Law & the Courts

‘A Lot of People Want Liver’: Planned Parenthood’s Bloody Business

(Steve Allen/Dreamstime)

‘A lot of people want liver.” So says Planned Parenthood’s director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, between bites of what one must assume are fava beans and sips of a nice Chianti, Dr. Nucatola doing a fair impersonation of Dr. Lecter. She did not know she was being recorded, and that the tissue-procurement firm with which she thought she was doing business was an undercover investigator from the Center for Medical Progress.

The abridged version is horrifying, and the full footage is not exculpatory.

Trafficking in fetal body parts is a federal crime, and of course Planned Parenthood denies that it is involved in any such thing. A spokesman for the organization, Eric Ferrero, says that Planned Parenthood doesn’t sell pieces of dismembered children for profit, but instead is “reimbursed” for them. This is true in the sense that the women who work at escort services are paid for their time and companionship, and that storefront psychics offer their services “for entertainment purposes only.” Nucatola’s blasé butcher’s banter makes it clear that this is a competitive market and that supply and demand, not Planned Parenthood’s expenses, is what sets prices.

RELATED: Planned Parenthood Is Accused of Harvesting Organs from Aborted Babies. Is That Illegal?

Sandhya Somashekhar and Danielle Paquette of the Washington Post, who teamed up for sacred-cow defense duty, describe this as a conversation about “the costs associated with sharing that tissue with scientists.” Watching the video leaves it impossible to conclude anything other than that Somashekhar and Paquette are misleading the readers of the Washington Post with malice aforethought. Nucatola is in fact quite straightforward about what sort of business is being transacted and on what terms — and about the necessary deception: “They just want to do it in a way that is not perceived as: ‘This clinic is selling tissue,’” she says. “In the Planned Parenthood world, they’re very, very sensitive to that.”

Where you are negotiating prices for fetal lungs and livers while discussing how to avoid the perception that you are negotiating prices for fetal lungs and livers, you are engaged in a conspiracy to violate federal laws — something that Washington Post reporters once gave a damn about. Richard Nixon wanted to burgle in a way that was not perceived as: “This president is a crook.” But he was a crook.

And it is manifestly the case that the people who run Planned Parenthood are crooks, too.

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Not that they’ll ever be prosecuted. It would be surprising if they were even investigated. The video was shot in Los Angeles, and giving every white suburban Democratic check-writer’s favorite abattoir the hairy eyeball is not high on mayor Eric Garcetti’s to do-list. President Barack Obama, who is neck-deep in blood, is not going to be interested in turning over that particular rock. Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose devotion to the cause of fetal dismemberment is absolute, would go to any length short of honest employment to protect Planned Parenthood. Among Republicans, at this writing only Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have shown any stomach for this fight, the rest of them being for the moment too rapt at Donald Trump’s burlesque to take notice.

Abortion is a brutal business — emphasis on business.

Abortion is a brutal business — emphasis on business. Planned Parenthood takes in a half-billion dollars a year in government money; its financial footprint is the same size as that of the NCAA. It puts a million children to death every three years. It is also a cynical business. Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe” to the history books) is heartbreaking on the subject of her exploitation in the famous lawsuit that bears her name: “I was used. I was a nobody to them. They only needed a pregnant woman to use for their case, and that is it.” She describes herself as a “patsy.”

We are all patsies now. There is too much money in abortion to leave anything on the table, or to let any human scrap go to waste. And the Democrats will see to it that we all pay for it, for the same reason that they’re happy to throw nonconformist bakers into prison: If we are all implicated, then resistance is more difficult, and resistance is bad for business.

The skids have to be greased, even if they’re greased with blood.

— Kevin D. Williamson is roving correspondent for National Review.


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