Sarah Kliff watched all 12 hours of the Planned Parenthood videos
August 13, 2015 8:34 AM   Subscribe

 
moments when officials with the group seem to haggle over fetal tissue compensation and appear to make women's health a secondary priority.
Since PP clinics are non-profit, doesn't saving time and money on tissue donation and tissue disposal actually mean they could spend MORE time and money on women's health?

What's clear to me from this summary is that many clinics are NOT equipped to facilitate fetal tissue donation if and when their patients ask for it. In other words, there is no "there" there.
posted by muddgirl at 8:44 AM on August 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


holy moley that's some hardcore concern trolling and rules lawyering.
posted by mullacc at 8:48 AM on August 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


A nonprofit is concerned with cost savings? Well I never!
posted by dinty_moore at 8:49 AM on August 13, 2015 [39 favorites]


This is a useful write-up, but the first half of the article seemed to be like, moderately sensational build up to the actual ethical issues that were presented.

It's complicated, but so is every business decision ever, and they handled it well. There was nothing egregiously, creepily sub rosa about any of these conversations. The Planned Parenthood officials were pretty on point. The mild haggling that happened and the claims of "specious" or "technical" arguments in bioethics are too vague to point a finger at (who doesn't spitball in a business conversation? jesus), plus they were clearly led there by the stupid lying dickbags.

Most of all, I hate the dickbags for what they've done to obscure these subtle ethical issues around women's care. Fuck you for hating women so much.
posted by easter queen at 8:52 AM on August 13, 2015 [58 favorites]


What I'm trying to say is, this article didn't strike me as explicitly contributing to evil in the world-- these are important things to keep in mind even while we defend Planned Parenthood with our hearts, minds and souls-- but the write-up was ridiculously clunky and stupid, and we basically can't even have this conversation because dumbfucks will pearl-clutch about baby livers.
posted by easter queen at 8:57 AM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


This Radiolab story was from last month, and I it opened my eyes to a part of this that I wasn't familiar with- just how valuable fetal tissue is for medical researchers.
posted by DGStieber at 9:01 AM on August 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


moments when officials with the group seem to haggle over fetal tissue compensation

Odd form of haggling, when the "seller" is basically being baited into bumping up the price by the "buyer":
Gatter (PP): Okay. $75 a specimen.

Buyer (anti-abortion group): Oh. That's way too low.

Gatter: Okay.

Buyer: And that's, really, that's way too low. I don't, I want to keep you happy.

Gatter: I was going to say $50, because I know places that did $50, too. But see we don't, we're not in it for the money, and we don't want to be in a position of being accused of selling tissue, and stuff like that. On the other hand, there are costs associated with the use of our space, and that kind of stuff, so what were you thinking about?

Buyer: Exactly. Way higher than that.

Gatter: Mhm.

Buyer: So I'd like to start at around $100.

Gatter: Okay.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:03 AM on August 13, 2015 [28 favorites]


This is a useful write-up, but the first half of the article seemed to be like, moderately sensational build up to the actual ethical issues that were presented.

Well, just today, NBC/Comcast announced it is investing $200M in Vox. So I could see why the Vox editors would probably want to bend over backwards to appear to be "objective" on this topic. I'd hate for the first conversation with my new investor to be about why a slew of GOP presidential candidates are now calling for a boycott of their company.
posted by mullacc at 9:04 AM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


"it's a difficult ethical issue to think through, even for supporters of abortion rights. Is it okay to change a medical procedure in service of something other than the patient's health? What about changes that don't alter the odds of success? What about those that make the procedure last a few seconds, maybe a minute, longer?"

You mean like in the entire rest of the US healthcare system? When women are induced and C-Section'd against their will? When unnecessary procedures are ordered for the benefit of the hospital/equipment manufacturer/pharmaceutical reps who exert pressure on providers? These round-the-clock occurrences certainly don't happen strictly for the patient's health, and yet...

I'm having a hard time seeing the slight alteration of an abortion procedure--so that a better sample can be gathered for a purpose that is almost objectively for the greater good--as a "difficult ethical issue" for anyone who accepts the basic facts of abortion and fetal tissue research. It's a non-issue, really.
posted by witchen at 9:06 AM on August 13, 2015 [60 favorites]


The videos are edited to make Planned Parenthood look bad. But that doesn't mean Planned Parenthood didn't do anything wrong.

BRB. I'm going to take these sentences out behind the logic woodshed and beat them with a stick for a while.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:13 AM on August 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


Seriously, witchen. I was gonna say, call me when anyone blows the whistle this hard on any of the rest of the medical industry.
posted by easter queen at 9:16 AM on August 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


BRB. I'm going to take these sentences out behind the logic woodshed and beat them with a stick for a while.

There's nothing wrong with that logic, though. It's just complete bullshit in this particular case, and they're also confusing "is icky to people with a mind stuck in the Four Humours era of medical science" with "morally wrong".
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:17 AM on August 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


Oh, Vox.
posted by WCWedin at 9:18 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


This isn't Buzzfeed. You don't need to bury the lede in your post.
posted by schmod at 9:20 AM on August 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


What a bad article
posted by Greg Nog at 9:20 AM on August 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Who volunteers to edit the same 12 hours into something else, for instance, into a romantic comedy with happy music. Thinking of Shining, here.
posted by otherchaz at 9:21 AM on August 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


As someone who has a lot of anti-abortion Facebook friends, I like this piece.

No, I don't entirely agree with the perspective. But neither do my Facebook friends. This is something I can point them to. If the piece were written from something more like my perspective (I don't see any wrongdoing here, and the only thing that's even a little grey for me is one person's approach to the changing-the-procedure question), my anti-abortion friends wouldn't read it, or they'd reject everything it said. Maybe they'll read this.
posted by gurple at 9:23 AM on August 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


"it's a difficult ethical issue to think through, even for supporters of abortion rights. Is it okay to change a medical procedure in service of something other than the patient's health? What about changes that don't alter the odds of success? What about those that make the procedure last a few seconds, maybe a minute, longer?"

