Jewish World Review Nov. 10, 1999 / 1 Kislev, 5760
Body parts for sale
"KELLY" (a pseudonym) was a medical technician working for a firm that
trafficked in baby body parts. This is not a bad joke. Nor is it the
hysterical propaganda of an interest group. It was reported in The American
Enterprise magazine -- the intelligent, thought-provoking and utterly
trustworthy publication of the American Enterprise Institute.
The firm Kelly worked for collected fetuses from clinics that performed
late-term abortions. She would dissect the aborted fetuses in order to
obtain "high-quality" parts for sale. They were interested in blood, eyes,
livers, brains and thymuses, among other things.
"What we did was to have a contract with an abortion clinic that would
allow us to go there on certain days. We would get a generated list each day
to tell us what tissue researchers, pharmaceutical companies and
universities were looking for. Then we would examine the patient charts. We
only wanted the most perfect specimens." That didn't turn out to be
difficult. Of the hundreds of late-term fetuses Kelly saw on a weekly basis,
only about 2 percent had abnormalities. About 30 to 40 babies per week were
around 30 weeks old -- well past the point of viability.
Is this legal? Federal law makes it illegal to buy and sell human body
parts. But there are loopholes in the law. Here's how one body parts
company -- Opening Lines Inc. -- disguised the trade in a brochure for
abortionists: "Turn your patient's decision into something wonderful."
For its buyers, Opening Lines offers "the highest quality, most affordable,
freshest tissue prepared to your specifications and delivered in the
quantities you need, when you need it." Eyes and ears go for $75, and brains
for $999. An "intact trunk" fetches $500, a whole liver $150. To evade the
law's prohibition, body-parts dealers like Opening Lines offer to lease
space in the abortion clinic to "perform the harvesting," as well as to
"offset [the] clinic's overhead." Opening Lines further boasted, "Our daily
average case volume exceeds 1500 and we serve clinics across the United
Kelly kept at her grisly task until something made her reconsider. One day,
"a set of twins at 24 weeks gestation was brought to us in a pan. They were
both alive. The doctor came back and said, 'Got you some good specimens --
twins.' I looked at him and said: 'There's something wrong here. They are
moving. I can't do this. This is not in my contract.' I told him I would not
be part of taking their lives. So he took a bottle of sterile water and
poured it in the pan until the fluid came up over their mouths and noses,
letting them drown. I left the room because I could not watch this."
But she did go back and dissect them later. The twins were only the
beginning. "It happened again and again. At 16 weeks, all the way up to
sometimes even 30 weeks, we had live births come back to us. Then the doctor
would either break the neck or take a pair of tongs and beat the fetus until
it was dead."
American Enterprise asked Kelly if abortion procedures were ever altered to
provide specific body parts. "Yes. Before the procedures they would want to
see the list of what we wanted to procure. The (abortionist) would get us
the most complete, intact specimens that he could. They would be delivered
to us completely intact. Sometimes the fetus appeared to be dead, but when
we opened up the chest cavity, the heart was still beating."
The magazine pressed Kelly again: Was the type of abortion ever altered to
provide an intact specimen, even if it meant producing a live baby? "Yes,
that was so we could sell better tissue. At the end of the year, they would
give the clinic back more money because we got good specimens."
Some practical souls will probably swallow hard and insist that, well, if
these babies are going to be aborted anyway, isn't it better that medical
research should benefit? No. This isn't like voluntary organ donation. This
reduces human beings to the level of commodities. And it creates of doctors
who swore an oath never to kill the kind of people who can beat a breathing
child to death with
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©1999, Creators Syndicate