Reno and Gadea SketchThere has been no public comparison of the outrage between the popular, media-driven frenzy over the shooting of a lion and the ongoing disclosures that a corporation has been selling human organs for monetary gain to the tune of half a billion dollars.

There is an old-time adage that “if it bleeds, it leads.” In the case of Planned Parenthood, the blood on their hands has been looked over in favor of the blood of a lion shot by an American dentist.

Of course, is this Kansas City Shuffle surprising? The entire abortion industry, and we do not use the word “industry” lightly, is based around hiding the unpleasant details of its operations.

As The New York Times columnist Ross Douthat explains in a fine piece, quotes such as: “… we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact” cannot be blithely dismissed, regardless of the non sequiturs and false analogies of Planned Parenthood’s defenders.

Despite the desperate efforts of Planned Parenthood to keep these videos in the dark, namely through lawsuits, fake hacking attempts, hiring PR firms and telling their political flunkies to spout patently false information, the truth will eventually show itself. We have eight more videos to go, some of which imply the harvesting of children born after a botched abortion. Dehumanization is an insidious thing, and it has permeated every facet of today’s society, where selling organs can be discussed over a nice meal of what we presume were fava beans and some nice Chianti. No corporation has an inherent right to taxpayer money, especially not one that apparently leads an organ trafficking ring, no matter how many mammogram referrals they hand out.

Nevertheless, the power of the abortion lobby is deep in America. Barely a day after Hillary Clinton called for an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices, she was forced to tweet her unquestioning belief in the generosity and benevolence of her taskmasters. The pro-choice faction hopes that America continue to be distracted by the Twitter mob that cannot place Zimbabwe on a map rampaging against a dentist. It hopes America remains enthralled with cacophonic blustering of a witless Donald Trump.

But for those of us who share the extremist idea that a change in location and time don’t magically remove a person’s humanity, it’s difficult to not think about the petri dishes of brains and kidneys, the nonchalant negotiations over the monetary value of organs, “I want a Lamborghini.”

What we really want to think about here, however, is the focus on Cecil the lion in the media. How is it so easy for us to look at the majestic, feline Cecil and shed tears for the loss of life? How is it so easy for us to see the humanity of our own pets? Why do we cry when we hear Sarah McLachlan’s “In the Arms of an Angel” and see pictures of abused dogs? What if these little arms and legs aren’t just prep work for a human, but what if they are innately human?

How is it that we can see the humanity of our dogs and of our cats, but we can’t see the humanity of our own offspring? How is it that we cannot see the innate human that is in the fetus? Or is this why we are so uneasy? If we were to see the humanity in all these tiny little hearts, these tiny little lungs, these tiny little brains, could we continue on the same path? Could we keep going as a society? We don’t ask you to answer the question “should abortion be legal?” We ask you to answer the question “are these tiny creatures human?”

Reno Varghese is a rising senior in the School of Foreign Service. James Gadea is a rising senior in the School of Foreign Service. Exit Stage Right appears every other Tuesday.


  1. Heavily edited videos aren’t proof of wrongdoing. Where is the evidence to prove that Planned Parenthood profited from fetal tissue sales? Check out the snopes article here – – the price range they refer to in these videos is the going rate for delivery expenses, and far below the cost of human organs in the black market. Where is your evidence that a fetus at 20 weeks is alive? Please, give us a reliable source that gives us proof. If you do, you will absolutely change my mind on this issue.

    Of course, those sources don’t exist. I’m disappointed that two intelligent students seem to have accepted a video as from the laughably unreliable Center for Medical Progress as canon without doing more research first. And just so you know, Planned Parenthood uses 3% of its budget on abortions and none of that money comes from the federal government.

  2. “Dehumanization is an insidious thing, and it has permeated every facet of today’s society, where selling organs can be discussed over a nice meal of what we presume were fava beans and some nice Chianti.”

    And over what kind of meal would you prefer that they discuss tissue donation?

  3. Welcome to the Hilltop says:

    Although I disagree heavily with the authors’ stance RE Planned Parenthood, they do bring up a few valid points regarding public outcry about Cecil the Lion. However, the conclusion, is an odd attempt at being ironically humorous, and my opinion takes away from the structure and purpose of the article.

  4. in any case the public debate over the legality of “tissue donation” v. “organ harvesting” obscures the rather gristly fact that abortion produces intact organs…bloody and human and functioning until planned parenthood intervenes with the kind of violence they sell. This should be horrifying to us. we should be asking why it is easier for us to get emotional a la Jimmy Kimmel about an animal than about the routine carnage of the unborn.

