August 4, 2015 // Local

Cardinal says Planned Parenthood videos illustrate ‘throwaway culture’

Claire Fyrqvist, shown at left, communications manager at St. Joseph County Right to Life, was the first speaker at the Women Betrayed rally in South Bend, which was one of 65 across the nation on July 28. Msgr. Michael Heintz, right, rector of St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend, gave the opening prayer calling to mind all women and men in crisis pregnancy, leaders with the power to end the violence and deceit, and those working to support women’s health and pregnancies in positive, life affirming ways such as the Women’s Care Center.

Rallies in diocese advocate defunding Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said that Planned Parenthood officials’ videotaped descriptions of how fetal tissue and organs are procured for researchers during abortions illustrates what Pope Francis calls today’s “throwaway culture.”

The officials also discuss what the organization charges for the body parts, which opponents of Planned Parenthood said violates federal law and the organization said are customary handling fees paid by research labs.

Cardinal O’Malley, in a July 29 statement, said Pope Francis calls abortion “the product of a ‘widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many.’”

He made the comments as chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a radio interview that he was “appalled” by the videos but even more “appalled at the reality of abortion, the taking of the life itself.”

The prelates were referring to videos filmed undercover earlier this year and released in mid-July by a nonprofit California-based organization called the Center for Medical Progress.

Based on those videos, pro-life advocates gathered in South Bend and Fort Wayne as part of the 65 Women Betrayed rallies across the nation. Nearly 200 gathered outside of Sen. Joe Donnelly’s office in South Bend on Tuesday, July 28.

Jeanette Burdell, St. Joseph County Right to Life executive director, called the rally “a historic moment in the pro-life movement,” which was surging towards defunding the largest abortion provider in the world, Planned Parenthood.

Indiana has already defunded Planned Parenthood, and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has called for an investigation.

Participants at the South Bend rally asked Sen. Joe Donnelly, a pro-life Democrat, to vote in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood. He sent a statement following the rally, which said that he supported an investigation of Planned Parenthood. The Indiana Right to Life is urging Donnelly to protect the sanctity of life by voting to defund Planned Parenthood, as the senator did in 2011.

Msgr. Michael Heintz, rector of St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend, gave the opening prayer. Speaker Carter Sneed, the director of the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame, cut to the heart of the Planned Parenthood’s situation by quoting the mother superior of the Sisters of Life: “When you’re in the business of killing, lying is easy.”

Father Glenn Kohrman, pastor of Holy Family Parish, South Bend, concluded the rally with a prayer calling for God’s blessing the holy innocents and on all those working to end the atrocities of abortion in the nation and the world.

In Fort Wayne, approximately 500 advocates gathered at the Allen County Courthouse.

In two videos, top Planned Parenthood physicians describe how abortions are carried out to best salvage fetal tissue and organs for researchers and described a range of prices paid for different body parts.

A third video was an interview with a technician talking about a company she works for harvesting and included graphic footage. As a fourth video was about to be released, until Los Angeles Superior Court July 28 issued an order blocking its release.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement said that “allegations that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true.” She later apologized for “the tone” the physicians used in describing abortion procedures and also argued the videos had been heavily edited to distort the truth.

The Center for Medical Progress has posted the first three videos on its website,

“The recent news stories concerning Planned Parenthood direct our attention to two larger issues involving many institutions in our society,” said Cardinal O’Malley. “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 though abortion.”

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

He also urged any woman for whom the Planned Parenthood news coverage has caused them to “experience revived trauma from their own involvement in abortion” to seek help from the Catholic Church’s post-abortion healing ministry, Project Rachel,

“Be assured that any and all persons will be welcomed with compassion and assistance” by the ministry, Cardinal O’Malley said.

Fyrqvist challenged the acceptance of children as commodities and property of another.

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