As A Secular News Reporter I Went Planned Parenthood for an Interview, What They Told Me Blew Me Away

Opinion   |   Maria Gallagher   |   Jul 20, 2015   |   10:56AM   |   Washington, DC

As a general assignment reporter during college, I was called upon to become an instant expert on all manner of issues on any given day—and that could become especially tricky when the topic of abortion came up.

It’s not that I didn’t keep up with the news—I was immersed in it. I watched the CBS Evening News each night, often taking notes, and read The New York Times as if it were my Bible.

But I had scant knowledge of abortion. I had not had one, and I knew no member of my family who had. In fact, even though our family engaged in a number of discussions about politics and current events, I don’t recall the topic coming up much at the dinner table.

I remember walking into a Planned Parenthood facility, tape recorder and microphone in hand, for a radio interview with a local Planned Parenthood representative. She was a grandmotherly type, quite soft-spoken, and so I prepared for what I thought would be a pleasant interview. Then she said something about abortion, which took me off-guard. I thought Planned Parenthood was about helping women to plan their families, so what she said puzzled me.

And in all my naivete’, I asked her, “You don’t mean you do abortions, do you?” When she confirmed that Planned Parenthood did, in fact, perform abortions, I nearly fell off my chair.

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Later, I learned that I was not the only one who was in the dark when it came to Planned Parenthood and abortion.

I asked a leader of the legislature in the state where I was living at the time about the issue of state funding of Planned Parenthood, given the fact that the organization was the largest abortion operation in the country. This time, I was shocked to learn that he knew nothing about Planned Parenthood performing abortions.

A 2013 survey conducted by The Polling Company found that 55 percent of the Americans questioned did not know that Planned Parenthood engages in the business of abortion. But the knowledge gap may narrow, following the release of an undercover video in which a high-ranking Planned Parenthood doctor blithely discusses crushing an unborn baby’s body in a way that will yield intact hearts, lungs, livers, and heads to meet pre-orders.

For decades, Planned Parenthood has carefully masked the grisly business of abortion with euphemistic code words such as “women’s health,” “choice,” and “women’s rights.” None of those terms explain what happens to an unborn child during an abortion.

Now, Congress is launching an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices and its fetal tissue donation procedures. An in-depth examination of the organization, which performed more than 327,000 abortions in fiscal year 2014, is long overdue.

Interestingly enough, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which has a staunchly pro-abortion editorial stand, stated, “The images of an executive casually discussing how abortions must be performed to preserve organs is disturbing. The organization did not help itself with an initial response that was starched and insufficient.”

The editorial board admonished Planned Parenthood executives to “be more careful in their language.”

When I began studying the issue of abortion independently, relying on sources other than carefully stylized mainstream news reports, I quickly learned, to my horror, how abortion snuffs out the life of an unborn child. Before the undercover video surfaced, the language of the abortion industry was carefully focus group-tested, devoid of any reference to baby body parts.

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But now we’ve heard how a top Planned Parenthood official, in an unguarded moment, describes abortion.

And it isn’t pretty. Note: MariaGallagher is an opinion columnist for She is the Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.