On top of that, witchen, this is what consent for medical research is all about. The patient, at an absolute minimum, needs to understand the risks and benefits of participating (there are other processes that can be used for studies in fields like emergency medicine where this isn't practical). There's a conversation that has to happen where it's explained that doing it this way means you can contribute to science in X way, but it will take a few minutes longer, may involve Y risk about which you need to know Z, etc... Medical ethicists have spent decades on this stuff and, while there can be difficult questions, we have a lot of frameworks to work through them.

But, like easter queen says, this kind of thing goes on everywhere else without question. When a nurse or physician in training has to stick you three times to find a vein, while an experienced practitioner could probably do it in one, we don't view the added time and pain as a major breach of medical ethics; we consider it a necessary step in the training of new medical personnel. Anybody who has spent any amount of time around a hospital can tell you that numerous things are done in service of something other than the patient's health, whether it's for billing purposes, staff convenience, cutting costs, etc...
posted by zachlipton at 9:26 AM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


I think you can still support Planned Parenthood's mandate to provide access to women's reproductive health (and control over their own bodies) and still be horrified by the hidden camera footage, and the idea of recycling fetal tissue. I know that it is supposed to help with stem cell research, and to develop new therapies, but it makes me uneasy, that's for sure.
posted by Nevin at 9:26 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


With all the delicate parsing of the ethical issues of tissue donation, it's worth keeping in mind that the vast majority of people championing this video will publicly profess that an adult woman is entitled to less protection under the law—and is less worthy of moral consideration—than a microscopic collection of cells. They do thing like release this video in order to conflate these blobs with newborn babies.

Their real agenda is to increase the amount of suffering women must endure. They want women to suffer because God demands it as punishment for being a woman. Scratch the surface by doing a 'sting' on them like they do in this video, and it's always right there, lurking just under the surface.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:28 AM on August 13, 2015 [28 favorites]


I think you can still support Planned Parenthood's mandate to provide access to women's reproductive health (and control over their own bodies) and still be horrified by the hidden camera footage, and the idea of recycling fetal tissue. I know that it is supposed to help with stem cell research, and to develop new therapies, but it makes me uneasy, that's for sure.

The thought of me braindead, being taken off life-support, having my organs removed so they can be used for research or put inside other people. That's horrifying. It makes me uneasy. Watching it happen to someone else would be extremely difficult. That doesn't mean I haven't gone out of my way to make sure that this happens should something happen to me that makes this scenario a reality. Why? Because it's the the right thing to do.

Unexamined visceral reactions and moral intuitions are often downright harmful when it comes to medical ethics.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:34 AM on August 13, 2015 [68 favorites]


I think you can still support Planned Parenthood's mandate to provide access to women's reproductive health (and control over their own bodies) and still be horrified by the hidden camera footage, and the idea of recycling fetal tissue. I know that it is supposed to help with stem cell research, and to develop new therapies, but it makes me uneasy, that's for sure.

Why the fuck does it make you uneasy, then? I guarantee these videos weren't released to help Planned Parenthood supporters know it's ok to feel uneasy about tissue donation.

I mean, sure, it's a little macabre... as is every medical procedure/donation ever. There is nothing to be horrified about in this footage. It's all a bunch of obvious shit. There is no big reveal here.
posted by easter queen at 9:38 AM on August 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


It's easy to be "uneasy" if you only deal with these issues in abstraction.
posted by easter queen at 9:38 AM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Epic concern troll. Was this written specifically so supposedly well-meaning liberals can continue patting themselves on the back for not really being pro-choice? Because believe me, zillions of 'em absolutely aren't in anything but name, but they don't really need a lot of encouragement when it comes to making sure their viewpoints are heard. You barely need to bump into one of them on the sidewalk before a litany of "don't get me wrong, I completely respect a woman's right to choose, but she's obviously just using abortion as birth control" starts spewing out. So many liberals (especially male liberals!) are champing at the bit to find reasons to be increasingly open with their visceral discomfort about abortion while ensuring that they will be able to keep collecting Good Progressive Cookies for openly referring to themselves as pro-choice. It makes me want to move to another solar system.

The cherry atop the garbage sundae has to be that the editors helpfully highlighted this pullquote, set apart from the rest of the text: "The videos are edited to make Planned Parenthood look bad. But that doesn't mean Planned Parenthood didn't do anything wrong," followed by the writer spending the rest of the article utterly failing to point out what, exactly, Planned Parenthood definitively did do wrong. Seriously, what was it? The closest she comes is "This is the part that made me the most uncomfortable," but I still don't see what's WRONG. Can someone pinpoint it for me, the actions that have been taken by PP that are illegal or have had an effect that has endangered their patients? Or is this just one of those "Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to" things, but for quietly anti-choice liberals instead of plainly anti-choice conservatives?
posted by divined by radio at 9:40 AM on August 13, 2015 [43 favorites]


I still cannot find it within myself what about the videos makes people uncomfortable, aside from people who genuinely buy into the "abortion is murder" point of view. Evidence that PP was failing to get informed consent from the patient could do it, but there is none of that in the videos.

This BS is no different than Jackass O'Keefe's videos of the late aughts. The only people doing wrong are those who are misrepresenting the video evidence through selective editing.
posted by wierdo at 9:45 AM on August 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


I think you can still support Planned Parenthood's mandate to provide access to women's reproductive health (and control over their own bodies) and still be horrified by the hidden camera footage, and the idea of recycling fetal tissue. I know that it is supposed to help with stem cell research, and to develop new therapies, but it makes me uneasy, that's for sure.

Do you feel this way about medical research performed on cadavers? How about autopsies? How about organ donation? How about animal testing, since it's largely performed on sentient beings and most abortions PP does happens before the fetus can feel pain (or is even a fetus)?

There's really no way to square that particular circle that doesn't come from, at base, hatred and contempt for women and the desire to control and judge them. You feel this way about abortion, specifically, because patriarchal society only relentlessly pushes the angle of body horror and creepy thought experiments in the case of abortion.

So many liberals (especially male liberals!) are champing at the bit to find reasons to be increasingly open with their visceral discomfort about abortion while ensuring that they will be able to keep collecting Good Progressive Cookies for openly referring to themselves as pro-choice. It makes me want to move to another solar system.

