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Planned Parenthood Head Calls Out Center For Medical Progress As Extremist Frauds

Cecile Richards was very clear about who and what the fraudulent CMP is.
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On the day Ted Cruz and his pals tried to defund Planned Parenthood, its President made an appearance on This Week to inform the audience about just how extreme and fake the maker of that edited video is.

Cruz failed; Richards did not, despite George Stephanopoulis' best effort to push the right-wing lies down the audience's throat.

GSteph seemed to forget some key points as he pushed Richards on hers. Her message was simple: The video was made and edited by extremists who wanted to inflame people against a legal procedure and turn people away from important medical research for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other chronic diseases.

Here are the key points, and I urge everyone to share these when Daleiden releases the next series of edited videos:

  1. The videos were edited to make it appear as though doctors said things they did not say.
  2. The 'Center for Medical Progress' lied to the IRS about the purpose for their tax exemption in order to frame doctors
  3. The issue here is not tissue donation. The issue is that these far-right extremists want to destroy Planned Parenthood and take away a legitimate health care provider for women who would not otherwise have access to family planning services and other health screenings.
  4. The coordination with Congress is intended to offer up Planned Parenthood as a scalp to the extreme right-wing base.

Bravo to Cecile Richards for standing up and standing firm against these attacks. The full transcript follows, via ABC News.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, joins us now.

Thank you for joining us this morning. You just heard David say right there, 10 to 12 more tapes coming, are you worried about what they're going to show?

CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: No, in the sense that this, of course, has been a three-year, well-funded effort by the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement in this country to try to entrap doctors and of course highly doctored videos which show absolutely -- they've -- doctors repeatedly said it's all been edited out.

Planned Parenthood does not at all profit from fetal tissue donation, which is an important -- an important element of health care research in this country.


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I think what's not told is that, of course, these are highly selectively edited. The folks behind this, in fact, are part of the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement that has been behind, you know, the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, and in their -- in their churches. And that's what actually needs to be -- to be looked at.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But they -- but you have apologized for Dr. Nucatola's tone...

RICHARDS: Correct.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- in the statements, reports that she's been reprimanded.

So have you spoken to her and the other staff member, Mary Gatter?

How have they been reprimanded?

RICHARDS: They've been reprimanded for their tone, absolutely.

But what I want to really make clear, George, is Planned Parenthood has broken no laws. We have the highest standards. The care and health care and safety of our patients is our most important priority.

In fact, Planned Parenthood has, for 99 years, been one of the largest non-profit health care providers of women in this country. One in five women in this country depend on Planned Parenthood for health care, more than two and a half million people every single year.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you -- you say that no Planned Parenthood affiliated has profited...

RICHARDS: Correct.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- from fetal tissue.

RICHARDS: Correct.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But do you know how many clinics harvest this tissue and how much money they receive?

RICHARDS: Very few. I mean it's only a handful of states and what -- where fetal tissue donation is -- is happening.

But let's -- let's put this in the bigger context, George. This is actually not about women's health care. These activists don't care about that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: When you say very few, what are we talking about?

RICHARDS: Less than five. Less than five. And so this was not actually an effort to undercut, you know, to discover any problems, but actually an attempt, a three year effort to entrap doctors. They were completely unsuccessful. And so now they're usually -- using these very highly edited videos, sensationalized videos, to try to impugn and smear the name of Planned Parenthood.

They have zero credibility. They set up a faith company. They apparently used fake government IDs. They've faked faxed tax filings and completely falsified what they were about.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I take your point that the -- the edited -- that the videos they put out are heavily edited, although the entire videos have been available at this point. But...

RICHARDS: And in -- and in that -- in the -- in that longer video, the doctor repeatedly says, more than 10 times, Planned Parenthood does not ever profit or do any...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, but...

RICHARDS: -- of this for profit.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But they also show one of the doctors, Mary Gatter appears to be haggling...

RICHARDS: Absolutely not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- over the price (INAUDIBLE). I just want to show you that right here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) parts and that's fine. (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't we all, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if there's -- if there's no -- if there's no financial benefit to the clinics, why are they haggling over the cost?

RICHARDS: They're not. The only people that are haggling in these videos are the undercover folks who are absolutely trying to entrap doctors. And they were completely unsuccessful. That's why they're showing these highly edited videos, to be sensationalized...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But when you see something like that...

RICHARDS: I think what...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- what do you think?

