It appears members of the Oklahoma Congressional delegation are a major part of the current orchestrated attack on Planned Parenthood.
Right now, the obvious question seems to be whether U.S. Sens. James Lankford and Jim Inhofe knew beforehand about the so-called “sting” videos produced by an anti-abortion group that show Planned Parenthood officials speaking about fetal tissue used in stem cell research.
In other words, have they and other Republican political leaders been in on the video sting, or manufactured scam, from the beginning and are just now feigning surprise and indignation? What did they know and when did they know it? Don’t expect corporate media outlets here to do any digging to answer that question.
Lankford has helped to author a Senate bill to supposedly defund Planned Parenthood. Inhofe has presented a bill that would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the organization. For good measure, U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine wants to pass legislation prohibiting any companies that donate to Planned Parenthood to receive federal contracts. (Wouldn’t that be a violation of the First Amendment?)
All of this is because these Republican politicians and others are against abortion, which is only a small fraction of the procedures Planned Parenthood actually performs in its clinics. In fact, Planned Parenthood performs ZERO abortions in Oklahoma. That’s right. None.
So let’s be clear: Planned Parenthood provides vital reproductive and health care primarily to women in our communities throughout the nation. These services include providing birth control and conducting screenings for breast and cervical cancer. The abortion procedure accounts for only 3 percent of its overall work.
This non-controversy centers around videos secretly recorded by a group called Center for Medical Progress, a shadowy anti-abortion group. They show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue used in important stem cell research. For the record, Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization. It does not profit from selling fetal tissue. It only recovers minor costs for preserving and transporting medical specimens.
The videos, according to Planned Parenthood and other officials, have been selectively edited to sensationalize the issue. The point of the videos is to create visceral reactions and give politicians like Lankford and Inhofe cover to attack Planned Parenthood. Embryonic and fetal stem cell research has been going on for years. The videos reveal nothing new.
It’s true that a majority of Lankford’s and Inhofe’s constituents are undoubtedly opposed to abortion, but, again, Planned Parenthood performs no abortions in Oklahoma. Their legislation, if signed into law, would not change the availability of the abortion procedure here in Oklahoma. Eliminating Planned Parenthood’s ability to collect Medicaid dollars for its services will not end abortion in this country nor will it mean the overall demise of the organization. It will only make it more difficult for women to receive vital reproductive health care.
Lankford, Inhofe and Bridenstine are directly attacking women in their legislation. Their legislative efforts are utterly sexist at their core and especially cruel to impoverished women. The so-called Republican “war on women” is more than just sloganeering. These patriarchal extremists and their fellow chauvinists are using the non-controversy for personal political gain and to promote their religious beliefs.
In the end, it’s highly unlikely any of this legislation will get signed into law. It’s certain at this point that President Barack Obama would veto any bill based on secretly recorded videos representing the work of fanatics and imposters. Obama has expressed his strong support for Planned Parenthood in the past.
It’s certain as well that this manufactured controversy, fueled now by overwrought and sanctimonious indignation, will backfire on Republicans in the 2016 general election.