2015 September 29

Planned Parenthood President Rebuts Faked Attack Videos


Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, testified for five hours before Congress on this day rebutting faked and secretly recorded videos claiming to show that Planned Parenthood sold for profit fetal tissue from abortions. The hearings before the Republican-controlled committee were completely hostile to Planned Parenthood, with the committee chair repeatedly interrupting Richards before she could finish making statements.

On July 14, 2014, the Center for Medical Progress released the first of 10 videos purporting to show that Planned Parenthood sold for profit fetal tissue obtained from abortions. Planned Parenthood denied the charges, and pointed out that the videos were heavily edited to present a false picture of the recorded conversations. The Center for Medical Progress is a non-profit organization that exists entirely for the purpose of attacking Planned Parenthood, and engages in no other activities.

The videos, however, provoked a fire-storm of attacks from anti-abortion activists and Republican politicians. The result was a wave of calls to “defund” Planned Parenthood. In fact, Planned Parenthood receives Medicaid funds as reimbursement for providing medical services to low-income people. (Under the Hyde Amendment, first enacted on September 29, 1976, federal funds cannot be used to pay for abortions.)

The Congressional hearings turned up no evidence of illegal or improper activity by Planned Parenthood.

Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in America on October 16, 1916. A week later she was arrested for violating New York state law restricting the providing of birth control information, and began serving a month in jail on February 2, 1917.

Search Today in Civil Liberties using the search terms “Margaret Sanger” and”birth control” for more on the long history of attempts to restrict access to birth control in the U.S., including the banning of meetings about birth control.

Read a biography of Sanger: Ellen Chesler, Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America (1992)

Learn more about Planned Parenthood today: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/


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