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Planned Parenthood is Not Selling Baby Parts, You Fucking Idiots

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Sorta transcript:

Planned Parenthood is in the news a lot these days thanks to a maliciously edited video making it look like they SELL BABY PARTS.

It’s weird for those of us with two brain cells to rub together, that this is even a thing. Because first of all, obviously Planned Parenthood doesn’t sell BABY PARTS. Jesus fucking christ, get a hold of yourselves. Baby parts!

3% of all Planned Parenthood’s activities are abortions, and more than 90% of those are in the first trimester when it’s about size of a kidney bean, so they do see some pieces of fetal tissue. Which are just going to be thrown away in the garbage, but which the patient can instead choose to donate to important medical research.

HOW DARE THEY! How dare Planned Parenthood allow women to aid in the research and treatment of conditions like H.I.V. and Parkinson’s disease, when instead those women could just be throwing that tissue in the garbage!

So yeah, there’s the fact that Planned Parenthood obviously isn’t “selling baby parts.” And then there’s the fact that the group releasing this video are some of the same people who worked for the group Live Action, which is best known for…editing together misleading videos attacking Planned Parenthood.

So despite the fact that this is an obviously made up and ridiculous accusation, actual politicians are taking it seriously. If you live in the US, your tax dollars are now going toward Congressional Republicans calling for a formal investigation, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee has announced they’ll launch a probe. A probe for baby parts! Good luck, guys!

This all reminds me of a course I took in college on heresy. I remember learning about how multiple times throughout human history, various groups of people have been accused of the very specific act of gathering together and hosting orgies, and then taking the resulting babies from any past orgies and burning them into ashes, which are then formed into cakes, which are then eaten. Usually it’s supposed to be the Jews doing this but plenty of other marginalized groups have been accused as well. And it always baffled me to think that people could really, truly believe that their fellow humans were doing something so obviously stupid and made up.

Well, now it’s 2015 and an organization that is mostly responsible for making sure poor women have access to basic medical care including cancer screenings, checkups, and birth control, are accused of convincing women to abort their babies and then tearing them into parts and selling them on the black market.

And I realize, that if it helps you achieve your goals — whether they be persecuting people of a different faith or cutting funding for poor women’s health care — it becomes surprisingly easy to believe something unbelievable.

Bonus gif:

planned parenthood is not selling baby parts you idiots

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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66 Comments

  1. July 28, 2015 at 2:44 pm —

    Every time I see a heavily edited video from some right-wing organization, I blame the Democratic Party. When James O’Keefe and Beitbart put out their ACORN “pimp” video the Dems couldn’t throw ACORN under the bus fast enough. The message was clear, not only will the Dems not defend their friends, but they will let the Republicans dictate who their friends are. All you have to do is get a fake video and make enough noise about it. This video (and others) is what the Dems got in exchange for defunding ACORN. Luckily for us Planned Parenthood is capable of defending themselves and has enough political power to stop the Dems from throwing them under the bus, ACORN style.

    • July 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm —

      Yeah.

      Right-wingers are disgusting sacks of shit, it’s the Democrats’ fault.
      Right-wingers will lie through their teeth to get what they want, also the Democrats’ fault.
      The Republican Party has been hijacked by anti-science religious bigots, Dems’ fault.
      Every office in the country is up for sale, but I’m sure we can find a way to make that their fault too.

      There is a term for that kind of thinking… what was that now…?

      The Democrats are no more to blame for this then Ronald Reagan is to blame for terrorist attacks because he pulled out of Beirut.

      Oh yeah, that term we were looking for is victim blaming and it sucks.

      • July 28, 2015 at 5:21 pm —

        I’m not blaming ACORN, Planned Parenthood et al, they’re the real victims in this, not the Democrats (of which I am one). All those issues you point out about Republicans are the result of them pandering to their base. I’m not blaming Democrats for that either.

        I’m blaming the Democrats for refusing to fight for their friends rather than stand up for them. Had the Democrats called O’Keefe’s video out as a fake and refused to let the Republicans tell them who their friends could be, you would see a whole lot less of this. The mainstream media certainly wouldn’t be covering this as much as they have if it wasn’t proven to be an effective strategy. The Republicans would never allow anything to happen to one of their friends because of something Michael Moore said. But, the Dems threw ACORN under the bus in exchange for nothing and practically thanked the Republicans for the opportunity. So, when I see something like this I like to remind people of why the Republicans think this would be an effective strategy. Because it is and the Democrats have nobody to thank but themselves for that.

        • July 28, 2015 at 5:54 pm —

          I understand what you are saying, i just disagree.

          I don’t think dying on ACORN hill would have stopped Citizens United and certainly wouldn’t have stopped the pandering.

          I understand the Overton Window and giving them an inch and such but you also have to pick your battles, plus I heard plenty of progressives stating how fake they thought those videos were.

          The Dem didn’t throw ACORN under the bus, they distanced themselves from some pretty heinous allegations. As it turned out those allegations were almost totally fiction but expecting Congresscritters to have ESP may be a bit much.

          If I blame anyone in abetting O’Keef in this deliberate fraud it would be the media (and not just Fox either) who were so afraid of being labeled liberal that they let the whole thing slide until it was too late.

          • July 29, 2015 at 4:06 pm

            Well I don’t disagree. Democrats also lost most of the midterms from low voter turnout since people were so very disappointed with them. They wouldn’t stand by the president and defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They wouldn’t defend the president at all! They run from the slightest sight of controversy.

