Recently, columnist Robyn Urback asked, “What responsibility, if any, should GOP candidates shoulder for the Planned Parenthood attack?” Urback devoted eleven paragraphs to that question, which is odd, because she could have answered it with a single word.
None of the GOP’s presidential hopefuls opened fire on the victims in Colorado Springs last month. The only person arrested for doing so was Robert Lewis Dear, Jr., a 57 year-old recluse previously accused of domestic violence, voyeurism, and cruelty to animals. Listed as a woman on voter registration records, the suspects also seems to have a history of soliciting sex and drugs along with ranting about the apocalypse. As of yet, Dear has announced no plans to seek the Republican nomination.
But despite the candidates not committing the murders and publicly condemning them as soon as they happened, Urback still has her suspicions. She feels their habit of “pummeling Planned Parenthood” with “grossly hyperbolic” and “outright dangerous” rhetoric could have influenced the alleged killer “whenever he switched on the T.V.” That Dear reportedly lived without electricity somehow wasn’t an obstacle.
Urback concludes by declaring:
Ridiculous statements about Planned Parenthood being a criminal enterprise or an abortion factory aren’t merely objectionable because an unstable person might read them as license to attack a clinic, but because they’re morally disingenuous and utterly incorrect.
Ideally, politicians, talk-show hosts and activists would stay true to facts not out of fear that someone might react violently, but because it’s what decent leaders do. Sadly, we’re still waiting for a person like that to emerge in the GOP presidential race.
After reading that, a couple things become evident. The first is that if Ms. Urback really believes public figures can inspire violence, then this must have been recent discovery for her. As far as I can tell, she said nothing about anti-Christian rhetoric after a gunman who “disliked organized religion” murdered nine people in Oregon two months back. Neither did a 2012 shooting at the socially conservative Family Research Council prompt her to address how gay marriage opponents have been vilified.
My second observation? When it comes to fact checking, Urback definitely needs to bring her game up.
Earlier this year, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) began to release a series of videos. Shot on hidden cameras, they mostly showed Planned Parenthood executives meeting with people claiming to be fetal tissue buyers. Near the beginning of her piece, Urback claims the footage only proves that Planned Parenthood “was being reimbursed for transport costs associated with donating tissue to medical research, which is legal.” Apparently she missed a few scenes.
Like the one two minutes and 24 seconds into the video above. It features Dr. Mary Gatter, president of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Directors Council, being asked how much how much she’d expect for supplying “intact tissue.” Now, if her goal was just to get “reimbursed,” you’d expect Gatter to say something like “That would depend solely on our expenses.” Instead, she says, “Well, why don’t you start by telling me what you’re used to paying?” She also stresses that she doesn’t want any “low-ball” offers. What does Gatter want? “A Lamborghini.”
And that’s not all she had to say. Under federal law, it’s illegal to alter “the timing, method, or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy… solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue,” but Gatter admitted she “wouldn’t object” to doing it anyway. She isn’t alone, either.
Dr. Deborah Nucatola is Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Director of Medical Services, and according to her:
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.
Keep in mind, there’s evidence that a fetus can experience pain at 20 weeks; Nucatola will “crush” them at 24.
Then there was the testimony from former tissue procurement technician Holly O’Donnell. O’Donnell worked for StemExpress, a company that collects organs from aborted babies and had a long relationship with Planned Parenthood. In yet another video, O’Donnell recalled how, at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in California, she was told to harvest brain matter from an aborted baby whose heart was still beating.
By the way, referring to fetuses as “babies” seems to be an accepted practice at Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ vice president, Dr. Savita Ginde was recorded saying, “It’s a baby,” when looking at an aborted fetus. That’s the same video where an assistant remarks that there’s “another boy” out on the counter. He’s in pieces.
Of course, babies aren’t Planned Parenthood’s only victims; sometimes older children are too. A report released this year from Alliance Defending Freedom detailed how Planned Parenthood has repeatedly helped to cover up sexual abuse. Thanks to its abortion services, predators like Gary Cross, Timothy Smith, John Blanks, Jr., Adam Gault, Joseph Coles, Kevon Walker, and Edgar Ramirez were able to stay out jail and keep harming their victims.
Given all of this, you can understand why the GOP’s contenders have wanted to see Planned Parenthood defunded and held to account. It’s also why many pro-lifers are fighting to redirect the group’s annual half billion dollar subsidy to community health centers–places where those with limited means can find the care they need. You can join that effort by signing Live Action’s petition; it’s available here, along with more evidence of Planned Parenthood’s wrongdoing.
In the meantime, Robyn Urback might want to do a little more research. If she did, she’d see that calling Planned Parenthood a “criminal enterprise” isn’t “ridiculous,” “disingenuous,” or “objectionable.”