“How much for this body part?”
Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy says he sought the answer to that question on Planned Parenthood's website, parroting debunked allegations from deceptively edited videos claiming that Planned Parenthood sells “fetal baby parts.” In reality, the videos show no wrong-doing, as Planned Parenthood only donates fetal tissue with consent to important scientific research, and the money exchanged for the donations is both legal and solely to cover costs.
This month The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has released two deceptively cut videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials “haggling over” prices for the sale of fetal tissue. The latest video, released on July 21, claims to catch an official offering to change abortion procedure techniques “to get more intact fetuses” in exchange for more money. But both videos have been deceptively edited to leave out crucial context that debunks the notion that the reproductive health provider sells fetal tissue for profit.
Yet Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy parroted the bogus talking points to attack Planned Parenthood on the July 21 edition of Special Report. Doocy went so far as to claim that he searched the non-profit's website for “fetal baby part prices,” but was unable to find them because the sale is a “well-kept secret”:
DOOCY: The debate about abortion is usually 'when does life start.' But tonight the debate is 'how much for this body part.' With one Planned Parenthood executive hoping it's enough for a fancy new car.
DOOCY: I've searched the Planned Parenthood website for fetal baby part prices but can't find them. Because until these videos came out, these transactions had been Planned Parenthood's well-kept secret.
Doocy's allegations demonstrate that even Special Report, the network's flagship news program, is willing to hype dangerous and false rhetoric from an organization with ties to extremist and violent groups.
Media and factcheckers quickly denounced CMP's original edited video, as the full footage contradicts the allegation that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue, and even the edited portion “shows nothing illegal.” Instead, the video “repeatedly [says Planned Parenthood's] clinics want to cover their costs, not make money when donating fetal tissue” for scientific research, as FactCheck.org pointed out, and quoting a “biorepository” expert, they write that "[t]here's no way there's a profit" made on the donations based on the prices discussed in the videos.
What's more, the research enabled by fetal tissue donation is a critical tool for fighting a number of diseases, as The New York Times explained in an editorial blasting the shady anti-choice organization and those championing their false claims:
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.