By their very definition, polemic issues have the unfortunate effect of pushing advocates to extreme positions. Abortion rights opponents often think there can be no case in which such a procedure should occur. Abortion rights proponents think anything that can even be construed as infringing on choice can’t be tolerated. Such is the case with the stomach-turning, surreptitiously recorded videos of Planned Parenthood officials talking about prices to be paid for fetal tissue and organs from aborted fetuses.
Conservatives’ knee-jerk reaction to the videos is to mount an effort to defund the organization, a potentially government-shuttering move. Blowhards like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas along with fellow Arkansas huckleberry Mike Huckabee want the plug pulled on money for Planned Parenthood.
Democratic nitwit Nancy Pelosi in one breath labels the whole PP video flap “a distraction” but then calls for the Department of Justice to investigate—not Planned Parenthood but rather the group that took the covert videos! Pelosi’s last plastic surgery must have stretched her brain. Her reaction was just as over-the-top as the conservatives’.
The reasonable answer, as with most things, is somewhere in between these people on the fringes.
First, all pro-choice people should be disgusted by what’s on these videos. Yes, Planned Parenthood provides vital health services to women who might not otherwise get it. Yes, fetal tissue research is crucial in finding new treatments to debilitating diseases. But don’t ask me, “Who ya gonna believe—me or your lying eyes?”
Gov. Dannel Malloy labeled the videos “bogus.” He is either misusing the word or completely wrong on this one. Not even Planned Parenthood’s head honcho Cecile Richards questions the videos’ authenticity. The doctors were speaking in complete sentences.
It is what it is: Planned Parenthood doctors discussing—casually and nonchalantly—how to manipulate abortion procedures so as to preserve certain vital parts of the developing body and then bargaining on the price. Pathetic, disgusting, outrageous.
PP supporters are then supposed to be placated with some lame apology from Richards about the “tone” and “lack of compassion.” Richards did her organization no favor.
On the flip side, gutting Planned Parenthood would hurt those who rely on its legitimate services. That’s an overreaction. Threatening to shut down the government over it is just moronic. Republicans have yet to learn that shutting down the government—for whatever reason—results in the blame being laid right at their own feet.
Pro-choice Americans should demand an independent investigation into just what Planned Parenthood is doing. The air needs to be cleared. Those found to be guilty of unacceptable behavior (and yes that includes those doctors on the videos) should be fired.
Planned Parenthood provides too much to too many to be shuttered by defunding. That’s all the more reason to purge the group of those who are giving it a bad name.