A Lot of Planned Parenthood Defenders Admit They Haven't Seen The Undercover Videos

A faith-based defense of Planned Parenthood

September 30, 2015

Trigger warning: The video above has been heavily edited.

A series of undercover videos delving into some grisly practices at Planned Parenthood abortion clinics have been the subject of deep controversy since mid-July, exposing partisan divides over funding the organization and strongly diverging opinions in Washington on abortion and fetal tissue sales.

As summarized by The Federalist, the videos feature executives and staffers of the country's largest abortion provider discussing and demonstrating human organ harvesting and the fetal body part trade. The tapes are often extremely graphic.

A number of Democrats and liberals riding to Planned Parenthood's defense, however, have admitted they have not seen the videos in question.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest told CNN he hadn't seen the videos, although he felt the content he'd heard about was "shocking." He also couldn't confirm to reporters whether President Obama had seen them as he hadn't asked him about it, although he noted Obama was aware of the news they had generated.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told a New Hampshire newspaper that "pictures" she had seen of the videos were "disturbing" but still mounted a defense of the organization in speeches and on Twitter. Campaign spokeswoman Karen Finney relayed that Clinton had not seen the videos in a later interview with MSNBC.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), a Catholic, told CNN's Jake Tapper last weekend she hadn't seen the videos, while in the same breath saying "I don't stipulate that these videos are real." How Pelosi was able to deny the existence of videos she had not seen, but had read news reports about, was unclear.

In an exchange at a House Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month on Planned Parenthood, Rep. Hank Johnson (D., Ga.) raked pro-life attorney James Bopp over the coals about whether he'd seen the "unedited" versions of the videos. Rep. Trent Franks (R., Ariz.) cut in and asked Johnson whether he himself had seen them.

"No, I have not," Johnson said, eliciting loud laughter from the room. "I've not even seen the edited videos."

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), one of the group's most prominent defenders, told MSNBC she watched the videos at first but ultimately told her staff to just provide her "summaries" because the videos were "doctored." Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) also admitted to the Blaze that she hadn't seen them.

Upon release of the first video in July, pro-choice Democratic Reps Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) and Barbara Lee (D., Calif.) immediately came to Planned Parenthood's defense. The Hill noted that neither congresswoman had seen the video in question.

Liberal pundit Jonathan Capehart, a frequent MSNBC guest and fill-in host, told Morning Joe on Wednesday that he hadn't seen the videos as the "discussion of the videos was disturbing enough" and "there are some things where I just have to draw the line." He went on to argue Planned Parenthood should not be defunded.