Another week, another attack on Planned Parenthood. It’s getting old.
Planned Parenthood provides basic medical services–reproductive health services–to women who cannot otherwise afford those services. We’re talking breast cancer screenings, pap smears and yes, contraception. Abortion amounts to 3% of the organization’s services.
Periodically, groups opposed to abortion, contraception and (most of all) women’s moral autonomy, try to “set up” the organization. The AP reported about the most recent effort, which has drawn predictable outrage from the predictable suspects:
In last week’s video, Nucatola discusses how the group sometimes provides tissue from aborted fetuses for medical research…A nine-minute excerpt the center posted online shows Nucatola saying her organization charges $30 to $100 for such procedures. But in the full version lasting more than two hours, she repeatedly says those prices only cover the procedures’ costs, are not for profit and are only performed with the patient’s consent.
One of the most complete accounts of what seems to be a sustained, expensive and relatively sophisticated effort to invent misdeeds by Planned Parenthood was offered by the Daily Beast, and is worth quoting at length:
The videos appear to be part of a lengthy and expensive project that Daleiden, who is 26 and a relatively fresh face in the pro-life movement, could not have funded on his own.
Indeed, since the release of the first video, new details have emerged about the other individuals associated with the CMP’s undercover investigation—associations that go beyond Daleiden’s history with the anti-abortion group Live Action, which has also produced heavily edited sting videos in Planned Parenthood facilities.
A 2013 registration form obtained by The Nation last week revealed the names of Daleiden’s fellow board members at the CMP: Albin Rhomberg and Troy Newman.
Rhomberg has a long and strident history of anti-abortion activism—one California Planned Parenthood worker says that he once followed her “for an entire city block, barely 3 feet away, filming and shouting at me about my evil work with Planned Parenthood”—but it is Newman’s association with the CMP that has raised the most eyebrows.
Newman is the president of Operation Rescue, a pro-life organization that became the center of national media attention when George Tiller, a Kansas physician who provided late-term abortions, was assassinated by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder in 2009 during worship services at Tiller’s church….
Further connections between Operation Rescue and the CMP investigation have emerged in conjunction with this latest video. In Operation Rescue’s announcement of the second video, the logo for the CMP’s Human Capital Project includes the phrase “In consultation with Operation Rescue.”
Let’s stipulate that people who kill abortion doctors are not “pro life.”
Let’s also stipulate that people who edit footage to make it appear that their targets have said things they never said and done things they haven’t done–fanatics whose sole mission is to destroy an organization that saves women’s lives– is not “pro life.”
And while we’re at it, let’s also concede that fetal tissue, when freely donated to medical research by fully informed patients, has long provided the promise of developing treatments for some of the cruelest diseases that afflict human beings–and that providing such donations in a manner consistent with law and medical ethics is “pro life.”
Facts, of course, are irrelevant to politicians willing to seize on any ammunition–no matter how dishonest or contrived. As the New York Times editorialized,
A hidden-camera video released last week purported to show that Planned Parenthood illegally sells tissue from aborted fetuses. It shows nothing of the sort. But it is the latest in a series of unrelenting attacks on Planned Parenthood, which offers health care services to millions of people every year. The politicians howling to defund Planned Parenthood care nothing about the truth here, being perfectly willing to undermine women’s reproductive rights any way they can.