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 vetoThis 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.
this bill, shame on us.”
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 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?“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.”