The women’s health organization Planned Parenthood is no stranger to controversy. Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would stop funding for Planned Parenthood for a year. The bill comes with the threat of a government shut down if the right and left wings don’t reach an agreement. Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, is expected to meet with Congress the day before the potential shutdown on September 29 (Washington Post).
Despite all the good Planned Parenthood does like offering breast cancer exams, STD testing and information about women’s health; the organization has been getting heat for many years. One of the most recent issues surrounding Planned Parenthood was the release of videos by the pro-life organization Center for Medical Progress, in which actors portraying doctors discussed various aspects of abortion, as well as selling fetus tissue. These videos drew criticism because they were created in order to portray Planned Parenthood negatively (Inquisitor).
In one such video, Dr. Ben Van Handel, director of Novagenix Laboratories, told a ‘buyer’, who was in reality just an actor, that, “[…] you know there are times when after the procedure is done that the heart is actually still beating […]”. The videos have also been very graphic in content. In the last GOP debate, Carly Fiorina challenged President Obama and Hillary Clinton to watch the videos and see if their standings on the issue don’t change.
The credibility Center for Medical Progress is now being questioned. CMP went so far as to create a fake biomedical company, Biomax Procurement Services, in order to get supporters to record footage of Planned Parenthood doctors supposedly buying fetal tissue, which is a felony.
While patients do have the option to donate fetal tissue after an abortion for scientific research, Planned Parenthood does not reap any monetary benefit from this. The organization has released statements saying that no laws were broken, and through studies proven that the videos were manipulated to benefit the Center for Medical Progress’s agenda (U.S. News).