            Obama has had the guts to defend people. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, and Alan Franken, had the guts to stand beside Democrat accomplishments. But very few others did. They also stood in defense of ACORN, but very few others did. Distancing yourself from a friend in need IS throwing that friend under the bus.

            Blaming the media for the fact Democrats didn’t stand up to the media is proof you are absolutely missing Drken’s entire point.

          • July 30, 2015 at 8:31 am

            Should the Dems have stood up for ACORN? Sure.

            But the allegations were pretty heinous and the local defunding happened so fast that there was no time to see if those allegations were true before the writing was on the wall, seeing is believing and all.

            I commend those those who stood by ACORN, including those you mentioned, but if the videos had not turned out to be complete fabrications then those people would have had egg on their faces. It’s much easier to know what you should do when looking at things in the rear-view mirror.

            I’m not saying that the Dems were blameless, just that they made decisions that on hindsight look bad but at the time were perfectly natural. Plus, what they were being “blamed” for in @drken’s original comment was “causing” this typing of video to be seen as effective. I don’t think that is the case regardless of how cowardly I think the Dems acted with regard to ACORN.

            As with the other example I mentioned, Ronald Reagan pulling marines out of Beirut, it can be argued that it gave terrorists the idea that bombings work to get what you want. That does not however mean that Ronald Reagan is to blame for increased terrorism, that is on the terrorists. In the same sense the right-wing in to blame for these shameful tactics not the people they are used against.

        • July 30, 2015 at 9:58 am —

          You are absolutely right about this. It is probably the biggest reason the Democrats did so badly in the 2012 elections: they did not have the courage to stand up to all the crap the right wing was slinging at Obama. The actually ran FROM the President rather than supporting him. But that’s beginning to change (hopefully) thanks to OWS, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Finally more Democrats, even though not enough, are beginning to call out the right wingers on their lies, propaganda and bullshit. It’s about 30 years overdue but better late than never I suppose.

    • July 31, 2015 at 6:59 pm —

      I am pro choice, but planned parenthood has sold body parts, when and only when a patient agreed to it. Just posting that they do not, tends to make right wing anti abortion idiots madder, and I think it’s only fair to include ‘both’ sides of the story.

      1. Google abc news, planned parenthood, and selling of body parts, and their is a hidden video wt an investigator posing as a fetal tissue procurement company, speaking to Dr. Deborah Nucatola Senior director Of Medical Services Planned Parenthood Of America. Planned Parenthood, ‘does not,’ go out of it’s way in order to obtain them, but when a patient comes to have a legal late term abortion, doctors are trained how to extract tissue w/o damaging the internal organs. “If and only if,” a patient agrees they want to allow the fetus to be used for research. It doesn’t occur in all clinics, but it has occurred.

      2. Again, I am pro choice, and if Republicans did not put so many restrictions on a womans right to obtain birth control, and allowed more clinics to remain open, then later term abortions would ‘much’ more rarely occur. Who is really making the most money from these late term abortions? Planned Parenthood, the fetal procurement companies, or business run scientists & health care, who are using the tissue. I think it obvious that big business can make the most money. So lobbying for restrictions on woman’s health care, ensuring that their are more late term abortions, is clearly in their best interest.

      • August 2, 2015 at 12:16 am —

        I am pro-choice, although I don’t agree with most abortions. It’s a woman’s right to choose since it will be her responsibility for the rest of her life should the daddy abscond.

        This said: The next video to come out – perfect intact babies sold to research. If they’re intact, how were they killed?

    • August 1, 2015 at 12:50 am —

      I don’t think she ever said the video came from a right-wind organization. Did I miss something?

  2. July 28, 2015 at 6:49 pm —

    The easiest way to block the gif Rebecca Watson, is to use Adblock.

  3. July 28, 2015 at 8:23 pm —

    After seeing headlines that Republicans are going to investigate this fucking non-issue on Capitol Hill, and Republican candidates calling for Hillary Clinton to take back her donations to Planned Parenthood, my exact words were…

    “Planned Parenthood is Not Selling Baby Parts, You Fucking Idiots!!!”

    What the fucking fuckity fuck is wrong with these morons (besides that they’re obviously morons?)?!

  4. July 28, 2015 at 9:29 pm —

    The ‘eating babies at sex orgies’ trope was used against early Christians by the Roman authorities. In some ways it is a simple garbling of vague second hand notions about ‘love feasts’ and the practice of communion.

    Of course the Romans didn’t have to come up with this idea on their own. The early Christian movement had splintered into scores of subgroups, ALL of them eager to use the civil law to kill their rivals. The baby-eating stories were largely invented and promoted BY CHRISTIANS.

    The classic ‘blood libel,’ i.e. that Jews make Passover matzoh with the blood of goyish children, is probably an extrapolation from the ‘eating babies for Communion’ story. And it is particularly odd, as Kosher law forbids the consumption of any blood, in any form.

    Supposedly, modern antisemitic pogroms in the Islamic world, especially those that flared up in 1840, were triggered in part by Christian missionaries introducing the blood-libel claim in Damascus.

    • July 31, 2015 at 12:04 pm —

      Interesting you should mention blood libel. I remember when Cecilia Fire Thunder wanted to open a women’s health clinic, the pro-lifers accused her of ‘savage child sacrifice’. That sounds like blood libel to me.

      It’s ironic, because the Lakota were enemies of the Pawnee, who were allies of the United States. The Pawnee actually did practice human sacrifice. (Oral tradition holds that they were refugees from the east.)

