The New York Times editorial board called out the GOP's latest attempt to "play brinkmanship" with the federal budget, with some "even threatening to shut down the government" to wage their "political campaign against Planned Parenthood." The Times said that the campaign against the reproductive health organization is based on deceptive smear videos, and ultimately comes down to denying women "the healthcare they need" and obstructing the functioning of government.
The Times editorial board explained September 24 that the Republican campaign against Planned Parenthood was renewed after a series of deceptively-edited videos by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) were released. The videos showed "Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal-tissue donation, which is legal and critical for medical research," but Republicans have echoed right-wing media to claim "they are evidence that Planned Parenthood illegally profits by selling aborted fetuses and should therefore be stripped of federal money."
The editorial board also highlighted how the consequences of the "political campaign against Planned Parenthood," come down to "denying women, especially poor women, the health care they need," and "obstructing the budget process and the smooth functioning of government":
The latest phase of this campaign began in July with deceptive videos by anti-abortion activists. The videos showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal-tissue donation, which is legal and critical for medical research. Republicans say the videos are evidence that Planned Parenthood illegally profits by selling aborted fetuses and should therefore be stripped of federal money.
Congress is not the only venue for this campaign. On "Fox News Sunday," Carly Fiorina insisted that the anti-abortion video shows a kicking fetus being kept alive so its brain can be harvested, an image she also invoked in last week's debate. It shows no such thing. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said this week that Planned Parenthood, with President Obama's support, is engaged in the "systematic murder of children in the womb" in order to sell body parts.
Abortions are a small part of Planned Parenthood's services and tissue donation a very small part. No federal money is spent on abortions at Planned Parenthood; most of its services are for contraception, health screenings, pregnancy tests and prenatal care for low-income women.
The Republican obsession with the group seems to come to this: denying women, especially poor women, the health care they need; pandering for primary votes among Tea Party regulars; and obstructing the budget process and the smooth functioning of government. Quite a record.
Right-wing media have paved the way for a government shutdown by championing Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood despite a growing list of investigations that have found no wrongdoing by the health provider.