If it’s a day ending in Y, it must mean there’s a new Salon article lying about something. Let’s just click on over… sure enough! Here’s Simon Maloy with a particularly disingenuous attack on Ted Cruz for “grotesque demagoguery” over the fetal chop shop Planned Parenthood’s been running.
He opens by suggesting Cruz is a hypocrite because he’s condemned the IRS’s targeting of conservative organizations by declaring, “no politician has the right to use the machinery of the executive branch to target political enemies,” yet his new pro-life ad “promis[ed] that he, as president, would use the machinery of the executive branch to target a political enemy.”
Maloy claims Cruz wants to prosecute and defund the Walmart of abortion over no more than “donating” fetal “tissue” (organs, Simon, not just tissue) for medical research, which “isn’t actually illegal.” As for profiting off those organs, “there is no indication that Planned Parenthood is actually doing that.” Well, unless you count Dr. Deborah Nucatola talking about how affiliates would like to “do a little better than break even,” or Dr. Mary Gatter negotiating prices because “it has to be big enough that it is worthwhile.” If all you’re getting is cost reimbursement, haggling doesn’t even enter the picture, because “breaking even” is exactly what reimbursement is supposed to do.
But no matter. Doubling down on the lie that all of the PP activities in question are perfectly lawful, Maloy claims that Cruz “presents the use of fetal tissues for medical research as crime that must be stopped, but his solution – prosecuting and defunding Planned Parenthood – won’t change the fact that the practice is explicitly permitted by law.” Thinking he’s trapped Cruz in some grade-A hypocrisy, he claims this runs counter to Cruz’s own support for research funding focused on finding cures for diseases, as well as progress being made toward several diseases thanks to fetal tissue. The cherry on top? The fact that Cruz’s own ad features footage of polio patients—which supposedly undermines his whole case, because fetal tissue was instrumental in developing the polio vaccine.
Planned Parenthood’s apologists must think they’ve struck gold here—Rachel Maddow hench-blogger Steve Benen, whose wife works at Planned Parenthood, also proclaims that Cruz’s ad “accidentally gives away the game” by highlighting polio in his attack on “fetal-tissue research itself.” (Benen also repeats the lie that there’s “no evidence that Planned Parenthood has done anything wrong.”)
Simon? Steve? The only problem here is that your premise is completely false. Neither Cruz nor anyone else is opposed to using fetal remains in medical research; we’re opposed to acquiring those remains by killing someone. In a more honest media culture it wouldn’t even be necessary to have to explain something so obvious, but as I wrote last month: when it comes to adults, nobody disputes that the donor’s consent matters, that you can’t hold someone against their will, cut them open, and steal their internal organs, or that the law against profiting off their organs should remain on the books, despite their medical applications. Pro-lifers are merely arguing that the same ethical standards that pro-aborts already accept post-birth must apply pre-birth as well.
Indeed, if pro-aborts were honest about their own arguments, they’d be the first to agree—bodily-autonomy theory holds that a fetus may well be her mother’s full equal, yet still deserves no protection because she has no right to benefit from her mother’s body without her consent. Applied consistently, this logic can’t possibly justify violating a baby’s bodily integrity, no matter how dire the plight of any stranger who stands to gain.
Less observant readers might walk away from Salon and MSNBC’s propaganda thinking Ted Cruz is a nutjob who would set medicine back a century for no good reason. But among those who know better, all Simon Maloy has done is publicize his work for medical advancement:
[O]ne of his under-the-radar policy goals: pushing medical researchers to devise cures for deadly and debilitating diseases. In mid-July, Cruz held a Senate hearing with a panel of medical experts to discuss ways to better use government resources when it comes to researching cancer, AIDS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and a bevy of other incurable diseases. “We pay billions or trillions on the back end, dealing with the consequences of horrific diseases rather than investing and creating the incentives on the front end to cure these diseases once and for all,” Cruz said at that hearing.