Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fact Checkers Get Facts Wrong On Fiorina's Planned Parenthood Comment

During the second televised debate, Republican candidate Carly Fiorina challenged President Obama and Hillary Clinton to find time in their schedule to watch the Planned Parenthood videos:
Anyone who has watched this videotape, I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says, ‘We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.’ This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto
Carly Fiorina
this bill, shame on us.” 
This comment sent abortion advocates and Planned Parenthood defenders scurrying to "fact checkers" who gleefully labeled the comment a "lie." Many mainstream media outlets bought into the fact checkers' claims that Fiorina was lying about the videos and reported it.  Of course, none of those reporters seemed to want to actually watch the video themselves to see if Fiorina's statement was false.

Writers for Slate, Vox and other liberal publications even went so far as to declare that no such video exists. In echoing Planned Parenthood’s talking points claiming, Fusion claimed:
To be clear, Fiorina, like the other Republicans attacking Planned Parenthood, doesn’t have her facts straight. None of the videos have anyone talking about “harvesting” brains. The supposedly macabre video she’s talking about was highly, selectively edited by right-wing activists.  (Emphasis supplied.)
No technician talked about harvesting brains?  Wanna bet?  In fact, in the video below the technician (start at 5:38) talks about being told to cut open a fetus' face to extract the brain.  The Federalist describes: 
In the video in question , a technician is talking about harvesting the brain of an alive, fully formed fetus. While she tells her story, there is footage of another baby of roughly the same gestational age as the one whose brain she harvested. This baby is seen still kicking and its heart still beating.
While it is obviously not the same baby as the one she harvested the brain of [and Fiorina never said otherwise], the footage helps viewers to understand what a 19-week old baby looks like when hearing the testimony of an ex-employee who harvested brains from babies of the same age. Illustrating stories with appropriate images is a common journalistic technique, one used by all media outlets.

When confronted with the video, Planned Parenthood defenders backtrack and say the image was that of a stillborn baby, a claim that apparently goes back to hhe Hill, which made this claim in a story in August.

As noted by the Federalist, the stillborn claim is false:
...The video shows  two different babies, neither of whom are stillborn. One was an image of Fretz, who was not a stillborn baby, but was born born prematurely at 19 weeks and died in his parents arms. This image of Fretz appeared during the 8:59 minute mark of the video, where he appears to be wrapped in a blanket and have a clip on his umbilical chord to keep it from getting infected.
Earlier in the video, around the 5:56 mark, there is footage of another baby boy around the same gestational age as Fretz who is not stillborn either, but a baby who survived an abortion and was left in a metal bowl to die. In the footage, he kicks his legs and twitches his arms during the final moments of his life, and a pair of forceps lays beside him. The footage was provided by The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, a pro-life organization headquartered in Lake Forrest, California.   
The Hill’s claim is inaccurate, as neither of these babies were stillborn. Both were born alive and died outside of the womb. One was a survivor of an abortion who was left to die of exposure in a metal bowl at the abortion clinic, while the other was born to a mother who wanted him, and died in her arms.

The baby seen  in the footage at the 5:56 mark was indeed taken from inside an abortion clinic, according to the owner of the footage. Gregg Cunningham, executive director of The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, the organization that obtained the footage and provided it to CMP, said in a statement to The Federalist:
“The video clip we provided to CMP depicted an intact delivery abortion. It was filmed at an abortion clinic. It was not a miscarriage. Mothers don’t go to abortion clinics to miscarry. Had this case been a miscarriage, the mother would have presented at a hospital and her baby would have been rushed to an Isolette for appropriate neonatal care — not abandoned to writhe and eventually expire in a cold, stainless steel specimen vessel. As regards the organizational affiliation of the abortion facility in which this termination was performed, our access agreements forbid the disclosure of any information which might tend to identify the relevant clinics or personnel with whom we work. Preserving confidentiality is vital to future clinic access. I can, however, assure you that the footage in question is not anomalous. It is representative of the frequent outcomes of many late term intact delivery terminations performed at clinics of all organizational affiliations.”
The mainstream media has refused to show the Planned Parenthood footage, but when given the opportunity to show a pro-life person "lied" about the clinic's practices, the media jumped at the opportunity, gleefully reporting the findings of "fact checkers" while not actually checking the facts themselves.  Is it too much to ask that reporters actually watch the Planned Parenthood videos if they're going to report that a presidential candidate is lying about those videos?  


Anonymous said...

Paul K. Ogden said...

The people at Vox actually need to READ what Fiorina actually said, not engage in rhetorical leaps about claims she never made. The Federalist review blows away Vox and others who try to claim what she said is false. Several said the video doesn't exist at all and a technician never talked about procuring a brain. Clearly those claims are FALSE.

Anonymous said...

Groth can swallow any lie from any source.

Susan McKee said...

