Oct 022015
 

by Alex Symington…….

I have been following the congressional inquisition of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, President Cecile Richards and it is everything I would expect from the Republican inquisitors. The glee with which Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) attacks Richards for making a decent annual salary would be comical except for its ugly misogynistic tone. This undisguised open disdain for a woman making a respectable income was not overlooked by Elijah Cummings (D-MD).

Cummings started by pointing out Cecile Richards’ salary is commensurate with her job as president of a nation wide healthcare provider. The PPFA has 59 independent local affiliates that operate approximately 700 health centers throughout the United States. The radical right is accusing Planned Parenthood of illegal activity and as such should not receive any federal money and their best case scenario would the permanent closing of the PPFA. Remember, this is the “family values” and “sanctity of life” people that want to eliminate, what is for some women, their only source of healthcare.

At one point Chaffetz presented a simplistic chart/graph consisting of two diagonal lines intersecting with one arrow pointing up and one pointing down showing the “rate of abortions rising” and conversely “cancer screenings decreasing”. As Chaffetz was badgering Richards, she informed him that the chart was made by “Americans United for Life”, an anti-abortion organization and she advised him “he should check his sources”. Ouch. Talk about a self-hoisted petard… This incident was especially damning and begs the questions, “Is Representative Chaffetz not above providing false “evidence” and acting with deceit at his own hearing?” OR “Is Representative Chaffetz simply an ill prepared moron?”

To further illustrate Chaffetz’s and the at large Republican selective outrage at Richards and Planned Parenthood’s alleged criminal activity, Cummings recited a list of financial institutions and a pharmaceutical company that receive federal money and have, not only broken the law, but have been convicted and heavily fined. Where was the Republican outrage and call for withholding federal dollars from these companies?

Cummings started by saying, “Ms. Richards, I find it extremely hypocritical that Republicans criticize the salaries of PPFA officials when you have violated no laws, especially when these same Republicans completely ignore the CEOs of huge companies that are actually breaking the law!” I repeat, the radical right’s selective outrage is Kabuki Theater at its best.

Cummings continued his well researched dressing-down with, “Earlier this year Citigroup, JP Morgan and other banks plead guilty to manipulating currency markets and interest rates. They were fined more than five billion dollars for their actions, yet Citigroup CEOs still received thirteen million dollars last year and JP Morgan CEOs received twenty million!”

Here’s the kicker. “These banks get extensive federal support in the form of borrowing through the federal reserve discount window and access to deposit insurance through the FDIC.” Cummings then asked Ms. Richards the rhetorical question, “Did you know if house Republicans made any effort to strip the banks of their federal support?” Richards did not.

There’s more: “Johnson and Johnson was fined more than two billion dollars for illegally marketing drugs and paying kickbacks to doctors and nursing homes, but the CEO [still] received twenty-five million dollars. Did the house Republicans open an investigation into this company? Nope. AND they never sought to deny funding through Medicaid or to block their NIH grant.”

The phrase, “War on Women” may sound dramatic, but it is accurate. This whole witch hunt began with the release of surreptitiously obtained and heavily edited videos of PPFA officials talking about fetal tissue being sold and how the “baby parts business” was part of PPFA’s income stream. Since these manipulated and misleading videos have surfaced the radical right has pounced on this as an excuse to defund and shut down, PPFA. These same people have been gunning for PPFA for decades and thought they had finally reached pay dirt. By the way and FYI because of the Hyde amendment the PPFA receives no federal money for abortions except in the case of incest, rape or threat to the mother’s life and abortion accounts for only 3% of all services offered by the PPFA.

A New York Times article by Jackie Calmes states that an independent forensic study of the video(s) has found evidence of editing and other manipulation. According to the investigation, the reviewers could not determine “the extent to which C.M.P.’s [Center for Medical Progress…gotta love these euphemistic titles] undisclosed edits and cuts distort the meaning of the encounters the videos purport to document. “However, the manipulation of the videos does mean they have no evidentiary value in a legal context and cannot be relied upon for any official inquiries” unless C.M.P. provides investigators with its original material, and that material is independently authenticated as unaltered. There is a link below to video of some of what was edited out, putting into context what was said and the role of the PPFA.

This is just one more case of the radical right wing posse lying through their teeth to further their agenda of returning us to the dark ages when women died for lack of quality health care. I have a wife and daughter, I have a niece and many wonderful women in my life and the idea of making their lives more dangerous or difficult in the name of some gaseous ideology makes me furious. These same dangerous extremists want to make defunding the PPFA a factor in passing the budget and are once again threatening to shut the government down if they don’t get their way. Aren’t we tired of this rule by intimidation? This should be a wake-up call to the American voter that the radical right is incapable of responsible leadership and in truth holds the average American in contempt.

 

More from other sources:

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/statement-from-planned-parenthood-on-new-undercover-video

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/us/abortion-planned-parenthood-videos.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/29/444528541/6-clips-of-audio-you-should-hear-from-the-planned-parenthood-hearing

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/planned-parenthood-chief-embarrasses-gop-rep

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/who-we-are/planned-parenthood-at-a-glance

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/08/05/429641062/fact-check-how-does-planned-parenthood-spend-that-government-money

https://www.aclu.org/public-funding-abortion

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Alex Symington

Actively engaged human being distressed by the current global paradigm of destruction of the planet for short term profit by the global corporatocracy and the bovine reaction of the people most affected. I write essays and poetry in order to sleep at night.

