Jul 302015
 

By Social Work Students United for Reproductive Freedom at Tulane University

As Social Work students, we are concerned about the deceitful attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides vital health care services to 2.7 million Americans each year. In Louisiana alone, Planned Parenthood annually provides 16,000 visits in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans for services that include birth control, cancer screenings, STD tests and treatment, and other preventative healthcare such as much-needed sexual health education.

This smear campaign is part of a 10-plus year pattern of harassment and violence by extremists whose focus is banning abortion and preventing women from accessing preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers. The group behind this video smear campaign is a part of the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement. They have been behind the bombing of clinics, and the murder of doctors in their homes and in their churches. This group has zero credibility. They set up a fake company. It appears that they used fake government IDs. They’ve even filed fraudulent tax documents and have completely lied about who they are and what they do all in an effort to end safe and legal abortion and bring down Planned Parenthood.

We would thus like to clarify a few things for readers. Donating fetal tissue is a common medical procedure that goes to research seeking to cure Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The only monetary transaction in the video discussed was standard reimbursement costs. There is nothing in these videos that suggest any violation of law. These tapes are heavily doctored. The clips take the conversations out of context, while the full tapes show the doctors in question state repeatedly that Planned Parenthood does not profit from the consensual donation of fetal tissue.

Furthermore, we want to clarify that Planned Parenthood does not receive federal funding for abortion services. Federal funds are restricted from funding these services by the Hyde Amendment. What the money does fund is healthcare for people who need it. In Louisiana, we have a dearth of healthcare services for low-income people, made worse in recent years.

Social workers see the tragic consequences of lack of health care every day. Per the CDC New Orleans is number two in the nation for HIV infections, and Baton Rouge is number three per capita. People here are struggling with higher-than-average rates of chronic illnesses, and they cannot afford to find treatment. Social Work Students United for Reproductive Freedom (SWURF) does not see this as a pro-choice versus pro-life issue. We see it as a human rights issue. It is about the right to have freedom over one’s body without government intervention. It is about the health of Louisiana women, men, and children. For those reasons, we support Planned Parenthood.

Kara Cohen, Dana Carbo, Emily Costello, Miriam Eisenstat, Livia Harkow, Becca Hutchinson, Catherine Kelleher, Alex Loizias, Val Lippman, Cat Patteson, Charles Schully, Miranda Stone
Social Work Students United for Reproductive Freedom
Tulane University

  • KurtB

    I love how the writers here think anti-abortion activists are “violent.” Wow, if that’s not the pot calling the kettle black. These “social workers” need a hard look in the mirror if they defend such a horrendous organization that markets in baby body parts. Very sad how lost many Americans are these days.

    • D, Turgeon

      Yes, bombings and murders are violent; they are also illegal, but don’t let that stop you in your rant. I guess you didn’t read the whole article, including the part concerning donation of fetal material for medical research, or did you just choose to ignore it? Very sad how some American men resort to lies in the attempt to deny women their reproductive rights.

    • Philip Frady

      “I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.” Sister Joan Chittister, of the Order of Saint Benedict

      • KurtB

        I’ve seen that quote. Makes sense if you are talking about charity & I fully agree w that. If you telling me that I’m not pro-life because I’m not a socialist that believes the govt should pay for everything cradle to grave for every citizen, then I would say you’re nuts. Socialism is the most anti-life system alive. It benefits only the politicians w more power over the citizenry. Since people that are pro-life are proven to give more money to charity than the other side, I would say pro-lifers live the pro-life virtues more than anyone.

        • D, Turgeon

          I would say you are wrong, since those “virtues” lived by “pro-lifers” include bombings, murders, character assassinations, lies, deceit, etc. You also need to educate yourself on socialism, which does NOT “believe (sic) the govt (sic) should pay for everything cradle to grave for every citizen”. Your ignorance is astounding.

          • Jackie Martello

            Your lack of morals are astounding.

          • D, Turgeon

            Your response reminds me of an old Chinese saying: “You can confuse the sun with the moon, but that won’t turn night into day.”

    • Nic Hanson

      The violence accusations aside, the videos you have obviously watched are heavily edited to show things out of context. Planned Parenthood absolutely does not “Markets in baby body parts”. They might donate tissue to research facilities, but that is perfectly legal and they aren’t wrong in doing so. If abortion is legal, which would you rather happen? The aborted fetus to be incinerated and tossed into a dump? Or donated in the name of science for research into diseases that could benefit from it?

      Do a little research on things first instead of getting all of your news from sensationalized Facebook posts.

      • KurtB

        Pretty easy. I would rather not a baby killed by Dr Mengele I mean Planned Parenthood.

  • Jackie Martello

    Shameful that social work students from such a great university would produce such morally and factually incorrect opinion. The whole “smear campaign” as you call it is a collection of illuminating video(s) of red-handed PP employees without any narration or commentary. Planned Parenthood needs no assitance with smearing their name. They are doing a great job all by themselves. The extreme and militant position in this case is to defend these horrifying policies and practices of Planned Parenthood.

  • Michael J

    The people that signed their names to this letter obviously did not view the videos are completely clueless as to what they are supporting. Your readers should view the videos themselves and make up their own minds. In the 4th video the Planned Parenthood Director talks about “not getting caught”. She also actually refers to the fetus as a baby. Planned Parenthood does not offer one service (other than abortion) that is not already offer at other health clinics. In many cases, the birth control that they sell is more expensive than at your local drug store. The directors of Planned Parenthood make HUGE incomes and it is in their best interest to keep this racket going. Most of the propaganda is coming from them. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of them helped them write this letter. It is sad the way they manipulate young people into supporting something this barbaric.

  • kurt g.

    Which part of what the planned parenthood executives said was deceitful? Are you saying they were lying?

  • disqus_ain7Kk28WZ

    PP fills a real need, deserves public and private support.

  • Michael J
  • donegal_ribbon

    I stand with Planned Parenthood!

  • KurtB

    Amen. Any reasonable person but especially a parent that watches these videos in full will be disgusted. If not, I honestly feel bad for your soul. This is pure evil.

  • Bill F.

    As a man, and therefore, the most important voice in this discussion, I want to sound a wake up call to everyone out there: If we allow Planned Parenthood to enable women to control when they become pregnant, we will never be able to fully subjugate and dominate women. First they want to vote, then they want equal pay, and now they want to choose when they get pregnant – and one of them wants to be president. Disgusting. This is the unraveling of a society built by men since the dawn of human civilization. If we let women take control of their reproductive systems, society as we know it will crumble.

    • Barbara

      Thanks, Bill F. You seem to have stymied further ranting. Planned Parenthood was there for me years ago when I was broke, and had a bad Pap smear. They do good work.

  • D, Turgeon

    No, the videos in question have been heavily edited. Editing is the principal means by which film is narrated. You know nothing of which you speak.

    • Jackie Martello

      Stick your head in the sand. Believe whatever helps you sleep at night. You can’t pretend you don’t know what’s going on anymore.

      • D, Turgeon

        Oh, please. Time to get YOUR head out of the sand, and stop believing everything you see and hear on the mass media.

  • D, Turgeon

    The videos are heavily edited; they are the fictional creations of the film makers. Do you think everything you view on t.v. on on film is “real”, or just the videos you WANT to think are “real”.