Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, appeared on TV over the weekend for the first time since the Planned Parenthood scandal broke on July 14.
She sat with George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s “This Week” to answer a few questions. What was true, and what was false?
CLAIM #1: “This [the Center for Medical Progress’ investigative video project] has been a three-year, well-funded effort…”
FALSE: Well-funded? Does Cecile really want to talk about well-funded? How about Planned Parenthood’s raking in of taxpayer dollars to the tune of over $1.4 million a day? Compare this with the $120,000 David Daleiden says that the Center for Medical Progress received in donations over the course of three years. And then let’s talk about who’s well-funded.
CLAIM #2: “…and of course, highly doctored videos,” “it’s all been edited out,” “very highly edited videos, sensationalized videos”
FALSE: If all CMP had released were the eight or so minute clips, then perhaps Richards would have had a very short peg leg to stand on. However, almost immediately upon releasing the clips, CMP also released the full footage of their discussions with Planned Parenthood’s top doctors. All news agencies and reporters had the full, unedited versions equally available to them. “Highly edited” became rhetorical and pointless the minute the full footage was released.
CLAIM #3: “…by the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement in this country…” “the folks behind this in fact are part of the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement that has been behind, you know, the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, um, and in their churches…”
FALSE: Is this really the best she can do? Instead of discussing what her employees were caught doing on tape (discussing the piecing out of babies to a fetal parts dealer), Richards goes for over-the-top, slanderous rhetoric. David Daleiden, the leader of CMP, has been a completely peaceful pro-lifer, in all of his 26 years of life. Richards speaks as though these things are common occurrences, when, in reality, in America’s history of legal abortion one, single abortionist has been murdered in his home (Slepian in 1998) and one in his church (Tiller in 2009). Obviously, Daleiden and CMP (which didn’t even exist until less than three years ago) were not involved. Pro-lifers from every group, including, of course, Live Action, denounce such lone-wolf actions immediately, and it is never a part of what we do. There is no “militant wing” of the pro-life movement. “Militant” involves being combative, aggressive, extreme, and violent – a much better description of Planned Parenthood’s own practice of ripping babies apart and selling their pieces.
CLAIM #4: “What I want to make really clear, George, is Planned Parenthood has broken no laws.”
FALSE: Whoa, Cecile. Perhaps her time would be better spent reading, you know, the actual law instead of trying to put pillowcases over the heads of the American public. Saying “Planned Parenthood has broken no laws,” doesn’t make it so. And this article will take any American through a step-by-step explanation of how Planned Parenthood actually has broken multiples laws and violated federal regulations – by their top doctors’ own blatant admissions.
CLAIM #5: “We have the highest standards.”
FALSE: Oddly, the White House seems to have bought this line from Planned Parenthood. However, if Richards were to talk about real facts instead of making vague claims, the truth would become painfully obvious. Manipulating vulnerable women into signing consent forms is not a “highest standard.” The complete absence of national company policy on fetal tissue “donation” is not a “highest standard.” Showing women a grainy photo of their baby’s ultrasound instead of the real-time image on screen is not a “highest standard.” Using that same real-time image to locate the baby’s heart, liver, and other organs to ensure they are not “crushed” during the abortion (so they can be sold) is not a “highest standard.” Attempting to gain profits in a non-monetary, backdoor way is not a “highest standard.” Shall we go on?
CLAIM #6: “1 in 5 women in this country depend on Planned Parenthood for their healthcare.”
FALSE: “Depend on” is a big claim. In reality, according to Planned Parenthood itself, “1 in 5 women has come to Planned Parenthood…” Some of these women were no doubt like one of my best friends who walked right out the door after Planned Parenthood said they couldn’t help her if she was going to keep her baby. (They did provide her with a referral number to a doctor. It was disconnected.) Great level of dependence there, I tell you.
CLAIM #7: Stephanopoulos: “You say that no Planned Parenthood affiliate has profited from fetal tissue.” Richards: “Correct, correct.”
TRUE/FALSE: This is a hard one. Technically, Richards’ statement is true. She does “say” that no Planned Parenthood affiliate has profited from fetal tissue. But, in reality, (while there are many ways to demonstrate Richards’ sentiment as false), let’s look at one particularly revealing admission made by Dr. Mary Gatter in the full footage of video two:
Heather [from fetal parts buyer, Novogenix] would look at the tissue [at Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles] and take what she required, so logistically it was very easy for us, we didn’t have to do anything. There was compensation for this, and there was discussion if that was legal…
Tip to Mary Gatter and Cecile: No, that’s not legal. Getting compensation for not “hav[ing] to do anything” is called making a profit.