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More Articles by Alex Symington Prior to November 2014.


 October 2, 2015  Posted by at 12:46 am Alex Symington, Issue #134  Add comments

  18 Responses to “Planned Parenthood”

  1. well researched/well written article–thanks for bringing focus to the efforts of the radical right wing to discredit and defund PP–the “congressional inquisition” was REDONKULOUS

  2. Alex, As usual, thanks for the informative article. Although you have covered the issue quite beautifully, I think it is relevant to mention one more thing. It is no accident that those who will suffer the most if the Republicans had their way, are the most needy amongst us. Funny how it always works out that way. Although it might not seem related, the mass shooting in Oregon has a similar feeling for me in this sense: Jeb Bush and some other prominent Republicans sent their PRAYERS to the victims’ relatives. If I was one of those relatives I’d be outraged. I’d write back, “I don’t need your prayers, I need your action. If you can’t offer that, just go away.” ciao, Jerome

  3. Alex,

    As usual, your intelligently put together article is thought provoking.

    Because I indeed hold you in high regard; respecting, admiring and loving you; it’s difficult for me to take issue with the content of your subject matter.

    There are so many grotesque, anguishing and torturous ways that one can be killed in combat. None of them come near to the barbarous scenes of slaughter I viewed, during a partial-birth abortion.

    In fact, we had reached such a low point in this nation that we had to enact laws directing doctors to medically treat a baby that was born alive during a botched abortion (Born-Alive Infants Protection Act). Prior to the enactment of that law, this baby, this human being, was left to die and thrown out with the garbage.

    Of note, it appears from the research I gathered that our president and first lady support partial-birth abortions and have opposed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.

    In comparison to the egregiousness of what may be considered infanticide, one’s salary is rather an insignificant item for discussion.

    Dissecting a baby during an abortion to optimize profits secured form the sale of its body parts and/or organs, seems to me to be an especially inhumane and cruel manner of death. Is this viable fetus given any medication to decrease its pain and suffering, as it is torn apart?

    Abortion is a serious matter. Partial-birth abortions are such a painful and barbaric manner for a life to be destroyed. Cavalierly discussing the killing and dismembering of any living organism over lunch; to acquire money, cars or a vacation trip, is in poor taste and may be illegal.

    Alex, you know how to write an article and get one’s blood circulating. Your skilled prose and presentation, are second to none.

    Blessings & Respect…

  4. I used to get at least a little amusement from the hypocrisy and obvious cognitive dissonance in your essays, but to go so far as to advocate for murder and trafficking of human baby parts…well that’s just too much for me. I’m thoroughly disgusted.

    And yes, I’ve watched ALL of the videos relevant to this topic and have researched the origins and ongoing practices of Planned Parenthood.

  5. Great column, Alex. What’s interesting and depressing is how little coverage Cumming’s remarks received, at least in my brief exposure, from the media. Cummings slamdunked the Republicans even better than Richards (for one, because they couldn’t keep interrupting him like they did her), yet there was no mention of it or no follow-up to pitch those questions to the PP haters and get them on record dodging them just as awkwardly as the committee chair at the end of his diatribe.

  6. Thought for the day….

    Nobody does hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance like the gun-loving-pro-life-pro-death-
    penalty-family-values-torture-is-fine-sanctity-of-life-defund-all-social-programs-WWJD-screw-poor-people radical right…

  7. You need to stick your right/left retardation where the sun doesn’t shine.

  8. To make a comparison between the murder and trafficking of human baby body parts with banking practices of “manipulating currency markets and interest rates” and then to further give such a comparison in this written piece such legitimacy, is the mark of a very depraved society and mind.

  9. hi folks
    been gone for awhile away in hospital and now recouping from discharge last week and must say to make it political left /right blather is just that…misdirected blather. its disgusting and I for one could not watch these videos and I have a big thick crust on these 70 years.

    our nations morality is in the toilet imo. I’m deeply hit by the callousness of the ‘fetus industry’. and make no mistake that’s exactly what it is.

    PP is a non-profit organization and originally tasked with giving birth control advice and contraception with public donations as any non-profit and tax money assistance.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_Parenthood

    as I understand it and i’ll stand corrected if wrong their annual budget is something like 1.5B with tax money making up 500M.
    in light of the terrible and ugly
    [I can only see in my minds eye since I couldn’t bring myself to watch the videos ]
    form it now takes as a ‘fetus industry suppiler’ in my opinion the taxpayor advantage of 500M needs be stripped immediately. and this sure as hell has nothing to do with right or left and as pres Ronald Reagan once said on a different issue it has to do with ‘up or down’.
    the corruption of this society by certain factions is unending.

