Carly Fiorina took a passionate stand against funding Planned Parenthood during Wednesday's GOP debate, citing the issue of harvesting fetal tissue and the videos that first brought the issue to light.
“If anyone who has watched this video tape – I dare Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to watch these tapes, to watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart is beating, its legs are kicking, then someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain,” she said.
"This is about the character of our nation. And if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us"
She spoke specifically of the cache of nine videos taken and released to the public by anti-abortion advocates of conversations with Planned Parenthood representatives and others over the transfer of fetal tissue to laboratories for research. The videos have caused an uproar regarding the moral and ethical implications of fetal tissue research and the harvesting of fetal organs during abortions.
Conservative Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood, which now receives federal tax dollars, and are willing to attach a provision to the continuing budget resolution.
The House and Senate leadership is wary of this, and are reportedly looking for other budget tactics to defund Planned Parenthood while avoiding any shutdown.
Candidates in both the prime time debate and the earlier second tier event took aim at congressional Republicans for not being tougher on the issue. “These videos are horrifying,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who charges that Planned Parenthood is a “criminal enterprise.”
“Obama is committed to his principles,” he said. “We need to stop surrendering and start standing up for our principles.”
Not all agreed. Sen. Lindsey Graham said in the first debate that a shutdown would be the worst way to go and “was sick” of hearing about it. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, in the primetime event, said there are ways around it. “I’m sympathetic,” he said of the opposition to Planned Parenthood. But a shutdown, he said, “I don’t think it’s going to work out.”