Mike Ciandella and Katie Yoder

Warren Buffett has given over $1 billion to pro-abortion groups since 2001

Mike Ciandella and Katie Yoder
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May 13, 2014 (NewsBusters) - They say the key to successful investing is diversification. But Berkshire Hathaway Chairman & CEO Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor known as the  “Oracle of Omaha,” is a one-issue man -- and that issue is abortion.

Through the foundation he financed with more than $3 billion of his own money, Buffett donated $1,230,585,161 to abortion groups worldwide from 2001 to 2012. These groups, including Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the Population Council, either campaign for pro-abortion legislation, perform abortions themselves, or helped develop the controversial abortion drug RU-486. Buffett gave an additional $21 million to these groups between 1989 and 1996. (Tax forms between 1997 and 2000 are not available.)

So the $1.2 billion that Buffett gave to these organizations is enough to pay for the abortions of more than 2.7 million babies in the womb. Those figures come from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which says the average amount paid for a surgical abortion in the United States is $451 for the first trimester. That accounts for the majority of abortions.

To put that in perspective, Warren Buffett donated enough money to abortion groups to perform as many abortions as there are people in the entire city of Chicago.

Moreover, in giving to Planned Parenthood, Buffett is aiding an organization whose employees have been caught winking at confessions of prostitution and sex trafficking, whose management has a history of bullying and holding positions so extreme that one of its lobbyists suggested babies born alive after “botched” abortions should have no legal protections.

Those positions are hardly mainstream as abortion has become increasingly controversial, and Buffett's views are not those of the majority of Americans. According to the Gallup polling company, 48 percent of Americans considered themselves pro-life in 2013, while only 45 percent viewed themselves as “pro-choice.”

One year ago, on May 13, 2013, the infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted of three counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in a case the major media tried their best to ignore. Another of the groups Buffett funded inspected Gosnell’s clinic -- subsequently described in court documents as a “house of horror” -- and didn’t report conditions at the “worst abortion clinic” the inspector had ever seen to Pennsylvania authorities.

But while Buffett has poured more than a billion dollars into the abortion industry, the media have turned a blind eye. Despite 545 stories on and interviews with Buffett on ABC, CBS and NBC since 2001 when our tax return data began, the networks only mentioned Buffett’s abortion funding once. This was in reference to his wife and her support of Planned Parenthood. Nowhere did any of the network morning or evening news shows mention the extent of his donations to fund the abortion industry.

Buffett’s actions have sparked fury in the pro-life community. Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins deemed Buffett the “sugar daddy of the entire pro-abortion movement.” Lila Rose, the president of Live Action, called Buffett a “genocide maker” and likened his funding of abortion to “money invested for genocide by warlords."

That runs contrary to the media's incessantly positive portrayal of Buffett. But, as Rose noted, “There’s a gross lack of reporting around the abortion issue” and Buffett’s giving “needs to be publicized.”

Contributions Linked to Late Wife’s Support of Abortion

After the 2004 death of Warren Buffett’s wife, Susan Thompson Buffett, the Buffett Foundation became the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. This foundation, located in Omaha, NE, manages Buffett’s “charitable” giving. In 2006, he expanded the foundation's giving potential with $3 billion of his own money.

Mrs. Buffett had been president of the foundation and was  concerned about overpopulation. She supported “family planning,” including abortion, to curb the global human population. A decade after her death, the foundation continues that work.

Pro-abortion activist Tracy Weitz heads the foundation’s domestic operation. Weitz worked at Planned Parenthood as well as The Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health with a focus on “a national strategic plan to secure access to later abortion care.” An outspoken abortion blogger at publications including RH Reality Check and The Huffington Post, she once defined abortion as “a moral action undertaken by moral agents.”

While Buffett himself rarely mentions abortion in public, his late wife Susan stressed his support during an interview on “The Charlie Rose Show,” which aired shortly after her death. She said that “Warren feels that women all over the world get shortchanged. That’s why he’s so pro-choice.” His daughter Susie also referenced her father’s stance on issues like population control: “That’s what my father has always believed was the biggest and most important issue, so that will be the focus,” for the foundation.

And Warren Buffett’s biographer, Roger Lowenstein, characterized him as holding “a Malthusian dread that overpopulation would aggravate problems in all other areas -- such as food, housing, even human survival.”

