Amazingly, Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, has issued a video apology for a video released earlier this week that showed one of the group’s doctors discussing the sale of body parts from aborted babies.
It’s a bit amazing because Planned Parenthood for several days has seemed intent on responding to the original video by smearing the director and claiming that the tape was edited in such a way as to completely “mischaracterize” what apparently is an ongoing practice of giving dead baby parts to universities and other research facilities.
The original video shows Dr. Deborah Nucatola, a senior medical director, munching salad and sipping wine while discussing harvesting of organs and tissues from aborted babies and the practice of selling them to research organizations.
The outrage on the Left was instant, and the usual assortment of trolls and propaganda outlets like Salon worked double time to try to make the doctor’s statements go away or at least seem innocuous. A great deal of stock was put in the fact that the final tape was less than 10 minutes long while the unedited footage was several hours.
Obviously, the meme went, the video was selectively edited to make it sound like the doctor was talking about tissue and organ harvesting when really she was talking about sailing on the Cape or some such.
Salon even went so far as to publish a whiny headline that complained that the allegedly fraudulent tape showed us radical Right extremists don’t care about “destroying lives.” This in defense of an organization that actually destroys lives, to the tune of more than 300,000 lost in surgical abortions a year, as many as 1.8 million per year if you care to include all the “emergency contraception” kits distributed.
Who says liberals have no sense of humor?
So the tactic then became to point to the unedited tape, which was also released, and claim that it would exonerate the doctor and Planned Parenthood, which after all only performs abortions during 3 percent of the office visits made by patients, a mere fraction of all the good they do.
Of course, using Planned Parenthood’s own numbers you can also discover that for every four pregnancy tests they conduct, they perform one abortion.
But hey, what’s wrong with a little statistical fun?
The unedited tape did little to help Planned Parenthood’s case, however, not with statements from the doctor like “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact” for tissue delivery.
And despite protests from Planned Parenthood and its phalanx of defenders that the tissues are donated, not sold, the doctor does quote some prices and she admits that profit is being made from the sale of the body parts when she says of some of her associates she works with, “They want to break even. And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.”
She adds that the prices, which Planned Parenthood’s defenders have been calling “reimbursements,” need to appear reasonable in the event “anyone were ever to ask them” — sort of like what happened this week.
There were other spin efforts, such as obviously gratuitous slander of the video’s director and claims that the website of a middleman company, Web Express, was a fake (it is not). None of it seems to have convinced anybody other than the pre-convinced mush heads of Planned Parenthood’s innocence.
Which led to Richards’ apology (italics added): “Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide. In the video, one of our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion. This is unacceptable and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements.”
That’s a long way from apologizing for a nefarious practice, or for killing babies in the first place. But it’s also far removed from the fantasy of earlier in the week that had liberals claiming the video was some sort of fraud.
For the Baghdad Bobs of Planned Parenthood, that may be some sort of progress.