In America, it's illegal to donate money to a candidate without first reporting it to the government. Even then, if you give more than is permissible, you could end up in jail. In this country, you can't add trans fats to your foods or smoke cigarettes in your own bar. Here, Little Sisters of the Poor can't tell the state they'd rather not buy condoms, and bakers can't tell a couple they'd rather not participate in their wedding.
But it's completely legal to kill an unborn baby for convenience and then sell its parts for cash.
Let's forget the legality of the issue for a moment. And let's forget religion and politics, if that's possible. Let's forget the disconcerting economic incentives inherent in these types of transactions and ask: What kind of person nonchalantly describes "crushing" the life from another living being — a being that might already be named and loved, a loss that might have a tremendous negative impact on a person or family or community — over a glass of wine and some giggles?
Well, an executive at the euphemistic Planned Parenthood, that's who. We can tell ourselves that a life can simply be written off whenever we deem it inconvenient. We can celebrate the right to end life. But the depravity of Deborah Nucatola's conversation betrays where it all leads — and also where it started.
If this were a video of some product researchers talking about the same process but describing the vivisection of a monkey or a cat for organ harvesting instead, most Americans would be justly repulsed. Yet because this is Planned Parenthood, an organization fulfilling its eugenicist founder's goal of population control, it will be treated as just another dispute in the culture war, completely devoid of scientific and moral context.
Because this is Planned Parenthood, most of the media will frame this as a political tug of war rather than explore the politics and ethics of allowing Americans to terminate a life and then harvest organs. Some in the media will probably have a difficult time even comprehending why anyone would deem this much of a story at all. You'll recall how a number of politicians and reporters struggled to explain the distinction between a run-of-the-mill late-term abortionist and Kermit Gosnell. (Answer: One has a license.)
You're involved, too. You have no "choice." It is worth reiterating that taxpayers, in part, fund this abortion industry. The fungibility of dollars that flow into Planned Parenthood makes laws such as the Hyde amendment nothing more than a political canopy for Republicans to cower under. Until Planned Parenthood breaks off its abortion/wholesale baby-part business from its women's health operations, you're a big investor.
And women who donate pieces of their babies (and we still don't understand how this happens, by default or proactively), according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, may ask for "reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue." It's probably not a huge moneymaker, but that's beside the point. Delaying an abortion to sell parts at a higher price is illegal in theory but really, like the Hyde amendment, completely unenforceable in practice.
Planned Parenthood argues that its peddling of human tissue (known to the rest of us as "body parts we need to survive") is ethical and useful. The nonprofit was merely negotiating how it would be reimbursed for human tissue — or, as The Associated Press would describe the bartering of aborted baby parts, having a discussion about "the disposition of parts from aborted fetuses." This practice isn't new.
Killing unborn babies and selling their organs saves lives, says Planned Parenthood. (You only need to peruse the history of the 20th century to find that line of reasoning disconcerting.) If Planned Parenthood really wants to save lives, of course, it could start by attempting to convince — or at the very least inform — its would-be customers that they have real choices. What Nucatola, Planned Parenthood's senior director for medical services, really tells us is that these aren't just clumps of cells devoid of moral significance or purpose — especially when they don't meet Nucatola's scalpel. "We've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver because we know that," she explains, "so I'm not going to crush that part. I'm going to basically crush below, I'm going to crush above, and I'm going to see if I can get it all intact." She is discussing organs of a baby, evidently more useful to her dead than alive.
How many Americans are OK with this practice? We should find out. Liberals never have a problem making expansive arguments on emotional grounds. The single woman without health care tells us all we need to know about Obamacare; the lone shooter tells us all we need to know about guns laws, etc. There is simply no reason that Nucatola should not be on television ads everywhere, sipping her wine and intimately describing how abortionists squash the life out of unborn babies for money. How many Americans would accept this policy as normal?
David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi. To find out more about David Harsanyi and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.