By Jay Boyd, Fox News Summer College Associate
With the release of two rather abhorring undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees, Americans have to once again directly confront the topic of abortion.
Both of the videos show Planned Parenthood employees casually discussing something that would be unthinkable to the average American – the sale of fetal body parts for a potential profit. It is a felony to sell human body parts. One employee even said that she would want “a Lamborghini” from the profits. Strategic abortions were also discussed, where abortion doctors are taught how to perform abortions while keeping the vital organs intact. It must be noted that there are strict regulations to performing abortions, and if the abortions are being performed as described in the videos, then Planned Parenthood, which receives nearly $500M in taxpayer funding, could be breaking the law for profits.
For their part, Planned Parenthood has denounced the videos as being heavily edited by “activists who have been widely discredited”. Eric Ferrero, the Vice President of Communications for the organization, said “what we can see on this tape is a woman who says ‘we’re not in it for the money’, and that any money must be related to reimbursement for costs.” Ferrero also said Planned Parenthood couldn’t confirm the video’s authenticity.
While Republicans have been fairly out in front of this issue, calling for everything from the stripping of Planned Parenthood funding to punitive action on the employees filmed, it has been a completely different response on the Democrats’ side. Perhaps that is because the leading Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, has received almost $10,000 from nine people who work for Planned Parenthood. And Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have perfect abortion rights’ records. But when does morality overtake money?
Pro-choicers and pro-lifers across the country share the opinion that these videos are repulsive and difficult to watch. Chris Koster (D), Missouri’s Attorney General, declared that “regardless of whether one is pro-life or pro-choice, the questions raised by these videos require careful review.” Even then, Koster’s view could potentially be one of political expedience, because he has a desire to be the next Governor of Missouri, not exactly the most liberal state, with a state House and Senate overwhelmingly controlled by Republicans.
The Democrats haven’t been this directly confronted with the abortion issue on a national scale since presidential candidate Rand Paul (KY) demanded the opinion of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL) on late-term abortion, or after three months. She replied by saying the decision was between a doctor and a mother. If you look at recent polling, that answer won’t fly with Americans as a whole.
A Marist poll conducted in January, where 47% identified as pro-life and 49% as pro-choice, show 84% of Americans favor “significant restrictions and safeguards”, such as limits to within the first three months of pregnancy and only permitting them in cases of rape or incest. That includes 69% of those who identified as pro-choice.
While several social issues have been championed by Democrats recently, such as the Affordable Care Act and gay marriage, this is yet another issue they will undoubtedly be questioned on.