By Linda Cochrane and Eve Gleason
It’s a shocking viral video and it’s been viewed more than 2.4 million times.
You know the video we are talking about. Released by the Center for Medical Progress, the video shows Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Nucatola, casually discussing the sale of fetal organs for research over wine and salad. And now there’s a new video, perhaps even more shocking than the first, with more videos coming.
Maybe you couldn’t even get through all nine minutes. Perhaps you - or someone you know - chose not to even watch the video because the title including the words “sale of body parts”.
Many of the people watching Dr. Nucatola have had - or participated in - an abortion.
Those that did watch were shocked at the cavalier way Planned Parenthood’s Medical Director discussed putting a price tag on heads, hearts, livers, and kidneys.
For those who have had second thoughts about their abortion, this video is hard to process. If that’s you, you should know you are not alone.
Perhaps at the clinic, you chose abortion because your pregnancy was unplanned and you felt unsupported. You may have been assured that your pregnancy is not valuable in our society or protected by law unless you want it. Perhaps you signed a consent form, believing you were donating tissue, blood, or cells, and hoping that your abortion decision might lead to something good through medical research.
Now, you may feel cheated, deprived of the information and support you needed when you were making your pregnancy decision. Had your consent form mentioned the fetal heart, perhaps you wonder if you would have asked other questions, or had a different type of conversation with the abortion provider.
You should know six things.
- There were actual body parts. The consent signed in the abortion clinic for donating “products of conception” or “pregnancy tissue” for science likely did not describe the reality of what is involved in fetal tissue procurement and distribution as clearly as Dr. Nucatola did. Hearing this news may bring back memories of the abortion and the feelings surrounding the abortion decision. You may think that you might have made a different choice if you had been aware that your baby had developing organs or that the abortionist may have gone to special effort during the abortion to preserve them.
- Your abortion provider may have sold your fetus’s body parts. Only an investigation will show whether such an exchange was legal or not. It is illegal to profit from the sale of fetal tissue and organs (42 U.S.C. 289g). You may not have even known that the abortionist could require payment for harvesting or transporting fetal tissue. If you never intended your baby’s body to be treated as valuable merchandise after the abortion, you may feel shocked and used.
- Your baby’s value is not in his or her parts. You may have a strong reaction to the thought that your fetus could have been more valuable dead than alive (to the abortionist or medical researchers). No matter what dollar value anyone assigns to a fetus’s organs, head, arms, or legs, the worth of a human being does not come from her parts but from who she is inside. Everyone deserves the chance to be valued for who they really are.
- You may have feelings of victimization after abortion. You may feel victimized again if the abortion left you feeling lied to and helpless. Reading this news may increase or remind you of feelings of being abandoned, deceived, or used.
- Abortion is a type of pregnancy loss. You may be at a different place in life than you were when you chose abortion. When an abortion decision is made quickly, or without adequate information, women may be shocked to later learn that they view the aborted baby as their child, miss him or her, and have intense feelings of grief or regret around the anniversary of the abortion or the anniversary of the day their child might have been born.
- There is a safe place to share your feelings now. Feelings of sorrow, confusion, grief, anger, and shock are normal after being reminded of a traumatic event. If you believe you may be experiencing unwanted emotions associated with a past abortion, contact your local pregnancy center. These centers offer abortion recovery support groups facilitated by people who know what you are going through.
Women who had an abortion or men who encouraged abortion might experience a strong reaction to the facts about this video. These reactions are normal. Whatever reaction you may feel, there is hope and help available.
Linda Cochrane is author of Forgiven and Set Free, a best-selling abortion recovery study. She is also a Center Services Specialist, providing expert advice to Care Net affiliates.
Eve Gleason is Director of Center Best Practices at Care Net.