Buffett’s Massive Support for Planned Parenthood

Buffett’s donations have gone to dozens of pro-abortion groups, but none more than abortion giant Planned Parenthood. It received $289,811,421 -- nearly one-fourth of his total abortion contributions. But Planned Parenthood’s actions -- from supporting sex-selective abortions to targeting minorities with abortion funds -- have increasingly attracted anger from conservatives.

In Florida last year, a lobbyist for the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates told the state legislature that the fate of an infant born alive in a “botched abortion” “should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.” In other words, the baby, a living, breathing, child, should have no legal protection from infanticide -- even after leaving the womb.

In 2012, the pro-life group Live Action released two videos of Planned Parenthood staffers assisting a Live Action actor with setting up a sex-selective abortion. In 2011, Planned Parenthood was the target of another undercover video with Live Action’s Lila Rose and Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe. Rose, then 22, posed as a 15-year-old prostitute while O’Keefe pretended to be a pimp who sought abortions for Rose and other underage prostitutes. In the video, Planned Parenthood workers assured O’Keefe that procuring these abortions would not be a problem.

Planned Parenthood paid out $2 million earlier this year after 24-year-old Tonya Reaves' death from uncontrollable bleeding after an abortion. Reaves had a 1-year-old son at the time of her death.

But the organization still claims to be all about “health.” Planned Parenthood tirelessly promotedObamacare this year, and stands to gain from it, since the Affordable Care Act includes coverage of abortions.

Abortion is only part of the organization’s controversial activity. Planned Parenthood has no problem encouraging teenagers to be sexually active, instructing that there’s “nothing bad or unhealthy” about multiple sex partners, as well as promoting bondage and sadomasochism. There’s also the time when President Cecile Richards warned that, if Planned Parenthood lost funding, the organization could no longer provide mammograms -- mammograms which it never offered in the first place.

Other criticisms of Planned Parenthood include:

Investing Beyond Planned Parenthood

Buffett didn’t stop there.

Planned Parenthood’s ally, NARAL Pro-Choice America, received $4,696,883 from Buffett. NARAL is dedicated to unrestricted abortion and repeatedly bashes those who differ, claiming that “anti-abortion” is “anti-American” and accusing pro-lifers and tea partiers of “lying and cheating.” The organization recently made headlines after allegedly persuading Google to delete crisis pregnancy center ads. Afterward it surfaced that NARAL made up the story, according pro-life blogger Jill Stanek.

NARAL even dedicated its annual report to late-term abortionist George Tiller who “compassionately and heroically served women.”

Buffett also donated to Advocates for Youth, which hosted an event to fight the “stigma” and “shame” of abortion while debuting its new book “1 in 3: These Are Our Stories.” Anyone could come to this event -- except for the media.

Buffett donated over $24 million to the National Abortion Federation (NAF). The Grand Jury Reporton the Gosnell case bashed NAF, “an association of abortion providers that upholds the strictest health and legal standards for its members.” The report explained how, when Gosnell applied for admission, a NAF evaluator “readily noted that records were not properly kept, that risks were not explained, that patients were not monitored, that equipment was not available, that anesthesia was misused.” While “It was the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected,” and she refused Gosnell’s application, she ”never told anyone in authority about all the horrible, dangerous things she had seen.”

National Abortion Federation President Vicki Saporta later criticized Gosnell -- for not “ensuring fetal demise.”

Not only does Buffett give to groups that provide abortions and campaign for more abortion access, but also he gives to groups accused of performing forced abortions and sterilizations in third world countries. EngenderHealth, for example, which provides sterilization in Vietnam, has received at least $32,452,618 from Buffett. A New York Times article from July 14, 2010, discussed a possible connection between Buffett and the Ryan program, which trained OB/GYNs to perform abortions. According to the Times, “[t]here is no line item for the Ryan program or the Family Planning Fellowship. But the foundation paid out around $50 million to universities with one or both of the programs.” The article also quoted doctors at these universities who claimed that Buffett had funded the program.

Buffett gave $23,864,162 to the Population Council, the group responsible for beginning clinical trials needed to get the abortion drug RU-486 approved by the FDA. RU-486 is used to terminate pregnancies as late as 9 weeks, and has led to the deaths of at least 14 women, according to an FDA report. Buffett gave to the Population Council during the early 1990s when it was testing RU-486. The money was specifically earmarked for “clinical trials.”