  5. July 29, 2015 at 4:17 am —

    I don’t think it really matters to the people claiming PP is selling baby parts whether PP is actually selling baby parts or not.

    In their heads they may know it isn’t really a FACT, but in their hearts they know it’s TRUE nonetheless.

    Much like the whole “Obama is a muslim”-thing. It’s a Heart-TRUTH even if it isn’t a Head-FACT …

  6. July 29, 2015 at 7:55 am —

    “And I realize, that if it helps you achieve your goals — whether they be persecuting people of a different faith or cutting funding for poor women’s health care — it becomes surprisingly easy to believe something unbelievable.”

    This quote is brilliant and bears repeating, over and and over. Excellent video, thanks!

  7. July 29, 2015 at 4:12 pm —

    I understand your argument, and I am of the mindset that if an abortion is taking pla thestem cells should be put to better use of humanity instead of just discarded. However, have you thought to look at this from the side of a deeply religious person? For most deeply religious people, conception is the start of life, therefore, in their beliefs, conception is the start of life, thus the destruction of the embryo is the destruction of life.That is the key point that these arguments seem that these arguments seem to miss. Whether that organization was right in creating the video is a separate topic. But it is clea the Planned Parenthood representative was looking for as much money for the embryonic matter as she could get. That negotiation turns the transaction into a sale. If the fee paid to Planned Parenthood was to truly cover handling as they have stated, then the fee should be published and made public and should cover the exact cost of handling fetal tissue. No more. No less.

    • July 29, 2015 at 10:56 pm —

      Do you really understand? Did you notice you’re on a website called “skepchick” and that we are all rational freethinkers? To most, if not all of us, you “deeply religious” people, the ones who favor fetuses to real live humans, are a giant joke. Those who fall into that category would prefer to close Planned Parenthood, an organization that saves lives, particularly those of low-income women, if it saved just one completely unwanted fetus [doomed to a life of neglect if not outright abuse]. Unwanted fetuses do nobody any good, but their tissue can be used to save actual lives. It doesn’t actually matter what your religious convictions are: they should stay out of both national and state laws.
      ~Sincerely, a married, upper-middle-class woman who would abort at the first sign of pregnancy.

      • July 30, 2015 at 3:13 am —

        I do understand. If you read my post again, you will see I favor utilizing fetuses instead of throwing them away. I am not a deeply religious person as you state. I am a free thinker whose great grandfather was a Presbyterian minster and whose dad is an atheist. Me? I am more in line with Buddhism thinking than an church-based religions.

        What I think has been missing from the discourse in these comments is the fact that PP was/is “Selling” fetal tissue. They are not taking a donation to cover costs. If that were the case they’d publish a rate, not negotiate a price. There is a clear difference there. That is my issue with the whole thing. If you’re caught on tape negotiating prices, you are selling.

        • July 30, 2015 at 11:19 am —

          Your initial issue was that we were not viewing this from the perspective of a “deeply religious” person. That’s not a “keypoint” we’re “missing”. It’s a flawed understanding of reality, driven by fanaticism. There’s no reason to pander to those who ignore scientific facts and instead choose to believe whatever matches their agenda. Those people are not deserving of respect and understanding, but rather of something akin to ridicule. They’re not rational beings and have no reason to implant themselves in the conversation. That is what you said was missing from the discourse, not how Planned Parenthood conducts business.

          Please read the points outlined here: http://mediamatters.org/research/2015/07/28/7-things-media-should-know-about-the-third-unde/204636

          Planned Parenthood is not making a profit, but rather recovering reasonable expenses.

          An individual’s “moral objections” are pointless and condescending. This is science. This is the practice of medicine. If an individual does not like that, they are free to disavow all forms of medicine, and live free from such a moral conundrum. We *all* benefit from the critical research that is possible by these donations.

          • July 30, 2015 at 12:31 pm

            Hi verajinka-

            While I agree these are medical procedures, science cannot be removed from “moral objections.” Without ethical and moral boundaries, science is left with Josef Mengele, Tuskegee, and the Aversion Project.

            I would assume that if an organization existed that recovered reasonable expenses from the cultivation of organs from unwanted toddlers and teens you would find it repulsive. The point that Bill Jackson is making is that, to many people, there is no inherent life difference between a 6 week fetus and that of a 2 or 9 or 25 or 87 year old.

            While it’s clear that the law makes a distinction between them, there is no rational reason for it. To say that one form of a species is more valuable than another form of the same species is not based in reason – it is based on subjective opinions and beliefs.

            The “deeply religious” people typically believe all human life is inherently valuable. This is no more irrational than believing life is only as valuable as a government says it is.

            Maybe there is a rational, logic based argument that demonstrates why life begins sometime at conception but it is undoubtedly not present at conception or 6 or 12 or 19 weeks later. If the argument exists, I am unaware of it.

            If there is no rational, logic based argument then one is forced to use moral and ethical arguments to define life.

            If one uses a Utilitarian argument, one cannot explain why we find severely disabled persons as valuable as a productive citizen.

            If one uses the argument of significance, then one would be forced to admit a 7 foot man is more valuable than a 4 foot man.

            If one uses an argument from ability to perceive, why is Helen Keller so highly regarded in our culture?

            If one uses an argument from science, there is no difference in the DNA of a fetus or an adult. If one looks at it from number of cells, since killing a zygote is only two cells or so, one is forced to admit a 900 pound man is more valuable than a 30 pound 3 year old.

