Videos offer plenty of evidence for defunding Planned Parenthood

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., during a news conference about defunding Planned Parenthood on Capitol Hill, July 29. (Zach Gibson / The New York Times)

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., during a news conference about defunding Planned Parenthood on Capitol Hill, July 29. (Zach Gibson / The New York Times)

Georgia is among the states investigating Planned Parenthood after the release of undercover videos accusing its clinics of breaking the law. Whether the probes prove Planned Parenthood is trafficking in human body parts or not, its history of trafficking in euphemism and misdirection is catching up with it.

The five (so far) videos from the anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress depict Planned Parenthood officials speaking quite frankly, with actors claiming to represent a bioscience firm, about how its doctors obtain and charge for fetal organs.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America and other critics allege the videos are heavily edited, deceptive productions. In fact, either full footage or a complete transcript is available for at least four of the videos.

Not that context makes the comments less repulsive. Dr. Deborah Nucatola, PPFA’s senior director of medical services, explains how to maximize the tissue taken: “I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m going to basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.” In another video, the head of PPFA’s Medical Directors’ Council, Dr. Mary Gatter, says “a ‘less crunchy’ technique” could yield better specimens.

When they aren’t speaking ghoulishly, they’re straddling the rhetorical line about where the specimens come from. Sometimes it’s a “fetal cadaver” or the “products of conception.” Another time, a clinician shown sorting through aborted body parts suddenly exclaims, “Another boy!”

Sounds like someone missed the “just a clump of cells” memo.

Officials also weave between lawyerly talk about not being seen as selling tissue and acknowledgments the clinics don’t really match fees to costs incurred — sometimes in the same breath. Nucatola again: “I think for (clinics), at the end of the day, they’re a non-profit, they just don’t want to — they want to break even. And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.”

A Planned Parenthood official in Houston, Melissa Farrell, is more blunt: “(M)y department contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here.” Gatter insists the actors throw out a number for compensation so she doesn’t “low-ball” them.

Even if Parenthood isn’t breaking the law, another comment makes it clear what the policy response from lawmakers should be. “Every penny they save,” by charging labs for tissue, Nucatola notes, “is just pennies they give to another patient.”

So Planned Parenthood understands money is fungible, after all. No more need, then, to pretend Congress can give hundreds of millions of tax dollars to Planned Parenthood without funding abortion. The billions of pennies saved for Planned Parenthood on some operations are billions of pennies they can direct to others, including abortion.

Let’s also dispense for good with the misleading stat that abortions represent only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services. PPFA’s own data show 1 in 8 of its patients have an abortion — and some of those patients are men.

Plenty of health (and contraceptives) providers that don’t perform abortions could use a few billion pennies themselves.

Reader Comments 0

74 comments
Caius
Caius

Why is PP getting federal money in the first place?  As I recall a bill passed the House and Senate by huge margins and signed by President Nixon around 1970.


To date both Indiana and Massachusetts have cleared PP of breaking any laws.  Will they get through the other 48?



Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Caius "Why is PP getting federal money in the first place?  As I recall a bill passed the House and Senate by huge margins and signed by President Nixon around 1970."

Yes, but along with other economic realities, Democrats continue to reject the notion that money is fungible.

straker
straker

Kyle - "it's pretty clear from the videos that's going on there"


If they are really breaking the law, why haven't any charges been filed?

Ralph-25
Ralph-25

Maybe if everyone had to pass biology to enter America we would have a population that: 1.  Knows how to avoid pregnancy, 2.  Knows that the products of conception in the first trimester are not a human being, and 3.  That America has about as many people as desired. 


For those attempting to expand the unwanted, poverty stricken, slave class - let them fork over the necessary funding.  Take a vote. 

mary strain
mary strain

@Ralph-43 You must not have gotten the memo either. "It's a twin!" "It's a boy!" "It's a baby!" At least, according to the PP workers in the dissection room. But of course, t his is a *public* forum, so, we're back to, "the products of conception" and "not a human being." And, for those attempting to sustain the unwanted, bloody-handed butcher class -- let them fork over the necessary funding, because the taxpayers are sick of having to. Take a hike!

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

If you want to kill your unborn child, do it on your own dime, please.