Yeah, it's very telling to me just how many men don't even understand the actual morality and ethics and science involved, and in fact have some pretty confused and horrifying beliefs about what is involved in abortion, but are still okay with it because they're just super obsessed about bodily autonomy (fair enough) and MUH FREEDOMS. That's a fine principle as far as it goes, but then considered in the light of how often liberals and progressives are liberal only until they're called on to make noticeable sacrifices or increase their interdependence on the rest of society, and it's a really stark reveal of what the priorities actually are.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:50 AM on August 13, 2015 [40 favorites]


When I heard the news break about these videos I felt pretty nauseous (as a supporter) about the possibility that Planned Parenthood had been discovered in wrongdoing... until I read about what actually happened and thought, "well fucking duh." I still don't get it either. I would imagine most women who get an abortion would love for something good to come of it in the form of medical research and donations (and would also not like PP to go bankrupt in the process). Same as people want to donate their organs. It's a prosocial impulse.
posted by easter queen at 9:52 AM on August 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


You feel this way about abortion, specifically, because patriarchal society only relentlessly pushes the angle of body horror and creepy thought experiments in the case of abortion.

Wow, The Master and Margarita Mix, that comment was incredible. Thank you for calling out this super frustrating (often male) bungling of the issue because you just took a load off my mind.

The idea that people can act out of a hatred of women without realizing it-- because hatred of women is so buried in our language/memes about the world-- is helpful to keep in mind. Reasonable people believe these stupid, sexist things because their feet will never be held to the fire on this issue.

The ABORTION BODY HORROR!! angle is so relevant.
posted by easter queen at 9:55 AM on August 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


The Bible literally begins with God making childbirth painful to punish women for desiring moral autonomy. You can't even get 10 pages in. This shit has deep roots.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:58 AM on August 13, 2015 [25 favorites]


Medicine can be disgusting. Med-school specifically is disgusting (noobs hacking up cadavers) . Medical research is sometimes disgusting. And it's a business.

Women's health is part of medicine sadly. I don't get the outrage.
posted by French Fry at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


This pretty well sums up my response to the PP troll and others like it.

Women already know this stuff. And there is a pretty neat little algorigthm where, the more ignorant and sexist a given man is, the more likely it is that he will assume you're even more ignorant than him. I have actually had really conservative men lecture me about things like this, seemingly trying to shock me or something, and I'd be thinking, "Yeah, I guess that sort of thing squicked me a little bit when I was twelve."

So you get guys like Rush Limbaugh, a grown-assed man with the reproductive knowledge of a sheltered eight year old, lecturing women about their reproductive health; and you get campaigns like this, obviously based on some shrinking male violet's notion of what is scary and gross.

Women already know about unpleasant viscera and body horror, and we know about the often uncomfortable accounting you have to do to keep things running smoothly. Women have been doing the dirty work since forever. The most shocking thing about that to me is that the people responsible for them thought they were shocking.
posted by ernielundquist at 10:06 AM on August 13, 2015 [46 favorites]


The thought of me braindead, being taken off life-support, having my organs removed so they can be used for research or put inside other people. That's horrifying. It makes me uneasy. Watching it happen to someone else would be extremely difficult. That doesn't mean I haven't gone out of my way to make sure that this happens should something happen to me that makes this scenario a reality.

Not to mention the thought of me, brain-dead, being kept on life support despite being at that point a machine-operated corpse, just so someone else can get a fair shot at my liver. That's a sci-fi horror scenario. Yet I still have the little heart on my driver's license.

As far as I can tell the "most disturbing" part in that article -- that PPFA might consider a procedure that takes slightly longer, so the donation tissue can be kept intact -- is a much less egregious example of manipulating medical care for the sake of tissue preservation.
posted by babelfish at 10:13 AM on August 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's like people never get to the "I wonder if the medical community has ever have to face this sort of situation before, and if so what sort of ethical framework have they developed for it?" part of the discussion because they can't get past the fact that it involves women.
posted by Gygesringtone at 10:21 AM on August 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


You'd think that, in a post James O'Keefe world, Planned Parenthood would approach discussions with outside agencies and personnel as if they were handling nuclear weapons.

"Hey, what could possibly make us look bad in the eyes of a zealot?"
"Hmm, how about having a casual lunch with people we think are seeking fetal tissue for research?"
"Good point. Let's not do that. Let's always meet them here, in our office, where we can control the environment. We could even tape them."
"But won't that make us look bad to our potential medical partners? Aren't we telling them we don't think they're trustworthy?"
"The kinds of people that buy fetal tissue for legitimate research also understand the issues we face. Anyone that says 'boo' to simple security isn't serious about this and we shouldn't be talking to them anyway."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:23 AM on August 13, 2015 [20 favorites]


The only people doing wrong are those who are misrepresenting the video evidence through selective editing.

And let's not forget about that. If these people had a legitimate point to make, they wouldn't need to rely on deception to make it. I couldn't care less about one more concern troll "of course abortion should be legal, but can't we all admit that it's just icky?!" article.

No, it isn't icky. No, there's nothing wrong with what Planned Parenthood did, and shame on any so-called "journalist" (even one with otherwise good articles to her credit) for giving cover to propagandists and deceivers with reflexive "the truth must lie somewhere in the middle" bias.
posted by Gelatin at 10:23 AM on August 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


So you get guys like Rush Limbaugh, a grown-assed man with the reproductive knowledge of a sheltered eight year old

I disagree. I doubt most eight year olds know about traveling to places notorious for sex tourism with a suitcase of Viagra.
posted by Gelatin at 10:27 AM on August 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


This pretty well sums up my response to the PP troll and others like it.

holy shit yes
Women do not need real talk about bodies; our adult days brim with the effluvia, the discomforts, the weirdness and emotional intensity and magnitude of our medical choices... Women know about blood. We know about discharge... Women know what pregnancy is and what abortion does.
Thank you so much for posting this link, I'm going to be forwarding it on for a while. I hate mansplaining a hell of a lot, but mansplaining about the functionality, capability, and mundanely bloody reality of women's corporeal selves has to be my least favorite mansplaining of all. I would issue a hearty 'fuck you' to "26-year-old anti-abortion crusader and 'proud millennial' D*v*d D*l**d*n," but he's beneath contempt. Unfortunately, he and his ilk are currently populating huge swaths of the American government.

