In the wake of a third undercover video revealing the details of Planned Parenthood’s collection of fetal parts, it’s revealing to consider the reactions of Washington’s top three Democrats. 

President Obama has not even commented.  Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBarr fails to persuade Cruz on expanded background checks Harry Reid warns Trump 'can be reelected' Homeland Security Republican accuses Navy of withholding UFO info MORE (D-Nev.) read hesitatingly from a carefully prepared written statement.  Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), on the other hand, rushed to give a rather puzzling defense of the controversy, asserting, “the controversy doesn’t exist.”  It seems Planned Parenthood disagrees, as they raced to hire both PR and communication crisis firms to handle damage control in the face of multiple congressional investigations. 

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It’s just, “about women’s health,” according to Pelosi.  Bingo.  She’s correct; it’s precisely about the endangerment of women’s health on the part of Planned Parenthood, whose doctors admit they deliberately maneuver the fetus into a breech position to have better access to remove intact organs.  Changing the abortion method (to the “less crunchy technique”) violates ethical standards precisely because it does not put the health of the woman first, but rather prioritizes the collection of fetal parts.  Intact eyes, livers, and hearts are in demand, though, so ethical standards become optional for Planned Parenthood.  

This alteration of the abortion technique without a woman’s consent not only violates medical ethics; it is also violates the law.  Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Gatter dismisses this concern over illegality as a “specious little argument… I don’t think the patients would care one iota so I’m not making a fuss about that.”  A bit cavalier of Dr. Gatter to decide what patients will care about, no?  It appears the Obama Justice Department won’t make a fuss over the law either.  In fact, in quite a parody of justice, DOJ has announced an investigation of the whistleblowers instead.

Pelosi then rested her case by saying “Planned Parenthood has said they have done nothing illegal.”  Hmmm.  This response calls to mind the scene in Shawshank Redemption when the main character is asked what crime landed him in prison.  He also says he has done nothing illegal; he was framed.  Morgan Freeman’s character responds, “You're gonna fit right in! Everybody in here is innocent.”

Perhaps most striking about Pelosi’s response, though, is the tone-deaf lack of compassion.  Just weeks ago, Pelosi sang a very different tune in praise of Pope Francis and his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, as have Obama and Reid.  They appear to have overlooked the encyclical's many sections on human ecology, in which Francis repeatedly addresses just the kind of commodification of human beings we see on grisly display in these videos. 

Pope Francis writes, “Concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings… if we fail to protect a human embryo?” 

In other words, if we are to protect sea turtle eggs, shouldn’t we also protect a human fetus from being carved up?  Damaging a turtle egg in Florida is a third degree felony punishable by a $5000 fine and up to 5 years in prison.  Yet Planned Parenthood, which aborts over 300,000 developing humans every year, receives about $500 million in our tax dollars annually.

Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical says it is troubling, “when some ecological movements defend the integrity of the environment, rightly demanding that certain limits be imposed on scientific research, they sometimes fail to apply those same principles to human life….” 

This failure is on full display in the newly released third video, featuring the work of Planned Parenthood’s partner in collection of fetal parts, StemExpress.  The founder, Cait Dyer, defends her company’s work in the New York Times, “We’re collecting biohazardous waste, discarded waste.”

Waste?  Have we become so divorced from reality, so schizophrenic as a society that we joyfully tweet ultrasound images of our unborn child to announce a pregnancy, and yet we literally “crush” others? 

In Planned Parenthood’s ethical matrix, women's health can be compromised and the price of fetal organs can be haggled over (so long as the “tone” of the negotiation is more sensitive).  An organization with this kind of ethical compass does not deserve half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds every year.  They don’t deserve a dime.

Ferguson is senior policy adviser at The Catholic Association.