WASHINGTON — Pro-life "products of conception" protested Planned Parenthood in at least 65 cities across the United States Tuesday, calling for the government to immediately defund the nation's largest abortion provider in light of the emergence of three, so far, undercover videos showing high-level Planned Parenthood officials discussing compensation for aborted baby organs.
As a third sting video by the Center for Medical Progress was released Tuesday that allegedly shows a technician who worked for a partner of Planned Parenthood explaining how the companies were compensated more for later-developing organs like hearts, lungs and livers, three Republican presidential candidates chastised the organization for its "callous" disregard of human life at the #WomenBetrayed rally just outside the U.S. Capitol.
The organs, critics say, are not from babies, but from "products of conception." The organs, however, are valued by researchers because they are human organs. Planned Parenthood officials, who are themselves products of conception, maintain they have not violated any laws because they are legally allowed to seek compensation as long as they don't make a profit off of the organs they harvest.
Among the many products of conception speaking at the Washington, D.C. protest, which was organized by the Students for Life of America, were presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Cruz told the crowd that the recent videos display enough evidence to suggest that Planned Parenthood officials have violated federal law and that the Department of Justice should conduct a criminal investigation into the matter.
"When you have multiple individuals caught on tape apparently confessing to multiple felonies that carry with them long jail times, justice must be served," Cruz asserted.
While over $500 million in federal funds are given to Planned Parenthood each year, Paul asserted that "the time has come" to defund the abortion giant and promised that the Senate would vote on legislation to do just that by the time the congressional session ends in August.
"We now know that Planned Parenthood is using the ultrasound to manipulate the baby into position to harvest the organs," Paul said. "This callous disregard expressed over wine and cheese should inflame and infuriate us all and we should stop once and for all any penny of money going to Planned Parenthood."
As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a product of conception, is reportedly planning a vote on the issue in the coming days, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla, a product of conception who introduced a bill in the Senate last week that would defund Planned Parenthood for a year, was even more optimistic about a potential Senate vote, stating that a vote could come next week.
Cruz reminded the audience McConnell blocked such a vote from happening this past weekend when Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, tried to attach the defunding of Planned Parenthood in a rider to must-pass highway legislation.
"Let me be clear what we should demand. We should not demand an empty show vote, which is one of the things leadership likes, to tee up a vote that is designed to fail to then pat people on the head to say that you should be happy you got a vote," Cruz said.
Carson argued that the recent videos are another sign that the American society is becoming a more "pro-death" and "evil" society. But with the emergence of the videos, Carson said that the opportunity has arisen for moral individuals to recreate a pro-life culture.
"I think that we have just gradually slid in terms of our morals to a point where we don't really care about the killing of human beings," Carson said. "That is the bad news and the good news is I think we are changing. I think things like this are a starting to change us a lot. There are actually more people in America now that identify themselves as pro-life than there are pro-death. We are capable of changing."
"It is this callousness that has led to people having this hatred of anybody who disagrees with them wanting to destroy them, destroy their life, wanting to destroy their career," Carson continued. "This is all hand-in-hand and it is blatant evil that is going on in our society and it is necessary for people of faith and people who have morals that made this into a great nation to stand up and be counted now and forever."
Although Cruz and many other Congress members have called on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to authorize the Department of Justice to conduct a full investigation into Planned Parenthood's organ compensation practices, Cruz implied that such an investigation wouldn't happen because of the partisanship of Obama's Justice Department.
"The Department of Justice has had a long tradition over the centuries of fairly and impartially applying criminal law, enforcing criminal law, regardless of partisan allegiance," Cruz said. "How sad is it that almost no media observer thinks there is any chance that the U.S. Department of Justice would actually investigate whether Planned Parenthood senior officials have violated federal criminal laws?"
"Today, the Obama Justice Department is operating as little more than a partisan arm of the Democratic National Committee," Cruz added.
Alison Howard, the Director of Alliance Relations at the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom and also a product of conception, used the videos to "connect the dots" on why Planned Parenthood has opposed legislation that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
She contended that Planned Parenthood has a financial interest in the harvesting of organs that don't fully develop until late in the pregnancy because they draw more money.
"Let me point something out to you. When Planned Parenthood was on the first video and said that they wanted lungs, how many of your remember that she said that they wanted lungs? They want lungs," Howard explained. "Lungs are one of the last things to develop in a baby. Now you understand why Planned Parenthood has a vested interest in late, late-term abortion. They have a vested interest in working against the Pain-Capable bill that would restrict abortions after 20 weeks because they wouldn't be getting the specimens that they want."