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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Last night's GOP debate

I watched the Republican debate last night online. Holy mackerel :( The discussion of one issue that especially struck me was that of defunding Planned Parenthood and those deceptive videos about fetal tissue - all the Republican candidates who spoke about the subject in the debate misrepresented the truth. As this Washington Post editorial states, facts and reason were left in the dust, and I found especially creepy Carly Fiorina's lies (Fiorina defends citing nonexistent abortion video).

From the LA Times: It's time for Carly Fiorina to apologize to Planned Parenthood [UPDATED]

And this: What Was Up With Carly Fiorina’s Grisly Abortion Rant?

And here's a bit from the WP editorial ...

[...] Mr. Cruz, Mr. Christie and Ms. Fiorina all alluded to a series of heavily edited videos produced by antiabortion activists that have become a flash point in efforts by congressional Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood. Mr. Cruz labeled the family planning provider an “ongoing criminal enterprise” and said the videos show Planned Parenthood officials “bartering and selling the body parts of human beings . . . essentially [confessing] to multiple felonies.” Mr. Christie referred to the “systematic murder of children in the womb to preserve their body parts.” Ms. Fiorina challenged President Obama and Hillary Clinton to view the tapes and “watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”

Those characterizations are false. The videos, highly suspect because of how they were produced, contain callous, even insensitive, discussion of medical procedures and aborted fetal tissue, but there is no instance of any Planned Parenthood official discussing the sale of fetal tissue for profit. The images described by Ms. Fiorina, as has been pointed out by media fact checkers, don’t exist.

What is true is that two out of 59 Planned Parenthood affiliates (down from seven) are involved in legal fetal tissue research, offering a connection between scientists and women who want to donate tissue. The only money these affiliates receive is reimbursement for their costs. No federal money, with few exceptions, is used for abortions in any of the affiliates; most of the federal funding to Planned Parenthood helps women, many of them low-income, receive vital services such as family planning and cancer and sexually transmitted disease screenings. Also true is that most Americans don’t want Planned Parenthood defunded and most certainly don’t want the government closed over the issue.

It’s unclear who won Wednesday’s debate, but the clear losers of this segment of conversation were reason and facts.


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