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Abortion Climate Change

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Court Documents Detail Shocking Complaint Filed Against Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado.

TALLAHASSEE – Already facing an inquiry from the state’s health regulatory agency, Planned Parenthood could soon be facing a criminal investigation.A conservative legal firm filed a complaint with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies on Wednesday on behalf of Colorado Family Action, a religious advocacy group, alleging that a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic failed to learn of and report the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl, and performed an abortion in 2012 without notifying her parent.Despite the controversy engulfing Planned Parenthood, corporate donors haven’t backed off. “Our support is stronger and stronger, instead of backing away,” says one.The big news in conservative media land over the past couple of weeks has been a series of undercover “sting” videos released by a shady antiabortion rights activist group claiming to show that Planned Parenthood sells tissues procured from aborted fetuses.

Since mid July, Planned Parenthood has been engulfed in controversy as an anti-abortion group has released four undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter Friday to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement asking the agency to conduct an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s offices in Florida.

The girl, known in court documents as “R.Z.,” was then reportedly returned to her stepfather’s custody and the molestation is said to have continued. In need of something to mobilize their anti-choice base, they launch an attack on reproductive health through another attempt to shut down the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Planned Parenthood maintains that any money it receives for procuring those tissues – which have long been used in medical research – is just reimbursement for the costs associated with the procedures. The collateral damage: time, energy and resources spent responding to the attack, instead of focusing on the crisis of reproductive health care access in America.

Planned Parenthood says the videos are heavily-edited and “part of a decade-long pattern of illegal harassment.” Some conservative and anti-abortion sites, including Fox News and the Heritage Foundation’s Signal, have claimed that corporate sponsors are distancing themselves. “Planned Parenthood once boasted a list of sponsors that read like a who’s who of the Fortune 100, but now some of the biggest companies say they never gave money to the embattled organization,” Fox News reported this week. None of the videos that have been released actually show Planned Parenthood doing anything illegal, but they do show representatives of the organization speaking somewhat cavalierly about a grim topic. It was just before the 2012 election that conservative Republicans made their last previous attempt at passing legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.

Both inquiries were spurred by undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood representatives in other states discussing the purchase of fetal tissue after abortions. It’s just a slightly different twist on the same fight between pro-lifers and pro-choicers that’s been going on for decades.” I think that’s right, though there’s an additional complication: up until about a week ago, Republicans were on record supporting the very fetal-tissue research they’re now outraged by. After years of suffering, he died of respiratory failure, his body skeletal and ravaged, his mind alert to his suffocation until the last moments of life. It’s a detail House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reminded GOP leaders about yesterday. “When [legislation] was passed enabling research to go forward, I remind that Mitch McConnell voted for that,” she said at a news briefing Thursday in response to several questions about Planned Parenthood’s undercover video controversy. […] Pelosi refers to legislation passed in 1993 that allowed federal funding to be used for medical research involving fetal tissue, under certain conditions.

A top corporate donor is Credo Mobile, a California mobile provider that also funds liberal causes with its revenue — including women’s health, rainforest conservation and hunger. Now,” demands Erick Erickson. “The budget and appropriations fights are forthcoming,” he writes. “If Barack Obama is willing to risk a government shutdown because he demands our tax dollars continue funding an organization that kills our children and sells their organs, we should have that fight.” This line of reasoning appeals to legislators like Sen.

According to Elizabeth Clark, the Director of Health Media at Planned Parenthood, the organization’s development office was not hearing from unhappy donors. Ted Cruz, a senator from Texas, stirred crowds at an anti-abortion rally on Capitol Hill on July 28th with calls for a federal criminal investigation.

As we have repeatedly noted, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Florida do not participate in any tissue donation programs so there is nothing responsive to Rep. On Tuesday, a court issued a temporary restraining order preventing The Center for Medical Progress from releasing videos featuring leaders of a California company that provides fetal tissue to researchers.

They haven’t lived up to those promises yet (a partial shutdown was narrowly averted just two months into their reign) and picking a fight over government funding, even when it’s related to a controversial issue like abortion, promises to make them look even worse. But McConnell was one of many Republicans who voted to lift a ban on fetal tissue donations after abortions in 1993 – the very move that legalized Planned Parenthood’s actions. Ginde, who was also briefly featured in the third video, is seen sitting down with two actors who posed as tissue buyers before taking them into a pathological laboratory, where she is seen sifting through aborted fetal organs and parts to presumably show the buyers what’s available. “Oh, look, here’s some organs for you.

