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Most Amer­icans are unaware of the fierce battle that took place as Sandra Merritt and David Daleiden defended them­selves in mid-Sep­tember.

With a majority of this case being based upon the criminal pros­e­cution of two pro-life jour­nalists, this story is just the type of thing CNN wouln’t air on TV. The media ignored the case because they do not want to face the truth about the cruelty of abortion.

Both indi­viduals are asso­ciated with an orga­ni­zation called the Center for Medical Progress, which brought alle­ga­tions of Planned Parenthood’s illicit activ­ities to light. Merritt and Dalieden posed as prospective buyers of fetal tissue in order to expose Planned Par­enthood in its most uncom­fortable, natural, and vicious state. And expose them they did.

The daring jour­nalists cap­tured video and audio evi­dence of employees at Planned Par­enthood casually dis­cussing the sale of fetal body parts in a “shocking” tone, as spec­tators who heard the under­cover video played in court pro­ceedings described the abor­tionists’ lan­guage.

The accu­sa­tions of those pros­e­cuting the two jour­nalists have a political motive. The defense attorney pointed out that Merritt and Daleiden are the first under­cover jour­nalists to be pros­e­cuted in Cal­i­fornia history. On an even more con­tro­versial note, Daleiden has tes­tified that current pres­i­dential can­didate Sen. Kamala Harris, D‑Calif., used her political sway to order a raid on his apartment with intent to seize his camera equipment.

Most of America doesn’t under­stand exactly what is at stake in this case. Given the obvious unwill­ingness of liberal media outlets to cover the story, America is being shielded from the hor­rific reality of a policy that pro­vides for hun­dreds of thou­sands of murders a year.

Through the brave work of activists such as Deleiden and Merritt, however, we are coming closer to a reality where those who believe abortion is a women’s rights issue are forced to face the con­se­quences it has on human life.

“It’s uncon­scionable for the Health and Human Ser­vices department of a pro-life admin­is­tration to be every month basi­cally setting these abortion quotas, having a number of orders of fresh fetal body parts,” said Dalieden in January. “These are their own words in their own con­tracts, that they’re ordering and expecting to receive from abortion clinics every month for tax­payer-funded exper­i­men­tation.”

There is some­thing inher­ently jarring about seeing the members of an orga­ni­zation like Planned Par­enthood, who claim to be pro­viding a caring and con­sci­en­tious service to society, sit around and talk about fetal tissue as if it is nothing more than pieces of mer­chandise. There’s some­thing intrin­si­cally revolting about com­panies such as Ste­m­Ex­press, who take the tissue, perform tests on it in cold, sterile labs, and dispose of it care­lessly.

If this story was on every newspaper’s front page in the country, then America would be faced with the reality of what happens within the country on a daily basis, and no one would feel at peace about it.

Merritt and Daleiden’s actions were illegal, but the real question is why Planned Par­enthood finds them­selves on the opposite side of the law. If the Planned Par­enthood advo­cates are correct, and the fetus isn’t a valuable indi­vidual but merely a col­lection of cells, then why is it that selling the tissue is illegal?

And maybe a better question, why does it make us feel sick to see such things being done?

When I asked Protect Life Michigan member Trevor Pollo this very question, he said, “The fun­da­mental value of human life means human life should not be taken and used for the financial benefit of others.”

The law pro­hibits Planned Par­enthood from traf­ficking human body parts, thus defining the fetus as human. The fetus may not be a well-developed human, it may not yet be a born human, but whether it is con­ve­nient for us or not, the unde­veloped fetus is a human.

If we really believe that abortion is healthcare, and nothing more than the right of the mother to remove a pest-like growth from within her body, then we should be able to look at pic­tures of this growth used for testing, and then thrown away like garbage, without sickness in the pit of our stomachs.

If we really believe that a fetus is just a mass of cells, then the law should allow Planned Par­enthood to do whatever it wants with the fetal tissue so long as they have the mother’s per­mission.

However, the fact remains that it is illegal to sell human body parts.

Will we protect those who can’t protect them­selves, or in the words of Pollo, become indif­ferent to a group who “mur­dered for money?” It is up to us to decide who we want to become.

Quin Colhour is a freshman studying biology.