Here’s How The 2016 Field Responded to the Planned Parenthood Video

Calls for defunding from Republicans, radio silence from Dems

Planned Parenthood rally
Planned Parenthood rally / AP
July 15, 2015

A video emerged Tuesday of a top doctor from Planned Parenthood discussing harvesting organs from aborted babies. The video secretly recorded by the non-profit Center for Medical Progress showed Dr. Deborah Nucatola eating a salad and casually discussing mining babies for body parts. Nucatola was under the impression that the actors were prospective buyers looking to sell body parts and organs to medical research groups. Planned Parenthood called the practice "ethical" and insisted that it received "no financial benefit," though Nucatola said in the video that clinics are happy to "do a little bit better than break even."

The video drew sharp criticism from many presidential candidates on both sides of the abortion issue with a few notable exceptions.

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana:

"The video of a senior Planned Parenthood official at lunch, discussing a scheme to harvest and traffic human body parts between bites of her salad, sickened me. Even the most hardened liberal must feel some pang of conscience watching the callousness with which she discusses the dismemberment of defenseless babies. How could anybody, regardless of political party, refuse to condemn such barbarism? I hope those who oppose efforts to encourage a culture of life watch this video.  I hope it disrupts their ideology.  And I hope it will compel them to protect the sanctity of life going forward," the campaign said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon

Jindal’s state office also pledged a state investigation into the matter:

"Today’s video of a Planned Parenthood official discussing the systematic harvesting and trafficking of human body parts is shocking and gruesome.  This same organization is seeking to open an abortion clinic in New Orleans.  I have instructed Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals to conduct an immediate investigation into this alleged evil and illegal activity and to not issue any licenses until this investigation is complete.  I am also asking the FBI to assist DHH in investigating this alleged criminal activity by this organization."

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas:

"The video showing a Planned Parenthood employee selling the body parts of aborted children is a disturbing reminder of the organization's penchant for profiting off the tragedy of a destroyed human life. It is because of stories like this that I signed legislation defunding Planned Parenthood in the state of Texas—to protect human life and the health and safety of Texans."

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas:

"Today's news regarding allegations that Planned Parenthood is possibly selling the body parts of the babies it has aborted is sickening. There is no place for taxpayer funding of organizations that profit from taking away innocent life, much less profiting off the bodies of the lives they have stolen. Congress should immediately begin an investigation of Planned Parenthood's activities regarding the sale and transfer of aborted body parts, including who is obtaining them and what they are being used for. And it should renew efforts to fully defund Planned Parenthood to ensure that its morally bankrupt business receives not one penny of taxpayer money. I proudly stand on the side of life and remain committed to fighting for all innocent life to be valued and protected under the laws of this nation."

Others took to social media to voice their outrage.

Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard:

"I am proudly pro-life. I believe that every human life has potential and that every human life is precious. This latest news is tragic and outrageous. This isn’t about ‘choice.’ It’s about profiting on the death of the unborn while telling women it’s about empowerment."

Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida:

Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania:

Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas:

Dr. Ben Carson:

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin:

"This is absolutely horrifying and disgusting. Planned Parenthood and the Democrats who vote to fund this organization owe the American people an explanation for these heinous, and possibly illegal, actions. Practices like this cannot be tolerated, which is why as governor, I defunded Planned Parenthood," Walker said in a statement to BuzzFeed.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky:

The Washington Free Beacon reached out to every pro-choice candidate in the 2016 field to ask whether they would return campaign donations from Planned Parenthood or condemn the nation’s largest abortion provider and the practice of organ harvesting. Their responses are below.

George Pataki, the former governor of New York and the only pro-choice Republican in the 2016 field:

"The video is abhorrent and Governor Pataki would support ending federal funding for Planned Parenthood," Pataki spokesman David Catalfamo told the Washington Free Beacon in a statement.

Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, Jim Webb, the former senator from Virginia, Lincoln Chafee, the former governor of Rhode Island, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said the following:

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