Republicans and religious groups have been howling for blood after the heavily edited and deliberately misleading videos about Planned Parenthood were released last week, in one of the dirtiest smear campaigns ever conducted by activist organizations.
Investigations into Planned Parenthood have been called for and Republicans in Congress chose to use this opportunity to try to defund Planned Parenthood entirely, which, for the record, does NOT sell aborted fetuses and does not use any federal money for abortion purposes. Five of the nonprofit’s affiliates do donate cells and tissues for medical research purposes, with the mother’s consent.
But the fanatical zealots on the far right were dealt a blow on Thursday as the state of Indiana cleared Planned Parenthood of all wrongdoing following Gov. Mike Pence’s investigation into the nonprofit. The state’s health inspectors announced that in letter to the media that the agency was “unable to find any non-compliance with state regulations. Therefore, no deficiencies were cited.” The case is now closed, and Planned Parenthood may now return to providing women with vital healthcare services and allowing women to exercise agency over her own body.
The entire crusade against Planned Parenthood is falling apart as a judge in California issued an order barring any more of these videos from being released, as they were recorded illegally: California law prohibits recording “confidential communication” without all parties’ consent.
This is not the first and will not be the last time that such shameful and underhanded tactics will be used to try to take out one of the most important bastions of women’s rights in our country. The Republican Party, wounded by their defeats on the same-sex marriage front, has shifted gears to attack a woman’s right to choose and women’s role in society in general. They have even threatened to shut down the government in order to defund Planned Parenthood. If they want to play brinkmanship games over the culture wars, so let them. Sooner or later they’ll realize they’ve already lost.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.