You still don't seem to realize that abortion is legal.
That it also is necessary seems to escape your comprehension.

Anonymous said...

Propaganda doesn't have to be true to be effective, especially in this day and age where everyone watches/visits/reads news from their favorite biased sources. Don't count on seeing retractions, either. Unless pressured in an open forum, those sources will just conveniently let it slide until it's no longer a hot topic.

Susan McKee said...

"The videos showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal-tissue donation, which is legal and critical for medical research.

And, as you seem to forget, abortion is legal.

Besides, to continue quoting from The New York Times:
"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."

Your obsession with women's reproductive rights is becoming a bit creepy.

Paul K. Ogden said...


When arguing about whether something should be legal, the retort "but it's legal" isn't really an effective argument.

We've discussed this before. Money is fungible. The fact is that PP gets 1/3 of its budget from the taxpayers. Even though that money can't be used for abortion, that frees up other money to be used for abortion activities. If I give you money each month to only pay for your mortgage, that restriction means little because it frees up money, that used to go to pay the mortgage, to be used for anything else. The restriction on using taxpayer money for abortions is just symbolic. Surely you know that.

What I find creepy is that you can watch those PP videos (have you watched them?) and come away saying it's perfectly okay what PP is doing. Have you no soul, no conscience? Surely in the back of your mind, you have to know what is being done in those second term abortions is gruesome and horrific. In the video, the technician talked about cutting open the fully formed fetus' face to extract the brain and how horrible that experience was. I just don't know why you don't concede that second trimester abortions should end. They're only 10% of the abortions that are done in this country ( but for some reason 25% of PP's.) It seems like low hanging fruit to reach a consensus on an abortion issue. The majority of people overwhelmingly oppose second trimester abortion.

Pete Boggs said...

Susan: Creepy? Your obsession, with enslaving others to pay for this wicked butchery that you excuse as "legal," is insane. FYI: There are pro-life Democrats openly opposed to this evil.

Anonymous said...

Yes, abortion is legal: that's a fact, not an argument.

Although they should (as it's a legitimate part of women's reproductive health care), Congress had made sure that taxpayers do NOT pay for abortions.

Pete Boggs: what do you think forced pregnancy is if not enslavement?

And, as for you, Paul: who are YOU to second guess doctors and mothers about the necessity for abortions? Requiring a mother to carry to term a severely deformed fetus is way beyond cruel and unusual punishment.

The taxes question? Nope: your argument doesn't fly, given how little of Planned Parenthood's budget is used to provide abortions (and vanishingly little of that to provide fetal tissue for medical research).

What Planned Parenthood does is provide essential reproductive services and that's a worthy use of taxpayer dollars.

Fewer unwanted pregnancies = fewer abortions. That has been proved over and over again (most recently in Colorado), and Planned Parenthood's focus is indeed on "planning parenthood". You two seem much more focused on policing women's sex lives.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Do you not understand the fact that money is fungible means your argument is wrong? Taxpayers certainly do fund PP abortions.

You also overlook the fact that the bill in Congress would guarantee the same amount of funding for women's health care, including reproductive options. All you're doing is shilling for Planned Parenthood to continue its near monopoly on government grants.

This debate is not about women's health care. It is about an organization that engages in reprehensible abortion practices. Are you really defending second trimester abortions in which fully formed unborn babies are ripped apart? Surely you don't support those gruesome second trimester abortions.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the debate is about women's health care (men don't get pregnant). And, IMHO, taxpayers SHOULD fund abortions as a necessary part of women's health care.

The "ripped apart" argument is fallacious. No abortion is without bloodshed (nor is any other surgery). Doctors should be making medical decisions with their patients, not with members of Congress.

Second (or third) trimester abortions are never a trivial choice. However, they are sometimes absolutely necessary to preserve the health of the mother.

Who are YOU to decide that option (yes, that LEGAL option) should not be available?

When Republicans start caring about the already-born children, I'll believe that they have the best interests of fetuses at heart.

Pete Boggs said...

Anon 4:00: You're logic is weak; ignoring that most pregnancies are behavioral "choices" vs. victim status; nullifying any abortive case for an exception to reality.

Forcing the innocent by pointing the guns of tyranny posed as "government," to destroy the lives of other innocents, is patent slavery & abuse.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Tell you what, Anon 9:43, why don't you take a look at some pictures of the result of 20 week plus abortion and then try to tell me the issue just involves what a woman does with her own body. Exactly hose body parts are that in the photos? Is that not another human life?

Honestly, I doubt you can you look at those photos and still support 2nd and 3rd trimester abortion. So you'll do what most pro abortion people do - refuse to look at the evidence of what happens during an abortion. People overwhelmingly are opposed to these 2nd and 3rd term abortions because they are gruesome and the fact we are talking about ANOTHER human life is undeniable. Who is going to speak for that life? Does society not have a duty to protect innocent human life?

