most religious faiths. Despite our new Pope's statements, I sense we are not progressing much in bringing women's voices into significant areas of morality about this issue. Thinking of all pregnancies as "natural" does not help women who have been raped, or who will have serious health problems resulting from child-bearing.

THOMAS FARRELLY | 7/23/2015 - 6:13pm

Your assumption that PP does not sell body parts for profit is based on what? On PP's denial? What would you expect them to say, considering that doing this is illegal?

Crystal Watson | 7/23/2015 - 11:43pm

It seems established in the news that PP was not selling body parts but was facilitating requests made by patients to donate, sometimes charging for processing, sometimes not. I tired posting a couple of links here but the comments went to moderation hell, so look for The New York Times editorial titled "The Campaign of Deception Against Planned Parenthood" and the Sacramento Bee editorial titled "A cynical attack on Planned Parenthood". Both discuss the issue.

ROBERT O'CONNELL | 7/23/2015 - 9:53am

What ethic bars one private party from perpetratinng a sting against another? I ask not to argue the point but to understand your criticism of CMP and Fr. Sawyer,

J Cosgrove | 7/22/2015 - 10:23am

Quid pro Quo in any business is often hard to determine. Abortion is a big business and Planned Parenthood has some big donors and those at the top make some very good salaries. To defend the practices of organ harvesting is not financially lucrative because the return is small, enough to just cover the added cost of doing it is misleading at best.

Planned Parenthood receives billions of dollars in donations and funding from donors and various government institutions. Warren Buffet has donated a billion dollars to them. The US and other government entities have provided ten billion dollars or more to them. Does anyone not think that a comment or two at chosen times by a large donor or government officials might affect what they do and the affect also the amount of the donations and thus their personal renumeration?

What is the real scandal here? It is not the direct renumeration of Planned Parenthood officials for organ harvesting but the callous way they kill human being and justify it to provide these organs. In other contexts we would call these people monsters, but here they are heroes. Just another indication of the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of our society. And we have people on this site defending them.

William deHaas | 7/22/2015 - 10:18am

Mr. Kelly - my last post was put on hold and then never posted. It had two links to address some of the other misinformation of some comments - from Fact Checker.

I used Guttmacher's 2013 data - estimated in US, 1 million abortions, less than 1% after 20 weeks, and then posited that the majority of that 1% would have been in the category of fetal defects. You are correct - sorry, my figure should be 10,000; not 2,200.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/11000-late-term-abortions-take-place-a...

Specific to Texas: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/0...

Michael Kelly | 7/22/2015 - 9:29am

Mr. deHaas:

In regard to your statements:

“Fact - less than 1% of all abortions happen after 20 weeks - from 2013 data, roughly 2,200 abortions which would apply to these videos. Documentation reveals that most of the 2,200 abortions were in the category of fetuses with birth defects so significant that they would not have survived birth or lived only a few days, at most.”

Please supply the source of your information. For one thing, the 2,200 number you cite seems far too low. For another, the claim that most post 20 week abortions were for fetuses’ having abnormalities such that the infants would die a few days after birth seems spurious.

According to the pro-abortion rights Alan Guttmacher Institute’s most recent statistics as stated in its latest “Fact Sheet” (July 2014), in 2011 (the latest year reported) the number of abortions performed in 2011 was 1.06 million.

The percentage of abortions between 16 and 20 months was 3.6%. (Therefore, the number of such abortions in 2011 was 38,160.)

The percentage of abortions at 21 month and later was 1.2%. (Therefore, the number of such abortions was 12,720.)

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

In addition, although diagnosis close to 20 months of the possibility of some fetal abnormality would seem likely to account for the decision to have an abortion in a significant number of pregnancies at 20 months and later, it appears from the Guttmacher website that there are no solid statistics as to the percentage of abortions performed at 20 months and later for reasons of fetal abnormality, much less for degrees of seriousness of types of fetal abnormality (i.e. fatal versus non-fatal abnormalities). See https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3711005.html

See also “Is Late-Term Abortion Ever Necessary?”
http://www.aaplog.org/american-issues-2/late-term-abortion/is-late-term-...

So again, please provide the source for your claims. After all, “if you have to resort to illegal means, subterfuge, manipulation, and skewing facts in order to make your point, then something is wrong to begin with.”

Frank Gibbons | 7/22/2015 - 8:22am

Thank you, Father Sawyer, for having the courage to address this sorrowful situation.

William deHaas | 7/21/2015 - 5:21pm

Thanks, Crystal. Sorry, Fr. Sawyer - need to do your homework before posting a *dog whistle*. Your post follows the usual tried and failed all or nothing approach....it is all about pro-birth and almost nothing about pro-life. Even those of us who would like to see abortion become rare (given the culture, society, and legal obstacles), your post and approach feels just like another *just say no* tactic. They fail.

