If you think leaving newborns to die is horrible, imagine letting scientists pick through the bodies for parts. Based on this week's Labor-HHS vote, Democrats are perfectly fine with both. Planned Parenthood's gory organ trade was just one of the shocking things the House majority went to bat for in a hearing that ought to show every American just how far outside the mainstream the party of Pelosi is.
It's been four years since David Daleiden's Center for Medical Progress pulled the curtain back on the abortion industry's baby shop of horrors. In one undercover video after another, CMP caught staffers at the highest levels of Planned Parenthood casually haggling over baby organ prices like trinkets at a local bazaar. With amazing nonchalance, the group's leaders tamely describe how they coach clinics to perform abortions that minimize the damage on the baby's profitable parts.
At one point the ghoulish details were enough to give even Hillary Clinton second thoughts. "Disturbing," she said when the footage first came out. Now, one House select panel, 15 criminal referrals, and an FBI investigation later, Democrats have changed their tune. Experimenting on dead aborted babies is something the party no longer minds. When Congressman (and doctor) Andy Harris (R-Md.) asked his House committee to consider an amendment banning the sale of fetal tissue, Democrats tried turning it into an attack on women!
A pregnant Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) couldn't believe how low the other side would stoop to protect the barbaric practice. This isn't even about abortion, conservatives argue--it's about basic human dignity. Treating these tiny humans like a junkyard, where groups like Planned Parenthood can scavenge for parts, is hardly the retail business anyone should want to hang a shingle over. And yet Americans continue to be unwilling investors in the organization and their taxpayer-funded Frankenstein. "The [majority's] argument is, somehow, we don't like women...as a woman, that's really insulting. We're just trying to make sure there are boundaries around how this research is done."
Rep. Harris, who has been crusading against this disgusting practice for years, wants to outlaw the sale of fetal tissue and help dry up the market of buyers. "This is [about] the ethics of using a human being...or the remains of a human being," he said, reminding his colleagues of the sickening undercover videos. "There were buckets of fetal body parts. There were brains...We saw the receipt! There were brains sold for $800 and, by the way, there was sales tax on it."
It would be one thing if the research were valuable -- but, as the House select panel pointed out, "Human fetal tissue research is an outdated and unproductive area of research that does not make a strong impact on the field. In over 100 years of unrestricted investigation, human fetal tissue research has had ample time to prove useful, yet it has failed to do so. Fetal tissue HAS NOT produced a single medical treatment."
So why is the Left defending it? Good question. Thursday night on "Washington Watch," my guest, Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-Miss.) said it almost feels like now that the "Democrats [have won] their newfound majority, they're doubling down on their most progressive, most liberal policies. And it just amazes me," he said, "because I just believe they're absolutely tone deaf -- not only to the Democratic Party -- but also to the American people at large." He and his GOP colleagues didn't just have to fend off this push for fetal tissue research, but fight for conscience rights, President Trump's Title X rule, and no taxpayer-funding of abortion. Their pro-life amendments lost every time on party lines.
"I mean, you know, when, when we asked for something as simple as, you know, the Hyde amendment where we don't want our taxpayer funds providing federal abortions, that should be a no brainer... It was a very disappointing day," he said.
Now, the fight moves to the whole floor, where conservatives will be trying to keep this practice out of the Senate andHHS research grants. Thanks to Secretary Alex Azar and Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the Trump administration is looking for alternatives to fetal research, but there's still work to be done. It's time to put a permanent wall between taxpayers and aborted baby parts -- and invest that money where it belongs: in research that's ethical and effective.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.