As Planned Parenthood faces public scrutiny and two congressional investigations, the president of the family planning provider says the organization has not broken any laws. Cecile Richards has dismissed the secretly recorded videos showing Planned Parenthood’s senior officials discussing the sale of aborted fetal tissue as highly edited.
While speaking on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, she described the creators of the two viral videos as belligerent anti-abortion activists. She claimed they have tried to entrap officials of the non-profit organization for over three years.
Richards insists that the videos are part of a planned effort to smear the name and reputation of the organization among women and families. She said the goal is meant to deter women from patronizing Planned Parenthood for either birth control, breast cancer or any other health care service that the organization offers.
Richards apologized for the insensitive tones of the employees captured in the videos. She said they have since been reproached. However, she asserted that the videos were misleading and the officials were only discussing the donation of tissue for medical research, which is legal.
Planned Parenthood, which facilitates abortions across the country, has come under fire after a small anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress, released the disturbing videos. The videos feature Planned Parenthood’s staff discussing the sale of fetal tissue with actors posing as representatives of a tissue procurement company. The videos, which have triggered a public backlash, also show Planned Parenthood officials discussing medical procedures that keep an aborted tissue more intact.
Reports indicate that the founder of the Los Angeles-based Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden, use to work for renowned anti-abortion group Live Action. Live Action has for years tried to catch Planned Parenthood’s staff breaking the law through undercover videos.
Democrats have defended Planned Parenthood as Republicans push to stop the organization from receiving federal health care funds following the videos. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are some of the main advocates of the campaign to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Paul argues that a majority of Americans are appalled by Planned Parenthood and as such would not want their taxes funding them. Paul, who is in the race for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination, wants the government to stop providing organizations like Medicaid with funds. Medicaid provides Planned Parenthood with about 40 percent of its annual funding.
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate, Hilary Clinton, have defended Planned Parenthood. On Thursday, she said political attacks aimed at the organization only assaulted women’s right to make choices. During a campaign event in Greenville, South Carolina, Clinton noted that although she did not know the details of the case, she thinks it is unfortunate that Planned Parenthood had been under attack for many years. She added that the organizations still plays an important role in country’s healthcare system.
By Pater Greenman