Dudes crowing about how disgusted they are with abortion sound exactly like dudes whinging about how gross they think periods are, but hey dudes, guess what? We don't actually give a damn how you feel about any of this -- unless, of course, we're forced to, because you've been keeping yourselves very busy agitating for, writing, and passing laws to restrict our rights. Sure, you can gaze into a mirror and preen over how important you think your opinions are, but considering you don't live with the consequences of your actions against us and you never will, for once, for the love of all that is holy, try to contemplate the idea that outside of the halls of the irredeemably sexist legal system, your thoughts and feelings about our bodies DO NOT MATTER AT ALL. We know exactly what you're peddling and we ain't buying shit.

It's like people never get to the "I wonder if the medical community has ever have to face this sort of situation before, and if so what sort of ethical framework have they developed for it?" part of the discussion because they can't get past the fact that it involves women.

♪♫ it's because they don't think women are fully human ♫♪♪
posted by divined by radio at 10:40 AM on August 13, 2015 [36 favorites]


You'd think that, in a post James O'Keefe world, Planned Parenthood would approach discussions with outside agencies and personnel as if they were handling nuclear weapons.

They're not doing anything wrong or even unethical, so they deserve 0% of the blame.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:44 AM on August 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


They're not doing anything wrong or even unethical, so they deserve 0% of the blame.

And I doubt there's any defense at all against the dishonest tactics these creeps use (and thank you very much once again, so-called "liberal media," for treating these liars as if they have a legitimate point even after their deceptions are exposed).

This isn't a "sting" operation in the sense in which they obtain legitimate but embarrassing footage, as the article's failure to point out exactly what Planned Parenthood was supposed to have done wrong proves. The outrage was manufactured by dishonestly editing video, and I don't think there's any defense against that short of never speaking to anyone at all -- which would once again suit the liars' agenda just fine, thank you.
posted by Gelatin at 10:54 AM on August 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Group behind anti-PP videos remains a mystery. What we do know:
The only person without a long history of anti-abortion work is Nichole Surkala, who is listed as the center's contact if it is sued.

Surkala was convicted in California in 2007 of willful cruelty to her 12-year-old son, according to court papers. Police found she kept a horse and seven dogs in a house in Modesto that was filled with animal feces and rotting produce. Two telephone numbers listed for Surkala were disconnected.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:05 AM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


IMO this covert surveillance of people working in support of reproductive rights is as much about the implication of threat as about any content that comes out of it. It's like the stalker who watches from just far enough away to make sure you know he's there. People who help provide access to safe abortions have been a frequent target of violence and murder, so the implication here feels significantly more audible than a dogwhistle.
posted by threeants at 11:20 AM on August 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


When read this piece this morning, I knew it would end up on the blue, but I didn't want to be the one to post it because AAAAUGH. I'm glad most commenters are seeing it for what it is, at least. Sarah Kliff always seemed to do a good job with the WaPo and now Vox covering the healthcare beat, but this piece has the stench of Ezra Klein's false balance hippie-punching liberal house style all over it. For all I know it accurately represents Kliff's honest feelings on the issue, but it's so at odds with reality that I have to wonder if there was some editorial direction from Klein given to shoehorn it into more of a "Shape of the Earth: Opinions Differ" structure that he's championed for many years now.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:43 AM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


What I wouldn't give to see the bipedal pieces of detritus responsible for this pathetic little circus act strung up on multiple felonies, and not just because they'd be stripped of their right to vote until they'd completed their sentences and parole! O Cthulhu, I call to you in the deepest pits of R'lyeh, answer my supplications and send these fuckers to prison. Iä! Iä!

The Faces and Fake Names of People Behind Planned Parenthood Attack Videos
BioMax's alleged employees refer to "Brianna" in the three videos that have been released so far. RH Reality Check emailed the address provided by the BioMax operative who called herself Brianna Allen but received no response. BioMax has not connected RH Reality Check with any real person who will publicly identify herself as Brianna Allen.

However, RH Reality Check has obtained evidence that suggests the group's leader, D*l**d*n, does know a woman named Brianna Allen.

After seeing her name referenced in our earlier reporting, Brianna M. Allen of Davis, California, contacted RH Reality Check to let us know that she had no ties to D*l**d*n's organization and has not been in contact with him for 15 years.

Allen was the president of the student feminist club at Davis Senior High School at the same time that D*l**d*n was a student there, she said.

"Even in high school I knew he was adamantly against it [abortion]. He was very outspoken about being Catholic and more conservative. And we were very open about being liberal and pro-choice," she told RH Reality Check. "Last night I just thought, 'Oh God, what if that's why he chose my name?’ But I kind of wrote it off as, 'No, that's ridiculous.'"

If D*l**d*n's group used Brianna M. Allen's information to open a credit card account, they could have violated state or federal laws that prohibit credit card fraud, which carries a potential three-year prison sentence and would be easy to prove, [California criminal defense attorney Michael] Kraut said.
posted by divined by radio at 11:48 AM on August 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


How are they getting away with continuing to release these videos? Wasn't an injunction against any further releases issued weeks ago?
posted by clockzero at 11:50 AM on August 13, 2015


I disagree with criticism of the article; in the last few paragraphs the article makes a valuable diagnosis of how Americans react to these videos: if you support abortion wholeheartedly, you won't see any big deal with the videos' content (even the discussions of borderline-if-not-outright-illegal practices because, to you, those laws are repugnant); on the other hand, if you are only mildly comfortable with what PP does, the videos tear a lot of the camouflage off of PP as a "women's healthcare provider" and reveal it to be what it really is: a big abortion business which also does some other stuff.

That latter group ("safe, legal, and rare") is made up of a lot of people in America. A lot of people who read statements like:
Do you feel this way about medical research performed on cadavers? How about autopsies? How about organ donation? How about animal testing, since it's largely performed on sentient beings and most abortions PP does happens before the fetus can feel pain (or is even a fetus)?
And those people don't see some fantastic, insightful comment about patriarchy and body issues; they see a pretty textbook forced category error (dead human, not human, and fetal human) cobbled together to fit a post-hoc rationalization of abortion. People who aren't abortion absolutists can see that error, and this article does a good job of saying, hey, it's okay for some of these videos' content to make "safe, legal, and rare" people uncomfortable.

tl;dr: don't knock decent, objective journalism with good social commentary because you are an abortion absolutist.
posted by resurrexit at 11:53 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


BioMax's alleged employees refer to "Brianna" in the three videos that have been released so far. RH Reality Check emailed the address provided by the BioMax operative who called herself Brianna Allen but received no response. BioMax has not connected RH Reality Check with any real person who will publicly identify herself as Brianna Allen.

