NEW YORK --- As the Senate gears up for a vote on whether to block millions of patients across the country who depend on publicly funded health care programs from getting services at Planned Parenthood health centers, local reporters and editorial boards are calling their bluff — pointing out that the attacks on Planned Parenthood are substance-less and politically motivated, and that “defunding” Planned Parenthood would leave millions across the country without access to basic health care.
A few excerpts are below:
San Jose Mercury News(Editorial): “The videos are grossly misleading and politically irresponsible.”
Los Angeles Times: “Leaving aside the potential violation of California law, which forbids recording a person without consent, the narrative pushed by the anti-abortion activists is a total crock.”
The Denver Post: “Denver Planned Parenthood certain it's done nothing illegal…”
Aurora Sentinel: “Turns out, the full, unedited video does not support the claim that Planned Parenthood illegally sells body parts for profit. Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services states on camera that the group doesn’t profit from tissue donation, and that it only accepts money to cover the costs of tissue collection and transportation.”
Kokomo Tribune: “It’s the dishonesty involved in every step of this attack I find so preposterous. The footage was produced on a lie, edited deceptively and used to push unrelated legislation.”
Chicago Sun-Times: “As a medical ethicist and lawyer, the headlines concerned me. But after scrutinizing hours of video, it appears Planned Parenthood doctors are complying with federal law allowing ‘reasonable payments’ for collection of fetal tissue. As the organization’s senior director of medical services explains in the unedited version of her videotaped meeting with people posing as members of the research community, abortion clinics ‘want to offer this service because patients ask about it. … just as much as the patients, the providers absolutely want to help [medical research].’”
Uptown Messenger: “This smear campaign is part of a 10-plus year pattern of harassment and violence by extremists whose focus is banning abortion and preventing women from accessing preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers. The group behind this video smear campaign is a part of the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement.”
Kennebuc Journal (Editorial): “Nobody is seen ‘selling’ tissue. Nobody is seen ‘profiting’ from abortion. Nobody is seen breaking the law or even behaving unethically, except maybe for the off-screen ‘actors’ who are trying to coax their target into crossing a line.”
Bangor Daily News (Editorial): “In one highly edited video released recently, an anti-abortion group purports to show a doctor from Planned Parenthood negotiating prices for such fetal tissue. Abortion opponents, including some in Congress, immediately seized on the video — two others also have been released — to condemn Planned Parenthood. Congress is expected to take up bills to defund the agency this week. Such action would only hurt the thousands of low-income women who receive health care — not abortions — from Planned Parenthood. Lawmakers instead should be appalled at the distortions that groups such as Live Action resort to to tarnish the reputation of Planned Parenthood in the process of seeking to outlaw abortion.”
Baltimore Sun: “The real agenda here is becoming clearer every day. These false claims are being used to advance a political agenda to defund Planned Parenthood. What would ‘defunding’ mean? It could mean 1.5 million individuals who receive basic primary and preventive health care, cancer screening and contraception under Title X — the nation's family planning program — might slip through the cracks and go without essential care. Programs that rely on federal grants for cancer screening, teen pregnancy prevention, evidence-based education, and sexually transmitted infection and HIV testing might disappear.”
Michigan Public Radio: “Planned Parenthood has been saving women and families from poverty and desperation for 99 years. Now, its enemies are ‘swift boating’ it; presenting lies and distortions as fact. If they get away with it, and its funds are slashed, the result could very well be more sexually transmitted diseases, more unwanted pregnancies, and finally — more abortions.”
Kansas City Star: “Its clinics, meanwhile, help women — and men, in some cases — with health screenings that save thousands of lives each year and contraceptive assistance that prevents millions of unwanted pregnancies. It is perhaps unrealistic to expect that zealous politicians will look at the big picture of Planned Parenthood, but they should.”
St. Louis-Post Dispatch (Editorial): “Those tactics are more about gotcha politics and about defunding a nonprofit organization that provides services to women and poor people than they are about helping women prevent unwanted pregnancies.”
Columbia Daily Tribune (Editorial): “Most unfortunate is the tireless attempt to discredit and defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s primary agent of healthful and safe family planning. The agency’s work has dramatically increased the safety of pregnancy and childbirth, and reduced abortion through promotion of safe and effective birth control. The incessant effort of opponents to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood is an attack on public health.”
Star-Ledger (Editorial): “So the real scandal here is a Republican effort to use this heavily-edited video as an excuse to pull funding for women's health care, out of opposition to abortion.”
The News & Observer: “Opinion writers, especially those who oppose safe and legal abortion, may not understand the care Planned Parenthood provides, but our patients do. I stand with them, and I stand with Planned Parenthood.”
The Forum: “No legitimate news source should give credence to the fraudulent and highly edited videos attacking Planned Parenthood. The group who produced the video are extremists who have hounded women and doctors for years. One of the men is tied to abortion clinic bombings and the murder of a doctor who provided abortions.”
The Journal Record (Editorial): “To suspend funding for a major organization that provides care to about 2.7 million Americans in order to satiate the anti-abortion agenda is a jab against women’s rights.”
Toledo Blade (Editorial): “Their campaign is part of a decades-long effort to shut down Planned Parenthood and other health providers — not for illegal activity, but because they provide safe and legal abortions and other medical procedures to patients.
“Efforts to repeal Planned Parenthood’s aid would only strip funding from essential health-care services that have nothing to do with abortion, such as cancer screenings, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and birth control that reduces the need for abortion.”
The Plain Dealer: “I've been surprised by the shameless attacks on Planned Parenthood. My experience with the organization has been welcoming, comforting and compassionate.”
Times-Tribune (Editorial): “Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania has not been implicated in the Center for Medical Progress video and faces no independent accusations of wrongdoing. The request for a state investigation is purely partisan and has no basis in cause or anything to do with women’s health.”
The Dallas Morning News: “Because none of what has been released, and nothing that’s to come, alters the fact that woman must keep the right to make their own medical decisions. Nothing alters my belief that government interference in people’s personal reproductive decisions is offensive and hypocritical.”
Austin Chronicle: “...much context has been left out of the anti-choice response. For one, consider the source: Texas conservatives and other GOPers are eating up dubious claims from the Center For Medical Progress – an ardently anti-choice group associated with Live Action, known to release heavily edited videos that have historically targeted Planned Parenthood. And one of CMP’s founders (Troy Newman) heads Operation Rescue, a group that advocated harassing abortion clinic workers and ran a decades-long campaign against murdered abortion doctor Dr. George Tiller.”
Houston Chronicle: “The footage initially was released in an edited form that made it look like Nucatola was talking about selling fetal organs, which is illegal. The full video indicates that the subject likely was legal organ donation, and the discussed costs were to perform the preservation."
The Seattle Times: “The videos make it appear that compassionate doctors are violating the law. In actuality, providers in these videos spoke at length following strict ethical guidelines and about not making a profit from any donations. In fact, it appears the only lawbreakers are the group who orchestrated elaborate lies in an attempt to discredit doctors who care about the health and well-being of women.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.