Buffett’s Personal Agenda

Buffett’s support for abortion goes back decades.

Abortion is such an important issue to Buffett that he vowed to pull all donations rather than stop funding pro-abortion groups. In 2003, a 34-year-old homeschool mom’s protest made headlines when she revealed that Buffett was funding abortion causes. This caused a discussion by the Berkshire Hathaway leadership about whether or not the company should continue to fund abortion groups. So Buffett allegedly put a stop to all Berkshire Hathaway charitable donations across the board.

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Despite Buffett deciding that his multinational conglomerate holding company Berkshire Hathaway was done giving money to any charity, the Berkshire Foundation, headed by Buffett’s sister, Roberta Buffett Bialek and funded by Berkshire Hathaway, gave $50,000 in 2011 alone to the Center for Reproductive Rights. The Berkshire Foundation only gives away roughly $400,000 a year.

Buffett’s friend and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Charles Munger, himself worth $1.2 billion, helped push Buffett to become pro-choice. According to Munger, “It was emotionally hard for me to become pro-choice because I do have reverence for human life,” but “when I thought through the consequences, I found it necessary to overrule that part of my nature.”

When abortions were legal in California, but still illegal elsewhere in the country, Buffett and Munger sponsored a “church” dubbed the Ecumenical Fellowship that helped women find places to get abortions. Munger once raised his glass at a party for Los Angeles obstetrician Keith Russell, declaring that “I want to toast Dr. Russell for the thousands of babies he didn’t deliver,” according to “Damn Right: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger” by Janet Lowe. Buffett himself wrote the foreword to this book, with nothing but praise for Munger, whom he has known since 1959.

Munger was proud of the role he and Buffett had played. “We were way ahead of the national office of Planned Parenthood in arranging abortions,” said Munger. “The Planned Parenthood chapter in Los Angeles wanted to get into that business, but didn’t know how. We merged our church, the Ecumenical Fellowship, headed by the same guy who headed the Clergy Counseling Service, into the Los Angeles chapter of Planned Parenthood.” Munger was a trustee and chief financial officer for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles for “many years.”

According to “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder, the Ecumenical Fellowship was “part of the country’s abortion underground railroad.” This "underground railroad" helped women find places to get abortions in states where it was already legal before Roe v. Wade.

Buffett and Munger were also involved in People v. Belous, an early abortion case, which was cited during Roe v. Wade. The case declared laws against abortion in California to be unconstitutional. “Munger helped write the opinion. Buffett said he had never seen Munger ‘so fired up,” Schroeder explained in “The Snowball.”

“It’s very hard to argue that the earth would be better off in terms of average happiness or livelihood with twelve billion people instead of six,” Buffett argued in “The Snowball. “There is a limit, and if you don’t know what that limit is, you’re better off erring on the safe side. It’s a margin of safety approach for the survival of earth.

In 1994 Warren Buffett said that the world would have far fewer problems “if you could make every child born in this country and this world a wanted child … the closest thing we have to that is Planned Parenthood. Until women have the right to determine their reproductive destiny, we’re in an unequal society.”

Following in their father’s footsteps, the charities of Buffett’s three children, Susan, Howard and Peter, also support Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups. These include the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the NoVo Foundation and the Sherwood Foundation.

The Culture and Media Institute reached out to both The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and Berkshire Hathaway. The phone number for the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation appeared to be disconnected, but the website states that “The Buffett Foundation responds to questions about College Scholarships and the Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award only. We will not respond to any other inquiries.” CMI is currently waiting for a response from Berkshire Hathaway.

The Media Turn a Blind Eye to Buffett's Abortion Funding

The grandfatherly “Oracle of Omaha” is a media favorite. Journalists seek his opinion on taxes and the economy, relish his close ties to President Obama, and always want to hear his business prognostications. So it’s odd that, although ABC, CBS and NBC have mentioned Buffett in 545 broadcasts since January 2001, the three broadcast networks only once alluded to Warren Buffett’s connection with abortion during their morning and evening shows.

And that story wasn’t even explicitly about Warren. When Buffett’s first wife passed away in July 2004, NBC’s Tom Brokaw mentioned her “major” support for Planned Parenthood in a “Nightly News” obituary.

