Our Nuremberg: Nazi Medical Research and Planned Parenthood

I know we’re not supposed to make comparisons between the Nazis and anyone else. Godwin’s Law and all that. I get it. But in this case, I think the comparison needs to be made because the ethical dilemma is quite similar. To the point, if we are squeamish utilizing the (possibly life-saving!) medical research accumulated by the Nazi torture of Jews, why are we any less uncomfortable utilizing the (even more dubiously life-saving) medical research accumulated from the torture (What else are you going to call having parts of your body crushed by metal pincers or being torn limb from limb?) of unborn babies?

In case you weren’t aware, the Nazis, for all their faults, were quite dedicated to science. In fact, they were so dedicated to science that they didn’t mind doing some rather nasty things in their pursuit of better, more complete, scientific data. One of those nasty things was torturing Jews and other “undesirables.” Of note, the Nazi data on the treatment of hypothermia, which data was collected by torturing people, has been referenced in modern medical journals at least 45 times since World War II. That means that, knowing the methods used to acquire the data, modern medical researchers have still used the data. Though this has raised some ethical questions, many of the doctors and scientists believe that using the data is the only way to make the Jewish lives lost count for anything.

Of interest, many supporters of Planned Parenthood have a similar argument. For instance, the typically odious Sarah Silverman tweeted:

Abortion is still legal in the great U.S of A. It would be insane not to use fetal tissue 4 science & education in such cases. #StandwithPP

I can’t move on without noting Ben Shapiro’s blistering response to Silverman’s post:

Killing Jews was legal in Nazi Germany. It would have been insane not to use their skin for lamps.

Ouch. But, let’s be honest, using Nazi medical research and supporting Planned Parenthood in its organ harvesting are quite different things. Quite, quite different. Supporting Planned Parenthood is so much worse. Because here’s the thing. Using medical research that has already been collected by a defunct organization that is no longer able to do unethical things does not necessarily perpetuate or encourage further atrocities. Supporting Planned Parenthood’s use of harvested baby organs for medical research actually encourages the continuation and expansion of Planned Parenthood’s baby harvesting program. Imagine if the Nazis still existed and German medical research companies were paying Nazis to continue their “legal” torture of Jews for the collection of “life-saving” medical research. That is more like the current situation with Planned Parenthood. It’s barbarous, unethical, and disgusting. And the likelihood is that future generations will look at us with the same disgust we reserve for those German bystanders who stood idly by while their government endorsed, funded, and defended colossal horrors.