The Center for Medical Progress’ tenth video released yesterday morning reveals that the abortion industry was widely fearful of the media backlash that should have ensued when their illegal sale of fetal body parts came to light. However, the mainstream media’s complicity with Planned Parenthood’s own talking points since the beginning of the video releases in July suggests that the abortion lobby’s fears were not only unfounded, but the media have, in fact, turned out to be their biggest ally.
Yesterday’s video is entitled, “Human Capital Episode 4: Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Criminal Enterprise.” The footage underscores the full knowledge of top-ranking Planned Parenthood officials that PP affiliates engage in the sale of fetal body parts for much more than compensatory consideration – this is a profit-driving force. According to the Center for Medical Progress: “VanDerhei refers to payments for fetal tissue as ‘donation for remuneration,’ which carries the connotation of financial reward or benefit without regard for actual expenses.”
In the video, abortionist Carolyn Westhoff, Senior Medical Advisor for PPFA, brags about the freshness of specimens – including eyes and gonads – available to tissue procurement agencies. “Obviously we would have the potential for a huge PR issue by doing this,” she says of the large-scale sale of fetal body parts, which the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has been very careful to contain within individual affiliates rather than constructing a national policy on the issue. The bombshell investigation by the Center for Medical Progress has been a PR nightmare for Planned Parenthood, which initially responded by attempting to put out fires and release laughable campaigns that paint the organization in a positive light. But the investigation has not sparked the media headlines about which other top officials worried.
Vice President for External Medical Affairs, Vanessa Cullins, said: “This could destroy your company and us, if we don’t time those conversations [about remuneration]correctly.” Deb VanDerhei, National Director, Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS), PPFA, told CMP investigators: “Well, one of the things that we advise our affiliates is to really consider that carefully… we’re trying to figure this out as an industry, about how we’re going to manage remuneration. Because the headlines would be a disaster… think New York Times headline when you’re creating your policy [for being paid for the sale of fetal body parts].” She reiterated later: “We want them to think about the New York Times headlines. How could this go bad?” The Center for Medical Progress reports:
“Is this really worth getting–I don’t even know what in general, what a specimen generally brings in?” VanDerhei later asks a prospective buyer. When she is told $100 per specimen, she remarks, “But we have independent colleagues who generate a fair amount of income doing this.” VanDerhei suggests that Planned Parenthood goes to great lengths to avoid leaving a paper trail about their fetal tissue activity: “It’s an issue that you might imagine we’re not really that comfortable talking about on email.”
But we have seen almost no backlash from the mainstream media. Aside from a handful of op-eds and a feature by the already-conservative Fox News, Planned Parenthood has virtually controlled the media response to their wrongdoing. In fact, just over one minute of the hours upon hours of footage that has been released by the CMP has merited airtime on the biggest networks on television. Katie Yoder reports:
Since July 14, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has released 16 hours, 11 minutes and 35 seconds [a figure that grew with yesterday’s video releases]of footage exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting aborted baby parts. In those past two months, ABC, NBC and CBS have only aired one minute and 13 seconds of these videos (with audio) during their news shows.
In other words, the broadcast networks have played 0.125% of the total footage released by CMP.
And the dreaded New York Times headlines? Absent. Sure, there are plenty of headlines on the CMP videos. But none are hard-hitting blasts against the organization’s wrongdoing. Instead, New York Times headlines have tended to suggest Planned Parenthood is the victim in all of this:
When will the preborn children sold at Planned Parenthood, rather than the organization selling them, earn priority placement in mainstream media headlines?