And it isn’t as though they haven’t talked about his other charitable activity. The broadcast networks also consistently gushed over Buffett’s philanthropy and “incredibly generous” character. For example, on July 30, 2013, the entire “Good Morning America” team fawned over Buffett’s decision to auction off a tour of a chocolate factory for charity. ABC co-anchor Lara Spencer called him “incredibly generous” and praised “his pure imagination,” comparing him to the character Willy Wonka.

The Pro-life Response

But while the media practiced bias, pro-life organizations expressed outrage at the amount of Buffett’s support dedicated to the demise of babies in the womb.

To the Culture and Media Institute, Lila Rose, president of Live Action, described Buffett’s “money to fund abortions for minority women” as something that “rivals the money invested for genocide by warlords”  “By investing this money,” she stressed, “Buffett put himself up there with other genocide makers of the past.”

This “huge scandal,” she noted, “needs to be publicized and could negatively hurt Buffett’s business if people found out that his money was going to fund abortions.”

But “finding out” will prove a challenge as Rose pointed out the “gross lack of reporting around the abortion issue,” both nationally and internationally.  

Like Rose, Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins recognized that “there is a media bias that we're competing with” on Buffett, the “sugar daddy of the entire pro-abortion movement.”

“An activist with his money,” Buffett, “has made really his life’s passion destroying human life” and “single-handedly is ensuring the destruction of millions of children worldwide,” Hawkins said.

By exposing Buffett’s actions, Hawkins hoped, “we might be able to reduce the amount of money he’s giving” as well as “ inspire other philanthropists to consider countering what Buffett's doing.”

Director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, Arina Grossu, voiced similar concerns. “What kind of ‘philanthropy’ is this? Injury and destruction of human life is no philanthropy at all,” she challenged. Noting that abortions impact poor, minority communities the most, Grossu lamented, “He could be doing so much good with his money and instead, he is choosing to destroy the lives of countless mothers, fathers and children around the world.”

Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life, told CMI that Buffett’s “charitable” donations were far from charitable. Instead, they “sadly undermine and exploit the inherent dignity of the human person – in both moms and developing babies,”  Monahan said.

She called Buffett’s giving and research on drugs such as RU-486 “alarming.” When in times of distress women need real health care, love and support, not abortion,” she urged.

“The destruction of human life is not a solution for combating poverty or disease or aiding certain parts of the world lacking basic resources,” she continued. “Abortion is never a solution; it creates more problems. Real solutions help those in need, they do not end human life or exploit the dignity of the human person.”

Methodology

All information on the Warren Buffett’s charitable donations were gathered through the 990 tax returns for the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, which he heads. The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation went by the name The Buffett Foundation until 2004. The name change occurred after the death of Warren Buffett’s wife, Susan Thompson Buffett. These tax forms are available to the public, no special permission was required to view them.

According to these tax returns, Buffett gave $1,230,585,161 between 2001 and 2012. He gave an additional 21,042,004 to these groups between 1989 and 1996, adding up to a grand total of $1,251,627,165. The Culture and Media Institute could not get copies of the tax returns 1997 and 2000 for Buffett’s foundation.

The network tally was determined by searching for “Buffett” in transcripts from ABC, CBS and NBC on Nexis and analyzing the result..

The following is a list of pro-abortion groups that have received funding from the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. This list does not include any groups that provide contraceptives, but not abortion, or groups that encourage natural family planning methods. The only groups included on this list, and in the final tally, were groups which either provided abortions themselves or advocated for abortion or access to abortion.

  • Abortion Access Project
  • Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Central Iowa Family Planning
  • Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights
  • NARAL
  • National Abortion Federation
  • National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association
  • Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Religious Coalition for Reproductive Health
  • Society of Family Planning
  • Catholics for a Free Choice
  • Grupo de Informacion en Reproduccion Elegida
  • Ibis Reproductive Health
  • Medical Students for Choice
  • Ms. Foundation for Women
  • National Institute for Reproductive Health
  • Abortion Access Project
  • Gynuity Health Projects
  • Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights
  • Family Health International
  • National Partnership for Women and Families
  • Feminist Majority Foundation
  • Guttmacher Institute
  • Advocates for Youth
  • DKT International
  • Irish Family Planning Association
  • Marie Stopes International
  • National Women’s Law Center
  • Pathfinder International
  • Population Council
  • Population Services International
  • Engender Health
  • Venture Strategies for Health and Development
  • Willow Foundation
Reprinted with permission from NewsBusters

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Lisa Bourne

Planned Parenthood claims database, website hacked by anti-abortion ‘extremists’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - Planned Parenthood Federation of America says that its website had been hacked on Sunday by a group of “extremists” opposed to its agenda, who it said had enlisted some of the world’s foremost hackers for the job.