            So, again, if “moral objections are pointless,” how would you define life and tissue?

            I maintain that one must use moral and ethical arguments to define life. And, if I am correct, then the argument of life beginning at conception is as valid as the argument for life beginning at first breath.

          • July 30, 2015 at 3:38 pm

            >
            >An individual’s “moral objections” are pointless and condescending. This is science. This is the practice of medicine.
            >

            There are plenty of places in science where “moral objections” are applicable. Just because you’re an atheist doesn’t immediately make you amoral. Things like “should we experiment on animals”, “show we experiment on humans”, “should we be allowed to sell body parts” (currently illegal for adult or child in the USA) are all “moral issues” whether or not you’re religious. Not all atheists are 100% pro-choice and not all christians are 100% pro-life. There are plenty of vegan atheists around who don’t want to harm any living things and my guess is that a large percentage of them also are against harming unborn babies especially in the later stages of pregnancy, to be otherwise would be completely irrational and illogical.

          • July 30, 2015 at 3:49 pm

            Hi Verajnika,

            “We *all* benefit from the critical research that is possible by these donations.”

            By using the word “benefit,” meaning “make good,” you admit the existence of good. What is the origin of this good?

            Full disclosure: I am religious, but I am just interested in how freethinkers look at things.

            Thanks!

          • July 30, 2015 at 4:29 pm

            Brulelake:
            By benefit, I am speaking in terms of medical advancements. If we discover the cure to Alzheimer’s, we all benefit.

            Of course I believe some things are good and some are bad, I just don’t attribute those things to supernatural ‘unknowables’ and instead understand that every human action has the potential to land anywhere on the good-bad spectrum.

          • July 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm

            John Osburn:

            I believe there is a vast difference between moral beliefs and ethical stances. One can be a very staunch ‘moral’ person, yet behave in ways that are totally unethical. The study of ethics relies almost exclusively on concepts of right and wrong, yet does not grant one class of person moral superiority over another.

            The result of conception may be alive, but it is not yet a baby. It goes from zygote to blastocyst to embryo, it *may* become a fetus, and then *may* become a baby. It is estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. and that number increases to almost 50% when you include women who don’t yet know they are pregnant. Nature aborts, and beyond that, women have been aborting for millennia, it has just been incredibly dangerous to do so without the benefit of modern medicine.

            While, to Bill Jackson, there may not be any difference between an hour old zygote and a late-term fetus, there is a drastic scientific difference, and that’s what matters.

            If you’re going to define life so early, why not start at sperm? Why not make male masturbation illegal? Each ejaculation contains millions of potential babies!

            There is certainly a rational reason behind the distinctions of fetal life. If a fetus cannot exist outside the uterus, it is an extension of the woman. Unless you believe that women are not wholly people, and should be given less autonomy than a corpse, it follows that women should have the final say over what does or does not grow within their bodies.

            Ethically, no one could possibly say that a woman has no rights to govern her own body, but “deeply religious people” have no notion of ethics. They don’t care about society, or really, anyone other than themselves. They use their outdated literature to attempt to modify reality, and fail miserably in doing so.

            Wilson42: Please read what I wrote above about ethics. I do not subscribe to Judaic morals. The study of ethics may have roots in the teachings of morality, but is far more encompassing and accurate, and much more viable in terms of the law.

          • July 31, 2015 at 12:11 pm

            Verjainka-

            1. Using Kantian ethics and the principle of universalisability (neither of which is a moral construct), one is forced to declare most cases of abortion unethical.

            2. The distinction between zygote, blastocyst, fetus, embryo and baby are arbitrary. They are not based in reason. The distinctions and definitions are something we have all agreed upon, but the distinctions are not built in. There are differences for sure, but to define them as different things is an arbitrary decision. It makes no more rational sense to say a teenager is more of a human than is a baby because it is closer to its final form. Babies have no pubic hair, ability to perceive the world in a meaningful way, are unable to reproduce, and offer nothing to the species as whole. Why are babies suddenly worth protecting and embryos are not?

            3. Nature kills all kinds of life. Babies, children, and adults die from cancer, natural disasters, and other diseases. A baby *may* become a toddler which *may* become a teen which *may* become an adult which *may* become an octogenarian. To measure a life’s value by it’s potential of dyingleads to the conclusion that babies in America are 15 times more valuable than those in Afghanistan, Mali, and Somalia. It also leads to a baby in poverty is less valuable that a wealthy one.

            4. To say science sees such a drastic difference between a zygote and a baby, is akin to saying there is a drastic difference between male and female adults. Difference in attributes of human life do not rationally lead to different values of human life. There is zero genetic difference between a zygote and a baby. Only difference in form and potential.

            5. A sperm has no potential of becoming a baby, adult, zygote, or embryo. A sperm is an individual cell of a much larger organism. A zygote is all of the cells of an organism.

            6. If we define life as beginning when it is able to survive outside of the womb, is that with or without science? Medicine has the potential to grow a human from conception within our lifetime. If and when science is able to do that, will life then be defined by conception? If you mean only through natural means, then the timeline of life is different for every baby. Some would survive at 30 weeks others at 40. How to know when one is a baby and one is not?

            7. If we say one has the right to govern they’re own body regardless of how it affects another’s rights, then what of conjoined twins? If there are conjoined twins that share a heart or some other organ, is it ethical for the twin with the heart to demand the other twin die so the stronger twin can be free of its parasitical half?

