Fox News devoted 10 segments on seven separate programs in one day to hyping a deceptively edited video purporting to show Planned Parenthood “haggling” over the price of "baby parts, while mainstream media and fact checkers roundly discredited the video and its smears.
Anti-Choice Group Releases Second Deceptively Edited Video Attacking Planned Parenthood
Center For Medical Progress Releases Deceptively Edited Videos To Claim Planned Parenthood Profits From The Sale Of Fetal Tissue. In a video released on July 21, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) claimed to have recorded a Planned Parenthood official “haggling over” prices for fetal tissue donations and offering to change abortion procedure techniques “to get more intact fetuses.” A previous CMP video purported to show another Planned Parenthood official discussing prices for the sale of fetal tissue. Both videos have been deceptively edited -- the full, unedited footage debunks CMP's claims, showing the Planned Parenthood officials explaining that any change in procedure is done pursuant to medical advice without additional risk to the patient, and that the compensation being discussed was about legal reimbursement for costs associated with tissue donation. [Media Matters, 7/21/15; 7/14/15]
Fox Devoted 10 Segments In One Day To Hyping Edited Video
Fox News Devoted 10 Segments To Promoting Smears In Deceptively Edited Video. According to a Media Matters' count, on July 21, the day the second video was released, Fox News discussed the deceptively edited video in 10 segments on seven separate programs. America's Newsroom aired three segments on the edited video, while both Special Report and The O'Reilly Factor discussed the video and its attacks on Planned Parenthood twice. The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, and The Kelly File each devoted one segment to the deceptive video and its claims.
While Fact-Checkers And Mainstream Media Denounced Edited Video And Discredited Its Claims
NY Times Editorial Board Calls Out “Campaign Of Deception Against Planned Parenthood.” In an editorial published July 22, The New York Times called out the “campaign of deception” behind the Center for Medical Progress' selectively edited videos attacking Planned Parenthood. The editorial said the video footage that “purported to show that Planned Parenthood illegally sells tissue from aborted fetuses” in fact “shows nothing of the sort.”
The full video of the lunch meeting, over two hours long and released by the Center for Medical Progress after complaints by Planned Parenthood, shows something very different from what these critics claim. Clearly, the shorter version was edited to eliminate statements by Dr. Nucatola explaining that Planned Parenthood does not profit from tissue donation, which requires the clear consent of the patient. Planned Parenthood affiliates only accept money -- between $30 and $100 per specimen, according to Dr. Nucatola -- to cover costs associated with collecting and transporting the tissue. “This is not something with any revenue stream that affiliates are looking at,” she said. Under federal law, facilities may be reimbursed for costs associated with fetal tissue donation, like transportation and storage.
Researchers use fetal tissue to study and develop treatments for diseases and conditions like H.I.V., hepatitis, congenital heart defects, retinal degeneration and Parkinson's. Last year, the National Institutes of Health gave $76 million in grants for fetal tissue research. Planned Parenthood is certainly not the only collector of fetal tissue -- clinics associated with universities also supply tissue for research.
The Center for Medical Progress video campaign is a dishonest attempt to make legal, voluntary and potentially lifesaving tissue donations appear nefarious and illegal. Lawmakers responding by promoting their own anti-choice agenda are rewarding deception and putting women's health and their constitutionally protected rights at risk. [The New York Times, 7/22/15]
FactCheck.org Debunks Edited Video: Unedited Version Shows Officials “Saying Its Clinics Want To Cover Their Costs, Not Make Money, When Donating Fetal Tissue.” On July 21, FactCheck.org called out the CMP video for being edited to “leave the impression” that Planned Parenthood affiliates are making money from selling body parts:
Several Republican presidential candidates have claimed that Planned Parenthood is “profiting” from abortions. But the full, unedited video they cite as evidence shows a Planned Parenthood executive repeatedly saying its clinics want to cover their costs, not make money, when donating fetal tissue from abortions for scientific research.
Four experts in the field of human tissue procurement told us the price range discussed in the video -- $30 to $100 per patient -- represents a reasonable fee. “There's no way there's a profit at that price,” said Sherilyn J. Sawyer, the director of Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital's “biorepository.”
Republicans made their claims following the release of a secretly recorded video showing Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, discussing the procurement of fetal tissues when conducting abortions. The edited video, released July 14 by an anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress, leaves the impression that Nucatola is talking about Planned Parenthood affiliates making money from fetal tissue. But the edited video ignores other things Nucatola said that contradict that idea. [FactCheck.org,7/21/15]
METHODOLOGY: Media Matters searched Nexis and internal transcripts for the terms: “Planned Parenthood,” “abortion,” “video,” “fetal,” “tissue,” and “body parts” on Fox News programs from 6 A.M. - 11 P.M. on June 21.