The hackers were able to penetrate into Planned Parenthood website databases, and have released names and email addresses of employees of the abortion provider. The hackers have reportedly said they have plans to decrypt and release internal Planned Parenthood emails soon as well.

“Today Planned Parenthood has notified the Department of Justice and separately the FBI that extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission and services have launched an attack on our information systems and have called on the world’s most sophisticated hackers to assist them in breaching our systems and threatening the privacy and safety of our staff members,” a Monday statement from Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said.

Laguens called the alleged hack a “new low” in a report from Politico, and said Planned Parenthood was working with “top leaders in this field to manage these attacks.”

“Planned Parenthood is the most trusted women’s health care provider in this country, and anti-abortion extremists are willing to do anything to stop women from accessing the reproductive health care they are seeking,” Laguens said. “Extremists have broken laws, harassed our doctors and patients, produced hack videos, and now are claiming to have committed a gross invasion of privacy — one that, if true, could potentially put our staff members at risk.”

On a public website that included the login credentials of numerous Planned Parenthood employees, the hackers wrote that they are seeking, "to reclaim some sort of lulz for the years and thousands of dollars that Planned Parenthood have wasted and made harvesting your babies."

Planned Parenthood has landed under an intense spotlight since undercover videos surfaced recently showing top officials from the nation’s largest abortion provider discussing the sale of body parts harvest from babies aborted at their facilities. Those behind the undercover videos say that selling the body parts for profit is a violation of federal law.

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In the first round of videos, high-level Planned Parenthood employees bartered for fetal remains and joked about being able to afford a luxury sports car from the proceeds of the transaction.

The latest video released today has a Planned Parenthood vice president selling the body parts of aborted children.

“I think a per-item thing works a little better,” the abortion doctor said of the deceased child in the video, while discussing pricing, “just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”

The controversy has also resulted in increased calls to defund the abortion chain, which receives millions of dollars in federal subsidies each year.

Planned Parenthood has tried to downplay the content of the videos and criticized the group behind them.

News of Planned Parenthood’s cyber breach was first reported by the internet news site The Daily Dot, which quoted the hackers saying the attack was politically motivated.

“We've noticed quite a lot of attention has been diverted to a supposedly malicious organization known as Planned Parenthood,” the hackers reportedly said. “The actions of this 'federation' are not seen as right in the eyes of the public. So here we are, the social justice warriors, seeking to reclaim some sort of lulz for the years and thousands of dollars that Planned Parenthood have wasted and made harvesting your babies.”

Planned Parenthood Chief Information Officer Tom Subak told the Daily Dot just after the attack was discovered that the abortion provider was not aware of the breach beforehand, but that Planned Parenthood had good cyber security.

“We think we have really good security, especially on flagging suspicious behavior,” Subak said. “We have not [received any flags].”

The hackers had reportedly attempted to deface Planned Parenthood’s website or redirect it to their Twitter account, but said they could not because, according to the report, the website “backend is so terribly configured.”

The hackers included an SQL injection command, likely the specific technique used to attack the Planned Parenthood site, at the bottom of the hack’s post, saying, “I didn’t think people were this dumb.” 

Cyber security professionals told LifeSiteNews the attack is likely legitimate, but that it was not as sophisticated as Planned Parenthood claims, given the outdated version of the abortion behemoth’s webserver.

“Prevention is super easy in the realm of computer security,” said Dan Schaupner, a certified security professional and Chief Technology Officer for a Virginia cybersecurity consulting firm.

Based on the claims of the alleged attackers, Schaupner told LifeSiteNews, it appears that they compromised Planned Parenthood’s website, logged into administrator accounts, and obtained user accounts associated with Planned Parenthood, all possible by exploiting weaknesses associated with the outdated webserver.

Planned Parenthood’s management will probably suffer scrutiny from their board members and major funders, he said, and they risk experiencing extensive legal and cleanup costs resulting from the possibility of compromised client information.