            Many of these examples are extreme, but they illustrate the point of the irrationality of defining life as beginning at a certain point. There is not a universal truth about, which makes it irrational. 2 plus 2 will always equal 4, regardless of circumstances. Ethics are not based only on reason. One must start with certain assumptions. The anti-abortionists assume life begins at conception. The pro-choicers believe life is not inherently valuable, but is instead found in some other means.

            To define life as not beginning at conception is illogical and inconsistent. True abortion advocates admit this and accept this. This stance brings up a different set of issues, but the view is internally consistent.

            http://www.salon.com/2013/01/23/so_what_if_abortion_ends_life/

          • July 31, 2015 at 12:35 pm

            Thanks for the reply, verajnika, but I’m still not sure what you think makes things good or not good.

            For example, why is medical advancement good?

          • August 1, 2015 at 12:13 pm

            John Osborn:

            We call a fetal chicken an egg and clearly distinguish such from a chicken. I know of no culture on earth that fails to delineate the distinction between a fetal, potential, chicken and the animal. A fetus is a potential baby, but not a baby. Likewise we distinguish between a baby and an adult (both culturally and legally). The lines of delineation may be arbitrary to some degree, but none-the-less real.

          • August 1, 2015 at 1:01 pm

            John Osburn very impressive debate skills.

          • August 2, 2015 at 2:18 pm

            Via Abby Johnson, former Director of Texas Planned Parenthood:

            Shipping only costs a clinic $4 to $10 but they are sometimes charging $100 to $200 for each baby,” Johnson said, when asked if there’s a profit to be made from the harvesting of aborted baby parts. “They are charging additional fees, but in reality there are no additional fees except for minimal shipping costs,” Johnson asserted. “There is definitely money to be made and that’s an issue with the current law.”

        • July 30, 2015 at 11:33 am —

          Just read the title “Planned Parenthood is Not Selling Baby Parts, You Fucking Idiots” Bill. They are not discussing prices, the videos are heavily edited.

          I cant wait for the next 20 years, all these religeous zealots will die and we can administer health care for the poor as they need it. 2015 Health care based on a 2000 year old superstition is about as dumb as it sounds.

          • August 2, 2015 at 9:37 am

            602zoo the future belongs to those who procreate. Religious people aren’t nearly has in favor of “life-preventing/sterile” concepts such as gay marriage or abortion or even contraceptives as non-religious folks are.

  8. July 30, 2015 at 10:16 am —

    What this boils down to is someone’s political agenda. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, it’s how many people you can get to believe it.

  9. July 30, 2015 at 11:00 am —

    Don’t confuse knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers with facts. They can’t handle it.

  10. July 30, 2015 at 2:28 pm —

    Love the sentiment, hate the derisive tone. Can’t we have a conversation without name-calling? I have nothing against swearing; science shows it reduces stress and it’s just fucking fun to set off verbal firecrackers sometimes. But calling those on the opposite end of the political spectrum – particularly those who are being purposefully misled by vindictive jerks such as the video editors in question – idiots (much less fucking idiots) does nothing to promote reasonable, helpful, positive change-inducing discourse. No one who does not already believe in the sentiments expressed by this post will click on it; people don’t like to be called fucking idiots (funny thing, that). Better for SkepChick to offer up the video using neutral, encouraging language, and possibly enjoy the opportunity to change some minds.

    • July 30, 2015 at 5:32 pm —

      I can think of a much more basic reason not to call people you argue are unethical and wrong stupid, it marginalizes those who are not as bright, equating them with bad and evil. It’s quite abelist and frankly if your argument hinges on how stupid you think your opponent is, you probably don’t have a very good case in the fist place.

      I think your point @squintmom has some merit, however I’m not sure just how many of those people would ever visit Skepchick in the first place.

  11. July 30, 2015 at 4:15 pm —

    Rebecca suggests this is about spreading rumors about a marginalized group (poor women).

    I suspect actually the group spreading the rumors is primarily motivated by anti-abortion beliefs, regardless of the wealth level of the woman getting the abortion. Planned Parenthood just happens to be an easier target since it benefits from social spending.

  12. July 30, 2015 at 5:55 pm —

    Hi Rebecca,

    Thanks for the video. Did you watch the footage, though? The Center for Medical Progress video and commentary is not suggesting that Planned Parenthood “sells baby parts on the black market” but that it sells them to legitimate companies like StemExpress (who in turn sell them to research groups), and that in so doing they stand to benefit financially.

    Also, even if the size of the average fetus is a “lima bean” or smaller, the latest CMP videos (#3 and #4) show the size of the fetal tissue in question: a calvarium (head), heart, eyeballs, hands, etc. PP is allowed to store and sell parts from the abortions (however many) that result in usable and intact organs, so long as they do not stand to profit.

    Just two quick notes, wanted to see if you have been watching the videos, ’cause those two comments (“black market” and “lima bean”) seemed to me to misunderstand the issue.

    Thanks,
    Keith

    • July 31, 2015 at 12:26 am —

      PP offers patients the option of donating fetal tissue to science (the alternative: it goes into the trash). They don’t profit from this. The money they receive from middlemen for the tissue covers PP’s costs for storing and shipping the tissue. The PP spokesperson secretly videotaped even *says this* in the full version (it was edited out). And experts agree that the amounts PP charges ($30-$100) cannot make them a profit, and might even be a net *loss* for PP.
      http://www.factcheck.org/2015/07/unspinning-the-planned-parenthood-video/

      • August 1, 2015 at 3:07 pm —

        From the videos, Gatter sure makes it seem like the costs of storage and shipping are negligible so that $30-100 per specimen, at the end of a week, would be profitable. Nucatola said they don’t really “do much” to store — and that there is no shipping cost since StemExpress (et. al.) pick up the tissue at the end of the week. So I guess the cost is refrigeration?

