The recent broadcast of videotapes taken of persons employed at Planned Parenthood — the prolific and notorious abortion provider — has brought the issue of abortion to the national consciousness again and front and center to the Republican presidential primary campaign. The tapes were made secretly by a pro-life group determined to show to the world the dark side of Planned Parenthood’s use of federal funds.

What the world saw was terrifying and damning. The tapes are difficult to watch, just as any discussion of human slaughter is difficult to watch. If you have seen these tapes, you witnessed physicians and others talking about the profits Planned Parenthood is making in the sale of baby body parts, even though such sales are criminal under federal law.

The cavalier demeanor of those who profit from this slaughter is chilling, and the moral punch in the nose to the Democratic Party is excruciating. That’s because Planned Parenthood is virtually a branch of the Democratic Party. It has a lock on the federal treasury to the tune of $500 million per year. It pays for or performs more than 325,000 abortions a year, which is about one-third of all abortions in America. It contributes heavily to the campaigns of Democratic office seekers. You can see the cycle.

Even though federal law has prohibited the use of federal funds for abortions for nearly 18 years, money is fungible. The Planned Parenthood folks may be baby killers, but they are not dumb. They know how to dedicate federal funds for maternal health and free up maternal health funds for the slaughter of babies — and make it all look legal.

The reason these tapes are so upsetting to the Democrats, and to some Republicans as well, is that they have convinced themselves that the fetus in the womb is not a person. Yet, watching their abortionists graphically discuss the monetary value of body parts and the physical manipulation of fully formed babies so as to maximize the harvesting of their organs ironically humanizes the body parts and the babies from which the parts came, and is thus so upsetting to those who deny fetal personhood.

But this is more than upsetting — it seriously challenges the underlying commitment of today’s Democratic Party that the fetus is not a person. This is, of course, the central holding of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. Just as in Dred Scott v. Sandford, wherein the court held in 1857 that African-Americans were not persons, so did Roe v. Wade make that holding for fetuses.

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