Anti-abortion group is sued over fetal tissue videos

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Another Abortion Group Asks Court To Block Videos.

Another major pro-abortion group has filed a lawsuit in federal court attempting to block the release of anti-abortion videos created by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Governor Mike Pence, a Republican, on July 16 ordered an investigation of Planned Parenthood facilities in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Merrillville to see if organs from aborted fetuses were being sold.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.

The National Abortion Federation (NAF), which represents abortion providers across the U.S. as well as in Canada and Australia, says CMP’s videos must be blocked because they represent an imminent safety threat to the group’s members. “The situation could not be more urgent,” the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. The reason is simple: When the topic is late-term abortion, the harvesting and selling of organs, or — frankly, anything that unmasks the unseemly “process” of abortion — it’s good for the pro-life cause. District Court for the Northern District of California, says. “Absent immediate injunctive relief … Defendants’ conduct will cause irreversible harm to NAF, its employees’, and NAF members’ safety, security, privacy, and reputations.” NAF’s statement accompanying the suit accuse CMP’s operators of engaging in “a long-running illegal conspiracy” to gain entry to closed NAF meetings where they were able to secretly record footage of officials discussing sensitive topics. (RELATED: Fetus Parts Purchaser Changes Its Website Following Video) “They set up a fake company and sent fake employees of that company with fake identities to misrepresent themselves and gain access to NAF’s annual meetings and member facilities that provide abortion care,” the statement says. “They signed agreements with NAF that prohibited the activities they have engaged in, obviously with no intention of honoring those agreements.” The new lawsuit comes shortly after StemExpress, a company which processes fetal tissue, won a temporary restraining order against CMP regarding video footage from a lunch meeting last May. (RELATED: Fetal Tissue Company Tries To Halt New Planned Parenthood Videos) “For more than the last 30 years, anti-abortion extremists have perpetrated tens of thousands of acts of violence and other criminal activities against NAF members and other abortion providers, including murder, shootings, arson, bombings, chemical and acid attacks, anthrax and bioterrorism threats, kidnapping, death threats, and other forms of violence,” the suit says. 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. If CMP releases videos featuring NAF members, the suit argues, it will encourage more such violence against them due to the videos being “highly edited” in a manner that “demonizes” abortion providers. 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. During the 1990s, pro-lifers scored points by stressing “partial-birth abortion” — but somewhere along the line (possibly because conservatives were a victim of their own success), talk of transvaginal ultrasounds and “legitimate rape” reframed the debate on much less hospitable terrain. It was just before the 2012 election that conservative Republicans made their last previous attempt at passing legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.

Instead of Democrats being put on the defensive and being forced to defend the killing of a 20 week old “fetus,” it was now Republicans who found themselves getting out over their skis, talking about rape, and losing elections. 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. Followed to its logical conclusion, though, one could conclude that pro-lifers should devote themselves to producing more videos — and eschewing legislative restrictions on abortion. 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.

Planned Parenthood has asked the government’s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine. National Planned Parenthood officials have said their tissue donation services only receive compensation for their expenses, do not make a profit and are in compliance with federal laws.

The parts of the fetus – including the head, hands, and legs – are easily identifiable in the video as the doctors discuss pricing of individual parts versus the entire body. It seems ridiculous that taxpayer dollars fund Planned Parenthood, and so — with the group now currently on the ropes today — it seems to make perfect sense to renew calls to dufund Planned Parenthood. 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. While earlier videos attempted to prove that Planned Parenthood was involved in illegal practices, these latest videos seem more focused on trying to attack the organization by graphically describing and showing the process of procuring aborted fetal tissue. 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. As long as the debate is a philosophical one over whether we as a society should allow this kind of barbarism, conservatives will find themselves on the winning side. A separate anti-abortion group, calling themselves “E,” took credit for hacking the nonprofits databases and gaining access to employee names and emails. 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.”

This is a bit of a Catch-22: You can’t restrict abortions unless you gain public support — but if you gain public support, trying to restrict abortion legislatively will erode some of that support … One solution might be to abandon the legislative process altogether, and focus instead on fostering a culture of life. Expose the evils of the abortion industry, make it socially unacceptable to have abortions, encourage adoption, support crisis pregnancy centers, etc. — and reduce abortions (and save babies!) without trying to mandate its abolition. Those women were seen discussing pricing in those videos, though the organization said it is the price to cover the expenses that arise with procuring and transporting fetal tissue. Despite their explanations however, some Republicans have taken issue following these videos and claim they clearly show the group is involved in the illegal harvesting of organs.

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. And just as the notion that slavery would someday simply fade away (and therefore, all the fuss over ending slavery was overwrought) feels like an act of wishful thinking or moral cowardice, people who believe abortion is murder likewise find it unacceptable for American law to support and facilitate this practice. (Should we also legalize murder — and just focus on creating a social stigma around killing your spouse or parents, they would ask?) This comes down to a strategic disagreement over pragmatism versus principle. He made that clear when he announced the planned Senate vote on Tuesday, saying that it is ‘a huge victory for conservatives’ who do not support abortion no matter what the outcome. ‘When anyone diminishes an unborn child, we are all hurt, irreversibly so.

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. Instead, GOP lawmaker are apoplectic, literally threatening a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding, because they’ve seen videos that reminded them that fetal-tissue research has been legal and common for the last 22 years.

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. While some are taking comfort in the fact that the Hyde Amendment is the law of the land, those of us that care about equality and economic justice should be fighting tooth and nail to overturn it.

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