        Bottom line: they are allowed to sell, they are allowed to recoup reasonable costs of storing and shipping. But they aren’t allowed legally to profit.

        I guess what all the congressional and state committees are going to investigate is whether they do or do not profit.

        • August 1, 2015 at 6:22 pm —

          “Seems like?” You don’t know WTF you’re talking about. Here’s what people who *do* say:

          http://www.factcheck.org/2015/07/unspinning-the-planned-parenthood-video/

          Sherilyn J. Sawyer, the director of Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s “biorepository,” told us that “there’s no way there’s a profit at that price.” She continued in an email:
          “Sawyer, July 20: In reality, $30-100 probably constitutes a loss for [Planned Parenthood]. The costs associated with collection, processing, storage, and inventory and records management for specimens are very high. Most hospitals will provide tissue blocks from surgical procedures (ones no longer needed for clinical purposes, and without identity) for research, and cost recover for their time and effort in the range of $100-500 per case/block. In the realm of tissues for research $30-100 is completely reasonable and normal fee.”

          • August 2, 2015 at 9:45 am

            krabapple what’s your response to the other 3 videos?

          • August 2, 2015 at 3:36 pm

            Let me ask *you* something? Is the ‘profit’ part that really bothers you, or is the ‘abortion’ part?

            IOW, if it’s demonstrated conclusively the PP is not ‘profiting’, will you be in full support of PP providing abortions?

  13. July 30, 2015 at 9:09 pm —

    I came onto the pro-choice bandwagon a little later in my political development. I never really had a strong opinion on the issue (being a young gay man) until recently when the Tea Party gained momentum and started passing anti-choice legislation. (Lots of credit goes to Ms. Maddow for educating me.) I guess my question is: how could Planned Parenthood let this to happen? Of course hindsight is 20/20 and I have no right to criticize. But if I ran the organization I would create a “Department of Paranoia” to think of ways the Far right might try to besmirch PP and counter them (Ha jk!) I don’t know, I guess I wonder sometimes why the pro-choice movement seems to be “losing ground” while other civil rights movements are gaining ground. Does anyone know why that is? Is the pro-choice movement underfunded? Do people feel alienated from the pro-choice movement? Does the pro-choice movement need to call on allies more? Is it gerrymandering? Or am I asking the wrong questions? I hope I don’t appear too obtuse.

    • August 2, 2015 at 10:02 am —

      Christopher I was the other way around. I used to be much more Progressive but I had to drop a lot of that thinking after speaking to philosophers and historians and doing a bit of research myself.

      Perhaps the pro-choice movement is losing ground because it’s too illogical and untenable? It’s a position with way too many holes and subjective rationalizations. With regard to “anti-choice” legislation, I assume you’re against laws preventing female minors from drinking alcohol, smoking, etc.?

  14. July 30, 2015 at 11:18 pm —

    Thank you for articulating so well what many of us want to say.

  15. July 31, 2015 at 1:05 am —

    A voice of reason – there seem to be so few of them around this particular subject matter. Also, thank you for pointing out that planned parenthood provides so many other health care services to low income women and families. I find myself thinking so many times: why are they targeting services that improve the quality of life for impoverished women and their families? I feel like this is kicking people when they are down.

    Also, the middle class is shrinking, inflation is crazy, wages are stagnant, many people are either unemployed or underemployed. We are at a time, economically speaking, where more women and their families (not less) need access to the services that planned parenthood provide. Cervical and breast exams, various forms of birth control, std screenings, reproductive education, the list goes on.

    One thing I would like to know, and which I am struggling to find concrete information on: if planned parenthood provides less than half the legal abortions in the US annually – where or who performs the rest of them? I have to assume that means women are able to have the procedure done through their health care insurance provider in some way. I’ve never had to contemplate medical miscarriage (which is how I view abortion) so I am not as informed as I should be. That said, then this issue really does boil down to denying the most economically disadvantaged people in our society access to medical care.

    Sorry, one more thought. Am I the only one who is tired of hearing the ‘but their killing babies’ thing? There are an estimated 322 million people in this country – we have several million live births (all babies, funnily enough) every year. We have more annual births than deaths – our population continues to grow. Infant (babies again) mortality rates are quite literally at an ‘in recorded human history’ lows. That’s a lot of babies – the living, breathing, inhabiting space and time independent of another person kind. Couldn’t more time and fervor be spent on making sure that they have as high a quality of life as possible? Chances at success and opportunities, etc. Just saying.

  16. July 31, 2015 at 2:46 am —

    What do you do when your obviously faked bullshit gets called out in a few small left-wing rags online? Why double-down of course!

    http://liveactionnews.org/new-undercover-video-shows-planned-parenthood-dissecting-aborted-baby/

    Jesus Fracking Keerist! *sigh* From the comments…

    “PJ, I pray you are right, but the power of this evil is VERY strong. Abortion and witchcraft and the occult are aligned. The blood of these children only make the industry stronger–not just with money but with evil. Abortion is a sacrament to the witches…. It will not go away with exposure or even laws. What this needs is the USA repenting–repenting and turning from our wicked ways.

