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The headlines and the talk-TV shows of late have been filled with reports and outtakes pertaining to a couple of clandestine videos. The audio-visuals show Planned Parenthood representatives negotiating the prices for selling fetal body parts harvested from the abortions that Planned Parenthood fosters.

Selling pre-birth body parts? I don’t care what “benefits” such organs might provide; what kind of feckless thinking went into that initiative?

The opposition to this practice is not some right-wing cabal. It’s not a burning issue being pushed by old-fashioned conservatives. It’s not a protest being shoved down everybody’s throat by militant, right-wing extremists.

It is a very real human tragedy that only the likes of Adolf Hitler and Genghis Khan would endorse.

Add this essay to the growing chorus of those calling for the federal government to stop all budget allocations to Planned Parenthood for engaging in such a diabolical, barbaric, cold-blooded, bestial, ruthless, heartless and cruel act.

In one of the videos, a price of $75 per “item” is discussed. How can anybody put a price on all or part of a priceless, developing human being whose in-uterine life was extinguished? Making money on aborted fetal body parts is as despicable as slave trading. Note that international slave trading was outlawed in the United States more than 200 years ago — in 1807. My goodness … how far we have not come.

Planned Parenthood also maintains that its representatives have done nothing illegal by engaging in the buying and selling of fetal body parts. That’s such a weak response to being caught with their knickers down. Legal or not, the practice is a violation of religious law, a breach of human ethical standards, and it embodies some downright flesh-and-blood creepiness.

The 700-plus service centers of Planned Parenthood offer contraceptives, cancer screenings, pregnancy testing, pregnancy-options counseling, sexuality education, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, menopause treatments, vasectomies and tubal ligations. More than 5 million “clients” take advantage of Planned Parenthood’s services annually. Of those, a good share live in poverty or are teenagers.

Planned Parenthood provides these services with an annual spending budget somewhere north of $1.3 billion. Of that, more than $500 million is allocated by Washington. If Planned Parenthood is such a wildly popular, indispensable, in-demand service provider capable of raising millions of dollars from foundations and private donors, the organization surely can survive on its own.

For the record, I am pro-choice. That is, I choose that not one penny of the taxes that I pay to the federal government go to underwrite the operations of Planned Parenthood.

The services that this “loose cannon” of an organization provides can just as well continue without public tax revenue, subsisting on the private-sector donations the organization receives. Moreover, many of the services that Planned Parenthood provides can be rendered by the medical community, now that we have ObamaCare in place.

Washington, can you hear us?

UPDATE: On Monday, August 3, the U.S. Senate — by a 53-46 margin — blocked a vote on a bill that would have curtailed federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Federally sanctioned mutilation of fetal body parts will continue despite the moral and ethical objections of so many across the nation. Score another victory for the reckless poor and proudly uneducated among us — many of whom are hooked on drugs, who won’t even try to get a grip on their sexual appetites and who shun the responsibilities of becoming new parents, not to mention their male, control-freak counterparts. The one ray of hope is that Republican leaders in the Senate have vowed to continue the fight to defund Planned Parenthood.