Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Planned Parenthood As Ultimate Orwellian

Over at Reformation21, Collin Gargarino has an excellent post which reinforces some of my own thoughts about Planned Parenthood. He writes:

In the video Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, clearly dismisses the idea that the transaction is the sale of fetal tissue. She says that “this should not be seen as a new revenue stream.” She says, “Nobody should be selling tissue. That’s just not the goal here.” The actor seems to agree, saying, “You’re not buying a brain, you’re buying a procurement service,” and Dr. Nucatola replies, “Exactly. Exactly.”
Her manner of expression conforms to the Planned Parenthood statement. She talks about the fees as a method of reimbursement for the clinic to help them break even on the deal. One of her most quoted statements is, “I think for affiliates, at the end of the day, they’re a non-profit, they just don’t want to–they want to break even. And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.” But even here she envisions any surplus as being used to further the mission of the nonprofit by helping fund services for patients who cannot afford them.

So these are “reimbursement fees” for procurement, not “sales.” And these fees aren’t for profiting; they’re for the mission. But what makes a “procurement fee” different from a “sale”? It’s not actually too complicated. The government allows one and not the other when it comes to the medical industry’s use of human tissue.
At the most basic level, this is a distinction without a difference. A product goes in one direction, and money goes in the other. The clinic gives fetal tissue to the collector, and the collector pays a fee to the clinic. Making a distinction between a procurement fee and a sale is an artificial way for the government to make the ethically perilous issue of transferring ownership of human tissue acceptable in certain instances. Hospitals and clinics can recoup the costs of labor and storage associated with donating human tissue.

Read the whole thing. It’s very good.

By Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the Rector of Christ Church Anglican in South Bend, Indiana. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a founding member of the Davenant Institute.