I don't see what is so hard conceding the obvious, that 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions should be banned.

Anonymous said...

I will concede that you're immune to rational discussion, Paul. Pete Boggs, however, is just deluded. "Most pregnancies are behavioral choices"? Seriously?

In the US, the government neither orders nor conducts abortions, so there are no "guns of tyranny" involved. Not sure where Pete comes up with "slavery" in connection with abortion, but, then, his discussions are somewhat beyond rationality.

Fact: Abortions have occurred throughout human history.

Fact: A fetus is not a "human being" in any legal sense.

There are valid medical reasons for the (admittedly rare) second and third trimester abortions. "Gruesome" is a Hollywood trope, not a medical description.

Abortions will continue to occur whether they're legal or not, because they're a necessary part of women's reproductive health.

And, as was pointed out previously, we'd all believe Republicans are serious about "protecting innocent human life" if they displayed any sort of compassion for the already born (Food Stamps, Obamacare, etc. come to mind).

Nope (as Pete Boggs' "behavioral choices" terminology reveals), you're concerned with controlling women's sex lives.

Anonymous said...

"Despite six years of economic recovery, children remain the poorest group in America. Children are poor if they live in a family of four with an annual income below $24,418--$2,035 a month, $470 a week, $67 a day. Extreme poverty is income less than half this. New Census Bureau data reveal that nearly one-third of the 46.7 million poor people in the United States in 2014 were children."

I'm more worried about these 46.7 million already born humans than the fictive numbers you propose to "save".

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 8:39, so you're afraid to look at the pictures and view the PP videos? If you think you're right, take a look at them. I assume you are not devoid of human compassion and, if you viewed them, you'd think differently on the nonsense that abortion just involves what a woman does with her own body. It's just not true. There is another human being involved in abortion. View the photos, watch the video, and then try to tell me that abortion only involves what a woman does with her own body. You will know it's not true.

Susan McKee said...

As stated in your post, "The video clip we provided to CMP depicted an intact delivery abortion. It was filmed at an abortion clinic."

It does NOT assert that it was filmed at any Planned Parenthood location (that the footage was altered has been documented by those more technologically adept than I).

Lies, misdirection, editing, addition of dramatic music - all point to a doctored film intended to manipulate emotions. The PP video is a piece of propaganda, not "evidence" of anything except the Right to Life movement's perfidy.

In any case, it has NOTHING to do with the absolute necessity of preserving abortion as an option for pregnant women.

Pete Boggs said...

Anon 8:39: Pro-abortion / pro-mutilation proponents conspicuously disregard the behavior which results in pregnancy & focus instead on enslaving others to pay for it; with irreplaceable time / moments of their lives confiscated by Uncle Scam. Don't tell us about women's rights while killing them at a 50%+ abortion rate; not to mention the emotional toll paid by would be mothers.

Those involved in this debate are aware of medical reasons which you acknowledge are rare & therefore not the basis for any standard; but a matter of the doctor : patient relationship.

Fact: "Legal" has too often been malpractice, 3/5 clause, women denied voting privileges, etc.

More fact: Compassion? Dixiecrats were Democrats. Abolitionists, women's sufrage, civil rights acts of 1960's were Republican led efforts. Al Gore's Dad & other Democrats fought passage of the civil rights act which wouldn't have happened without Republicans.

Anon 3:57: It's all about the money, when you cite poverty statistics to excuse killing the innocent.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Fiorina never said the clip was filmed at Planned Parenthood. The woman's discussion though was about what happened at a PP clinic.

There has been ZERO EVIDENCE that the footage was "altered." And how would that work? Fake baby? Actors? The footage was edited as every footage that is for public consumption is edited. You think news outfits don't edit footage. They did make the entire videos available online for consideration.

Did you look at the video? Do you really support the slicing and dicing of fully formed unborn babies in their second term?

Anonymous said...

The video is a piece of propaganda, Paul, not "evidence" of any wrongdoing at any Planned Parenthood clinic.

One discussion is here:

"Nobody—not even Fiorina’s staunchest defenders—can say that these videos that clearly don’t exist are real. Even one of the most brazen defenders of the imaginary videos, Jonah Goldberg, opens with this concession to the petty, mewling fact-checkers: “[T]hey have a point. The exact scene, exactly as Fiorina describes it, is not on the videos.” (The article could felicitously end there, but Goldberg goes on to defend the statement under the theory that since “[m]ost Americans are morally appalled by late-term abortions,” Fiorina might as well supply them with pretend images to go with their preconceptions.)"

And, more here:

And, even more here:

You, Paul, are "morally appalled by late-term abortions". Fine. The doctored videos pander to your bias. But your biases should have nothing to do with shutting down funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides essential women's health care.

