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Why Is Planned Parenthood Taking So Much Heat These Days?
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Summary: Planned Parenthood has spent years vilified by the media, recently fueled by an Ohio AG’s report.

via www.plannedparenthood.org

via www.plannedparenthood.org

On Friday, the Ohio Attorney General issued a report that Planned Parenthood had disposed of the bodies of aborted fetuses improperly. Attorney General Mike DeWine said that his report found that “companies hired by all three Planned Parenthood affiliates in Ohio violated state law by dumping fetuses in landfills.”

  
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Planned Parenthood of Ohio vehemently denies these claims. The report followed an investigation into whether Planned Parenthood was selling fetal tissue illegally. Interestingly (if not surprisingly), the report found that there was no evidence that had ever happened. Stephanie Kight, President and CEO, released a statement saying:

“As we have always maintained, and as the Attorney General has now confirmed, the original accusations that Planned Parenthood ‘sold fetal tissue’ were completely unfounded and untrue.

These new allegations by the Attorney General that we are improperly disposing of fetal tissue are flat-out false. Planned Parenthood handles medical tissue like any other quality health care provider. Our agreements with vendors all require them to follow state law, and dispose of tissue accordingly. If they are not, then I will take swift action.”

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Anyone who follows the news knows that Planned Parenthood, always controversial, has been a particularly electric issue lately. It all started when The Center for Medical Progress released a video supposedly “documenting Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts.” However, the video was since proven to have been edited and manipulated to mislead viewers.

According to Factcheck.org, “the full, unedited video they cite as evidence shows a Planned Parenthood executive repeatedly saying its clinics want to cover their costs, not make money, when donating fetal tissue from abortions for scientific research.”



The video served its purpose, though. Republican senators, congressmen, and presidential candidates jumped on the debunked video to vilify Planned Parenthood. Again, Factcheck.org cites these examples:

“Rick Perry, July 14: The video showing a Planned Parenthood employee selling the body parts of aborted children is a disturbing reminder of the organization’s penchant for profiting off the tragedy of a destroyed human life.

Rand Paul, July 14: … a video showing [Planned Parenthood]’s top doctor describing how she performs late-term abortions to sell body parts for profit!

Carly Fiorina, July 14: This latest news is tragic and outrageous. This isn’t about “choice.” It’s about profiting on the death of the unborn while telling women it’s about empowerment.”

Although 97% of Planned Parenthood’s services are devoted to other healthcare services, such as providing low-cost contraception, gynecological appointments, and cancer screenings  – making abortions a tiny percentage of their work – the company is still attacked vigorously.

Recently, the Senate voted to defund the women’s healthcare organization. Although Obama will certainly veto the act, it still shows the level to which Planned Parenthood has been demonized on the right. Mother Jones reminds readers that “federal funding is already prohibited from paying for abortions. Instead funding goes toward pregnancy prevention, STI testing and treatment, pap smears, and breast exams. Planned Parenthood provides services to 2.7 million people each year.”

Planned Parenthood even overlapped with the gun control debate when a man in Colorado shot up a clinic at the end of November, killing three and injuring nine. He mumbled something about “baby parts” as his motive for the violence.

A parallel to that is an image of a post that has been circling around social media, comparing how easy it is for people to get guns to how prohibitively difficult it has become for women to get abortions – which are as much a right in this country as the right to bear arms.

Facebook Post About Abortion and Gun Control

The piece should make all of us think. Should it be so hard for women to get abortions? I don’t think so. Should it be so easy for others to get guns? I don’t think that should be the case, either. But regardless of which side you stand on – pro-choice, pro-life, pro-gun rights, pro-gun control – the parallel has to be haunting. Something there seems ridiculous to me. At the very least, it suggests that it should be harder to get a deadly weapon.

Instead, people get those guns and shoot up Planned Parenthood clinics because they are misinformed – willfully, by places like the Center for Medical Progress, and then by conservative politicians. Make sure to remember the good that Planned Parenthood does for women – again, offering low-cost healthcare and screenings as 97% of their work. And the likelihood that all of these investigations and attacks are based solely in the desire to prevent women access to legal and safe abortions.



 

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