The Sad Attempt to Turn People Against Planned Parenthood

Within the last two days, I've had three videos cross my path that claim to show 'hidden camera' footage that proves that Planned Parenthood is actually run by Satanists who want to corrupt your daughters and sell babies for science. I am being very glib about it because it's the only way I can even approach this without losing my mind. These videos are all done by an organization called Live Action who's sole purpose, it seems, is to shut down Planned Parenthood. These three videos are just a small sampling of the hidden camera setups they've done at offices across America.

I'll tackle the third one first because it's easier. This is a video that someone in a facebook group posted. It's a meeting between a 15 year old girl and a nurse or counsellor at a planned parenthood office. There is no context for what the meeting was about as the video clearly starts in the middle of a conversation. We have no idea why the girl is there although it seems that it's for renewal of birth control or advice about birth control. She tells the counsellor that her boyfriend wants to do some other 'sex stuff' like '50 shades of grey stuff'. She asks the counsellor what that is. The counsellor is pretty obviously out of her depth with this question and doesn't handle it well but she does her best to explain what it is and talks about safe words etc. Live Action is notorious for editing videos so it's pretty hard to tell whether we're seeing the whole interview or only pieces of it. Live Action's claim is that Planned Parenthood is counselling your children to tie up and beat each other and teaching girls that abuse is okay. The interview isn't great. The counsellor doesn't handle it well, at least from what we can see, because she really should be asking the girl more about how this came up, how she feels about it, and how to talk to her boyfriend about it. It's not good that she didn't do those things, but what she does is not terrible. She just lets the girl know that these are things people do and she doesn't shame her or scare her about it. She's being very open and accepting about it. She does not tell the girl to do it. She tells her to read the book to understand what's in it. Some people are freaking out about that but really, if her boyfriend told her he wants to do some things he read in a book, shouldn't she read the book?

Live Action's site is littered with other videos, that show counsellors allegedly telling teenagers to do depraved and perverted things. Most of them are very short clips, many just a few seconds long, that don't give you any perspective on what led to the mention of kinky sex and how it was being dealt with. Live Action thinks, apparently, that just saying the word bondage or fetish in an interview is akin to child abuse.

The second two videos are much worse. These were meetings that were setup with Planned Parenthood executives by people claiming to be representatives of organizations that use fetal tissue for medical research. Donation of fetal tissue is legal in America. Under very specific circumstances, and with written informed consent of the donor, Planned Parenthood gives tissue from aborted fetuses to medical research facilities. Extremely important research into the causes and potential cures diseases like Parkinson's and ALS, among other research, is conducted using this tissue.

Live Action, however, would like people to believe that Planned Parenthood is selling fetuses for a profit. The videos are clearly very heavily edited. The cuts in them are obvious. What results is something that looks very much like these two people are negotiating a price for aborted fetuses. They are not. What they are doing is explaining to the person the process for donation. Where compensation is discussed, it is in relation to compensation for Planned Parenthood's costs for providing the donation. This makes perfect sense that they would ask for this. They are a not-for-profit organization that does not have money to spare. There are costs incurred in keeping the paperwork required for the consents and donations, for storing the tissue, for delivering it to the research facility or accommodating their coming in to retrieve it. If the research group has money to pay for this, they certainly should.

There are a million reasons why it makes no sense that they would actually be selling fetuses. These are only a few:
- the directors of planned parenthood centres know that this is illegal. They have enough trouble with scrutiny of the work they do, why would they ever risk this?
- the price that is mentioned in the videos is very small - $30 to $70 per sample in one and $50 to $100 in another. This hardly amount to a money-making scheme. If they were actually selling them, they would be asking a lot more.
- it's pretty obvious that what Live Action and their cohorts would like us to believe is that Planned Parenthood wants and encourages people to have abortions because they make money selling the fetuses. This is patently ridiculous. The total cost of all the services needed to provide an abortion is much larger than $30 to $100. There is no possible way this could be a money-making venture for them.

This makes me so angry because Planned Parenthoods do good work. They provide much needed information and access to birth control that helps millions of people, particularly young people, manage their own sexual health and prevent STI's and unplanned pregnancies. They provide accessible and safe abortion services - helping to limit the numbers of women who have no other choice but to carry a pregnancy to term when they don't want to - and reducing the harm and even deaths from unsafe abortions. They are keeping people healthy and alive!!!!! These are important things. AND the people who work for them don't make a lot of money and put up with an enormous amount of stress and abuse. These are people to be admired. But this group and others like it make up lies to make people believe that they are evil. I feel so very sad for the workers and directors who have been caught in these awful traps.

Planned Parenthood is responding to the fetal tissue donation videos. They have done some press releases explaining the issue and making it clear that they do not, under any circumstance, sell any human tissue. I'm glad they are responding to it - as it's a terrible claim for these people to make. I do hope that one of the women in the videos sues them for slander.

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