    In response to “Sigh’s” charge that the videos are heavily edited, full length (3-hr!) versions were posted alongside the “highlights” that became popular. And yes, a 20-week-old fetus is usually considered alive…are you implying that they’re dead prior to abortion?

    • Your comment implies that Planned Parenthood performs abortions with the intent of “harvesting organs”, which is patently ridiculous. They can either just get rid of the tissue or donate it to life-saving medical research, which would you prefer? And frankly women have been performing abortions for all of human history and will continue to do so whether or not it is legal. At least at Planned Parenthood it’s safe.

      Also 91% of abortions are performed in the first trimester, and 25% don’t even involve surgery so the whole “chopping up babies” thing is really a tiny piece of the much bigger puzzle

    • Name one reputable study that states fetuses are considered alive at 20 weeks. Just one.

    • As an addendum to my previous comment, I just want to clarify that they cannot feel pain at 20 weeks. Sorry if that was unclear.

  5. I agree that the “frenzy” over Cecil the lion is absurdly dominating media attention while human lives are being lost. But perhaps instead of focusing on the legal donation of fetal tissue that goes to life-saving research, we should take a closer look at the gun violence, police brutality, and drug epidemics that continue to both claim lives and be hopelessly ignored by politicians.

  6. offcampuscrusader says:

    “Wherever there is Animal Worship there is Human Sacrifice. That is, both symbolically and literally, a real truth of historical experience.”

    G.K. Chesterton

  7. It’s always fun to see the hair twisting fits liberals get into when attempting to defend abortion. From the arguments that have nothing to do with abortion (see: gun violence is bad too, the organization who made the videos doesn’t like abortion), to the idiotic (see: well this organization edited 3 hour long videos to 5 min, there must be something nefarious going on), to the mathematically challenged (see: Planned Parenthood only uses 3% of its budget on abortions; well that 3% is 40% of all abortions in the states/ the NYC marathon uses most of its budget on water, you don’t hear them saying they are in the water management business), you always get a wide variety of general stupidity. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic, that the people who cry over lions and newborns are perfectly fine with babies that can feel pain in the womb getting chopped up and sold like scrap.

    • Yet babies at 20 weeks don’t feel pain in the womb, as scientific researchers have demonstrated plenty of times. Your choice to resort to ad hominem attacks testifies to your lack of a strong argument on this issue, which also led to you dismissing my perfectly valid argument.

      I would never get an abortion; I merely see it as a necessary procedure that women should have the CHOICE to pursue.

      And how else do you propose that fetal parts are exchanged for research? Randomly?

      • I don’t see any ad hominem attacks in A Student’s post above – he’s merely pointing out the bad arguments that abortion-supporters are making in this comment section.

        “And how else do you propose that fetal parts are exchanged for research? Randomly?”

        How about “not at all”? Why does PP need to profit from the destruction of human fetuses?

        • Ah yes, as the authors put it, “on and the ongoing disclosures that a corporation has been selling human organs for monetary gain to the tune of half a billion dollars.”

          Source?? The claim that Planned Parenhood makes a profit is false

          • Thank you Jack Hoya… I already said that above, but apparently these people can’t get it through their opinionated heads.

          • That was poorly phrased by the authors. I think they were referencing the half a billion dollars of federal funding that Planned Parenthood receives. Planned Parenthood makes a great deal of profit, they just don’t have shareholders. Instead, the money just goes back into the business and presumably the Lamborghini’s they want. And to Sigh (both the person and as an expression), nothing you have posted exonerates Planned Parenthood at all, and the ongoing disclosures are showcasing more and more that a group built on death and eugenics deserves not a penny of taxpayer money, especially since that half a billion on women’s health could go toward much more reputable organizations

          • Look, “A Student”… unless you can prove to me that they profited, I’m not going to assume that they did automatically. I think it’s only rational to assume that someone is innocent until you can PROVE them guilty. And seriously, built on death and eugenics? You must realize how over-dramatic you’re being.

            And no, some of your claims are just empirically, factually wrong. Look, I will grant you that there are a few, isolated sketchy moments in the videos – which I’ve watched, by the way – where it appears that the Planned Parenthood representatives are operating in a grey area. But the representatives also make it *quite* clear that it is against federal law for them to profit from selling fetal tissue. And I very much doubt that they do, but I will change my mind of course if enough credible evidence is found that they do.

            If you want to discuss the grey areas, I’m totally willing to do that with you, if we can have a legitimate conversation. Vox compiled a relevant list here –

            But for you to assert falsehoods as truths and to claim that Planned Parenthood is built on “death” when its sole purpose is to support women’s health, I can’t just sit back and not challenge you.

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