Almost immediately after the debate, defenders of Planned Parenthood began a campaign to diminish the impact of the statement by declaring it false based on specific errors of fact within the video Fiorina was likely referencing.
Over the past several months the Center for Medical Progress published a series of videos that include undercover taping of Planned Parenthood executives discussing the harvesting of fetal body parts. The methods described by these executives to preserve aborted “tissue” for exploitation by the bio tech industry, and thus increase its value to Planned Parenthood, is disturbing in the least.
The follow-on damage of the videos forced Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to apologize for the “tone” of the comments of senior executives of the company.
The videos opened a window into the abortion industry that brought home for many people, including some Planned Parenthood supporters, an ethical and moral concern about the harvesting of aborted “tissue” for profit, particularly by an organization funded with tax dollars.
Fiorina raised this issue in the debate saying, “As regards Planned Parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape - I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes - watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”
The video she likely is referring to is a montage of information, narrative and supporting videos of a type similar to those often seen in an investigative report on a local news television station. In one segment, Holly O’Donnell, identified as a former procurement technician at StemExpress, describes her personal experience extracting the brain of a fully formed aborted fetus. Supportive video is injected into the interview video (often called B roll) to support what the interviewee is discussing. Among the B roll is what appears to be a fully formed fetus on a stainless steel table. Its legs clearly move.
Following the presidential debate, Media Matters, a partisan information center of the left, began a campaign to discredit Fiorina’s comment by questioning the factual basis of the video. Impugning the veracity of elements of the video is a technique to diminish the entirety of Fiorina’s argument and distract public attention from the moral issue the videos reveal.
Fiorina made a very forceful and emotional statement that encapsulates a disgust and outrage felt by many after seeing the underbelly of the abortion industry revealed by the Center for Medical Progress videos. The casual discussion by Planned Parenthood executives over lunch, while sipping wine, of improved procedures to reduce “crunching” that would make aborted fetuses more valuable to biotech firms is ghoulish at best.
Fiorina’s call for a national soul searching regarding fetal tissue harvesting within the abortion industry is warranted. The Center for Medical Progress videos unveiled a very dark culture in the industry generally and Planned Parenthood specifically. Fiorina’s comments should stimulate calls for investigation of the industry and review of public policy related to it.
Defending Planned Parenthood at any cost diminishes the standing of its advocates among those who have seen the videos of Planned Parenthood executives discussing abortive tissue harvesting. The truth, which Carly Fiorina expressed, is self-evident to anyone who takes the time to watch the videos.
The Center for Medical Progress videos are available here: http://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/
Carly Fiorina comment about Planned Parenthood is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUcMyiwVSFg
Fiorina appears to refer to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=2&v=FzMAycMMXp8 .
Planned Parenthood apology: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/07/16/planned-parenthood-head-apologizes-for-tone-of-doctor-in-covert-video/
Media Matters web site: http://mediamatters.org/about