...If D*l**d*n's group used Brianna M. Allen's information to open a credit card account, they could have violated state or federal laws that prohibit credit card fraud, which carries a potential three-year prison sentence and would be easy to prove, [California criminal defense attorney Michael] Kraut said.

Hey, remember how the so-called "liberal media" dropped the entire matter of George W. Bush's sketchy National Guard record after some of the evidence used by 60 Minutes was discredited?

So of course we won't hear anything more about this so-called "controversy", right?
posted by Gelatin at 11:54 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


the videos tear a lot of the camouflage off of PP as a "women's healthcare provider" and reveal it to be what it really is: a big abortion business which also does some other stuff.

Except no, that contention isn't objectively true at all.

Abortion is a Constitutional right, just like speech and any number of other fundamental rights. And just like speech, just like some of it might be perceived as "icky" doesn't excuse not being an absolutist (where "absolutist" == "merely opposed to the steady erosion of said right").
posted by Gelatin at 11:58 AM on August 13, 2015 [20 favorites]


tl;dr: don't knock decent, objective journalism with good social commentary because you are an abortion absolutist.

tl;dr: I don't listen to men who have made it abundantly clear they think abortion should be illegal. Seriously, cut the "objective" shtick. You're not fooling anybody.
posted by divined by radio at 11:58 AM on August 13, 2015 [33 favorites]


In fact, I'd argue that the whole "abortion absolutist" concept is absurd. Even most Republican politicians seem reluctant to call for criminal penalties for those who currently undergo or perform abortions, and few seem to publicly call for an elimination ro rape and incest exceptions. Only if abortion really is murder, rape and incept exceptions make no sense at all -- yet one doesn't have to be an "absolutist" to see the draconian elimination of those exceptions as horrific.
posted by Gelatin at 12:01 PM on August 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


(even the discussions of borderline-if-not-outright-illegal practices because, to you, those laws are repugnant)

Did that actually happen? Because I just searched that article, and you'd think it'd get mentioned, but I can't seem to find it.

Where in the article does anything that's illegal get mentioned?
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:01 PM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


and reveal it to be what it really is: a big abortion business which also does some other stuff.


You are completely ignorant about this topic. Abortion is literally a fraction of what planned parenthood does. Please be informed.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:03 PM on August 13, 2015 [27 favorites]


I don't think "safe, legal, and rare" implies what you think it does. I think abortion should be safe, legal, and rare, but from the rest of your comment, you'd definitely consider me an "abortion absolutist." I could care less, but just wanted to point out that you shouldn't assume people who use that phrase are on your side about this.
posted by sunset in snow country at 12:04 PM on August 13, 2015


Where in the article does anything that's illegal get mentioned?

Nowhere at all. None of the practices PP discussed -- openly, let's not forget -- in the video are "borderline" at all, let alone illegal.

And again I'll say that if there's a legitimate point to be made, it doesn't need objective facts to be twisted to support it.
posted by Gelatin at 12:06 PM on August 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


even the discussions of borderline-if-not-outright-illegal practices because, to you, those laws are repugnant

Huh? I mean, you can argue whether or not a healthcare provider taking a lunch with a vendor is ethical or not in this case (or if there should be some sort of educational material provided at the time, or if it depends on who pays, or if the food is eaten only while standing up and served on toothpicks), but it's not illegal, certainly not on the scale that happened in the video.

If you support abortion wholeheartedly, you won't see any big deal with the videos' content (even the discussions of borderline-if-not-outright-illegal practices because, to you, those laws are repugnant); on the other hand, if you are only mildly comfortable with what PP does, the videos tear a lot of the camouflage off of PP as a "women's healthcare provider" and reveal it to be what it really is: a big abortion business which also does some other stuff.

This is functionally untrue.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:07 PM on August 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Also, on a totally-not-unrelated note, why are therapeutic abortions after genetic testing reveals the child has very serious health condition not brought up in these debates? I could just be out of the loop, but it seems like that would be a great talking point for the pro-choice (my) side, as restrictions on legal abortions can force parents who have a child with a genetic defect to not volutinarily terminate the pregnancy.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:11 PM on August 13, 2015


and reveal it to be what it really is: a big abortion business which also does some other stuff.

Have you ever been, or accompanied a loved one, to a Planned Parenthood? Do you know for sure that it's not a "women's healthcare provider"? Because I have been, and I've been with friends, and we've gotten a whole range of "healthcare" including "pap smears" and "consultations about birth control pills" and "emergency removal of an IUD" and "STD checks." But maybe it was all an illusion? I'm just a woman, so who knows. I should defer to your expertise!
posted by witchen at 12:11 PM on August 13, 2015 [28 favorites]


and reveal it to be what it really is: a big abortion business which also does some other stuff.

This isn't true but, even if it were, so what? If you really don't have a problem with abortion (and I really don't) who cares whether an organization's primary business is abortion as long as they're doing it in a way that's safe for the women electing to undergo this fairly basic medical procedure?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:11 PM on August 13, 2015 [23 favorites]


a lot of the camouflage off of PP as a "women's healthcare provider" and reveal it to be what it really is: a big abortion business which also does some other stuff.

Also, you know what just struck me, you just gave lie to your pose of being in support of abortion. Even IF all Planned Parenthood did was provide abortions, it'd still be providing women's healthcare, because ABORTION IS WOMEN'S HEALTHCARE.

