Judge William Orrick of San Francisco (naturally) issued a temporary restraining order against the Center for Medical Progress, preventing the release of any abortion sting videos recorded at a conference held by the National Abortion Federation, a Planned Parenthood partner.
The point at issue in the NAF suit against the Center for Medical Progress is that CMP members posed as exhibitors and as such signed a non-disclosure agreement not to record happenings at the conference.
It’s unclear whether the restraining order, which is probably unconstitutional as “prior restraint,” applies to other videos planned for release by the CMP.
The videos released so far show various doctors apparently discussing or even haggling over the price for select organs and tissues from aborted babies. Planned Parenthood has gone on a revenge smear campaign of CMP, claiming it associates with terrorists and has been picking on Planned Parenthood for more than a decade.
Planned Parenthood and its supporters have also made loud protests that the video recordings are edited in a misleading fashion.
The reason for all the brouhaha is that many of the statements in the videos seem to imply that Planned Parenthood and affiliates are engaged in illegal sale of body parts for profit.
Planned Parenthood received $528 million in taxpayer money in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The organization is also exempt from paying taxes, so the United States government supports Planned Parenthood to the tune of about $1 billion per year.
Thanks to backlash from the recent videos, all that money is now at risk as many elected representatives and senators have called for defunding Planned Parenthood. Republican senators have also pressed the attorney general to investigate the organization, but that seems less likely than an investigation into the Center for Medical Progress for blowing the whistle on Planned Parenthood.
The large and well-funded crisis PR campaign by Planned Parenthood has been very effective so far and serves to bring to light just how many politicians are in the abortion industry’s pocket.
But no matter how they’ve smeared the video producers or complained about the editing, Planned Parenthood and its supporters have been unable to deny what’s actually said on the tapes, some of which seems damning and indicative of an effort to skirt the laws on procurement and sale of body parts.
In fact, the most cogent defenses of Planned Parenthood have amounted to little more than “Selling body parts? Come on. You’re stupid.”
The opponents of defunding Planned Parenthood have characterized the effort as an attack on health care access for women. It’s a difficult argument to counter because Planned Parenthood does provide health services to low-income women.
But obviously, the recent videos aren’t discussing pap smears and breast exams.
Even though the massive amounts of taxpayer money given to Planned Parenthood are provided with a proviso that the funds not be used for abortions, the argument that the money frees up funds for use on abortions is valid. Money is fungible, and there is no difference between one dollar and another dollar once it all mixes into an operating budget.
Planned Parenthood’s executives are also masters of deceptive language, so it’s no shock that their publicly available budget should seem to address the issue of abortion services but leave many questions unanswered. For instance, Planned Parenthood minimizes its abortion services by stating that they are only 3 percent of all services provided, on a per-visit basis. But that still amounts to more than 300,000 babies killed per year, and the actual amount of money spent on surgical abortion procedures is not disclosed.
A former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life Christian has estimated that Planned Parenthood may be making from $100 to $200 per baby from aborted tissues. Even if only 10 percent of women receiving abortions agreed to donate, that would be in the neighborhood of $3 million to $6 million annually.
That doesn’t even include disposal costs saved by selling the parts. so complaints from Planned Parenthood that it doesn’t profit from providing tissues of aborted children are questionable at best.