Myths and misstatements from PPFA President Cecile Richards

By Dave Andrusko

CecileRichards65reAfter listening to a nearly five-hour long hearing, late yesterday we posted “Five Takeaways from House Oversight Committee hearing on PPFA’s governmental funding.”  Of course, the five could have been 20.

Here are five additional thoughts.

There are many goals Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards had in mind as she testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. For example,

#1. Revise and extend her initial remarks for what Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services, said in the very first undercover video released by the Center for Medical Progress. Initially. Richards apologized for the “tone” and “statements.” But by Tuesday those remarks–captured on a You Tube video PPFA distributed–had vanished down a memory hole.

Now Richards said, what she meant was it was “inappropriate to have a clinical discussion in a non-confidential setting in a nonclinical setting.” No media account I read captured that revisionist history. No media account I read explained that other PPFA big-wigs had done the same thing with CMP investigators. Apparently PPFA didn’t feel the need to send out an additional You Tube video to apologize for THEIR tone and “statements.”

#2. Pro-abortionists always, always, always turn the discussion away from what happens in an abortion, or–in this case–what PPFA officials and Tissue Procurement Organizations said when they thought they were among friends. You know, the excited way they talked about fetal livers and hearts and lungs and kidneys and brains. Or, Dr. Mary Gatter, president of the Medical Directors Council of PPFA, “joking” about using a “less crunchy [abortion] technique” so as to be able to extract the desired baby body part intact.

To take attention away from this and much more, you would expect Richards and pro-abortion committee Democrats to hammer CMP. You might even expect the Democrats to allege that the committee’s “integrity” had been compromised by having the temerity to have the hearing. What you might not have anticipated was

#3. The most outrageous, over-the-top claims for the curative powers of human fetal tissue. It was like déjà vu all over again. One participant yesterday–it could have been Richards–announced that just about everyone in the room was probably a beneficiary of fetal tissue research. In fact, as Dr. David Prentice said in an interview with NPR’s Rob Stein, “It’s a bit antiquated in terms of its scientific use. This is no longer any type of cutting edge research. It might have been the gold standard back in the 1950s and 1960s. But we’re long past that.”

Richards insisted that “less than 1%” of “our health centers” participate in “tissue donations.” But she went on to say that with all the publicity over PPFA’s handling of baby body parts, to proudly announce that more women were coming forward to offer to “donate” their baby’s remains. Only in the eyes of PPFA would persuading women to “donate” baby kidneys and lungs and thoraxes be something to be brag about.

#4. Then there was the issue of mammograms. As the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack noted

“’We’ve never stated that we did’ provide mammograms, Richards said later, contradicting a claim Richards herself had made in 2011.”

#5. But first and foremost, Richards needed to combat the dangerous idea (dangerous to PPFA) that because there were so many alternatives to Planned Parenthood–such as the roughly 9,000 federally qualified health center and 4,000 rural health centers –Planned Parenthood is not irreplaceable.

Her basic response was…PPFA is irreplaceable.

There is much more to investigate. Stay tuned.