My typical bioethics beat is not in the area of abortion, but the recent release of undercover sting videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s business in body parts and the subsequent attempts to block the media from reporting on them call for attention from bioethicists. Since certain groups (the larger media outlets) have been pressured to not to report on this, I am linking independent news commentary about the videos. Some of the commentaries include a link to the videos. I am going to warn you that the videos, particularly the 3rd, 4th, and 5th videos contain graphic content. Also, I do not encourage watching these videos out of morbid curiosity. If you work in bioethics or medical ethics or are reporting on this, then it is important to watch the videos before commenting on them, to get the facts straight and sift what is being reported in the media. Others of you, may just want to watch the conversations and stop when the laboratory warning comes onto the screen.
I am linking articles from The Stream. Jay Richards is the executive editor. I have met him as well as one of writers. They both do good work and run more in these circles than I do.
The laws in question are in the article accompanying the 5th video link below (dated August 4), “The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2). Federal law also requires that no alteration in the timing or method of abortion be done for the purposes of fetal tissue collection (42 U.S.C. 289g-1).”
However, it is also worth mentioning that the law does not direct our moral compass. It is the other way around. Our moral compass dictates what laws we pursue and what laws we vote on. And, in the past, particularly when you look into the history of bioethics and medicine, there have been some things that were legal but were still unethical.
“New Video Exposes Planned Parenthood Selling Body Parts from Partial-Birth Abortions” (July 14, 2015) This is the first Planned Parenthood video.
“Investigations into Planned Parenthood Announced by Congress, States” (July 15, 2015)
“2nd Undercover Video of Planned Parenthood Points Even More Strongly to Illegal Activity” (July 21, 2015) This is the second Planned Parenthood video.
“The Price of Fetal Parts” (July 23, 2015) This is an opinion editorial by Charles Krauthammer.
“How Will Planned Parenthood’s Media Shills Explain Away the Newest Undercover Video?” (July 28, 2015) This is the third Planned Parenthood video.
“Fourth Sting Video: Planned Parenthood Doctor Discusses Fetuses Born Alive, Avoiding Legal Consequences” (July 30, 2015)
“Abortionist Admits ‘It’s a Baby’ in New Planned Parenthood Video” (July 30, 2015)
“Federal Judge Blocks Release of Sting Videos Targeting the National Abortion Federation” (August 1, 2015)
“5th Sting Video: Intact Fetuses ‘Just a Matter of Line Items’ for Planned Parenthood Mega-Center” (August 4, 2015) This is the fifth video.