Cyber security professional David Flynn checked some of the published employee emails and told LifeSiteNews they appear to be legitimate, but, he said, “interestingly not including the email for Chief Information Officer Tom Subak, who has reported to the news services that he hasn’t observed any intrusion signatures.”

Schaupner said it is likely that a “hacktivist” conducted the attack, quite possibly the ones that made the claim, and that this seems reasonable considering Planned Parenthood’s high profile.

“An alternate possibility is a politically motivated or unhappy insider,” he said, such as a Planned Parenthood employee or contractor.

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Many supporters of same-sex marriage are still wary of surrogacy. It’s one thing to allow for these couples to marry. It’s another thing to create a market for children. Shutterstock
Christopher White

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The dark relationship between gay ‘marriage’ and surrogacy: even gay activists are worried

Christopher White
By Christopher White

July 28, 2015 (ThePublicDiscourse) -- Just days before Irish citizens voted in favor of same-sex marriage in May, a headline in the Independent warned: “surrogacy fears could sink ‘Yes’ campaign.” During the final weeks leading up to the referendum, government leaders and advocates of the “yes” vote to redefine marriage tried to distance themselves from the issue of surrogacy for fear that the two issues might be conflated. Such behavior offers a telling though little discussed insight that’s particularly applicable for our own nation, especially now that the Supreme Court has ruled that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage: A growing number of LGBT activists actively oppose surrogacy, even though gay men are the primary users of the practice.

Surrogacy is not legal in Ireland, though some commentators believe that the acceptance of same-sex marriage will lead to its inevitable acceptance. In an interview leading up to the vote in Ireland, Justice Kevin Cross, the head of the Referendum Commission, sought to calm fears that the referendum would lead to surrogacy, promising that there is no automatic right to have children in Ireland, and therefore no automatic right to surrogacy. But some are skeptical.

A Constitutional Right to Procreate?

The confusion can be traced back to a 1991 case, Murray v. Ireland, in which the high court effectively held that there is a constitutional right to procreate. While many on both sides of the referendum argued that this decision was referring to natural procreation, the decision has already been used to promote donor conception. It’s understandable, then, that many were fearful that a “yes” vote would open the floodgates to a practice that many Irish voters do not support. Mothers and Fathers Matter—the leading civic group opposing the same-sex marriage referendum—launched a campaign that papered the country with ads and posters of a young, concerned toddler with the following slogan: “Surrogacy?: She Needs Her Mother For Life, Not Just For Nine Months. Vote No.”

In response, columnist Carol Coulter took to the pages of The Irish Times to declare that “surrogacy has nothing to do with same-sex marriage.” A supporter of the referendum, Coulter rejected the notion that its passage would allow for surrogacy. She went on to sympathize with those who oppose surrogacy. “There are good reasons for their concern about the use of surrogacy in family formation, particularly in relation to the possible exploitation of the surrogate mothers and inattention to the rights of children to their identity,” she acknowledged.

Earlier this year, gay fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana made international headlines when they spoke out strongly against surrogacy and third-party reproduction. In a now notorious interview, they remarked: “The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offspring and rented uterus. Life has a natural flow; there are things that cannot be changed.” While their comments were met with fierce opposition by some members of the LGBT community, they are nonetheless joined by a growing coalition of gay men and women who oppose surrogacy.

Anti-Surrogacy Voices in the International LGBT Community

Two prominent organizations in France—La Lune, L’Association Strasbourgeoise de Femmes Homosexuelles, a group of lesbian women, and Les Hommen, a group of gay men—have been vocal opponents of surrogacy. In the United Kingdom, transgender political activist Tara Hewitt and noted commentator and lesbian feminist Julie Bindel, hardly allies on other issues, have offered some of the most vociferous critiques of surrogacy.

In a recent column, Bindel argued:

The accelerating boom in surrogacy for gay couples is no victory for freedom or emancipation. On the contrary, it represents a disturbing slide into the brutal exploitation of women who usually come from the developing world and are often bullied or pimped into selling their wombs to satisfy the selfish whims of wealthy gay or lesbian westerners. This cruelty is accompanied by epic hypocrisy. People from Europe and the USA who would shudder at the idea of involvement in human or sex trafficking have ended up indulging in a grotesque form of ‘reproductive trafficking’.