And try to be more responsible in the future so you don't have to kill again.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@Wena Mow Masipa How @LilBarryBailout

What facts am I missing?

That abortionists kill about a million unborn children a year?

That pro-abortionists think it's OK to deliver all but the top of a child's head and then pierce her skull and suck out her brains?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

It should also be noted that local health clinics provide superior health services to women over PP.  PP does not provide mammograms whereas the local clinics do.

The transfer of federal funds to local clinics away from PP would not deprive women of health services, it's just another rabbit hole from the Left in the vein of abortion being about women's health. 

Wena Mow Masipa How
Wena Mow Masipa How

@JohnnyReb

When was the last time you visited a health clinic (or a PP center) to obtain woman-related health services?

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@Wena Mow Masipa How It's amazing how many men are self-proclaimed experts in contraceptive cost and other areas they know nothing about. 

WilJohnson
WilJohnson

Planned Parenthood's data shows that of  nearly 11 million services provided 3% are abortions.  Somehow Mr. Wingfield eliminates 8 million of those services to arrive at his 1 in 8 result. Misleading is as misleading does.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@WilJohnson No, I simply divided their number of patients (2.7 million) by their number of abortions (>300K) performed. Math is as math does.

WilJohnson
WilJohnson

@Kyle_Wingfield @WilJohnson As you know perfectly well from reading their annual report 2.7 million is a subset of their total number of  patients. They performed almost 5 million STD related tests. Who do you think you are kidding?


Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@WilJohnson Straight from the report: "Planned Parenthood remains the nation's leading reproductive health care provider and advocate with approximately 700 health center across the country, seeing 2.7 million patients this year."

You are conflating services rendered with patients seen. If 100 patients each have 3 STD tests, that's 300 tests but still only 100 patients.

JMaxZ
JMaxZ

@Kyle_Wingfield @WilJohnson How does that stat possibly an argument for dispensing of the fact  that 3% of provided services are abortions? The 3% stat is not misleading, it is comprehensive.  Your stat chooses not to consider the possibility of women having multiple abortions.  So, in fact, the only misleading statistic is your own. Weasel is as you are.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JMaxZ Multiple abortions in the same year? I suppose that's possible, but not likely to be happening with a great deal of frequency. (And if it is, that would seem to undercut that PP's doing much in the way of advising people on how not to get pregnant, wouldn't it?)

I'm not saying the fact is wrong, I'm saying it's intentionally misleading. You hear "only 3% of PP's services are abortions," and you think PP performs hardly any abortions. You hear "1 in 8 patients have an abortion, and some of the 8 are men," and it's a rather different impression, no?

And as I said above, the latter is far more instructive about what PP is really in the business of doing.

WilJohnson
WilJohnson

@Kyle_Wingfield @WilJohnson Save your condescension for someone else. You distort the figures to make a point which makes the point meaningless. There are far too many distinct procedures having nothing to do with reproductive health to make your math and your analysis remotely plausible.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@WilJohnson If you think Planned Parenthood is wrong about its own numbers, take it up with them. 11 million procedures for 2.7 million patients is about 4 procedures per patient. If you think that isn't "remotely plausible," it would appear you don't understand either of those words.

straker
straker

Johnny - 'morally bankrupt on abortion"


What's being defended is giving the fetal tissues from LEGAL abortions to medical research.


"a sitting president who lied repeatedly" - Please furnish any hard evidence you have to support this.



JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@straker - no, the overall debate is on abortion, period, however, the charges of illegality are around the techniques used in the abortion process to harvest the desired organ.

I have not read the law, but have heard repeatedly that it is against federal law to use techniques as described in the videos.

Further, there is one video where a whole cadaver is discussed.  A whole cadaver can only be used for organs if it is not killed with chemicals, which means death after birth which is a felony called infanticide.

As to Barry's lies, I can't believe you really asked, but does keep your doctor, keep your plan ring a bell? 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JohnnyReb The law prohibits partial-birth abortions; some of the techniques described in the videos are practically the same thing as partial-birth abortions. The PP officials in the videos even admit as much, arguing that "partial-birth abortion" is an artificial construct, and as long as they call it something else it's something else in their minds.

