Boston cardinal says failure to respect life should be focus of controversy

The Planned Parenthood videos reveal a lack of respect for human life, Cardinal Seán O’Malley has said.

Cardinal O’Malley, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, was responding to undercover videos recorded by a pro-life non-profit group, the Center for Medical Progress. The videos show Planned Parenthood officials talking about the sale of unborn babies’ organs.

A third video, released this week, showed a Planned Parenthood employee discuss pricing per organ. “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it,” the official said.

In response Cardinal O’Malley said the distribution of foetal organs and tissues “fail[s] to respect the humanity and dignity of human life”.

“Pope Francis has called abortion the product of a ‘widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many’. The recent news stories concerning Planned Parenthood direct our attention to two larger issues involving many institutions in our society. The first is abortion itself: a direct attack on human life in its most vulnerable condition. The second is the now standard practice of obtaining fetal organs and tissues through abortion.

“Both actions fail to respect the humanity and dignity of human life. This fact should be the centre of attention in the present public controversy,” he said.

In his statement the cardinal cited Project Rachel, which helps women who are suffering from the trauma of having had an abortion.

“If the Planned Parenthood news coverage has caused anyone to experience revived trauma from their own involvement in abortion, be assured that any and all persons will be welcomed with compassion and assistance through the Church’s post-abortion healing ministry, Project Rachel,” the cardinal said.

“If you or someone you know would like confidential, non-judgmental help, please visit www.projectrachel.com.”