  10. Since we are on the sensitive topic of aborted baby parts for sale, are you aware that the DNA of an aborted fetus is injected into you with many common vaccines? For example, it is in the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot, and that shingles shot that every pharmacy in town is pushing. This is not new. Vaccines have been incorporating DNA from aborted babies for many years. They just didn’t brag about it. Now China is in the game. I received a newsletter from Health Sciences Institute recently that included these excerpts:

    “In fact, last spring I told you about research by Dr. Theresa Deisher showing the terrifying connection between the MMR shot and childhood cancers. The fetal cells used in that shot (called WI-38) came from an aborted baby girl in Sweden. ”

    “Chinese researchers have just announced that they have created a new fetal cell line for vaccines from an aborted 12-week-old baby girl. It’s being called Walvax-2, and it’s already been tested for chicken pox, shingles and hepatitis vaccines.

    The fact that the medical industry continues to kill babies and use them for science is heartbreaking enough. I mean, have you seen the videos that Carly Fiorina has been working to expose?
    And what’s worse is that the methods researchers are using are more brutal than ever before.
    You see, to get this one fetal cell line, the Chinese actually aborted nine babies — all from carefully screened parents — until they got the right one.
    Have you ever heard a more callous disregard for life?
    The women were put into premature labor using something called “water bagging” that makes sure the babies are born with alive, intact organs that were immediately sent to laboratories.
    Yes, you read that right — alive. ”

    They can keep their shingles shot. It is not very effective anyway, and who needs carcinogenic DNA from an aborted baby injected? Turns my belly.

  11. Everyone, OK, it is time to get down and dirty and I’m willing to take the heat for what I’m about to say. A fetus, at the stage of development we are now talking about, is not a human being that can exist independently of its mother. It has no consciousness. It can’t remember anything about its existence in the womb. It cannot think. It has no personality or human talents or foibles. I ask any man who has been circumcised to tell me if he remembers anything about it, and that was at a time when his development was something far beyond the fetuses we are talking about. If, as I believe, a woman has the right to do away with an unwanted pregnancy, I see nothing wrong with using whatever can be used for scientific reasons. No one is being hurt, no one is losing anything. Now, if the Chinese or anyone else are coercing people into aborting, that is a different story, but that is not what PP does. Human beings are the only species on the face of the planet that understands its reproductive functions enough to control it. Jesus never said a word about abortion. Where has all this nonsense come from? I have little sensitivity for an unwanted fetus, at least in the stages we are talking about. I reserve my sensitivities for living, breathing, walking, talking human beings, as well as for the other animals living outside the womb on this planet, something the pro-life people seem to have no sensitivity for. If their God really exists, I’ll stand before It for judgement anytime. I’m not so sure any of the right wing zealots who have made all this so political would come out so well. OK, there it is, ciao, PCM

    • I personally could not care less about your thoughts on this subject nor any other.

    • “By the way and FYI because of the Hyde amendment the PPFA receives no federal money for abortions except in the case of incest, rape or threat to the mother’s life and abortion accounts for only 3% of all services offered by the PPFA.”

      97% of what PP does is offer health services to women to prevent STDs, cancer and also UNWANTED pregnancy with contraceptives, so they won’t need to abort an unwanted fetus. PP is the most cost effective and pragmatic solution to preventing abortions.

      • http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/05/07/_3_percent_of_planned_parenthood_s_services_are_abortion_but_what_about.html

        The Most Meaningless Abortion Statistic Ever

        Amanda, it’s been so long since I’ve seen a reference to the claim that abortions make up only 3 percent of the services that Planned Parenthood provides that I thought maybe they’d stopped trying. It might not be a technically incorrect number, but it is meaningless—to the point of being downright silly— for several reasons. Not the least of which being that Planned Parenthood “unbundles” all of its services so that a pack of pills, an STD test and an exam are three separate services.

        Undoubtedly, some of those services are cheaper than others: To illustrate this, let’s make a comparison with an actual business. Say I open a watch store. I sell lots of those cheap plastic digital ones that you can get at discount stores. And I sell some Timex and Casio, and also some nicer designer watches. But then I also keep a few superexpensive Brightlings and Patek Phillipes in stock. And maybe those only make up 3 percent of my sales. But selling only a handful of fancy watches brings in far more than 3 percent of my REVENUES. And so it is with abortion.

        It’s impossible to know how much money Planned Parenthood brings in for abortion. Because as specific as the annual report is about the number of services it provides, it’s far less detailed when talking about where its revenue comes from (They are within their rights, so whatever). But it’s easy to calculate, as the Weekly Standard did, that Planned Parenthood gets at least a third of its clinic income—and more than 10 percent of all its revenue, government funding included—from its abortion procedures.

        Ask anyone who runs a for-profit business or nonprofit charity if something that brings in one-third of their revenue is “central” to their endeavor, and the answer is likely to be yes. So yes, abortion is central to what Planned Parenthood does. There ARE a few things that aren’t central to their purpose though. As compared with the nearly 334,000 abortions that Planned Parenthood provided in 2011, 28,674 women received prenatal services. And 2,300 were referred to adoption agencies.

        • I forgot to mention that most of the PP facilities are located in low income MINORITY areas…by design. But I guess you hypocrite, Margaret Sanger lovers are cool with that.