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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ideas For Reporters Struggling To Cover Planned Parenthood

Mollie Hemingway notices that the MSM isn't reporting on Planned Parenthood's harvesting and sale of aborted baby fetal body parts much.  She contrasts the coverage this story is getting with the saturation coverage of the Confederate flag, a story that began with murders in a Charleston church but quickly morphed into an attack story on all things Southern including children's toys.  

Going with the assumption that reporters and editors may just be having trouble coming up with story ideas, she makes the following helpful suggestions.  

  • We’ve heard about serial murderer/abortionist Kermit Gosnell keeping trophies of his victims, abortion clinics dumping babies in the trash, and now Deborah Nucatola working to do “a little better than break even” in the sales of intact baby organs. What’s the standard procedure for disposal of the unborn children killed in abortion? Are there abortion clinic standards for this? Does it vary state by state? Do states even have regulations? Does Planned Parenthood have uniform regulations? If not, why not? If so, how are they enforced?

  • How much money does Planned Parenthood receive via sales of baby organs? Do they keep records? Are those records trustworthy? How do we know? How significant are these funds to the abortion portion of Planned Parenthood’s operation? How does compensation for the children’s lungs, livers, hearts and brains vary by state, if they do vary?

  • How far along in a pregnancy must a woman be for her child’s organs to be considered worthwhile for procurement, sale and transfer? How much does the value of a child’s liver, heart, lungs, etc., increase with time? Do the sales of baby organs form a significant enough part of Planned Parenthood’s business model to result in, say, filibustering of protections for late-term unborn children?

  • How did the Center for Medical Progress obtain the video? Who are they? Why haven’t the media ask tough questions of abortion clinics, historically? When Indiana passed a religious freedom bill, various media outlets roamed the countryside searching for vendors with religious objections to same-sex marriage, such as the owners of Memories Pizza. What questions might be posed to abortion clinic owners and managers around the country? Does the failure of the media to cover abortion well encourage undercover journalism operations, such as the one by Center for Medical Progress?

  • What are the laws on trafficking in human body parts? Who wrote those laws? Was the abortion industry involved in writing those laws?

  • How much money is made throughout the organ sale process? How do corporations make their way around laws prohibiting the express sale of human organs? What do ethicists say about these loopholes and workarounds?

  • Could expert observers take us through Planned Parenthood’s various responses to the charges levied in the video? They don’t deny the charges. How is that significant?

  • Clearly this was a story that generated tremendous interest among critics of Planned Parenthood. Yet reports flooded in of Facebook denying people the ability to share posts about the story or even “like” ones they saw. What is the real story there? What was going on? What does Facebook say about why that was happening? Similarly, Twitter waited many hours before allowing Planned Parenthood to be a trending topic on Twitter. Why? How is that focused? What role do social media corporations play in controlling news? Who makes these calls, and what are their criteria for doing so? How do they rate something as offensive or unsuitable?

  • Who is Deborah Nucatola? What is her role at Planned Parenthood? Does she have other significant roles? What are her political contributions? Who are her political allies? If a young woman making lightly disparaging comments about the Obama family on her Facebook page merited a deep dive by the Washington Post into her high school records, what can we learn from Nucatola’s childhood friends, boyfriends, colleagues. Where did things go wrong for her?

  • What did it mean, if anything, when Planned Parenthood said Nucatola had been lightly reprimanded for her comments recorded on the video? What, in particular, did she do to deserve a reprimand? Will Cecile Richards tell us what specific statements Nucatola said that were offensive?

  • Why has the media covered this salacious and scandalous story with so much less rigor and enthusiasm than might be expected? What do managing editors have to say about the treatment of this story? Many promised to fix the problems after the Gosnell media blackout. What do they think went wrong with those efforts, if they were ever implemented?

  • Why have abortion rights groups and prominent activists been so silent about this story? If asking every pro-life politician in the country to weigh in on Todd Akin’s impolitic remarks on “legitimate rape” made sense, let’s certainly find out what every pro-choice politician in the country thinks about the harvesting of baby organs by abortionists for sale to corporations. Hillary Clinton’s close ties to Planned Parenthood and abortion rights extremists mean her response is the lead story.