RICHARDS: It -- it's completely taken out of context. It -- we have -- at Planned Parenthood, we serve two and a half million people every single year. Women come to us for the vast majority of care. They come to us for breast cancer screenings, cervical cancer screenings, birth control. One in five women in the country have been to Planned Parenthood for health care.

I myself went there for birth control. Half of our health centers are in medically undeserved communities in America, places like Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where women come for their basic well women visits.

And that's actually what's at stake. This entire effort is a complete political smear campaign in order to cut off funding for basic health care for women in America at Planned Parenthood.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But...

RICHARDS: And I think one other thing is really important to understand. We do more at Planned Parenthood every single day to prevent unintended pregnancy than any organization in the country. We have for 99 years. And I stand behind our clinicians and our doctors, who provide compassionate care every single day in America...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the Washington...

RICHARDS: -- despite harassment.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- "The Washington Post" columnist, Michael Gerson, has pointed out that charging a fee for this -- for this material doesn't...

RICHARDS: It's not a fee. It's not a fee. It's actually just the cost of transmitting this material to research institutes. (INAUDIBLE)...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that does improve the finances of the clinic, doesn't it?

RICHARDS: Absolutely not. Absolutely not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Because...

RICHARDS: And, in fact, it's -- in fact, George, it's really important. They have repeatedly tried to entrap doctors. I mean we've now seen, you know, that they repeatedly say, wouldn't you do this for cost -- for -- for money?

And the doctors say no, we do not make...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no financial benefit...

RICHARDS: -- make money...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- at all. But Stem Express...

RICHARDS: Absolutely not.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- which is one of the companies that you work with, they have a brochure where it talks about the financial profits, the financial benefits that comes...

RICHARDS: Well, Stem Express is a for-profit company. That's not Planned Parenthood. We are a 100 percent non-profit company. We provide health care...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it talks about the financial benefits to the clinics.

RICHARDS: Well, there are no financial benefits to clinics. And our rec...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Absolutely not?

RICHARDS: Absolutely. Absolutely. And we're happy -- look, we look forward to the facts coming out. We should not base any kind of decisions about health care in this country based on highly sensen -- sensationalized folks who are nothing but militant anti-abortion extremists. This is part and parcel of a much longer campaign, over many decades...

STEPHANOPOULOS: The second...

RICHARDS: -- to try to end access to legal abortions in America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The second issue they raised, the -- the tapes appear to describe times when the clinics adjust the abortion procedure to better harvest...

RICHARDS: It's not done.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- the fetal heart.

RICHARDS: It's absolutely...

STEPHANOPOULOS: (INAUDIBLE).

RICHARDS: -- not done. And I've talked to doctors all across the country. And, look, we're totally open to...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But they say that it does appear that that's -- that's what's being described in these tapes.

RICHARDS: Well, it's because these tapes have been edited and they've tried to entrap doctors to say things. And I -- listen, I stand behind the health care that we provide at Planned Parenthood. Women trust Planned Parenthood.

And I look forward to anyone who wants to look into our policies and procedures. I mean we've sent that to Congress.

The facts are on (INAUDIBLE)...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So but when these doctors are talking about it -- and this gets graphic, but they're talking about less crunchy ways to perform these abortions, so that the organs can be preserved, what's happening there?

Are they just lying?

RICHARDS: No, that's -- that's what -- all of this is taken out of context. What happens in this country, at Planned Parenthood and other hospitals, is that women in a very few places are allowed to donate fetal tissue for life-saving medical research, research that is, you know, developing cures for Parkinson's and for Alzheimer's, even the Ebola vaccine.

To me, this isn't something that actually should be criticized or made fun of. This is actually laudable, that women and their families choose to make fetal tissue donations in order to potentially save the lives of other folks. And I think that...

STEPHANOPOULOS: As long as the procedure is never altered. And you're -- you're stating...

RICHARDS: Absolutely.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- stating that unequivocally?

RICHARDS: That's right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Any other reforms Planned Parenthood is going to take in the wake of this?

RICHARDS: Well, obviously, we -- you know, the most disgusting part of this, to me, is that these folks lied, lied to gain access to clinics. You know, what doctors and clinicians face to actually provide health care to women in this country is already pretty incredible.

But I think it's really important, you know, the safety and the health of our patients and the women that we provide care to is essential. And we take that, first and foremost. That's the most important thing.

These activists, these militant anti-abortion activists, on the other hand, do nothing to improve the health and safety of women. And if they had their way, women could no longer come to Planned Parenthood for birth control services, for breast cancer screenings, for cervical cancer screenings or any other health care.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Cecile Richards, thanks very much for your time this morning.

RICHARDS: Thanks, George.

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