Planned Parenthood branches in several states are demanding local media refrain from airing damning footage obtained through recent undercover stings, in a frantic attempt to suppress negative criticism generated over their reported sale of aborted fetal tissue.
On Monday evening, Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota issued statements to “Health and Political Reporters and Producers” recommending the footage, which they say was garnered “under false pretenses,” “not be aired.”
“[The Center for Medical Progress] gained access to Planned Parenthood facilities under false pretenses and filmed without securing approval from the Planned Parenthood staff being filmed or the patients whose privacy is compromised by this secret videotaping,” a letter sent by Communications Director Jennifer Aulwes to media said.
“The material should not be aired.”
The organization’s effort to silence the press follows the release of a third documentary style video from the pro-life Center for Medical Progress Tuesday, which depicts in graphic detail the dissection of fetal organs.
The threatening message to the press comes as Planned Parenthood hires “progressive” Washington DC public relations firm SKDKnickerbocker to assist with damage control, according to Politico, even as corporations like Ford and Coca Cola have vowed to stop donating to the organization.
The PR firm claims to “craft… effective messages” “to protect a women’s right to choose, for marriage equality or to stop the scourge of guns on our streets,” and boasts major political clients such as President Obama, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“Planned Parenthood is a longtime client, and we are proud to help them push back against these extremist attacks from people who want to end reproductive health care for women in this country,” a spokesperson for the firm said in a statement.
Meanwhile the governors of Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri and Kansas have all called for investigations into the horrific revelations, with presidential candidate Rand Paul and others leading the charge to defund the organization.
“My legislation won’t be about whether it’s legal or not … I think everybody in America is horrified by this, and they don’t want their tax dollars going to this group,” the republican presidential candidate said of his proposed bill on CBS’ Face the Nation.
Planned Parenthood warned a congressional committee last week that more sting videos would be forthcoming, and that some could be racially charged.
The Center for Medical Progress says it will release additional videos in weeks to come, promising one per week.
Below is Planned Parenthood’s message to the media in full, via valleynewslive.com:
To: North Dakota Health and Political Reporters and Producers
From: Jen Aulwes, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota
Date: July 27, 2015
Re: Center for Medical Progress Expected to Violate Patient Privacy
The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) is an extreme activist organization whose sole mission is to prevent women from accessing health care and to destroy Planned Parenthood. The board members of this group believe that abortion is “genocide,” and employ people who went to jail for attempting to bomb a women’s health clinic. They are also connected with the man who murdered abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.
CMP has used footage obtained through deceit and unlawful behavior, including possible violations of state recording laws, federal tax laws and falsified state identification. Then, they concoct wildly false stories through selective editing. We expect this video will be no different in that regard; however, footage yet to come is expected to represent an extreme violation of patient privacy by including footage of post-abortion fetal tissue neither patients nor health care professionals authorized be filmed.
When your network decides whether to consider this story newsworthy, or whether to use any of this footage at all, we urge you to keep this in mind: The extremists who entered Planned Parenthood labs under false pretenses violated research protocol, and, worse, violated the privacy of patients involved. Those patients’ privacy should not be further violated by having this footage shared by the media.
The storage and examination processes that CMP used to get this footage are medically necessary. It is necessary medical professionals ensure an abortion is complete so that patients do not get an infection. When tissue is donated for medical research, these steps are also necessary for the donations to be completed. It is also medically necessary that researchers evaluate the laboratory procedures of a medical provider for safety standards and best practices.
Some of the conversations and protocols that occur in medical settings and among professional peers can sound jarring when taken out of context. While this can be difficult to hear or watch, it should not be used as an excuse to defund Planned Parenthood.
CMP gained access to Planned Parenthood facilities under false pretenses and filmed without securing approval from the Planned Parenthood staff being filmed or the patients whose privacy is compromised by this secret videotaping. The material should not be aired.
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