Polls show that pro-life voters are in the minority, but they punch above their weight because they care more about where politicians stand on the issue. A separate anti-abortion group, calling themselves “E,” took credit for hacking the nonprofits databases and gaining access to employee names and emails. So while the GOP leadership is certainly sympathetic to the complaints of the base over Planned Parenthood, they’re not willing to resort to extreme measures and risk serious political blowback. Surveys find that most Americans support keeping abortion legal within the first weeks of conception; but this sympathy plummets once the woman enters her second trimester, and nearly disappears when she reaches her third (see chart), by which time ultrasounds offer more detailed pictures of fingers and toes. But Congress lifted that ban in 1993 when it passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, which allowed research on human fetal tissue regardless of whether the tissue came from a voluntary abortion.

Here’s a stomach, heart, kidney, adrenal,” Ginde says in the footage, while parsing through the fetal remains. “I don’t know what else is in there.” Though we all made this argument the last time Planned Parenthood was under attack, it bears repeating: Due to the Hyde Amendment, no federal funding can pay for abortions, except in the case of rape, incest and life endangerment. Twelve states now require abortion providers to proffer details about a fetus’s ability to feel pain; ten mandate an ultrasound (though it is not medically necessary); and 14 have introduced bans on an abortion 20 weeks after conception. And they make these demands even though the chances winning these fights are slim to nonexistent – Democrats still retain filibuster authority in the Senate, and even if legislation were to get through, Obama would veto it. Employer matching-gift programs in which companies match employees’ giving are a minor source: less than 1% of funds raised, said Clark, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson.

The most useful stem cells are found in fertilized embryos and fetuses, where they haven’t yet developed into specialized cells. (Scientists can also reprogram adult cells to act like embryonic stem cells, but these reprogrammed cells, while useful for research, have not been shown to be therapeutically safe.) The first Food and Drug Administration–approved clinical trials to treat ALS with fetal stem cells are already underway. They shouldn’t – fetal-tissue research is extremely important and stands to help a lot of people – but maybe they look back at their 1993 legislation as a mistake. So if they believe they have a political advantage when it comes to Planned Parenthood, then really it makes more sense to not pursue a shutdown strategy that would strip that advantage away. If these conservative activists cared about life, as they purport to do, they’d be devoting every waking hour and every ounce of energy calling for an end to the siege under which Black people live daily.

But once again the Republicans in Congress find themselves in a position in which the simple act of governing is made difficult by the extreme positions of their influential hard-right flank. These demographics matter because abortion trends divide by income: the rate for well-off women has dropped by nearly 30% in 20 years, whereas for poor women it has climbed nearly 20%. This is largely because poor women, with worse schooling and not much access to health care, are five times more likely to become pregnant unexpectedly. For every public dollar spent on contraception, the government saves $5.68 in Medicaid spending on pregnancies, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice NGO.

As The Daily Signal reported, representatives from some of these companies, including Coca-Cola, Ford and Xerox, contacted The Daily Signal to say they were erroneously listed and asked Planned Parenthood to take them off the site. This week a federal judge ruled that the detention of migrant children and their mothers is in breach of the law, and that the families should be released as soon as possible. If those who assert their commitment to innocent lives, in fact cared about innocent lives, they would be picketing these detention centers where women and children are being held without being charged with a crime, subject to the horrific conditions of inadequate food, medicine and sanitation. 3. The horribly unjust and unconscionable Hyde Amendment, which prevents many low-income people from getting access to abortion coverage through health care, just because they are poor. Over 30 years, it has donated $3 million to the group. “When Planned Parenthood gets attacked, we’re on the front edge of standing up for them,” said spokesman Heidi Hess.

Those of us, and there are many, who believe that these attacks against Planned Parenthood are disingenuous and troubling ought to be sure not to take our eyes off our goals, and off these important stories. Since mid-July when the first video was released, Planned Parenthood and abortion have moved to the center of presidential campaign and Congressional debates. Congress has launched two investigations into its role in fetal tissue supply, and eight Republican governors (some running for president) have launched state investigations.

Embryonic stem cell research, which generally requires the destruction of the embryo that could theoretically be implanted and develop, has lately drawn much more debate and political attention. Still, to my mind, a woman’s decision to donate her aborted fetus to medical research—and Planned Parenthood’s willingness to transfer the fetal material—is deeply commendable.

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