Abortion destroys an unborn human body - yes but is the question and issue more nuanced and difficult than this black and white posturing. Is it possible that reasonable and moral folks might not see a pre-20 week fetus as a human person? Medical science suggests that it is much more complicated than just saying that life begins at conception. Yes, it does but what does that mean? (my guess is you just reject that approach - either life begins or not which is your choice but it also only continues the current abortion polarizations)

Crystal, at least, posted a balancing link - if you have to resort to illegal means, subterfuge, manipulation, and skewing facts in order to make your point, then something is wrong to begin with. Reality - the abortion question is tied in with how we treat and consider female reproduction, contraception, and female health.......we already know by studies, statistics, and documented results how the pro-birth approach has manipulated this argument. Fact - less than 1% of all abortions happen after 20 weeks - from 2013 data, roughly 2,200 abortions which would apply to these videos. Documentation reveals that most of the 2,200 abortions were in the category of fetuses with birth defects so significant that they would not have survived birth or lived only a few days, at most. These are heart rending and gut wrenching family and personal decisions (that you fail to even acknowledge - so much for the one sided human dignity approach; no encounter; no relationship building, merely a condemnation).

Sorry, you need to do your homework - look to some of the recent efforts by Camosy and others in Congress to include amendments that build on what I have said - increase funding for female reproduction health, for the economic obstacles facing many pregnant women; for better pre-natal care and pair those up with congressional actions about limiting aboritions (while maintaining exceptions for rape, incest, and mother's health). BTW - the female reproduction funding would include contraception that can be expensive - studies have proven that these will result in fewer abortions.

Robert Lannan | 7/21/2015 - 9:28pm

I will concede that some reasonable, good-willed people may see a pre-20-week-old fetus as something other than a human "person." "Personhood" is a concept defined as much (if not more) by religion and philosophy as by biology. But do we even need to reach the issue of "personhood" to determine whether a human fetus should be treated with respect in our culture, and even receive some degree of legal protection? Consider the "17-weeker" that Dr. Deborah Nucatola mentioned having aborted in the first video posted by the Center for Medical Progress. Whether or not that being was a "person," it is undisputable that it was an organism of the human species. If a living organism shares our species, isn't that enough to warrant society's respect--even our protection? Our country wisely accords legal protection to other species under at least three federal statutes: the Endangered Species Act, 16 USC 1531 et seq; the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, 16 USC 668 et seq,; and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, 16 USC 1361 et seq. No one would argue that those organisms are "people." However, for different reasons, we see enough value in them to want to protect them. Shouldn't we accord at least the same level of respect to that "17-weeker," because it shares our own species--if for nothing else then out of empathy for our all having once been "17-weekers" ourselves?

As for the scarcity of late-term abortions, even if it is true that about 1% of all abortions occur after 20 weeks, if we accept the pro-choice Guttemacher Institute's statistic that over 40 million abortions occur worldwide each year, that's 400,000 of these procedures. Perhaps in a world of 7 billion people this is scarcity. But that doesn't make it acceptable.

As for the toughest cases, which I agree are heart-wrenching, in which fetuses have birth defects that make survival long after birth unlikely, I would submit that the issue of abortion is more akin to euthanasia than surgery. Whatever your views on euthanasia may be, that is the light in which it should be regarded.

Finally, as for Fr. Sawyer doing his homework, I would submit that he and his colleagues at America magazine have done plenty of it. Moreover, America has taken positions on many other issues in favor of easing "the economic obstacles facing many pregnant women." I suspect if I researched it, I'd find one or two articles in America challenging the Catholic Church's position on birth control as well.

Crystal Watson | 7/21/2015 - 8:30pm

"Our country wisely accords legal protection to other species ... No one would argue that those organisms are "people." However, for different reasons, we see enough value in them to want to protect them. Shouldn't we accord at least the same level of respect to that "17-weeker"

The one thing that makes a difference about how fetuses are treated as opposed to others who are protected is that the needs of the mother are inextricably intertwined with those of the fetus - we have to take into account both the mother and the fetus. You might say that it seems that only the needs of the mother are addressed, but there are restrictions on abortion that exist for the fetus' sake.

Robert Lannan | 7/21/2015 - 9:25pm

I won't argue that the needs of the mother are inextricably intertwined with those of the fetus. That's undeniable. Moreover, society has a duty to help ease the burden of any woman confronted with a crisis pregnancy--and to do a better job than we do on this front in our culture today. However, except in cases where continued pregnancy poses a risk of death or serious bodily harm to the mother, I think the burden to the fetus from abortion (always death) outweighs the admittedly heavy burden to the mother of continued pregnancy.