CLAIM #8: “This is actually not about women’s healthcare.”
TRUE: Touché! At last, Richards admits that this whole debacle is not about women’s healthcare. Unless, of course, she thinks that crushing babies in just the right places so as to abort them, but to still preserve their hearts, lungs, and livers for sale, is women’s healthcare. Pretty sure most women would be creeped out by that standard. (And they also probably wish Planned Parenthood had told them their baby had parts, and “lower extremities,” along with a heart, liver, brain, and lungs. Not just a “clump of cells” when we’re talking about a business transaction, now is it?)
CLAIM #9: Stephanopoulos: “Mary Gatter appears to be haggling.” Richards: “Absolutely not.” … Stephanopoulous: “If there’s not financial benefit to the clinics, why are they haggling over the cost?” Richards: “They’re not. The only people that are haggling in these videos are the undercover folks who are absolutely trying to entrap doctors…”
FALSE: We’ll just let a nice chunky clip from the full footage transcript illustrate who was really doing the haggling here:
Buyer: And are we agreed that $100 would keep you happy.
Gatter: Well let me agree to find out what other affiliates in California are getting, and if they’re getting substantially more, then we can discuss it then. … I mean, the money is not the important thing, but it has to be big enough that it is worthwhile.
Buyer: No, no, but it is something to talk about. I mean, it was one of the first things you brought up, right? So.
Gatter: Mhm [After another discussion of price ideas]. … It’s been years since I talked about compensation, so let me just figure out what others are getting, if this is in the ballpark, it’s fine, if it’s still low then we can bump it up. I want a Lamborghini. [laughs]
Buyer: [Laughs] What did you say?
Gatter: I said I want a Lamborghini! [laughs]
CLAIM #10: When Stephanopoulos asked Richards about the money Planned Parenthood charges as a fee for fetal parts, she replied: “It’s not a fee. It’s not a fee. It’s actually just the cost of transmitting this material to research institutions.”
FALSE: Wait… research institutions? In the videos, Gatter and Nucatola were planning out sales with a for-profit fetal parts buyer. They both admitted that Planned Parenthood works with Novogenix, a company, and it’s now well known that Planned Parenthood works with StemExpress, which Richards herself called a “for-profit” company. So yeah, “transmitting this material to research institutions” nothing. It’s more properly called “charging a fee for fetal parts,” also known as making a profit. (Plus, check this out: Nucatola says, “Well, it’s funny because at Planned Parenthood, we don’t consider that research.”
CLAIM #11: Stephanopoulos: “The tapes appear to describe times when the clinics adjust the abortion procedure to better harvest – Richards: “It’s not done.” Stephanopoulos: “-the fetal organs” Richards: “It’s absolutely not done. And I’ve talked to doctors all across the country.” … Stephanopoulos: “It does appear that that’s what’s being described in these tapes.” Richards: “Well, it’s because these tapes have been edited, and they’ve tried to entrap doctors to say things…and Iiiii, listen, I stand behind the healthcare that we provide at Planned Parenthood.”
FALSE: Maybe, just maybe, instead of talking “to doctors all across the country,” Richards should talk to her own. The full, unedited footage of both tapes reveals Nucatola and Gatter explicitly describing how abortion procedures are changed to preserve and harvest baby organs. Nucatola unabashedly admits to modifying abortion procedures personally, because she’s “happy to help” the fetal parts buyers. (Search this transcript for “less crunchy” and “IPAS” and this one for “crush” and “partial-birth abortion.”)
CLAIM #12: Stephanopoulos: “When these doctors are talking about…‘less crunchy’ ways to perform these abortions so that the organs can be preserved, what’s happening there, are they just lying?” Richards: “No. … That’s absolutely, all of this is taken out of context. …” Stephanopoulos: “As long as the procedure is never altered, and you’re stating that unequivocally?” Richards: “That’s right.”
FALSE: Ok, so wait? Mary Gatter isn’t lying when she says “less crunchy” abortions can be performed so babies can be delivered “intact,” and ready for harvesting? I thought you just said modifications of procedure were never done, Cecile. If that were true, than Mary would have to be lying. Except you said she’s not, and, well, she’s not. There’s no “context” in which it would make sense for an abortion doctor to admit to changing abortion procedure unless that is exactly what she does. I might walk back my “unequivocally” if I were you, given the direct words of your Dr. Deborah Nucatola:
So then you’re just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers, you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that, you know, we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so 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. And with the calvarium [head], in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex, because when it’s vertex presentation, you never have enough dilation at the beginning of the case, unless you have real, huge amount of dilation to deliver an intact calvarium. So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end. So I mean there are certainly steps that can be taken…