That there would be a baby born alive from an abortion, who wasn’t resuscitated by anyone at Planned Parenthood, but whose body parts were “tap[ped]” and referred to as “kind of cool… kind of neat,” shouldn’t actually be all that surprising.
In March of 2013, Alisa LaPolt Snow testified on behalf of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates to the Florida Legislature that the organization opposes granting life-saving care to a baby born alive from an abortion. According to Planned Parenthood, “Any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”
Despite how outrageous the statement is, it seems that the organization can’t even stick to that, as demonstrated by the testimony of Holly O’Donnell, a former technician for StemExpress, in The Center for Medical Progress’s seventh video.
Arguably the most shocking part of the video is that Holly says she was shown an aborted baby whose heart was still beating:
… [I]t takes a little while and I’m in the hallway. I see the jar come out, goes into the path lab, Jessica I think here is preparing it, rinsing out the jar, rinsing out the linen, the wrapping that catches it, pumping it in the strainer, rinsing it off, putting water in the pie dish, and getting it ready for the doctor.
So then I hear her call my name, ‘Hey, Holly, come over here, I want you to see something kind of cool, it’s kind of neat.’ So, I’m over here, and this is–the moment I see it, I’m just flabbergasted. This is the most gestated fetus, closest thing to a baby I’ve seen.
And she’s, ‘Okay, I want to show you something.’ So she has one of her instruments, and she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.
The aborted baby mentioned, whose heart was still beating, was left to be poked and prodded, according to Holly O’Donnell. His mother was not even consulted, nor was the abortionist informed. The baby was simply prepared to have the necessary parts extracted. The video further gets into a discussion of babies born alive from abortions, and one such method to ensure that that is not the case.
One of the actors posing as a buyer asks Perrin Larton, the Procurement Manager for Advanced BioScience Resources about digoxin, which is one method of killing the preborn baby, and involves injecting the baby with a poison to give it a heart attack. This method is used to ensure the baby is dead when delivered in a late-term abortion. The conversation with Larton goes as follows:
Larton: They induce fetal demise at about 20 weeks–18 to 20 weeks, and so they inject digoxin into the fetus, so…
Buyer: Right, right, I was actually going to ask about that, cuz I wanted to make sure there’s no digoxin…
Larton: No, no.
In the video, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, also featured in the first video released by the Center for Medical Progress, explains why some abortionists use digoxin:
Nucatola: Providers that use digoxin use it for one of two reasons. There is a group of people who just use it so that they have no risks of violating the Federal Abortion Ban, which is if you induce the demise before you do the procedure, nobody’s going to say you did a “live” [air quotes from Nucatola] whatever the federal government calls it, Partial Birth Abortion.
Her casual and flippant discussion of the law has dangerous ramifications, especially considering that Nucatola herself performs abortions.
CMP’s David Daleiden also mentions in a clip from CNN:
Whenever you’re talking about fully intact fetuses, in the context of fetal tissue procurement, those are situations where no feticide, like dixogen or potassium chloride, no chemical like that can be used to kill the fetus beforehand, because that poisons the organs and the tissues, and so in that case, it’s prima facie evidence of born-alive infant cases.
To advocate against saving babies born alive after abortion, or to see them born and do nothing, is certainly wrong. But it is also infanticide, and a violation of federal law. The federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act grants babies born alive from abortions protection under the law, and they must be given life-saving care.
Holly O’Donnell questions whether a beating heart meant that the aborted child was still alive:
And she’s like ‘You know why that’s happening?’ And I knew why that was happening… ’cause the nodes were still firing. And I don’t know if that constitutes it’s technically dead, or if it’s alive…?
It had a face, it wasn’t completely torn up, and it’s nose was very pronounced, it had eyelids, and its mouth was pronounced, and then since the fetus was so intact, she said ‘Okay, well, this was a really good fetus, and it looks like we can procure a lot from it. Um, we’re going to procure a brain.’
Holly was told to cut through the aborted baby’s face so that the brain could be harvested. After this, she decided she could no longer work for StemExpress.
It’s clear from Holly’s statements, as well as her emotion as she recounts this experience, that this was profoundly troubling for her. It should be for anyone, as it must take someone with a truly hardened heart to continue performing abortions and procurements long-term. Such is not only a violation of federal law, but a deeply disturbing and heartbreaking act of violence against an innocent human being.