Friday, August 28, 2015

Let's pay Planned Parenthood More

Things have gotten weird in the abortion (non-)debate. Thanks to an undercover video exposing the world of the trade of human tissues obtained from aborted pregnancies. It turns out that many people would prefer the remains of an abortion to be disposed of and destroyed rather than sold at market value.

I listened to the video in tears. I did not cry out of anger. I wasn't feeling righteous indignation toward the evildoers. I wasn't sad about the ignorance of those involved. Those are all plausible feelings I might have had. But I knew it was something else. I felt a distinct loss of humanity. By viewing the video it felt like I had re-entered the Garden to watch as our Mother and Father, Eve and Adam, fell into sin. Ok that's a little over the top. Bear with me, folks. The internet has made it difficult to have original thoughts, and so sometimes I have to blast my ideas to smithereens, just to produce something I even feel like reading. In any case, I knew I was in tears because I felt a loss. It was like discovering something ugly about your own past. Indeed, I think when we see evil we should feel this way. Seeing evil, after all, is never really seeing what someone else has done. We are seeing what we have done. There are religions and movements that talk about "One World" and the unity of the human race. These ideas ring true because they are shadows or reflections of something that is really true. We are all part of one human race. We generally think of ourselves as individuals that share common physical and mental characteristics, but it is also true that we are part of one spiritual unit called "humanity." The Bible would call us descendants of Adam. When we see someone doing evil it is a reminder that our race is fallen. As much as we would like to think that the agent doing evil is completely unconnected to us, the fact remains that we all share in the guilt of each other.

So I felt bad. Hopefully, everyone does. I guess my greatest fear is that people will see the video and respond with apathy. It would be a foreboding sign of the searing of our social conscious if no one felt it appalling.

Regardless of the prognosticative issues of this video I've thought of a response that I find compelling. What if we offered to pay Planned Parenthood more for "fetal tissue" that is allowed to survive pregnancy? So if first-trimester fetal tissue can get $100 let's bump it up for each trimester. What if we offered Planned Parenthood $300 for fetuses that that complete the third trimester and are extracted fully intact resulting in a viable living sample? That's $100 per trimester. The second and third trimester are more challenging you might say. I would counter that the second trimester actually isn't costing anyone much more than the first trimester. Even for the donor of the fetal tissue the second trimester should actually be less uncomfortable than the first. So we'll tack on $100 more for the second trimester. Now the third trimester is actually the most challenging for the donor, but it has been established that the donor cannot be compensated (she said that was an obvious point in the video, so I guess it is really unthinkable). So that will not go into our consideration. The costs for extraction of a viable living sample, however are much greater. The average hospital delivery without complications costs $9,700. Prenatal care can cost around $2,000. Since, a number of extractions will require cesarian section we'll bump up the total medical costs average to $17,000. So add this to the $200 for the first two trimesters and, let's say, a $300 bonus for the third trimester and the bill would come to $17,500 per extraction of a viable live fetus sample. I like round numbers and I'm feeling generous so let's put the price at $20,000 just to cover any issues I've not considered. Assuming Planned Parenthood provides the donor with at least average medical care throughout the entire pregnancy they would be looking at $8,300 profit per extraction.

Would we be able to raise the money? What would we do with the "extracted samples"? Well, it turns out there is already an example case with some similar numbers. If we change some of the terms then we can see a process that is currently happening that we can compare. Private adoption in the U.S. costs between $10K and $30K. Instead of donors having abortions producing tissue samples there are mothers who carry their children to term then get to choose the parents to place them with. In most cases the adoptive parents cover the costs of prenatal care and delivery, and they pay for all of the adoption fees and services.

Looking at the current supply and demand it seems that there is a "market" of people willing to pay $20,000 for the product of a pregnancy (a.k.a. baby), and they even seem willing to further invest in the product to nurture it into a contributing member of society! Surely, Planned Parenthood can see the profitability of such a plan. If only it weren't for those pesky laws against human trafficking!

So, I guess I shouldn't propose this plan. It is doomed to fail. It also ignores the bigger problem in our society. We are unwilling to connect our sexual immorality to the inhumanity of abortion. No one says this, but ultimately the "freedom of choice" is about sexual freedom. It is freedom from responsibility that we are seeking. People who try to make this a women's rights issue are ignoring the fact that this situation largely benefits men. The sexual revolution has freed men from the cultural role of taking responsibility for their sexual choices. Unmarried, pregnant women are confronted with a situation where their sexual partner is telling them, "Whatever you want to do..." That is seen as the compassionate role of men. These men think they are being responsible and progressive by telling the women they have impregnated, "I will follow your lead." When what most women in this situation are saying, "What do you think we should do?" They are looking for leadership. Most of them are realizing, too late, that they will not find the leadership they need. They will not find the support they had hoped for. Even the society that told them it is okay to be "sexually expressive" now has no answers for them other than, "get it taken care of." Abortion is seen as an unfortunate side effect of our modern sexuality that would be easy to deal with if it wasn't for all the religious nuts trying to make everyone feel guilty.