The weird calculus of disregard for human life

The observation, as they say in Gentilly, slapped me upside the head.
The irony of last Sunday’s Gospel passage of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, when juxtaposed against the illuminating undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s calculating efforts to squeeze maximum value out of human body parts, was almost impossible to ignore.

Jesus drew life from the tomb. Planned Parenthood, through the abortion license created 44 years ago by a manufactured right to privacy, draws death from the womb.
This is how weird the calculus of life has become in the 21st century: Doctors and medical professionals, between sips of wine and bites of spinach salad, can admit to modifying abortion procedures to maximize the value of the tiny human organs they harvest for sale, and all is right with the world.
Would you like another glass of chardonnay?
But the undercover citizen journalists who exposed the practice through videos taken inside a public restaurant – where waiters and other diners are within earshot – are charged with 15 felonies for violating California’s privacy laws.
The videos by the Center for Medical Progress prove conclusively that Planned Parenthood, in a very cost-benefit-analysis kind of way, works hand-in-latex-glove with fetal tissue research firms to tailor abortion procedures in a way to squeeze maximum profits from the sale of quality specimens. Specific organs – heart, lungs, thalamus – have sliding-scale prices, which have nothing to do with the cost of “shipping.” Intact specimens that have not been poisoned with the feticidal chemical digoxin are the researchers’ motherlode.

Therefore, fueled by free-market logic, abortion providers seek creative ways to harvest quality body parts, the more intact the better.

The latest video released last week by the Center for Medical Progress pulls back the veil once again. This time, Dr. DeShawn Taylor, the former medical director at Planned Parenthood of Arizona, who trained under Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the former national director of medical services for Planned Parenthood, admits that when a baby is born alive during the course of an abortion, the situation creates some rather tense moments.

Videotaped at a Planned Parenthood networking cocktail reception, Taylor said “it depends on who is in the room” in determining whether or not a baby who is born alive during an abortion is transported to a hospital – as required by Arizona state law – or allowed to die.

“In Arizona, if the fetus comes out with any signs of life, we’re supposed to transport it – to the hospital,” Taylor said.

Asked if she relies on any standard procedures to determine if the baby is alive, Taylor said: “Well, the thing is, I mean the key is, you need to pay attention to who’s in the room, right?”

Then Taylor chuckled, trying to explain the Arizona law: “It’s a mess. It’s a mess.”

She told the investigators that she will do elective abortions through 24 weeks of gestation, adding, “It’s not a matter of how I feel about it coming out intact, but I gotta worry about my staff and people’s feelings about it coming out looking like a baby.”

As opposed to a fish.

She considers it “creepy” when people refer to fetuses as “babies.”

“We have the people who do our paperwork for the fetal death certificates; they email us calling them ‘babies.’ Baby this, baby that, baby so-and-so, and I’m like, ‘That’s creepy!’”

It is difficult to imagine such denial of the natural law. Taylor herself once was in her mother’s womb, nurtured and protected.

Taylor’s level of denial is necessary, I would imagine, to toil in a job that purveys death inside, and outside, the womb. In describing her medical training to use forceps to dismember a baby in the womb, Taylor admits: “I was like, ‘Oh, I have to hit the gym for this.’”

Yes, she said that.

And the people who unmasked the cold, sad, long-ago death of a doctor’s healing heart may be going to jail.

When baby parts are worth more than the baby who provides them, my God, we have lost our way.

Lazarus, come out.

Peter Finney Jr. can be reached at

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