The law also prohibits changing the abortion technique typically used in order to obtain tissue for donation. It's pretty clear from the videos that's going on, too.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

The Left is morally bankrupt on abortion.  They claim to be soooo concerned of the little person, yet defend taking the life of the most innocent indefensible humans for convenience.

The lack of morality should not however be a surprise.

This is the group who attack Christianity while endorsing a sitting president who lied repeatedly to help his reelection.

The morals found in Christianity do not fit with either their support or actual acts by members of this group.

Republicans/Conservatives also carry a heavy weight on allowing a situation to develop where young heads of mush are filled with Liberal tripe on the taxpayers dime.  What do you get?  A group who can't tell right from wrong.  Who think that killing a baby in the womb is a "women's health" issue.

Our biggest enemy is within. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@JohnnyReb  The Left is morally bankrupt on abortion.


What is morally bankrupt is discarding donated tissue that we empirically know researchers can use to save and extend lives.


An absolute abomination. 



LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@JohnnyReb "Christianity"


You realize that we are not a theocracy, right?  We have laws that govern the US, not religion. 


The law recognizes that at a certain point, a clump of cells becomes human.  Before that point, it is just a clump of cells, ultimately part of the woman - not a separate being.  The woman can decide what to do with those cells.  "Viability" is the crucial term for legal and moral grounds.  


If it's not viable, it's not "a baby in the womb".  It's a part of the woman. 

JMaxZ
JMaxZ

@Kyle_Wingfield @LogicalDude Ridiculous statement. By your logic you would favor letting doctors remove the fetus and be given up for adoption.  It's not part of the woman, right.  We'll just see if the :baby" survives.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JMaxZ So now the standard for letting a child live or die is solely whether it can survive on its own outside the womb? So you'd allow infanticide up to, I don't know, 4 years old?

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@LogicalDude Show me where the law says that. I'm not disputing that abortions are legal. So was slavery, once upon a time. But you are simply repeating one of those euphemisms used to prop up support for abortion's legality. Anyone with a middle-school science education knows the embryo is not "part of the woman."

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@LogicalDude @JohnnyReb If it's not viable, it's not "a baby in the womb"


Tell that to a pregnant woman.  


Have you ever known a women to visit her doctor to have an ultrasound to determine the sex of her currently unviable tissue mass?  Most pregnant women begin referring to it as my baby, as soon as they realize they are pregnant.



Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@RafeHollister Blood tests can determine sex, with a great degree of accuracy, well before an ultrasound can.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@LogicalDude @JohnnyReb - our laws are based on the perception of right and wrong.

It is my position that our education system overwhelmingly run by liberals, certainly public school and college, has produced generations who are morally challenged and truly do not always see the difference between right and wrong.

If you discuss private and charter schools a better education immediately comes out of a parents mouth, but no doubt morality plays a large part.

HDB0329
HDB0329

@JohnnyReb many of us could also counter with this: 

The Right is morally bankrupt on abortion....and life.  They claim to be soooo concerned of those in-utero..... yet do not defend....nor fund the lives of those WHO HAVE BEEN BORN by cutting funding to health care, WIC, food stamps, and housing....or the right of self-determination by a woman who has made a most difficult choice in her life.The lack of morality - which borders on hypocrisy -  should not however be a surprise.

This is the group who support Christianity while endorsing a President who lied repeatedly to help his reelection...who got this nation into two unfunded wars on false pretenses!

.

The morals found in this type Christianity do not fit with either their support or actual acts by members of this group.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Kyle_Wingfield @LogicalDude Is a blastocyst?  What if a blastocyst is created by in vitro fertilization? 


In your eyes, when is the "clump of cells" a human? If you say "conception" then you think that in vitro fertilization is killing babies, which is completely untrue. 

If you do not say "conception", then let science take the lead on the definition of viability. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@LogicalDude "What if a blastocyst is created by in vitro fertilization? "

Um, so now you're arguing that an organism created outside the woman's body is part of her body?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Parkinson's disease is a condition in which brain cells are damaged and die off, causing issues with memory and movement. The Harvard Stem Cell Institute reported last year that neuronal stem cells extracted from fetal tissue and transplanted into the brains of people with Parkinson's helped them remain healthy and functional for about 14 years.


