By Suzan Sammons
Suzan Sammons is a writer, editor, nutrition student, and blundering gardener in southwest Ohio. She is currently in year 17 of what she projects to be a 29-year venture called homeschooling.
Last month Judicial Watch released an extensive report detailing the Food and Drug Administration’s program for buying the body parts of dead unborn babies for use in mice “humanization” projects. If the outrage from David Daleiden’s 2015 revelations that taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood sells unborn babies’ body parts wasn’t enough to change anything, maybe this is.
But then, it’s been decades since pioneer prolifers like Monica Miller retrieved hundreds of bodies of discarded unborn babies to give them a proper burial. Photos of abortion carnage have been widely available since the 1980s.
We are largely unmoved.
Reading through recent articles on the horrific proceedings of the FDA, it seems that the cliché “There are no words” finally takes on true meaning. There must literally be no words for the despicability of what our government and medical/scientific establishment allows and is willing to do, because every article seems to fall short of the utter fury these practices should provoke.
“Fresh tissue is always our preference.” To create the humanized mice needed for its HIV immunology research, FDA officials specified to vendor Advanced Bioservices Resources (ABR) that it required “fresh and never frozen” tissue in the “age range of 16-24 weeks.” The fee for a “liver and thymus set” delivered from California to a Montana National Institutes of Health (NIH) lab ranged from $680-750, plus processing and delivery costs.
In one email exchange between FDA medical official Dr. Kristina Howard and ABR representative Perrin Larton, Howard emphasizes her desire for male tissue and asks Larton to confirm the sex of a recent tissue shipment. Larton responds that technicians can not always be sure of the sex “due to the nature of the termination procedure.” This makes sense since the termination procedure is crushing and dismemberment.
In another exchange, Larton and Howard bemoan the difficulty of getting enough of the right kind of tissue. Larton is disappointed that the abortion clinic doctors she works with have used digoxin to kill unborn babies four times in the preceding week, which makes the tissue from those 21-week olds unusable. What a waste.
Speaking of waste, both women are angered and upset by a mix-up that caused a shipment of “beautiful tissue” (from babies who had been brutally killed) to be x-rayed, rendering this tissue unusable as well for mice humanization. Howard is “absolutely heartbroken.”
In December, prolife author and chemist Stacy Trasancos revealed that the University of Pittsburgh has been grafting the scalps of aborted children onto the abdomens of mice, where (human) baby hair soon starts to grow. Just days ago Daleiden presented evidence that the NIH paid a University of Pittsburgh scientist $3 million for the development of a procedure that allows the harvesting of “pristine livers” from in utero living babies at a gestational age of five months.
Words fail. But we know what we are seeing, even as we wish we didn’t see. And if you follow that last link you will indeed see something you cannot “unsee”—a mother’s abdomen and womb sliced open so that a living baby may be in turn sliced open, that his or her organs may be harvested for use by a society who so idolizes the lives of the strong that it is willing to crush, dismember, murder, harvest, and discard the lives of the weak.
Where does this leave those of us who see? This question is particularly difficult now when much of the Church’s hierarchy is losing the moral standing to speak about the dignity that should be accorded to the bodies of the deceased (since cell lines from aborted children are accorded legitimacy) and even the horror of harvesting organs from living persons (silence on China’s organ harvesting from Uyghurs and other prisoners). But perhaps it is also a particularly important question for each Catholic in such a time.
We have a responsibility to act, not necessarily with the object of ending the atrocity through our actions, but first, to atone for sin, and second, to attest to the truth.
Will your refusal to purchase a Nestle coffee creamer end the use of abortion-derived cell lines in product testing? Probably not. How much impact will your rejection of the COVID-19 vaccine have on the scientific community’s use of cell lines from aborted babies? Very little (although we can hope that the larger the pool of resistance, the greater its effect).
But we don’t make moral choices for the impact they have on the world. We make them for the impact they have on ourselves and on our walk with God. Perhaps now, when what we can do as a little minority in a vast cultural current seems so small, we can awaken to that truth.
We must speak to others about the atrocities committed through abortion and our government’s complicity in them; we must tell the truth about the scientific establishment’s savage disregard for the dignity of unborn children, and again, our government’s complicity.
Abortion is like a metastatic cancer in our society. It may have begun in the realm of “reproductive rights,” but it has quietly sent its envoys, its malignant cells, into many other sectors of our world. In these spheres, it has established new footholds that strengthen and advance the disease’s evil progression.
Since we can’t deny that the malignancy of abortion has reached even more deeply into our society than we realized a decade ago, we must redouble our efforts to pray and fast in reparation. And we must choose other courses of action that help us live according to what we now see.
If refusing the vaccine means you can no longer travel by plane, are you ready? If condemning the FDA’s purchase of the body parts of unborn children means you risk losing your job, are you willing? What is the price of your integrity? Too long is our list of things we can’t live without—I have to keep my job, I have to be able to travel, my kids have to stay in school…
Cancers are excised, poisoned, and burned into submission. It may be time to apply just such radical tools to our lives to sever ourselves from abortion’s malignant reach. Let’s be less concerned about what we might have to live without and start thinking about how to live with a clean conscience.