Of late, Planned Parenthood has found itself in political crosshairs. Threats to defund it, threats to investigate it, threats to close it down. All fielded by neocons who act like, by simply not mentioning sex, people will sit around on blocks of ice until their wedded partners show up. The attacks were horrible, but PP survived. So the opposition went back to the drawing board. And what they came up with was evil.
On July 14th, in a move straight out of the Joseph McCarthy Manual On Character Assassination, the Center For Medical Progress released a 9 minute video purporting to show Dr. Deborah Nucatola, PP's Senior Director of Medical Services, telling how PP "sells the body parts of aborted fetuses." The video and accompanying press release charge that PP was in violation of 42 U.S.C. 289g-2, a federal law governing the use and sale of fetal tissue. And this touched off outrage from supporters who felt like they'd been had and neocons making impassioned speeches and threatening to shut PP down forever.
Just one little problem.
The video was a hoax.
I made my own microbudget movie years ago, and so I quickly had to figure out little tricks to disguise shots not matching up or ways to shave out parts that were lingering too long. In other words, I know what to look for to see a video being selectively edited (need I remind you I proved the alien autopsy video was fake on my first viewing). And here's the key part -- during the conversation about money, if you watch the time stamps, the video loses about eight minutes in the middle of the conversation. Eight. Minutes. So what happens in those eight minutes? How can we tell? Easy. The unedited video is also available for viewing. And the results are damning to CMP's integrity. The conversation on money was about reimbursement of legal and logistical expenses, and the tissue is talked about being donated, not sold, which is perfectly legal under federal law (and hospitals and research labs will back that up). In other words, the video is edited to make it seem like Nucatola was saying something completely different than what she actually said.
So, who is the Center For Medical Progress? No one knows -- it really do anything until the day the video was made public. It claims to be a non-profit "group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances." The only things on the site and its Facebook is the video and "related documents." Their Twitter account didn't exist until this past May, and only plugged their PP video.
The only name listed for the site is one David Daleiden. Oh, my, isn't THIS interesting? Daleiden has wrote pieces for Live Action News, a pro-life web site that existed to "investigate" abortion providers, and PP was his and their favorite punching bag. They frequently attempted to make "sting" videos where agents like Daleiden pose as people to con PP employees into breaking the law. They almost never got anything, but that didn't stop them from trying. Their solution was to edit the videos and demand an investigation, relying on allies (like Charles Johnson, owner of the site the Claremont Conservative, wrote that Live Action had a video of PP doing things like covering up satutory rape in 2009. This is the same Charles Johnson that was just banned from Twitter for life for being a troll and utility-grade anus stain). Daleiden wrote a piece for the Weekly Standard in 2010 talking about "the emotional distress for teh abortionist" and how that would bolster the case against legalized abortions. In 2011, he wrote about how Kansas had expanded the powers of the state Health Department to regulate the few remaining abortion clincs in the state. And now, here we go again, with the same technique from 2009.
This became a political football. Despite some really obvious edits and hints in the soundtrack, people are going after PP again. Bobby Jindal, who has seen his chances of becoming president vanish like spring ice, is vowing a full investigation into PP in his state. Other states are following suit, and Congress is getting into the act to rally voters to their bases, turning Dr. Nucatola's name into mud, collateral damage in their great crusade. The House Energy And Commerce Committee decalred they would hold hearings on a video that was being professionally debunked by experts with sheepskins less than 24 hours after it came out.
This is a waste of effort and taxpayer money. Not only do we have proof the video is faked, in the past several days, two states have concluded investigations into PP and found no evidence of wrongdoing, and certainly nothing like what the video claims to expose. The first was Massachusetts. Last week, AG Maura Healey announed, " Over the past week, my office has conducted a thorough review and found that Planned Parenthood League Of Massachusetts' health care centers are fully compliant with state and federal laws regarding the disposition of fetal tissue. Although donation of fetal tissue is permissible under state and federal law, PPLM does not have a tissue donation program (emphasis mine -- G). There is no evidence that PPLM is involved in any way in the buying or selling of tissue. As such, our review is complete."
Now, some of you might be thinking, "But, Peter, that Massachusetts. Home of the Kennedys. They are about as lefty as you can get. How do you know it's not a lefty government looking out for its allies?" Well, let's look at the second state to absolve PP, Indiana. Indiana is as right as Massachusetts is left, as the controversy around RFRA demonstrates. On July 16, Gov. Mike Pence (an R, I would like to point out) launched an investigation on the PP facilities in Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Merrilville. Last week, the Indiana Department Of Health reported they were "unable to find any non-compliance with state regulations. Therefore, no deficiencies were cited."
There are ten states left that are currently investigating PP. They are Tennessee, Florida, Kansas (one wonders where they are getting the money to waste on this), Arizona, Louisana, Texas, South Carolina, Ohio, Georgia, and Missouri. That's not counting the House Energy And Commerce Committee.
But the lie continues. People continue to tilt at the windmills. As the rest of us wait to see them get smacked and flung by the arms.