    God will not heal our land because Planned Parenthood stops its human trafficking in dead babies. God will heal our land when we truly as a nation see this as a spiritual crisis and throw ourselves at the feet of the Cross in repentance.”

    Wheeee!!!!!!

  17. July 31, 2015 at 9:01 am —

    PP may not be selling body parts and fetal tissue, and most all of what Rebecca is saying is true; however, what she is saying is not an argument that they are not selling the tissue. Because PP does a lot of great things, doesn’t mean that some in the organization are bad eggs and do bad things. Just because most of the abortions are of fetuses the size of a kidney bean, does not mean that larger fetuses are not being sold. Just because the organization filming them is out to get PP, doesn’t mean they didn’t catch them doing something wrong. I know the video is highly edited, but there are a few sentences in there that are troubling. I doubt PP is selling this tissue, but if we want to discount it, superficial arguments like Rebecca’s are certainly not going to do it.

    • July 31, 2015 at 12:58 pm —

      Exactly! Also, I have looked into it more and there are at least 3 different videos with different employees in them…that makes me think they really are receiving compensation for the parts…it may be considered a processing/procurement fee rather than selling, but it certainly looks like they are being paid for fetal arms, legs, neural tissue, etc.

      • July 31, 2015 at 2:34 pm —

        Why does 3 videos and 3 employees matter? Yes, they are ‘receiving monetary compensation’. That was never in question. But not for the tissues per se. It costs PP money to store and ship the tissues. They are compensated for *those costs*. That doesn’t mean PP is in a ‘business’ trying to make a ‘profit’ off it. They are trying to break even. The Dr. videotaped in the very first video made the point repeatedly.

        As for the stuff that in another post you ‘don’t want to think about’, what on earth did you imagine aborted fetus tissues would look like, ma’am? Flowers and kittens? Brain surgery is pretty disturbing too until you get used to seeing it.

  18. July 31, 2015 at 12:08 pm —

    I came across your video through Facebook. A friend of mine shared it. I guess it caught me by surprise. And as I read through all of the comments I really became caught off guard. The quick and sarcastic comments that flooded this video, agreeing with you and also pushing blame on the right wing or left wing politicians for allowing this video to ever surface. I don’t want to become sucked into the political spiral that has consumed us all.

    But there was one thing in particular that I have been struggling with. I guess I have to share my story. I also want to say that I’m not here to argue but to start a conversation.

    At the age of 18 my sister got an abortion at planned parenthood. She was in her second trimester 15 weeks. I was one of many people who she asked for advice, I at the time was 16. I remember telling her she has nothing to worry about because its not even 20 weeks yet, it’s still just tissue forming. Her friends and some family at the time agreed and this made my sister feel more comfortable with her decision. My sister and her boyfriend at the time went to planned parenthood and went through with the abortion.

    About six months after she had the abortion she had a mental break down. She explained the morning of the abortion and how she remembers the baby coming out of her. My whole family was scared of her reaction so she was put into therapy.

    Nearly ten years later. I am now pregnant. When I was 16 weeks the same people who gave my sister advice to have an abortion because its just tissue were congratulating me on my baby. They actually said baby. Not tissue, not anything else but baby. That is when I realized I told my sister to throw away her child.

    My sister and I are totally different people, I went to college got married and then decided to have children. My sister was 18 and had her future to look forward to, changing the dynamic of the situation. Many people saw her as an issue, because she might soon be on welfare with no future struggling and never achieving her dreams.
    People see me and they see someone who planned well and will be able to take care of her children and will not be a burden or be burdened with a child.

    I got my first check up at 9 weeks, that’s when the baby is a size of a kidney bean I was able to hear the heartbeat, I was told congratulations by the doctor, I was given a huge folder on what to eat, what not to eat, essentially how to make the healthiest baby.

    My sister was told its ok, it’s still tissue at 15 weeks.

    I guess to me it’s just concerning, everyone has the right to believe what they want to believe, to me it’s just hard to sit back and not realize the differences that we experienced, and yes education, age and surroundings changed our outcomes.

    What was considered to be an unfit parent was pressured into abortion compared to me who appears to be a fit parent, who is celebrated.

    • July 31, 2015 at 2:39 pm —

      In your anecdote , *you* , and ‘some friends and family’ are the ones who told your sister the fetus was ‘just tissue’ at 15 weeks.

      Ten years later ‘the same people’ told you your fetus was a ‘baby’.

      Huh.

    • July 31, 2015 at 9:11 pm —

      I get it, I do. I have been pro-choice most of my adult life; most of my family is very conservative pro lifers and this discussion has come up several times.
      I have a friend that waited a little later in life to get pregnant-it took her a year to get pregnant, so once it was confirmed, she was over the moon. She started telling people around the 8-9 week mark and of course it was always a baby, not a fetus or a any of the other technical words. You talk about the baby having a heartbeat, but just because something has a heartbeat doesn’t mean it’s “alive”. Maybe that’s what the conversation needs to be–it some thing that has a heart beat alive? Or does it need to have a functioning brain as well? Does it need to be able to survive with out any aid?
      The reality is that your 9 week old “baby” wouldn’t survive if you had it now. And it disturbs me that there is a group of people that want to put the rights of a fetus or an unborn baby above the rights of the living, breathing mother. Sure we could ban all abortions and make all the women that get pregnant have the babies. But right now we don’t have any resources to support the influx of adoptions and single mothers who need help with food assistance and day care and whatever.
      My sister just had her first child and the father has been in and out of the baby’s life. He provides no real support and she is working a full and a part time job, but she is struggling financially. She went to school while she was on maternity leave to get a better job and also worked part time. My mom has been watching her daughter but has to go back to work, so my sister has been searching for day care and is discovering that day care costs more than her rent. She is getting WIC, but makes to much for any kind of food stamps or help with daycare. So she can work part time and get assistance, or work 2 jobs and barely make it and never see her daughter.

