Dollars, dismemberment, and discussion

The Internet is a remarkable invention. It has expanded commerce, made information more widely available, and has helped to connect far off friends in distant lands. It also allows people to say things like this:

That was posted under a Live Action article by someone called “phxflyguy.” He was replying to a another commenter who had said, “If you’re for abortion, you are for dismembering babies inside the womb.” Naturally, phxflyguy’s words provoked a scathing, brutal response:

Yeah, we're pretty hardcore around here. It's just how we roll.

Yeah, we’re pretty hardcore around here. It’s just how we roll.

Leaving the rhetoric aside, is it true that babies are being dismembered in the womb? The answer, sadly, is yes. Further, your tax dollars are helping to make it happen.

Contrary to what Sarah Silverman claims, a fetus amounts to more than “goo.” In fact, the Mayo Clinic asserts that by a pregnancy’s fourteenth week, the fetus has not only grown hands and feet but has begun to develop fingernails as well.

Research conducted by Dr. Kawaljeet Anand at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center suggests that a pre-born child can experience pain just six weeks after that. According to Dr. Anand, there is an even greater potential for suffering at that point because “a fetus at 20 to 32 weeks of gestation would experience a much more intense pain than older infants or children or adults.” This is apparently due to the underdevelopment of “fibers which dampen and modulate the experience of pain.”

That’s especially troubling when you consider how an abortion is performed at this stage. A fetus in the second trimester is usually terminated via a D&E (dilation & evacuation), which involves using a set of forceps to pull her or him apart one piece at a time.

Given these facts, it’s understandable that lawmakers would feel inclined to act on them. Multiple states have passed or are considering laws to would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. While there is debate within the scientific community regarding the exact juncture at which a fetus begins to suffer, University of Utah neurobiologist Maureen Condic stresses that “there is sufficient uncertainty to warrant giving the fetus the benefit of the doubt.”

Planned Parenthood doesn’t agree. They also aren’t squeamish  about killing children who are even further along, as evidenced by the group’s long association with Dr. LeRoy Carhart. Carhart takes a rather cavalier approach to the practice of medicine; thus far, two of his patients have died under suspicious circumstances. He has also compared killing a third trimester fetus to cooking “meat in a crockpot.”

When responding to South Carolina’s recent ban on abortions after 20 weeks, Planned Parenthood spokesperson Melissa Reed objected to how the law would affect this “personal medical decision,” contending, “Politicians have no place in that conversation.” That seems odd, as Planned Parenthood officials don’t object when politicians give them money.

Last year, Planned Parenthood received over half a billion dollars in funding from the federal government. We can’t say for sure where all of that money goes, but then again, neither can Planned Parenthood. What we do know is that the organization is indeed “dismembering babies in the womb.”

If (like many people) you’re not entirely comfortable with dismemberment, then I encourage you to sign Live Action’s petition asking Congress to defund Planned Parenthood.  After all, if your elected representatives have no place in the conversation then your tax dollars shouldn’t either.

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