Here in the United States, people such as Robert Oscar Lopez, a bisexual man and the son of a lesbian, have decried the practice of surrogacy for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. According to Lopez, “regardless of whether the mother consents to losing her child, the child cannot consent.” He has harshly criticized gay men who demean women, using them only for their reproductive capacities.

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Despite this growing disapproval of surrogacy among the international LGBT community, proponents of surrogacy know there is a ripe market in the gay community and much money to be made. Major international surrogacy brokers, such as Circle Surrogacy and ConceiveAbilities, have specific marketing programs targeted at gay men. Similarly, conferences such as “Families Through Surrogacy” aim to capitalize on this demographic.

The Next Frontier: “Family Equality”?

Hours after the Obergefell decision was handed down, University of California Irvine law professor Douglas NeJaime took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to lament that “marriage equality doesn’t immediately or necessarily erase cultural and legal attachments to biological, dual-gender parenting.” In other words, those of us concerned about assisted reproductive technologies and their very real harms to both women and children need to simply rid ourselves of such quaint “attachments.” As skeptics in Ireland feared and the naïve in the United States are now realizing, “marriage equality” inevitably leads to the push for “family equality”—almost always by artifice.

NeJaime goes on:

even though marriage equality doesn’t immediately erase all attachments related to biological, dual-gender child rearing, it points us in the right direction . . . the majority [of the Supreme Court] affirmed a model of parenthood based on chosen, functional bonds rather than biology alone.

In other words, the movement for “family equality” will forever diminish the significance of our biological ties. The state must now act in a way that both accepts and promotes a non-biological vision of parenthood and family. Thus, the market for eggs, sperm, and wombs must be expanded.

Many states will soon be under pressure to follow the example of California and Maryland, where the state legislatures have passed laws that would that mandate insurers provide “infertility” treatments to same-sex couples. In 2013, when California enacted its legislation, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano boasted: “Reproductive medicine is for everybody’s benefit. To restrict fertility coverage solely to heterosexual married couples violates California’s non-discrimination laws. I wrote this bill to correct that.” In a recent article in JAMA Internal Medicine, Brown University physician Eli Y. Adashi praised the Maryland bill and encouraged other states enact similar legislation. According to Adashi, “Building a family is a universal human principle shared by single individuals and unmarried opposite-sex couples, as well as gay and lesbian couples.”

As for the children who will be created from these arrangements—the children who long to know and be known by their biological parents—their needs must be sacrificed for the desires of same-sex couples who long to be parents. To confer dignity upon these adults, they demand, the law must privilege those aspirations. The sober and honest-minded reasoning of Irish supporters of same-sex marriage who recognized this threat, along with courageous voices like Lopez, Bindel, Dolce, and Gabbana, serve as a much needed and powerful witness of what the world of “family equality” will ultimately yield—but their warnings cries are increasingly being silenced by powerful forces with great wealth in their arsenal.

While many consider the contest over same-sex marriage in the United States to have been settled by the Supreme Court, the debate over surrogacy is just beginning. If the events in Ireland offer one lesson, it’s this: Many supporters of same-sex marriage are still wary of surrogacy. It’s one thing to allow for these couples to marry. It’s another thing to create a market for children. LGBT activists who oppose surrogacy serve to remind us that this community does not speak with one voice on this matter. Lawmakers and citizens alike in the United States would be wise to remember this, as well.

Christopher White is the Director of Research and Education at the Center for Bioethics and Culture and an original signer of Stop Surrogacy Now, an ethnically, religiously, and culturally diverse coalition opposed to the exploitation of women and the human trafficking of children through surrogacy.

Reprinted with permission from The Witherspoon Institute.

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BREAKING: Shock Planned Parenthood video catches affiliate vice president selling aborted baby parts

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By Ben Johnson

Urgent: Sign the petition demanding that Congress investigate and defund Planned Parenthood here

LOS ANGELES, July 28 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Allegations that Planned Parenthood harvests and sells aborted babies' organs and tissue for a profit have been bolstered with the release of a third undercover video released this morning, showing another of the organization's top leaders appearing to admit to an illegal profit motive.

The latest exposé also features the heartrending testimony of a former clinician who picked through mounds of aborted fetal tissue to find the parts fit for sale, as well as graphic footage of an investigator sorting through an aborted baby's kidneys and brain tissue, examining to see if they meet his standards for purchase.

