August 10, 2015


Former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Explains the Tissue Donation Process (Kelsey Harkness, August 10, 2015, Daily Signal)

For eight years, Abby Johnson, who used to work for a branch of Planned Parenthood, didn't just witness the fetal tissue donation process--she participated in it.

During her tenure at a southeast Texas clinic--the same location featured in the fifth undercover video shot by the Center for Medical Progress--Johnson said she would "coerce" women to sign up for studies, then reap the financial benefits.

In 2009, a year after being named "Employee of the Year" at her clinic, Johnson, 35, said she witnessed a doctor performing an abortion on an ultrasound and quit her job. [...]

What would you say?

We would tell the client that we are participating in a study and she has an opportunity today to donate the tissue that's removed from her uterus to a research laboratory where they will be working on life-saving treatments for various diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or other types of medical studies. We would tell her this is an opportunity for her to possibly save the life of someone else by donating this tissue. By creating this altruistic scenario, women would almost always consent and say, "Yes, absolutely."

Was there a strategy behind the way you phrased that question?

We never discussed, "They may want just a leg, or an arm, or these specific organs." That would create a sense of humanity in their unborn child. And really, we would even shy away from calling it fetal tissue research because just calling it tissue sanitizes it--the women don't necessarily think about the body of their baby, they're just thinking about blood and tissue.

Did Planned Parenthood officials train you on what language to use?

They did. In the fifth video that was released, that was actually my affiliate, where I worked. Missy Ferrell--Melissa, we call her Missy--she was head of the research department when I worked there as well. Anytime we would embark on a research project, someone from the research team would come in and say, "This is what we're doing, this is how you need to talk to the clients about it."

I Don't Know If I'm Pro-Choice After Planned Parenthood Videos (Ruben Navarrette Jr., 8/10/15, Daily Beast)

David Daleiden, head of The Center for Medical Progress, issued an unsurprisingly stronger statement: "Planned Parenthood's system-wide conspiracy to evade the law and make money off of aborted fetal tissue is now undeniable. Anyone who watches these videos knows that Planned Parenthood is engaged in barbaric practices and human rights abuses that must end."

I agree with that assessment, and I'm pro-choice. At least I thought I was until recently. These days, each time, I express concern, outrage, disgust, or horror over another video--which should come with warnings that they may produce nightmares--some supporter of the organization responds by attacking me and insisting that I was never really pro-choice to begin with. 

Defenders of Planned Parenthood are trying to deflect criticism away from the organization and onto those who produced the videos. In the minds of true believers, those are the real culprits--guilty of releasing illegally obtained and "heavily edited" videos with the intent of destroying a valuable organization that provides essential health services to millions of women. The organization has hired an expensive Washington, D.C.-based PR firm to do damage control, and the firm quickly tried to pressure television networks to stop airing the videos. 

Posted by at August 10, 2015 7:19 PM

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