Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton defended campaign donor Planned Parenthood in an ad released Monday, despite the organ harvesting scandal she called "disturbing" one week ago.
Clinton attacked Republican presidential contenders Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Scott Walker and former Gov. Jeb Bush for supporting efforts to cut off taxpayer funding to the nation’s leading abortion provider in the ad. She attached the ad to a tweet that included the #standwithPP hashtag that Planned Parenthood popularized after its top medical officials were caught on camera sipping wine and discussing price tags for baby body parts with undercover reporters.
"If this feels like a full-on assault on women’s health, that’s because it is," she says of the videos.
The videos were shot by the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group that spent three years interviewing and dining with top Planned Parenthood officials posing as body-parts purchasers.
The group released a fourth video Thursday showing executives at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains aborted babies while saying "it’s a baby" and "another boy." Rocky Mountain vice president Savita Ginde tells the undercover videographers how Planned Parenthood justifies the sale of those organs.
"In public I think it makes a lot more sense for it to be in the research vein than, I’d say, a business venture," she said. Planned Parenthood has responded to the scandal by saying the fetal body parts are used for research on numerous occasions.
Former secretary of state Clinton is an ardent supporter of abortion, including partial-birth abortion—her husband Bill vetoed legislation to outlaw the procedure in which full-term babies are prevented from fully exiting the womb so doctors can suck their brains out. She has a 100 percent approval rating from abortion lobbyist NARAL and received about $10,000 from Planned Parenthood employees in 2015—20 times higher than the rest of the Democratic field combined.
Gov. Perry told the Washington Free Beacon that he was "proud to have defunded Planned Parenthood in Texas." He said Clinton should be forced to answer questions about her own close financial and political ties to the organization.
"Secretary Clinton should explain to the American people why she supports an organization that rips apart and sells the body parts of aborted babies. I am proud to have defunded Planned Parenthood in Texas, and support efforts to defund them at the federal level," he said. "I have also called for the revocation of Planned Parenthood's federal non-profit status. My policies in Texas have proven that you can protect women's health while also protecting human life."
"When politicians talk about defunding Planned Parenthood, they’re talking about blocking millions of women, men, and young people from life-saving preventive care," she said. "Unfortunately, these attacks aren’t new."
The United States Agency on International Development gave Planned Parenthood tens of millions of dollars during Clinton’s time as secretary of state, according to a study from the Government Accountability Office. The abortion provider is on track to pocket nearly $30 million in taxpayer grants in 2015, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis, as well as about $500 million from state and federal sources each year.
No Democratic presidential candidates have endorsed congressional measures to defund the group and send the taxpayer dollars to other health care centers and providers. Some Democratic lawmakers have indicated a willingness to consider the measure, while three congressional committees investigate the matter. On Monday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) announced that he will support the legislation.
"I am very troubled by the callous behavior of Planned Parenthood staff in recently released videos, which casually discuss the sale, possibly for profit, of fetal tissue after an abortion. Until these allegations have been answered and resolved, I do not believe that taxpayer money should be used to fund this organization; instead those funds should be sent to other health care providers," Manchin said in a statement. "
The full Clinton video can be seen here.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 3, 2015