In the third installment, the Center for Medical Progress covertly videotaped a conversation with Vice President and Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) Dr. Savita Ginde. PPRM, which is based in Denver, oversees abortion facilities in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

As an undercover filmmaker, who posed as a buyer from a human biologics firm, discusses pricing, the doctor seems to say she is interested in maximizing the abortion facility's revenue by being paid for each individual body part.

“I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it,” Dr. Ginde says of the aborted baby.

After the investigator sifts through and identifies several fetal parts, which he says would net Planned Parenthood $200 to $300 compensation, a medical assistant jokes, “Five stars.”

That posture was familiar to Holly O'Donnell, a phlebotomist and former procurement specialist at StemExpress LLC, the company whose promotional materials promise Planned Parenthood “a financial benefit to your clinic” for selling fetal tissue.

In a jarring interview, O'Donnell remembers learning that was part of her work routine.

“I thought I was going to be just drawing blood, not procuring tissue from aborted fetuses,” O'Donnell said.

But on her first day on the job in 2012, she remembers someone emptying a bottle of blood into a strainer, then placing its contents onto a plate.

Her trainer began pulling aborted babies' body parts out of the mass of tissue. "She said, 'OK, this is a head. This is an arm. This is a leg,'" O'Donnell remembers.

Then the trainer asked her if she could identify the body parts.

"I took the tweezers. I put them in the dish. I remember grabbing the leg...and the moment I picked it up I just feel like deaths and pain...shoot up through my body,” O'Donnell says. “I blacked out, basically."

She says she had to be revived with smelling salts.

Another worker tried to reassure her, saying, "Don't worry. It still happens to a bunch of us. Some of us don't ever get over it"

"I remember leaving that day [thinking] like, what have I gotten myself into?" O'Donnell admits.

In time, she found that the business owners “weren't looking for any compassionate individual at all. They were just looking for someone who could get as much money, as many samples" as possible. "They wanted someone who could get the numbers up."

She said the main nurse from Planned Parenthood was always concerned that StemExpress procure the specimens they sought – not because of concern of medical research, but because the facilities were compensated for it.

“For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage,” she says. “The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens. No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.”

"If you can somehow procure a brain or a heart, you're going to get more money," she adds.

"It's a pretty sick company."

The 11-minute-long video – entitled “Human Capital, Episode1” – and the fact that the video ends by showing Dr. Deborach Nucatola (from the first video) saying, “I think this is definitely to be continued,” imply that additional undercover footage along the same lines is forthcoming.

David Daleiden told LifeSiteNews that the release of new investigative material, gathered over the course of 30 months, could stretch out over weeks or months. 

The first video showed Dr. Deborach Nucatola, who oversees medical practices for all national Planned Parenthood offices, discussing organ harvesting while eating a salad and drinking red wine during a business luncheon. She appears to discuss performing partial birth abortions, which have been illegal since 2003.

The second, released last Tuesday, shows the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s for-profit Medical Directors’ Council, Dr. Mary Gatter, seeming to haggle over the price of fetal tissue and joking that, in exchange for selling fetal body parts, "I want a Lamborghini." 

“Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts is an offensive and horrifying reality that is widespread enough for many people to be available to give first-person testimony about it,” said David Daleiden, the lead investigator. “CMP’s investigative journalism work will continue to surface more compelling eyewitness accounts and primary source evidence of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking and selling baby parts for profit. There should be  an immediate moratorium on Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding while Congress and the states determine the full extent of the organization’s lawbreaking.”

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards has apologized for the "tone" of the first video but denies any laws have been broken.

It is a federal felony to sell human organs or tissue for "valuable consideration," or to make a profit from such a sale. Richards says the facilities merely break even, and Planned Parenthood has said its work in human organ sales is a "humanitarian undertaking."

“There is no doubt, based on evidence in this video, that Planned Parenthood financially profits from the illegal sale of aborted baby body parts,” said Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, who also serves on the board of the Center for Medical Progress and advised Daleiden during the investigation. "When Planned Parenthood’s head, Cecile Richards, denies this, she is brazenly attempting to deceive the American people. We need to immediately defund Planned Parenthood and hold them criminally accountable for their horrific conduct that clearly runs afoul of the law and violates every sense of human decency.”

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