By Mary McClusky


JULY 17, 2015

By now you may have heard about, orperhaps even viewed, the horrific undercover video featuring the medical director of Planned Parenthood. (Warning: the following description is graphic and may re-traumatize those who have suffered from abortion personally.) The medical director eats her lunch and sips wine, describing the ongoing harvest and distribution of the organs and body parts of aborted babies to companies who obtain them for research. She even describes how they take care to perform abortions in a way that prevents damage to desired intact parts, such as the liver, heart, or skull of the child. The medical director never assures her lunch partners that the mother or child is taken into consideration, or that the mother is consulted about changes to the abortion procedure in order to harvest body parts. At Planned Parenthood, a conversation about abortion is a business marketing discussion.

However shocking and disturbing this recent news, the behavior of Planned Parenthood staff is just an extension of the damage to women and destruction of unborn babies going on every day at their facilities across the country. Not only do their headline-making barbarities destroy life, but Planned Parenthood's "business as usual" in communities around the nation hurts women and kills babies, divides families and corrupts our culture.

Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider of abortion in the country. Some believe their main services are sex education and health services, but over a third of their income is raised through abortions. In recent years, they have increased their sales of abortion to now commit a third of all abortions nationwide. As part of their strategy to increase the number of abortions, the provision of other services like prenatal care and cancer screening has declined. The national organization insisted that all affiliates provide abortions by 2013, and have opened 19 "mega-centers" in the past decade.

All this is partly funded by millions of taxpayer dollars per year – an average of $536 million for the past four years. The U.S. bishops have called for funds provided to organizations that perform abortions to be re-directed to meeting the basic needs of the poor, including mothers facing an unexpected pregnancy who feel that due to a lack of resources, they have no other option than an abortion.

Even if investigations into these newly-revealed atrocities at Planned Parenthood result in a slap on the wrist for the abortion giant, there is much that individuals can do. Prayer and fasting can be offered up for an end to abortion and the conversion and healing of those who perform, facilitate, or advocate for abortion. Contact your congressmen to urge a ban on taxpayer funding of abortion. Be aware of any local Planned Parenthood's activities, especially their efforts at schools and health fairs to promote unrestricted sexual activity to children. Local businesses can be urged to stop funding abortion providers. Write letters to the editor about abortion in your community. Efforts like these can shine the light of truth into the darkness of the abortion business and help raise awareness that what women, children, and their families need most is compassion, love, and support.

Mary McClusky is the Assistant Director for Project Rachel Ministry Development at the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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