They're not camouflaging anything, they're providing healthcare, including abortions.
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:11 PM on August 13, 2015 [35 favorites]


... Even the taking a lunch with the vendor thing is a little weird to object to, since this wasn't a medical device or pharmaceutical in question, but rather a service provided. I don't know what the industry standard would be for taking meals for equivalent services, but I don't think it's as stringent as taking meals from drug or medical device companies.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:13 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


[resurrexit, you've dug in on this "Planned Parenthood is a business" thing before, and related talking points, and I'm going to just stop it here -- you've made your point now step back. I'll ask that other folks maybe step away from the particulars of resurrexit's comment, too. The thread doesn't have to be only him vs everybody.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:14 PM on August 13, 2015


tl;dr: don't knock decent, objective journalism with good social commentary

Except as I indicated before, this piece isn't "decent, objective journalism" at all. In fact, it eschews objectivity -- the reporting of objective fact -- in favor of the media's favorite obsession, balance -- the mistaken notion that both sides must always have equally valid claims. Yet one side lied, and therefore, objectively, does not; just as the reporter could not find anything objectively illegal with the conduct in the video, despite the misleading and unsupported pull quote.

And I'd contend that on top of that, the "I basically favor abortion personally (secure in the knowledge of course that I, as an upper class person, could obtain one whenever I needed) but find it icky" school of thought isn't good social commentary either. Favoring a Constitutional right, and opposing underhanded tactics that seek to restrict that right, requires no apology. And it need not yield to those who peddle lies against it, whether it's restricting the right to vote because of the phantom of "voter fraud" -- another chimera that well-off journalists, who presume their own rights wouldn't be inconvenienced, give far too much credence to -- or outright and blatant lies that seek to restrict abortion (including, let's not forget, the false notion that Federal money goes to fund abortions -- it can't).
posted by Gelatin at 12:19 PM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


What these videos try to do is split the people who are actually comfortable with abortion from those who support it uncomfortably, and who might be repelled by the idea that aborted fetuses are being used for medical research.

Kind of like this article does.
posted by Miko at 12:28 PM on August 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


"... the videos tear a lot of the camouflage off of PP as a "women's healthcare provider" and reveal it to be what it really is: a big abortion business which also does some other stuff.

I doubt it is possible for you to be further from the truth. Only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's services are abortion services.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 12:30 PM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


Huh. I'm very pro-choice (don't support any legal restrictions at any point during the pregnancy, believe it should be covered by Medicaid and private insurance, should be a core part of physician training programs, etc), and am also not squeamish about the idea of fetal tissue being sold, but I didn't find the article one-sided or crappy. I would find it troubling if alterations to the standard abortion procedure were being suggested by the PP staff in the videos as a way to increase the likelihood of a successful donation. I think that's analogous to, I dunno, a surgeon changing from laprascopic to open surgery for his/her patients to increase the chances of getting a whole tumor for research. Maybe it's not going to increase the mortality rate, but it's a choice that would have implications for how much post-surgical pain a patient has and how quickly they recover. Fundamentally it's about whether health care providers have the right to make unilateral decisions that two procedures are "equivalent" and not present the patient with that choice, even if they're ostensibly doing it for research or non-monetary gain.

My take on the article is that Kliff is saying that at least one of the PP medical directors was implying that she'd ask the doctors at the clinic to use a specific procedure across the board, one that at least some patients might arguably find "worse" (in terms of taking longer, and potentially requiring more anesthesia) than the alternative, and that this wasn't the sort of thing that patients were going to be given as a choice. I can see why the anti-abortion group wouldn't bother to put that in its heavily-edited videos--I can imagine they, and many other pro-lifers, aren't too concerned about the pain or discomfort women experience when having an abortion--but I would think that's the sort of thing that might be concerning to people troubled by a long history of paternalistic and not-particularly-woman-friendly medicine.
posted by iminurmefi at 1:07 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Couple of comments deleted. Comments about moderation don't belong on the blue. resurrexit, please leave it alone.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:20 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


. I would find it troubling if alterations to the standard abortion procedure were being suggested by

Do we know this to be true? That there is a "standard abortion procedure" that was applied to the interaction with someone who wanted an abortion, and that procedure was deviated from by planned parenthood in order to harvest fetal tissue. Is any of that established?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:42 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Perhaps if you need something to tell your antichoice friends, maybe that Republican candidate Ben Carson did fetal tissue research and published about it? Apparently it was ok then, just not now.
posted by emjaybee at 1:55 PM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


I would find it troubling if alterations to the standard abortion procedure were being suggested by

Do we know this to be true? That there is a "standard abortion procedure" that was applied to the interaction with someone who wanted an abortion, and that procedure was deviated from by planned parenthood in order to harvest fetal tissue. Is any of that established?


One of the PP representatives in the videos acknowledges the possibility of changing the type of procedure used in order to increase the odds of obtaining a better tissue sample. She then also discusses the flip side of the argument, that it may not be in the patient's best interest. But ultimately, no, there's no indication that any such change occurred.
posted by dances with hamsters at 1:59 PM on August 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I went to the video to watch that conversation in context - the question starts at 34:12 or so.

It seems pretty clear that the medical director is spitballing. She doesn't say that their clinic regularly does one technique or the other at 10-12 weeks, she presents a hypothetical - IF we currently normally do high-suction and then switch to IPAS just for donor tissue, that would violate tissue donor protocol. She says that may present a problem for a potential tissue donation program, not that it will.

What's not covered in the article is where she gives her opinion that the two techniques are functionally equivalent for the patient.

That's why I agree that this article is concern-trolling and basically doing the same thing the filmmakers did - taking every casual statement made and examining it for the most damning context possible.
posted by muddgirl at 2:10 PM on August 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Additionally, i think it's really disingenuous that the author says her quote is Gatter's "full comment" when it's not - she edits out at least one sentence talking about the consent form that the doctor and patient have to agree to, and she doesn't include the follow-up comment about manual aspiration, in Gatter's opinion, being functionally equivalent to suction.