This and other research led to the development of a current clinical trial in Europe, in which will test whether transplanted dopamine cells can help patients' brain cells grow normally. 

UWreckMeBaby
UWreckMeBaby

@Hedley_Lammar Aborted babies are not used for embryonic stem cell research (or are not supposed to be). Good job trying to avoid the subject, which is that human babies, not cells, not embyos, are being slaughtered and chopped to pieces so the parts can be sold for profit. You cannot defend these actions. You know it. Its evil, plain and simple.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Hedley_Lammar - a movie where a child is killed off to enable an adult to live a more healthy life would be rated "Horror."

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Scientists who developed the polio vaccine used cultures from fetal kidney cells. They infected the cells in petri dishes to produce a large amount of the polio virus that they then collected, purified and used for a vaccine.

Polio was once extremely common in the U.S., sometimes causing children to become paralyzed for life. The vaccine helped eliminate it by 1979, and reduced reported cases around the world to 416 in 2013, according to the World Health Organization.

The researchers' discovery won them the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1954.

Not if Republicans had their way !!!

http://www.usnews.com/news/slideshows/top-discoveries-from-fetal-tissue-research/4

UWreckMeBaby
UWreckMeBaby

@Hedley_Lammar 


Abortion was not legal in US in 1954. 


From this news source, written today: http://www.news-medical.net/health/Stem-Cell-Controversy.aspx

 

To obtain embryonic stem cells, researchers use the inner cell mass from the blastocysts (fertilized eggs) from an in vitro fertilization facility. These blastocysts are the ones that are excess and donated voluntarily by couples who have been treated successfully for their infertility. Embryos that have been fertilized within a woman’s body are not used. The blastocysts used for science are donated of free will with informed consent of the couple.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@UWreckMeBaby @Hedley_Lammar Abortion was not legal in US in 1954. 


No it was not. It was done in back alleys or with clothes hangers. The practice still went on you see.


It was just a lot less safe. And options like adoption weren't on the table. 


And again PP has a choice. Discard of the tissue or with the mothers consent allow research to be done on tissue that would otherwise be discarded. 


Its an easy choice



Watsuie007
Watsuie007

Defunding an organization that is so crucial for the health of women who have few if any other options is nonsense.  It is an outrage that anyone would take away funding over deceptively edited videos designed to convey a meaning that was not intended or even voiced. PP has every right to not be lied about and no one likes being like to.  So Kyle, you need to rethink your stance on PP.  As for options in women's health; PP fills the void not covered by other organizations and does so with specialist that might not be available in other clinics.  Women and PP deserve better than this chorus of doom.  It shows your lack of understanding and your lack of respect for what woman want and need.

UWreckMeBaby
UWreckMeBaby

@Watsuie007 Women's health is not in question here, except for baby girls, who are being killed painfully in later stages of development and cut up into pieces to be sold for profit. Mammograms and other women's medical services are covered by Obamacare, which is available to everyone, correct? Not to mention county health departments, American Cancer Society, and other clinics that offer the same or better services.


http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/03/guess-how-many-licensed-mammogram-facilities-planned-parenthood-runs/

There’s only one problem: Planned Parenthood does not manage a single licensed mammography facility in the U.S. Not one. Of the 8,735 licensed mammography facilities in America, Planned Parenthood operates exactly zero.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@UWreckMeBaby @Watsuie007  Pretty much everything you said is wrong. 


The law making such research legal was passed in 1993, and among those voting in favor of that bill was one Mitch McConnell, the same man who now claims that videos documenting what he voted to make legal “absolutely shock the conscience.” Other current GOP senators who backed that ’93 law were Richard Shelby, John McCain, Dan Coats, Chuck Grassley, Thad Cochran and Orrin Hatch, many of whom are now backing a shutdown.


None of the $500 million in federal funding going to Planned Parenthood is used to finance abortions. It is used instead to give low-income women access to contraceptives, maternity care, breast-cancer and ovarian-cancer screenings, and vaccinations against sexually transmitted diseases. If we strip Planned Parenthood of funding for such programs as punishment for the “crime” of following the law and providing tissue for medical research, no other organization has the infrastructure, personnel and training to provide those health-care services. In effect, those women and their children would be the innocent victims of a successful effort to defund Planned Parenthood.