When considering this balance, our society adds more weight to the mother's side of the scale (or takes weight away from the fetus' side, or both) because while the mother is undeniably a "person" and the fetus is undeniably a "human organism," the question of whether the fetus is also a "person" turns on philosophical and religious principles that differ in a pluralistic society. So, societally we withdraw and allow every mother to decide for herself. I find this problematic for a number of reasons: (1) the fetus gets no say in the matter or even a guardian to speak on behalf of its interest; (2) death is absolute and can't be reversed or mitigated; (3) even if, acknowledging our pluralistic society, I put aside philosophical and religious beliefs that a fetus is a "person," I can't get around the fact that we were all indisputably once fetuses ourselves, and most of us are happy not to have been aborted; and (4) the whole enterprise of abortion (still ending just under half of all unintended pregnancies in the United States) has become an antidote that excuses us from confronting the underlying problems that cause crisis pregnancies in the first place.

Crystal Watson | 7/21/2015 - 11:09pm

Most people do seem to agree about abortion, seeing early abortion as more acceptable and later abortion as less acceptable, and so we end up with and keep the system we have - abortion with restrictions. I think the hope that the US will someday become a place where abortion is illegal just isn't a realistic goal.

MARGARET BETZ | 7/23/2015 - 7:31pm

Crystal again provides the correct perspective here. As many commenters admit, we are a pluralistic society, and making abortion illegal again just creates more law-breakers. Roughly half of our citizens agree it should be legal and safe, so making laws against it will diminish respect for law in general. Remember prohibition, and all the horrors illegal alcohol brought on. It is good sense to help all girls and women make the best choice for their lives. Do not give them cause to go back to "back-alley abortionists," for that is where we already seem headed.

Robert Lannan | 7/22/2015 - 9:21am

I do hope that the U.S. will someday become a place where the unborn receive more legal protection than they do today. Is a general prohibition of elective abortion a realistic goal? Certainly not today. I don't expect to see it during my lifetime. Moreover, even if the courts and legislatures were somehow magically persuaded to implement this change overnight, that wouldn't stop thousands of women from seeking the procedure, or undoubtedly many OB/GYN's in the country from quietly performing it. I don't believe the content of a just law should be determined by the conduct of those who break (or would break) it. However, our culture's dependence on abortion is an ugly reality that would still need to be addressed even if it were to be outlawed. The good news is that there are things pro-life people can do today to confront that dependency, even if a general legal prohibition is not something we can expect any time soon. We can educate young people to be more careful and responsible when it comes to sex, We can provide more support to women facing crisis pregnancies. (Many in the pro-life movement do these things, without getting the attention or credit they deserve.) Meanwhile, on the legal front, we can pursue more realistic goals, like outlawing late-term abortions, requiring parental consent for minors, etc.

Robert Lannan | 7/21/2015 - 5:20pm

Thanks, Fr. Sawyer, for a thorough update strongly supportive of human life.

One item that has been posted by the group that made the two videos, but has been getting a lot less attention, is a brochure from a company called StemExpress, which advertises that abortion clinics can gain "Financial Profits" by selling fetal tissues: http://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/human-capital/document-vault/ The brochure boasts, "StemExpress . . . provide[s] a financial benefit to your clinic. By partnering with StemExpress . . . you will also be contributing to the fiscal growth of your clinic." I am stunned to see that even now, the same language appears on StemExpress' website: http://stemexpress.com/partnerships/ Within the brochure, a doctor from one Planned Parenthood clinic mentions a "partnership with StemExpress" that has "allow[ed] [her organization] to add additional clinics quickly."

Unbelievable. When is our country going to wake up and realize what we're doing?

John Mayberry | 7/21/2015 - 5:13pm

Fr. Sam, I appreciated the "update" from your first article, and I think you are very fair in this article. I'm sad to see the P.P.F.A.supporters on Fr. James Martin's page calling his caption to your post "trash". It also seems like 85% of the posters haven't even read this. They are just there to state why abortion should be legal, while telling people to keep Catholicism (on a Catholic blog) out of the abortion debate.

"Murder is not a Constitutional right. That's not relevant though since abortion isn't murder."

"...while I duly note your religious objections to abortion, remember that not everyone shares your religious beliefs that unborn children should get legal protection, and we live in a country where everyone's religious beliefs are respected, and in which people make their own reproductive choices."

"I am not being cold. I am being reasonable. The procedure is legal, and people seek it. That is the REALITY."

Yikes!