I haven't made it to the discussion about "technical issues," but again, I would not be surprised if the context was a high-level discussion of the issues that donation programs face, not an actual policy brief on how Gatter is planning to implement tissue donation.
posted by muddgirl at 2:16 PM on August 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm just one person, but if, when I had my second trimester abortion, I was asked to undergo a different procedure for tissue harvesting, I would have said yes in a second. That pregnancy got me out of an abusive relationship and the termination gave me life back. I would have been thrilled to use that experience to potentially help others, too.
posted by Ruki at 2:26 PM on August 13, 2015 [15 favorites]


The only part of any aspect of this that is remotely troubling even in the hypothetical is the idea that Planned Parenthood might be systematically and knowingly violating ethical rules around informed consent. And I can now assert with confidence that they are not, because if there was any sort of real evidence to present on that issue other than vague, highly-edited innuendo, it would be in the goddamn headline and linked to with charts and graphs. The amount of energy that these activists have poured into finding ANYTHING to take Planned Parenthood down with, only to come up with functionally nothing, is unbelievable to me and does more to endorse PP as a sincere, robust, and ethical operation than anything else I could come up with.
posted by KathrynT at 2:38 PM on August 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


Great post from Fred Clark today about what it means when Walker says "no exceptions for life of the mother" when it comes to abortion because there are "other ways" to save her life. (I'm sure the family of Savita Halappanavar wishes that were true!)

He thinks what Walker is going for is that people who can afford them will still get abortions but just won't call them that.
posted by emjaybee at 2:49 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


emjaybee, I have seen so many people earnestly inform me that removing an ectopic pregnancy or inducing labor at 18 weeks in an eclamptic woman or in a woman carrying a fetus with defects incompatible with life "isn't really an abortion."
posted by KathrynT at 2:58 PM on August 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


3% of PP's function is abortion services, not subsidized by taxpayer money. Women who offer the fetal tissue for donation (I will skip the definition of "donation" and assume people actually understand what it means) are not compensated in any way. PP is compensated for transportation/shipping costs, but does not sell fetal tissue. Plain and simple.

Tearing down Planned Parenthood is a travesty. Restricting access to abortions does not reduce abortions. Restricting access to contraception increases unwanted pregnancies.

I can't believe we're still having this discussion in 2015.
posted by Chuffy at 4:05 PM on August 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


I propose we change the term "abortion" to "planned miscarriage."
posted by Chuffy at 4:06 PM on August 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Restricting access to contraception increases unwanted pregnancies. 

And make no mistake, restricting access to contraception is the endgame here. When people complain that Roe was incorrect, they're often complaining about the right to privacy found in Griswold, which legalized -- yes! -- contraception.
posted by Gelatin at 4:20 PM on August 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'd say that rolling back feminism to "traditional values" where women didn't have full legal autonomy and men were the head of the household legally and morally is the endgame - after all, like Huckabee said recently, marrying for 'love' is *selfish*. Griswold is the critical path for doing that.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:25 PM on August 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


As someone who has a lot of anti-abortion Facebook friends, I like this piece.

No, I don't entirely agree with the perspective. But neither do my Facebook friends. This is something I can point them to. If the piece were written from something more like my perspective (I don't see any wrongdoing here, and the only thing that's even a little grey for me is one person's approach to the changing-the-procedure question), my anti-abortion friends wouldn't read it, or they'd reject everything it said. Maybe they'll read this.


I had pretty much the same reaction and shared it on Facebook on that basis. The thread has definitely made me re-evaluate on that.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:11 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have been to PP many, many times in my life, and zero times were those visits related in any way to abortion. Even if all PP did were abortions I'd be 100% on board, but the idea that they're a front for a secret (for-profit!) abortion ring is absurd.

Reasons I HAVE gone to PP: Ample free contraceptive options, when I was poor; pap smears, when I had no insurance; STD testing, when I had no insurance. You know: major, recurring women's health services, that prevent and detect unwanted pregnancies, STD transmission, and cancer.
posted by easter queen at 6:43 PM on August 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


What about these 3rd party middlemen types? Are they making a profit? If so, does that pose ethical dilemmas? Do researchers pay the 3rd parties for tissue? I mean if someone is making a profit at any point in the chain is it really a donation? Donation for research means giving for free to a researcher not giving for free to a middleman who then makes a profit. Are the patients aware that some party will be making money off their fetus? If not, does that fulfill the consent requirements?

It also seems like the the segment from the videos with the assbackwards "bartering" or "negotiation" is actually more like an attempt at bribery. Offering more money to get access to better, more intact, specimens? I don't know, but I am having a hard time making sense of that exchange in any other light.

Either way, the fact that some asshole capitalists may be trying to make a buck off fetal tissue has fuck all to do with women's right to reproductive freedom and choice.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:12 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


People who aren't abortion absolutists

I guess you mean people who assume the right should be for sometimes a person chooses to abort their pregnancy, and sometimes they choose to carry to term. (ftr, I'm definitely not one of those absolutists that believes every fetus should be aborted; in fact, I believe some people should have the right to carry a fetus to term if they want, no matter how messy a process that often is.)
posted by Greg Nog at 7:12 PM on August 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Kind of a tangent, but PP isn't even solely women's health care -- I (cis male) went there once a long time ago to get an HIV test because I had no health insurance and it was cheap enough to be affordable. (They did not try to convince me to get an abortion.)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 7:22 PM on August 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


If so, does that pose ethical dilemmas? ...I mean if someone is making a profit at any point in the chain is it really a donation?

Well, if this is something of honest ethical concern, why not start with blood "donation," the giving of blood which is also then sold? Of course people make a profit at some points in the chain. They are doing work and providing a valuable service and nonprofits can't and won't do all of it, nor will the state. Our entire medical system is rife with profitmaking and profiteering, from medical waste purchase and disposal to drug testing and promotion to competitive for-profit hospitals. Why not worry about all of that? This one place - this one small, well-regulated corner of the medical industry with a very specific kind of medical waste that is really important for research - isn't the place to go to bat on the issue of whether it's ethical to profit from people's medical misery, unless you just wanted to use that issue as a cover for restricting women's healthcare access and reproductive freedom.
posted by Miko at 7:25 PM on August 13, 2015 [11 favorites]


In addition, transactions have to be organized as a donation because the letter-of-the-law sale of human tissue is illegal.

I'd just suggest that if you're really interested in the (much) larger issue there are a lot of places to start that aren't part of a campaign to delegitimize the primary organization focused on delivering healthcare to women, especially women in need.

Regulating the Human Tissue Trade
Medicine and Money: Human Tissue for Sale: What Are the Costs?
Calculating the Value of Human Tissue Donation
Why Drug Companies Need Human Tissue
Human Cells and Tissues: The Need for a Global Ethical Framework
posted by Miko at 7:49 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I had pretty much the same reaction and shared it on Facebook on that basis. The thread has definitely made me re-evaluate on that.

