By Doug Porter
Today’s the day. Three months into the latest effort by the self-righteous right to make women’s health into a wedge issue, supporters of Planned Parenthood are standing up for their cause.
There are 4 “Pink Out Day” events in San Diego County and 249 actions around the country planned for September 29th. Coincidentally (okay, maybe not), this is also the same day Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards will face off against the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Back in July, an organization called the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a series of videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood doctors selling parts from aborted fetuses to researchers for profit, which would have been illegal. The videos were selectively edited. The people behind the CMP have a long history of harassing medical personnel and women visiting clinics.
This campaign against Planned Parenthood and abortion providers is a desperate attempt by social conservatives to remain relevant. They’ve lost the battle against same sex marriage, which had been the focus of their efforts for the past decade. So now every two-bit right-wing huckster in politics is latching on to these gotcha videos hoping to gain credibility with family values voters.
Multiple state agencies have already investigated Planned Parenthood and found nothing. But this a cause where facts really aren’t as important as impressions, so reactionary mouthpieces continue to beat the drum as if something awful is going on here.
Lying Liar Lies Some More….
GOP Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has staked out a position as the most hardcore proponent of this pack of lies. Confronted by Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press about her assertions about seeing a particularly grotesque video that nobody else can seem to find, she stood her ground.
Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, do you think this is not happening? Does Hillary Clinton think this is not happening? So sad that you miss the opportunity to ask Mrs. Clinton why she said late-term abortions were only performed for medical purposes. That is patently false. This is happening in America today, and taxpayers are paying for it. That is a fact. It is a reality, and no one can run away from it.
Of course if all these righteous righties really wanted to prevent abortions, they’d support increased access to long-term birth control, which really does work. In fact, these same folks fought to cut off funding for a four-year program in Colorado where births to teen mothers dropped by 40% and abortions dropped 35%.
From USA Today:
Colorado Family Action, which opposed state funding for the program, said using taxpayer dollars would have inappropriately inserted the government between children and their parents.
What this anti-Planned Parenthood effort is really about is birth control and women as full members of society.
The Congressional Inquisitors
Here’s an early snip from CBS News coverage of the House hearings:
In Planned Parenthood’s first congressional appearance since being embarrassed by surreptitiously recorded videos, the organization’s president said she is “proud” of its provision of fetal tissue for research, but also sought to minimize the organ donations as a small part of its work.
Trying to take the offensive, Cecile Richards also criticized the Republicans who control Congress for not investigating David Daleiden and the other anti-abortion activists who made the recordings. Daleiden obtained them after posing as an executive of a phony firm that buys fetal tissue for scientists.
“It is clear that they acted fraudulently and unethically – and perhaps illegally,” Richards said in remarks prepared for her appearance Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “Yet it is Planned Parenthood, not Mr. Daleiden, that is currently subject to four separate congressional investigations.”
The Truth of the Matter
Here’s an excerpt from an essay by Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, writing in the Huffington Post with five points everybody should know:
- Planned Parenthood is fully focused on providing health care and sex education — and we’re on the move.
Every year, 2.7 million people come through the doors of our health centers, a million people participate in our sex education programs, and 60 million people get health information and other resources from us online. Today, we’re finding new ways to reach even more people. This morning, Planned Parenthood is opening a new health center in Milwaukie, Oregon. This afternoon, we’re putting up the walls in a new health center we’re building in New Orleans. Today, transgender patients are getting services at our health center in Denver, which just began offering them. And this morning, we announced a new partnership with Junto Health, a leader in health care technology and innovation that we’ll work with to find more ways to reach patients quickly and conveniently.
- The claims being made against Planned Parenthood aren’t new — and they’re totally false.
Every couple of years, anti-abortion extremists launch a new smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, all following the same pattern: Make outrageous claims, heavily edit undercover videos to support them, whip up media attention, and get right-wing politicians to push for investigations. Every time, the claims fall apart upon closer inspection. This latest smear campaign claims — falsely — that Planned Parenthood is selling fetal tissue. The exact same claim was made in 2000, also involving heavily edited undercover videos, sensational media coverage, and congressional hearings. It was all a lie, as the main witness admitted. This time, even the heavily edited videos do not show Planned Parenthood engaged in any wrongdoing, and three teams of forensic experts concluded that videos significantly distort and misrepresent actual events.
- This is really part of an extreme political agenda to ban abortion and deny patients the ability to go to Planned Parenthood.
This isn’t about fetal tissue. To be clear, fetal tissue research can lead to important medical breakthroughs (it helped lead to the polio vaccine), but Planned Parenthood affiliates in just two states provide this opportunity for their patients. What this is really about is banning abortion and denying women and families the right to go to Planned Parenthood — as the activists and politicians behind this smear campaign have said themselves.
The most popular political entity in the new NBC/WSJ poll is ….. Planned Parenthood (like it was in July) pic.twitter.com/o6uST3Z2P6
— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) September 28, 2015
- The public overwhelmingly supports Planned Parenthood and opposes this extreme agenda.
Today, Planned Parenthood patients and supporters will deliver more than two million petition signatures to Congress, from people in all 50 states who stand with us. Every national and state poll that’s been conducted shows that most people support Planned Parenthood, want abortion to remain safe and legal, and want Planned Parenthood to continue to be reimbursed by the government for providing preventive health care services to low-income patients just like other health care providers in this country who serve these patients.
- This fight is about women, men, and young people across this country whose access to health care is at stake.
This isn’t an assault on Planned Parenthood. It’s an assault on every woman whose cancer has been detected early because our nurses were able to see her the same day she found a lump. It’s an assault on every man who didn’t just get HIV test results, but also got a 30-minute counseling session and connections to follow-up care and support. And it’s an assault on every woman who decided to end a pregnancy for reasons that are hers and hers alone, and was able to get safe, compassionate abortion services without facing shame or judgment. That’s what at stake in this assault on women’s health.
San Diego #PinkOutDay Events
(All on Tuesday, September 29th)
“Pink Out Day” Rally
11am – San Diego State University – Centennial Walkway
Pink Out Day San Diego (Visibility Event)
3 pm – Southwest Corner of Balboa Park. Attendees are encouraged to wear pink, bring #StandWithPP signs, and line up along the east side of 6th Ave., from Hawthorn to Elm Streets; and then along Elm Street, over the bridge into Balboa Park.
SD Supports Planned Parenthood Rally
5pm – San Diego Superior Court Central Courthouse
Pink Out Day Event North County
5pm – San Marcos (San Elijo Rd & Elfin Forest Rd)
On This Day: 1951 – The first network football game was televised by CBS-TV in color. The game was between the University of California and the University of Pennsylvania 1962 – President John F. Kennedy nationalized the Mississippi National guard in response to city officials defying federal court orders. The orders had been to enroll James Meredith at the University of Mississippi. 1977 – James Brown’s band walked out on him Hallandale, FL. They were complaining about being underpaid and overworked.
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