Back in April, Sustain co-founder Meika Hollender penned a piece called "Take Action: Why I Support Planned Parenthood," speaking out in defense of the organization because of Congress's prolonged attempts to cut Planned Parenthood's funding.
Recent news has Planned Parenthood in the headlines again -- this time due to two videos from a group called "The Center for Medical Progress," which have been produced to make it seem as though Planned Parenthood is illegally selling fetal tissue for profit. The videos capitalize on a hot button topic, clever editing, critical timing and the public's general lack of knowledge about the logistics of abortion as a practice to get the country up in arms about a scandal that, upon closer look, isn't quite so scandalous after all.
There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field. - Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communications, Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood released a statement on July 14 denying the allegations put forth by The Center for Medical Progress, and media outlets ranging from the New York Times to Mic to Cosmopolitan have since released articles that attempt to set the record straight: the accusations are false and we can file this away as one of the many attacks on Planned Parenthood that ultimately compromise a woman's reproductive rights.
Yes, this attack on Planned Parenthood is an attack on women's reproductive rights. Valid or not, proven or not, the videos have succeeded in drumming up one-sided speculation, anger and confusion around a sensitive and emotional topic. The videos exploit this knowledge and use it to their advantage to both create doubt and incite action -- two tactics that have by no means been met with failure. A recent article posted on Senator Rand Paul's website is titled "Senator Rand Paul to Lead Fight Against Planned Parenthood." His mission? To defund the organization entirely. Here's how the headline should read: "Senator Rand Paul to Lead Fight Against Women's Reproductive Rights."
Instead of taking action against Planned Parenthood, these videos offer up an opportunity for us to do quite the opposite. They are a call to action, a reminder, that there is no better time to get educated about the issues, separate the facts from the fiction, and stand with those very people and organizations that offer women access to the reproductive rights that other groups will go to extreme lengths -- like releasing manipulated and manipulative videos -- to try and strip away.