Conservatives are at it again. Another ridiculously edited video offered up as proof that Planned Parenthood is selling body parts.
Conservatives expected this to catch on like it’s 2010. But this is no tea party clown show and the media has collectively sighed at the silliness, basically asking “Show us the money.” Being ignored and asked for proof has caused conservatives to go into a collective meltdown of hideous behavior not fit for print. (See Twitter.)
In a statement, Statement from Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communications, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
In health care, patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases. Women at Planned Parenthood who have abortions are no different. At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards. There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field.
A well funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services has promoted a heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research. Similar false accusations have been put forth by opponents of abortion services for decades. These groups have been widely discredited and their claims fall apart on closer examination, just as they do in this case.
The reason why this story isn’t going to catch on with the mainstream press isn’t because of “liberal bias.” The reason why the story will likely die in the right-wing media bubble is that is that it is ignoring the fact that Planned Parenthood is doing nothing illegal.
Organ donation is legal. What is not legal is selling body parts. The conservative video offers no proof that Planned Parenthood is selling body parts. At no point in the video does Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, say they sell body parts.
Here’s the quote from Nucatola at issue, though this is presented without context and is edited:
“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
This didn’t stop the Center for Medical Progress, the folks behind the video, from accusing Planned Parenthood of “illegal trafficking of aborted fetal parts.”
You know, because ugh. Evidence. You can’t come up with evidence even when you edit. All you can do is present things out of context and put a string of sound bites together that might not have been related to one another at all.
It gets worse. Newsweek busted the center behind the video for using a name they are not affiliated with:
Though Daleiden’s organization shares a name with the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress, a spokeswoman for the institute told Newsweek the two group’s are “totally separate organizations” who have “never been affiliated.” This is all to say, the video was not made by a purely scientific center, despite the organization’s name, nor in a purely objective manner.
Daleiden, who has written anti-abortion posts for The Weekly Standard and obviously has an agenda, tried to back track into claiming that Planned Parenthood doesn’t get consent, which isn’t the same thing as proof that they are selling body parts, and of course…
Even this watered down accusation was put forward sans proof:
Planned Parenthood makes two key admissions in their statement today: 1) aborted fetal parts are harvested at their clinics, and 2) money is exchanged in connection with this. They also tell several lies: 1) That proper consent is obtained from patients, 2) That Planned Parenthood does not make money off the body parts, and 3) that everything is legal.
Again, no. Planned Parenthood did not say they are selling body parts. They are harvesting body parts, and this is not only legal but heavily regulated. (And here we thought conservatives hated regulation — but oopsie, that’s only when a big corporation might lose money if regulated out of killing innocent Americans. Regulating anything to do with women’s bodies is their number one priority.) Sometimes money is involved in harvesting of body parts, but this is legal so long as it involves costs related to harvesting organs.
You know something really stupid is coming your way when hopeful but neglected presidential candidate and Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) jumps on the bandwagon.
So it is that Jindal vowed to investigate something that is legal and something else that no one has presented any evidence of happening, “Today’s video of a Planned Parenthood official discussing the systematic harvesting and trafficking of human body parts is shocking and gruesome.”
Yes, body part harvesting is “gruesome” I suppose, but it saves lives. And again… no one has offered any proof that Planned Parenthood is selling body parts.
Oh, proof! Wah. Life is so unfair.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.