As for Pete Boggs: he's so far out in right field he's lost sight of the game.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 8:05,

Sorry..but I consider chopping up unborn human beings or ripping them apart via suction to be in itself a "wrong." And that's not even getting into selling body parts in violation of federal law or the often overlooked fact that repositioning the fetus in the womb for the purpose of better procuring body parts is a wrong.

As far as the videos, the problem is you simply assume she said the video described what the technician was talking about...the cutting open of the face to procure the brain. Fiorina never said that it did. That's the problem...people like you are leaping to assumptions, connecting dots that don't exist.

Even aside from the video, are you really going to defend the cutting open of the baby's face to procure a brain while it's heart is beating. That's what described.

The bill introduced in Congress does not cut women's funding. Now, unlike Fiorina's comment, that is unquestionably a falsehood that keeps getting repeated by PP supporters. The bill would leave the funding the same. It leaves the funding the just diverts the funding from Planned Parenthood. PP has gained a monopoly in this area and unfortunately it's very good at enlisting people like you to blindly support it.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 8:05,

Aside from the supposedly altered videos, are you really denying what happens in a second trimester abortion? Are you denying that body parts of the fetus are cut up or sucked apart depending on the abortion method used? Do you really think it's just some blob of cells unresembling a human being? If that is your opinion, then I would strongly urge you to learn more about pre-natal development and what actually takes place during an abortion. That's what made me pro-life. I don't see how people can actually support second and third trimester abortion if they have any idea what actually happens during that procedure. It's gruesome and heart-wrenching. That it involves the very violent death of another human life is without question.

Anonymous said...

For the Groths of the world and even the clones of such on this thread it appears that you have been trapped, and neatly so, one might add. The blogger, Ann, seems to have the hammer here and the skill to hit the head of the nail. It is but speculation on her part but honest liberals (if there are any of them left...(also an open question) now have to actually CONFRONT THE EVIDENCE instead of nit picking, stalling, suspension of belief, and discarding their world view about Democrats ($5,000,000.00 from PP-thanks) and Planned Parenthood. They should have picked of a clue when the Komen Foundation was blackmailed into submission.

Anonymous said...

"That it involves the very violent death of another human life is without question."

No, Paul, that's exactly what's questioned.

A fetus is not a human. Surgery (of any kind) is gruesome, including abortion.

Second and even more rarely third-trimester abortions are rare but sometimes NECESSARY.

Who are you to stand between a woman and her doctor?

Paul K. Ogden said...

So Anon 3:27, you think a fetus which has arms, legs, toes, fingers, a beating heart, a brain, a liver and all its internal organs is not human? Seriously? Including second and third trimesters fetuses? Do you really believe that? That's a phenomenal position to take...a position which, by the way, is rejected by even most abortion supporters.

As far as a woman and her doctor, the problem is you conveniently ignore the other human life involved in an abortion. If abortion just involved what a woman did with her own body, I'd be 100% for abortion. But, unlike you, I'm not going to lie to myself about the undeniable science of pre-natal development.

Pete Boggs said...

Anon 8:05: You point directly at the problem by describing any of this as a "game." Anon 3:27: You're so absent within your own skin that you can type those words "A fetus is not a human?"

Pete Boggs said...

In light of this new video, sources now say Fiorina was right. For pushers of the abortion narrative (warning graphic content), who should have the courage of their convictions to view this video, if they believe what they write:

leon dixon said... hmmm....where is Mr. Evience Groth these days.......????? How's about him saying how wrong he was and buying us a drink?

leon dixon said...

More piling on to the Groth thesis..... and maybe he ought to take in a video or two to widen his horizons and perception of the real world.....

Anonymous said...

Abortion is legal.
Abortion is necessary.
Planned Parenthood performs abortions as 3% of its services.
The videos you reference are propaganda, not evidence of any wrongdoing on PP's part. They just play into you guys' fears of female sexuality.
Grow up.

Paul K. Ogden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul K. Ogden said...

1) Arguing that abortion is legal is nonsensical when the issue is whether it should be legal and when.

2) Second term abortions done by Planned Parenthood are "necessary." How so? Rarely do they involve a threat to the life of the mother.

3) That 3% figure has been debunked repeatedly.

4) I guess "propaganda" is any video evidence that exposes what PP does. Trying to make this a men v. women issue is ridiculous as just as many women as men oppose abortion. So those pro-life women are fearful of women's sexuality. Here's another thought - maybe those pro-lifers understand pre-natal life and are honest about what happens during an abortion, particularly those gruesome second and third trimester abortions that you defend.

Maturity would be being honest with yourself about abortion, not pretending that the fetus is just a blob of cells. You know better.

Pete Boggs said...

Anon 7:18: Merchandised mutilation isn't legal. Sexuality doesn't excuse irresponsible behavior or that for which the individual is responsible; not limited to gender.