The Twitterverse murmured #ThankYouCecile the other day to mark the end of Cecile Richards’s tenure leading the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Hats off to the Babylon Bee for skewering that bit of social media hashtagging: “Woman Celebrated for Killing 3.5 Million People.”
That satirical bull’s eye came just a few days after another one from the same source: “Planned Parenthood Defends Bill Cosby: ‘Sexual Assault Is Only 3% Of What He Does’”. I wish I’d written that.
But in all seriousness, Richards is a consequential woman. It would be a mistake to pretend otherwise. Planned Parenthood has had high-profile leaders before and will have them again. What sets Richards apart are the sheer bloody numbers and her solid brass determination. Continue reading “Cecile’s Legacy”
I don’t follow Cecile Richards on Twitter; life’s too short. I do follow David Daleiden, though, ever since his Center for Medical Progress videos documented the baby-parts business in some Planned Parenthood affiliates. Daleiden recently re-tweeted something from Richards.
In case the embedded tweet doesn’t show up for you, @CecileRichards on March 6 said, “Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion – a necessary service that’s as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings.”
@DavidDaleiden’s re-tweet: “Today @CecileRichards admitted that abortion is equally important to @PPact as cancer screenings. So much for ‘only 3%’ #PPSellsBabyParts”
Save this. The next time a PP contract comes before the Executive Council, every Councilor needs to see Richards’ tweet, preferably about 500 times over.
If you understand that abortion is not health care, save this.
If you understand that PP’s business model depends on using its patients as human shields (give-us-a-contract-or-else-we’ll-deny-cancer-screenings-to-women), save this.
If you understand that PP uses its supposedly non-abortion contract funds for “infrastructure” at facilities where abortion is performed, save this. Don’t take my word for it; New Hampshire’s HHS commissioner is the one who let that slip during a public Executive Council meeting last year. Infrastructure is just a four-syllable way of saying “overhead.”
Cecile Richards says that abortion is “vital” (ironic use of a word whose Latin root means “life”) to PP’s mission.
What happened between those two dates was a lesson and a warning: anyone who tries to stop giving money to PP, however small an amount, will be smeared. Also, PP shrewdly turned Komen’s decision into a fundraising opportunity, reportedly getting $250,000 in donations within days – donations not earmarked for breast health work, by the way.
Fox News reported at the time that Komen grants to PP totaled roughly $680,000 in 2011 and $580,000 in 2010, “going to at least 19 of its affiliates for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services.” Those services were (and remain) primarily manual breast exams. PP does not do mammograms, as PP leader Cecile Richards affirmed to a Congressional committee in 2015.
Remember – Komen was planning to pull the PP grants in order to give the money to organizations doing more direct breast-care services. That wasn’t acceptable to PP.
At the time of the Komen flap, Richards decried the politicization of women’s health. “It’s hard to understand how an organization with whom we share a mission of saving women’s lives could have bowed to this kind of bullying. It’s really hurtful.” To the New York Times: “I think there’s really been a chord struck over this issue, this issue of political organizations who are trying to politicize women’s reproductive health. This kind of political bullying — I think folks are just saying, ‘Enough.’”
Komen officials could have swapped stories with her about how hurtful it is to bow to bullies.
One Komen executive, Karen Handel, soon became an ex-Komen executive. She wrote a book, Planned Bullyhood, in an attempt to set the already-cloudy record straight. From Politifact, September 25, 2012:
“Some critics suggested Handel was behind Komen’s policy decision. But in her book, Handel says Komen had considered ending the relationship with Planned Parenthood ‘for at least a decade,’ as Komen restructured its grant model to focus on measurable outcomes to fighting breast cancer. That focus, she said, excluded much of what Planned Parenthood did.
“In her book, Handel makes pointed statements regarding Planned Parenthood’s services, noting that the organization promoted itself as a provider of mammograms to poor women.
“‘The truth is, Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms,’ she wrote. ‘Planned Parenthood refers women to mammography providers, serving as the middlewoman, if you will.'”
Today, Komen affiliates are free to give grants to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is still not a breast cancer research organization, nor does it provide mammograms.
According to Katie Yoder, staff writer at the Media Research Center, two minutes of clips from the Center for Medical Progress undercover Planned Parenthood videos have been shown on network news programs, out of seventeen available hours of video. Yoder made the comment as she introduced CMP’s David Daleiden to an appreciative audience at the 2015 Values Voter Summit in Washington.
Those seventeen hours of videos will be much on the minds of U.S. House and Government Oversight Committee members as they question Planned Parenthood leader Cecile Richards today. (C-SPAN is expected to cover the hearing live.) Who on the committee has viewed the videos in full? Has Richards done so? Such hearings have been known to serve as megaphones for speeches written well in advance by Members of Congress and witnesses alike. Will new information come out? Will there be any movement toward privatizing PP, if its support is as broad and deep as Richards is wont to claim?
We’ll see. More likely, Richards will intensify her claim that the $528 million in taxpayer funds to her organization are amply justified.
Daleiden called that figure “unconscionable” in his Values Voter remarks. He is aware that PP supporters deny that the organization is committing “federal-level felonies,” but said “if you don’t believe it, you’re not listening hard enough.” See a video of his Values Voters speech on the video archive page on valuesvotersummit.org.
He called millenials “the most pro-life cohort since 1973,” having grown up with civil rights movements, now “scandalized” by the treatment of human beings as property. “In this city [Washington], little human beings are being bought and sold” by Planned Parenthood. He said the CMP videos have demonstrated three things about PP: the organization sells fetal body parts; abortion providers in some PP affiliates change abortion procedures in order to acquire more valuable fetal specimens; and the national organization from Richards on down approves this activity.
“The worth of a human being is far more than the sum of his or her body parts. Carry these values forward. Continue to share these videos,” Daleiden concluded.
And let’s hope the government officials who keep Planned Parenthood in taxpayer clover watch more than two minutes of footage.