A new media circus is in town and the topic is turned towards the post-abortion practices in our nation’s Planned Parenthood after a series of undercover videos have been released. Both Democrats and Republics have been fueled my this recent series of events.
Planned Parenthood is under fire after the Center for Medical Progress after a former Ex-Procurement Technician for StemExpress, a company that would put tissue from Planned Parenthood aborted fetuses for sale, spoke out against practices in their videos. The video footage is shocking to see doctors discussing maximizing revenue and negotiating costs. But, how accurate is the information we’re receiving?
The president of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Directors’ Council even joked saying “I want a Lamborghini” while negotiating prices for these quote-on-quote “black market baby parts.” I think we all can agree her statements were dark and twisted– there’s no debate here. Yet, the video is so highly edited that some the context may have been warped. Plus, does one bad egg’s behavior really justify an attack on an entire organization. Is this a smear video or is this a genuinely abominable scandal?
StemExpress issued this statement on July 16th: “Cells produced by the physicans, scientists, medical technicians and nurses at StemExpress are currently used in research globally aimed at finding cures and treatments for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cardiac disease, and other significant conditions. StemExpress prides itself on complying with all laws. Written donor consent is required for any donation, including bone marrow, tissue or all types of blood.”
No matter your view on it, pro-choice or anti-abortion, you can’t argue with some facts at hand. The bottom line is that although no one likes the idea of harvesting fetal body tissue, it’s perfectly legal and Planned Parenthood did nothing wrong.
Why the Center for Medical Progress videos are deceptive:
- The last video indicates that the only financial reimbursement that came from the fetuses covered the actual costs of the procedure. This is 100% legal and in fact, heavily regulated.
- It’s possible the footage in these videos were illegally obtained. Some footage may even violate patient privacy.
- The New York Times explained that companies like StemExpress serve as “middlemen” between abortion providers and researchers. They are the ones who charge extra processing fees, not planned parenthood.
- Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lamar Smith( R-TX), and Fred Upton (R-MI) all voted to legalize donations of fetal tissue in 1993. Over the past two weeks, all three men now have been attacking Planned Parenthood for that very practice.
- Experts such as Sherilyn J. Sawyer, the director of Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s biorepository told FactCheck.org, “In reality, $30-100 probably constitutes a loss for [Planned Parenthood.] The costs associated with collection, processing, storage, and inventory and records managment for spcidiments are very high.”
Hilary Clinton still openly defends the rights to provide health care for low-income women and that the video attacks are trying to take away constitutional rights to an abortion despite finding pictures in the videos disturbing.
In the wake of the video scandal, Planned Parenthood reportedly has had their website hacked by “extremist groups.” The Vice President of Planned Parenthood released this statement Wednesday evening regarding the website hacking, “This is a new low for anti-abortion extremists; 200,000 people a day count on Planned Parenthood’s website for accurate health information,” Laguens said. “Blocking people from accessing information on the full range of sexual and reproductive health — including birth control, sexually transmitted infections, healthy relationships, parenting and preventive care — only shows how far opponents of safe and legal abortion will go.”
The hacking only seems to justify the idea that anti-choice groups will go to any measure, even illegal ones, to try to shut down Planned Parenthood.
However, many republicans on the presidential campaign trail are also pushing to pull all federal funding to Planned Parenthood.
“…we should stop once and for all any penny of money going to Planned Parenthood,” Kentucky Senator and GOP presidential hopeful Rand Paul said.
The thing we have to remember here though is that none of the federal funds that Planned Parenthood receives even go to abortions anyway but instead a wide range of women’s health needs (as well as men’s.) It doesn’t seem fair to punish low-income women and men due to political controversy….what are your thoughts?