  • How did sales of aborted children begin? Did Planned Parenthood seek buyers or did the baby part buyers seek out Planned Parenthood? Does it depend by affiliate? Planned Parenthood has a corner on the market of freshly dead young humans. Does this market share make them significant in the human organ trade? Who are the buyers? Who arranges the sales? How much money changes hands? Do the buyers receive any federal funds? What research is conducted?

  • Along those lines, what are the laws governing sale of tissue in other circumstances? If it was a tumor that had been removed, would the doctor have the right to sell it? Would they have the right to try and do “a little better than break even”? What governs that? How does the process specifically work and who oversees the regulation of this industry? Specifically how are sales monitored? How confident are observers and interested parties that the monitoring of this process is stringent or effective?

  • What do corporations do with aborted baby parts? Is there any risk that people have unknowingly been using products or research based on parts harvested from the children killed in abortion? Do consumers have the right to know when humans are killed and then have their parts used for research?

  • The undercover journalists produced one example of a form Planned Parenthood uses to obtain consent from mothers procuring abortions. Is that form standard across all Planned Parenthood affiliates? If not, how and why do they vary? Do other abortion corporations have similar consent forms? How do they vary? The one example of Planned Parenthood’s consent form specifically said that mothers understand they won’t be compensated for “donating” their children’s tissue. However, in early public relations materials from Planned Parenthood, they claimed that Nucatola’s money discussion wasn’t about selling body parts to corporations but, rather, about compensating women for their “donation.” Explain the disparity.

  • Do medical ethicists think that Planned Parenthood’s consent forms are sufficient? Should women be told that abortionists may alter their abortion procedures to procure valuable livers, lungs, hearts and brains? If not, why not? If so, are any Planned Parenthood affiliates so informing the women whose abortions they perform?

  • Is Planned Parenthood able to disclose which of its affiliates are engaged in the harvesting of baby organs for sale to corporations? If not, why not? If so, how reliable are their records? Since organ sales are prohibited, organ harvesters typically charge for “shipping” or “rental space” in a clinic. How does Planned Parenthood designate its organ sales to be or appear to be reasonable? What is the range of amounts charged for these things? How and why do they vary? What is considered a reasonable amount? How is “reasonable” determined?

  • Explain the various federal and state laws governing organ procurement and sales. What legal regime is in place that permits the harvesting and sale of organs? How is it monitored?

  • What do medical experts say about the changes to the abortion procedure mentioned by Nucatola for the sake of procuring organs. Do these changes to the abortion procedure increase the chance of complications for the mother? Is there an incentive on the part of Planned Parenthood to target larger babies for “part conservation” by inducing breach deliveries, as mentioned by Dr. Nucatola? What rights do the mothers have to be informed about how their abortion process has been altered to procure these parts? Dr. Nucatola claims that mothers don’t have the right to be notified of her alterations to the procedure. Is that true?

  • How has the Planned Parenthood video been received by those who have seen it? What parts struck them the most? How do people who deny the humanity of the unborn child explain the video discussions about harvesting their organs?

  • How does the harvesting of organs fit into Planned Parenthood’s work culture? Do people who work at Planned Parenthood clinics know that this is going on? Do they all chat about it over salad or is it more a covert wing of the operation? Do new workers or volunteers learn about it and react poorly? Various prominent pro-life activists are former Planned Parenthood employees and managers. What do they know about this practice? Are secretaries at Planned Parenthood cheerfully arranging for the delivery of fetal livers immediately after booking an abortion appointment? Does Planned Parenthood have an employment hiring or retention problem?

  • Tell us more about the “reimbursement” rates for various organs. Which organs are most valuable? How do those organs change in value over time? How does this relate to the late-term abortion debate?

  • Is there a price differential between white baby parts and black baby parts? Is there a price differential between male organs and female organs? If so, how much?

Of course no one is suggesting that the reason the press is avoiding the Planned Parenthood baby fetal body part sales story because they are allies of Planned Parenthood.  Only a crazed right-wing troglodyte would be so crass.  So we will go with the assumption that the press is just drawing a blank on how to proceed, a form of writer's block that many novelists experience and that frequently happens to reporters when Liberals do bad things.  Thanks to Mollie Hemingway for finding so many interesting angles. 

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