      For most people, having an abortion is a really tough decision. I don’t think most people are cavalier or casual about it. And some people do struggle with the aftermath. But those women made the right decision for themselves at that moment in their lives.

      • August 1, 2015 at 1:07 pm —

        blushannon are you suggesting the lack of suitable economic resources for the unborn is a good argument for abortion? Because if so your subsequent paragraph details your sister’s economic struggles…but surely you weren’t in favor of her getting an abortion. Right?

  19. July 31, 2015 at 12:53 pm —

    Really? There is not just one video…there are 3 different ones at least. I don’t think that Planned Parenthood is necessarily a bad organization. They provide a lot of very important services to people who would not otherwise have access to these services.

    They are receiving monetary compensation for aborted fetal body parts…are they getting rich off of it? Probably not. Does this sicken a lot of people? Yes! I understand that these parts are likely (hopefully being used for medical research) but it still is something I don’t want to think about.

    This one actually shows parts on a dish, being sorted and the amounts being talked about. Just go to 7:32 to skip through the rest of the dramatic talking, etc.

    http://liveactionnews.org/new-undercover-video-shows-planned-parenthood-dissecting-aborted-baby/

  20. July 31, 2015 at 6:22 pm —

    What is the source of the claim that “3% of all Planned Parenthood’s activities are abortions”? Planned Parenthood performs no mammograms, for example, but instead refers patients to facilities that can actually do them. These are similar to referrals of many other organizations, including county health departments and the American Cancer Society.

    Planned Parenthood does perform abortions in-house.

    I’m curious as to whether a referral for a procedure and a procedure are both considered an “activity” and are counted the same. If a particular clinic does 97 referrals and 3 abortions in a week, then were abortions only 3% of that clinic’s activity?

    • August 1, 2015 at 3:08 pm —

      Planned parenthood actually does provide mammograms occasionally through mobile mammography vans, and pays for women’s mammograms through grants. They also do breast exams, which are part of breast cancer screening and a common way to find issues.

      You have a strange focus on mammogram referrals vs abortions. Those two services aren’t the only two offered by pp, and your disingenuous jaqing feels pretty contrived when you consider you’re posting this on the internet. Where you can actually find answers to your question, though I suppose if you don’t like the answers its probably more fulfilling to fling shit at the wall.

      Contraception (including reversible contraception, emergency contraception, vasectomies and tubal sterilizations): 4,009,549 services

      Sexually transmitted infections testing and treatment: 3,955,916 services

      Cancer screening and prevention: 1,830,811 services

      Other women’s health services(including pregnancy tests and prenatal care): 1,178,369 services

      Abortions: 332,278 procedures

      Miscellaneous (including primary care and adoption referrals): 76,977

      Total services: 11,383,900

      • August 2, 2015 at 2:24 pm —

        Good facts, Aly. Of the roughly 1 million abortions performed each year, about one-third are performed by Planned Parenthood.

        Let’s forget about abortion for a second. We all know that most abortions could be avoided if people used birth control. Yes, a small number of babies would be conceived, but for the most part, 97%+ of all these abortions could have been prevented. That’s a big story.

        Next up…. Almost 4 million people treated for STDs. Again, proper use of condoms would go a long way toward stopping the spread of STDs. What does it cost to treat an STD as opposed to use condoms?

        Seems to me the educational element of safe sex is still not conveyed nor understood by Americans. How sad.

  21. July 31, 2015 at 6:23 pm —

    I would actually be really interested in seeing the syllabus and required/suggested reading for that course on heresy. Is there any chance it’s still floating around on the Internet somewhere? Where was it held?

  22. August 1, 2015 at 1:59 am —

    The only talk about Planned Parenthood is regarding abortion, but that makes up a small portion of their activity. I want to post a comment about my son, a Planned Parenthood baby. I was not initially married to my son’s mother when he was born and could not add her to my work’s health plan. We went to Planned Parenthood for help and advice. They were incredible with resources, advice and council to make his birth successful. Abortion was never on the table and never discussed. He was born extremely prematurely and initially faced significant medical challenges. He is now a healthy, smart energetic 3.5 year old boy. I consider Planned Parenthood instrumental in his successful birth, life and health and am proud to call him a Planned Parenthood baby.

  23. August 1, 2015 at 2:58 pm —

    Don’t bother to comment because liberal bitches like this baby hater will just delete what you say…..liberal bitches are dead loving baby hating leg spreading skanks….

  24. August 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm —

    Just when I was pleasantly surprised about the level headed and intelligent comments from both sides, Ms, Balboa had to ruin the experience with an absolutely uncalled for and insulting contribution. You are some classy lady….

  25. November 28, 2015 at 9:34 pm —

    Is that how you address the people who regularly read SkepChick and agree with you — “Fucking idiots?” Why do you have such a low opinion of your readership?

    • December 1, 2015 at 2:11 am —

      Irwin, how did you get that out of the title? She’s very obviously using the title to address those who believe the anti-choice propaganda that this video was a response to.

      Perhaps you are unaware what this video was regarding…?
      There are links provided in the text of this post.

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