By Irene F. Starkehaus -
When the Center for Medical Progress broke the story last week about Planned Parenthood and the trafficking of aborted human remains, many pro-lifers and pro-aborts alike cringed in revulsion over the videoed confirmation of gruesome practices associated with the reaping of human infants. By providing visual documentation, the Center for Medical Progress successfully exposed the rampant materialism engrained in Planned Parenthood's corporate culture as representatives callously laid out the appalling procedures for procuring viable organs and tissue while haggled over the price.
Reactions to the videos have run the gamut. See the latest video from the Center for Medical Progress here. Pro-abort fundamentalists, of course, are not finding fault with Planned Parenthood's discussed best practices for harvesting but rather with the means by which the video was obtained. According to Fox News, Nancy Pelosi is calling for an investigation of the Center for Medical Progress by the DOJ stating:
"Let's have an investigation of those people who were trying to ensnare Planned Parenthood in a controversy that doesn't exist."
This reaction from Rep. Pelosi is surprisingly consistent with the Left's mantra of "the nature of the evidence is irrelevant; it's the seriousness of the charge that matters," so we must commend Ms. Pelosi for being such a dependable ideologue for our nation's emergent death culture.
On the pro-life side, conservative organizations are forcing the question, "Should our tax dollars be funding barbarism?" Presidential candidates like Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul are calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Additionally, we see news outlets like the Daily Signal questioning Planned Parenthood's vaunt of corporate sponsorship on its website. The list includes corporate giants like:
Adobe, American Cancer Society, American Express, AT&T, Avon, Bank of America, Bath & Body Works, Ben & Jerry's, Clorox, Converse, Deutsche Bank, Dockers, Energizer, Expedia, ExxonMobil, Fannie Mae, Groupon, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, La Senza, Levi Strauss, Liberty Mutual, Macy's, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Nike, Oracle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Progressive, Starbucks, Susan G. Komen, Tostitos, Unilever, United Way, Verizon and Wells Fargo
Erroneously included on Planned Parenthood's list of corporate sponsors were Coca Cola, Ford Motor Company, Xerox and March of Dimes. These companies have since requested Planned Parenthood remove their names from their Corporate Sponsors List.
A solid pushback on corporate donors is where the most significant reforms might be encouraged. When the Daily Signal contacted corporations listed, some explained that they were not direct donors in the traditional sense, but they were involved in programs with their employees whereby they matched donations to 501(c)(3) charities including Planned Parenthood.
501(c)(3) is defined by Wikipedia as:
The most common type of tax-exempt nonprofit organization falls under category 501(c)(3), whereby a nonprofit organization is exempt from federal income tax if its activities have the following purposes: charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering amateur sports competition, or preventing cruelty to children or animals. The 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) categories are for politically active nonprofits, which have become increasingly important since the 2004 presidential election.
I'm not sure why bartering for baby parts qualifies as nonprofit activity, but then again, I am no expert on the tax laws associated with the trafficking of human organs and tissue. Perhaps the IRS could find time in its busy persecution of conservative organizations to clear up the confusion over permissible nonprofit undertakings, so that we might better understand preferential treatment of Leftist nonprofits…just a thought. See Breitbart for more on that.
Quoting Kate Scanlon from the Daily Signal:
Adobe, Bank of America, Bath & Body Works, Ben & Jerry's, Converse, Deutsche Bank, Dockers, Energizer, Expedia, Groupon, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, La Senza, Liberty Mutual, Microsoft, Nike, Oracle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Starbucks, Susan G. Komen, Wells Fargo, Tostitos and Unilever did not return The Daily Signal's request for comment. (Emphasis added.)
No comment? Is it possible that this lack of response conceals within it an expectation that the Planned Parenthood scandal will blow over in a few days, so everyone involved can go back to business as usual? Business as usual - as in bartering over aborted livers and kidneys…?
Harken back to the related scandal that hit companies back in 2011 when it was revealed by LifeNews.com that a company called Senomyx was using HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) cells in the research and development of artificial flavor enhancers. Quoting Steven Ertelt of LifeNEws.com:
"…PepsiCo, one of the biggest corporate partners, ignored pro-life criticism in a canned recent response to customer letters, saying, 'With respect to the flavor discovery research with Senomyx, we utilize techniques that have been the gold standard for several decades.'"
Per Steven Ertelt, PepsiCo eventually altered its contract with Senomyx in 2012 to end what some saw as the cannibalistic practice of R&D on human embryonic kidney cells for the testing of low calorie food products:
"PepsiCo's VP of Global Public Policy, Paul Boykas stated that "Senomyx will not use HEK cells or any other tissues or cell lines derived from human embryos or fetuses for research performed on behalf of PepsiCo."
"We took the matter very seriously," stated Mr. Boykas. "We have an official Statement on Responsible Research and we intend to live by that policy."
The evidentiary reboot in the Cola Wars between Coke and Pepsi notwithstanding, we find spokespeople from PepsiCo unwilling to comment on Planned Parenthood's boast of corporate funding from PepsiCo. It is now revealed that Planned Parenthood was part of the pipeline that enabled middleman companies like Senomyx to perform R&D on aborted human infants. PepsiCo benefitted from similar R&D until their policy reversal in 2012.
This discrepancy between policy and reality needs to be explained in a clear and concise voice at Pepsi's corporate level in light of Planned Parenthood's claims of corporate sponsorship from PepsiCo.
When we add to the growing dispute that pro-abort members of Congress are now strong arming the whistleblowers who are exposing the ghastly practices at Planned Parenthood, we can see that we've got quite a problem on our hands. Some whistleblowers are perhaps more protected by the law than others.
With this serious interference by members of Congress in mind, how can a grassroots boycott of corporations effectively stop human rights concerns if members of Congress create a de facto gag order against whistleblowers of certain political perspectives with such chilling threats of DOJ action against them?
It would seem that even within the realm of 501(c)(3) charities, Congress is now in the business of picking winners and losers. Do such threats act as tantamount protectionism for certain preferred corporations that toe the progressivist line?