Saturday, January 30, 2016

Terminating Life and Donating "Baby Parts"

Shortly after the huge scandal carried out by deceitful fraudsters David Daleiden and Sandra Merrit who obtained fake ids, recorded employees from Planned Parenthood, then deceptively edited the videos to make it appear that Planned Parenthood profited from selling fetal body parts, something dawned on me.  Of course, I initially was shocked and hoped that it wasn't true.  I watched some clips myself and then looked into the matter and found that it was only referring to the fees paid for storage, handling and shipping the human organs to the researchers. Everything was done legally. 

However, I have many very right-winged individuals on my Facebook list, and varying persons were posting hateful things toward Planned Parenthood and one of the women—medical services director Deborah Nucatola—in a video Daleiden produced.  This is exactly what the two fraudsters hoped would happen.  I suspected something was up very early on, though, because the prices discussed in the video I watched were quite low—$100 at the very most—for human body part sales.  That is what prompted me to look further into the matter.

The reality is that some of the women getting abortions in the second trimester (sometimes to save her own life or show mercy on her child; sometimes not) choose to donate the organs to science.  It's legal, and Planned Parenthood does not profit.  They only charge the storage, handling and shipping fee.

Even after these facts came to life, a lot of the extreme anti-abortion people still believe Planned Parenthood is in the wrong.  They keep saying, even now, that Planned Parenthood is murdering babies and selling baby parts. 

Then I experienced my stunning revelation.  In those people's eyes I must be a monster.  In 2005, I chose to terminate life support for my precious second-born infant son who was in a persistent vegetative state, quite nearly completely brain dead, as he could not even draw more than one breath on his own.  In addition, my husband and I were asked whether we wanted to donate his organs, if they were eligible.  We both agreed that we wanted to donate his organs.  It turned out that he was ineligible.  This is probably because the cause of his state was unknown, and an autopsy was required by law.  It may also have been due to the fact that he went so long without ample oxygen that his organs were not as good as someone who was injured in a car accident and more quickly was put on life support.  Regardless, we had wanted to donate his organs for a greater good.  In that case, his organs would have been donated to other people who needed organs for long-term life.  In the case of aborted fetal tissue, researchers have worked with those stem cells to try to find cures for diseases in order to enhance afflicted persons' quality of life.  They've also been used in the production of some vaccines.

If we'd have been able to donate Asher's organs, the hospital would have received fees for the work of the transplant team's harvesting the organs, storing them, and shipping them to where they were needed.  The people needing the organs would have paid the fees.  Would that have made Children's Mercy Hospital an evil entity who ends infants' lives and sells their "baby parts?"  Get real.

It's really true, though, that some of those same extremist people demonize those of us who have had to deal with tough issues surrounding life support of a loved one.  These are people who either don't have all the facts or ignore them, or these are people who simply love to stick to their "pro-life" law in its letter while ignoring the greater spirit of the law of life. They look over mercy, compassion, and life quality in order to keep the letter.  They'd rather see a fetus or an infant suffer out their hours or days or weeks or months in an extremely sick and/or disabled condition just to say they supported life (in the letter) or "left it to God" (a monster?) than to show mercy and compassion by cutting the child's misery short.  They do the same thing for elderly people or people of any age who are on life support but have no quality of life, who do not even know what's going on around them or who are suffering unimaginable pain that the strongest drugs no longer ease.  I saw such people speak their minds concerning the young woman Brittany Maynard, who suffered with a deadly brain tumor and chose to end her life with legally assisted-suicide drugs when the pain became too great.  This horrified me.  How was it Godly to condemn Brittany to more suffering with the same end result?  How is that following the law Jesus spoke of that was so important, the one of loving your neighbor and showing mercy and compassion?

Jesus pointed out that some people basically say, "Fuck mercy.  This violates the pro-life law."  But Jesus said they violate the weightier matters of the law, such as mercy, justice, and faithfulness (Matt. 23:23).  The spirit of the law is more important than the letter.  Those who are always stuck on some letter are not being guided by mercy and compassion inside themselves.  Their hearts aren't bleeding with empathy and crying out with compassion.

People who cling to a law in its letter often breed all sorts of ugliness.  They fail to recognize gray areas in life.  They lack the capacity to weigh moral and ethical decisions, which leads to their acting out in evil ways and believing they did what was good. 

And as for the women who chose to abort several weeks into the second trimester for other than saving one's own life or to prevent the baby from future suffering due to defects, it's none of our business.  I do not like what some women abort for that late in the game.  I would not abort that late unless it was for an extreme reason.  A lot of others would not do so, either.  I didn't write this to debate the "right" and "wrong" reasons women abort at that stage, but I did so because some people think that any reason is wrong and that it's absolutely wrong to donate the organs and other fetal tissue to science. 

Now these people want to defund Planned Parenthood, declaring they are guilty of that of which they have officially been declared innocent.  This is a total outrage, not only because PP is innocent of the charges of selling baby parts, but the Hyde Amendment was signed into federal law in 1976, which already prohibits the federal funds given to the nonprofit Planned Parenthood for being used for abortion.  There are strict exceptions to this; Medicaid will cover abortion in cases of rape, incest, and the life or health of the mother.  In the vast majority of cases, if a person has Medicaid, he or she must pay out-of-pocket for an abortion just like everyone else.  They do try to help a woman get some financial assistance for an abortion, if your income is low, but if the person applies and qualifies, those funds come from private donations.  Only 3% of PP's services are abortion services, while most of the services consist of STD testing, cancer screenings, and contraceptives.  They also provide other services, like PAP smears for women, vasectomies for men, and sonograms for pregnant women.  So defunding Planned Parenthood would not affect the number of abortions women get.  The only thing it would do is make it difficult for women (and men) of low and moderate incomes to obtain the low-cost healthcare services that this nonprofit organization provides to millions of people each year. 

Please stop lying about Planned Parenthood, and stop condemning people for the serious decisions they make regarding life and death and for donating organs.