You know what actually might be a good link to share to talk about the planned parenthood fetal donation issue? The one to the radiolab podcast linked at the beginning of this post. While it's not about planned parenthood at all, and the tissue donated is from a newborn instead of a fetus, it does do a good job of arguing that this sort of donation is sobering for everyone involved, but it is making something good come from a heartbreaking situation. As a bonus, the parents are devout Catholics who consult their priests about their choices, and what the moral thing is for them to do.

I have a feeling that if I read the Vox article as an anti-choicer I'd probably just come back feeling smug that even those who support planned parenthood had misgivings about what they're doing. The radiolab episode might be a stealth way to get a conversation about what planned parenthood is doing to actually be somewhat logical. They aren't selling babiy parts on some baby black market - they're facilitating research that helps to save lives.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:45 PM on August 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'll share that one too. The people I'm sharing for are devout Catholic.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:48 PM on August 13, 2015


What I'm trying to say is, this article didn't strike me as explicitly contributing to evil in the world

It's fake ass centric "both sides have valid points to make" rule lawyering and using fruits from the poison tree. That's evil enough for me.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:23 AM on August 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


What I'm trying to say is, this article didn't strike me as explicitly contributing to evil in the world

Giving the people who completely planned, scripted, and orchestrated an entire exchange in order to make Planned Parenthood look bad, and then weren't even able to do that with out editing the outcome still further, the legitimacy of time wasted examining their "evidence" is, at least, indefensibly stupid.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 10:56 AM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


[AElfwine Evenstar, give it a rest. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:19 PM on August 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Late to the thread, but one of the things this article didn't mention is how much the PP employees in the videos have been criticized not for any legal reasons but for merely appearing cold or callous, which I think is telling and reflects how little this case has to do with legality or medical ethics. I read the entire transcript of the conversation with Nucatola that the CMP posted and all I read was someone in the medical industry talking neutrally and factually about a medical procedure. I actually found Nucotola quite restrained and tactful -- I mean, if the statements there shock John Boehner, I hope he never overhears two medical residents talking to each other when they think nobody else is around! (And what does he propose would be an appropriate level of reverence for talking about the fetal tissue? Maybe clasping one's hands and crossing oneself?)

Also, the linked article makes a big deal about making potential changes to the procedure possibly violating informed consent. But in the first transcript, Nucatola actually makes it clear that the slight variations she's talking about, things like where to position instruments, are things that are do-able within the existing protocol and that she thinks that patients would have to be consented differently for actual changes to the procedure! The Vox redux doesn't mention that at all. And even in the conversation with Gatter that the Vox says is the most "troubling," Gatter actually goes out of her way to say that it's not a given that they would be able to legally prefer manual suction over machine suction ("Laurel: ...the consent they’re signing is for suction aspiration, it doesn’t describe what kind it is" ... Gatter: Yes, but I have heard people argue that for the tissue donation, it says we’re not doing anything different, so." ... "Gatter: It’s something that I need to discuss with [our surgeon], before we agree to do that".). As muddgirl mentioned upthread, those bookends to the conversation are not mentioned in the Vox article. (Never mind the excellent point Witchen raised that these hypothetical variations pale before the "alterations in care" pregnant women are currently susceptible to.)
posted by en forme de poire at 9:38 PM on August 23, 2015 [6 favorites]




I would like to give Kliff the benefit of the doubt, but I still don't understand why she trusted the anti-abortion group that are clearly liars when they said they had released unedited tape, when she obviously didn't trust Planned Parenthood. Why didn't she notice the discrepancies in the time stamps? Why didn't she notice the discrepancies between the videos and the transcripts? Why do right wing terrorist assholed ever get the benefit of the doubt?

Although she says nothing about it in the follow up, I hope she has learned something about her own biases, journalistic integrity, and obligations to be skeptical.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:14 PM on August 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Christine Sexton: Scott’s office scrubbed release that cleared Planned Parenthood
Amid an outcry over a series of videos filmed at Planned Parenthood clinics outside Florida, [Gov. Rick] Scott ordered health care regulators to inspect 16 Florida clinics run by the organization. The regulators reported that three clinics performed unlicensed abortions and that one did not follow its own guidelines for disposing of fetal remains.

But emails between Scott's office, the Agency for Health Care Administration and Planned Parenthood show top officials working for Scott reworded an agency press release to delete information AHCA officials had proposed including.

The state released its findings of the Planned Parenthood investigations on Aug. 5. Emails between the governor’s office and AHCA, obtained by POLITICO Florida through a public records request, show the agency prepared a press release that same day noting that “there is no evidence of the mishandling of fetal remains at any of the 16 clinics we investigated across the state.”

Scott's office revised the release to exclude that sentence, an email sent by Scott’s communications director, Jackie Schutz, shows. Additionally, the revised release noted the AHCA would refer physicians who worked at the clinics to the Board of Medicine for possible disciplinary action.

When the revised release was sent back to the AHCA for review, Katherine Riviere, the communications director, sent an email to senior staff, including Secretary Liz Dudek, that said, "I would have thought a line on no evidence of mishandling of fetal remains would be included as that’s what questions will be on."
posted by zombieflanders at 10:25 AM on September 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Spokane Spokesman-Review: Planned Parenthood fire determined to be arson
Karl Eastlund, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, said in a statement, “This is an appalling act of violence towards Planned Parenthood, but unfortunately a predictable ripple effect from the false and incendiary attacks that fuel violence from extremists.”

FBI Special Agent Frank Harrill said federal agencies were involved because of the history of domestic terrorists targeting healthcare providers offering abortion services.

In 1996, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Spokane Valley was bombed. Four men were convicted in the blast.
[...]
The fire follows a recent wave of protests at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. On Aug. 22, an estimated 500 protesters gathered outside the Pullman clinic, waving signs and calling for Congress to de-fund the organization.

According to local news accounts, many referenced a series of videos released by anti-abortion activists in California that appeared to show Planned Parenthood executives saying the organization profits from the sale of aborted fetal tissue. An analysis commissioned by Planned Parenthood concluded those videos were selectively edited.

Abortion rights activists say violent threats against abortion providers have spiked since the videos were released.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:19 PM on September 5, 2015


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