By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director
The soundbite machine at Planned Parenthood just isn’t working as well as it used to.
There was once a time when Planned Parenthood officials could deliver a focus group-tested soundbite to a news-hungry media and rest easy. Just repeat a few catchy phrases —“war on women,” “trust women,” “trusted health care provider,” and it was onto the next question.
But that was before undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood doctors nonchalantly discussing over salad the harvest of and compensation for baby body parts. Livers? Lungs? Legs? Heads? The American public had never heard Planned Parenthood talking about human organs, heads, and extremities before. What’s all that got to do with choice and women’s rights and breast cancer exams? I mean, those lunchtime conversations were just way off script.
We have been told there are more undercover videos to come, and that these will depict situations even worse than what we’ve seen so far.
Planned Parenthood has promoted itself as advancing the cause of women, but one has to wonder: How does it help a woman to illegally manipulate an abortion procedure to make sure that certain baby body parts remain intact? When the doctor is talking about crushing above or below to ensure that a specific part is preserved, it is clear that the abortionist is not thinking about the woman at that moment. The focus has completely shifted from the woman’s body to another’s body — the body of the baby. But the baby is treated as an organ factory rather than the distinct human being he or she is.
Planned Parenthood does not empower women. It tries to make them dependent on a non-profit with assets of more than $236 million. If a woman keeps coming to Planned Parenthood for her birth control and then she unexpectedly becomes pregnant, they can sell her an abortion, which boosts their clinic income. By giving presentations in schools, they can attract clients when they are young and hold onto them throughout their reproductive years through the emotional pull of brand loyalty.
Planned Parenthood consistently fights right-to-know laws, which require women to be told of the risks of abortion and its alternatives. If women are fully informed, they may in fact not want to patronize Planned Parenthood, and that would be bad for business.
In her recent interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Planned Parenthood chief Cecile Richards tried repeatedly to return to the old talking points: “highest standards,” “1 in 5 women depend on Planned Parenthood for health care,” “Planned Parenthood does not ever profit,” etc., etc.
But the trouble is, those soundbites just don’t work anymore. The national conversation has shifted to what actually happens to a baby’s body during and after an abortion.
And that’s not something Planned Parenthood wants to talk about.