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Shared Liability in the Planned Parenthood Attacks: Angry Rhetoric a Contributing Factor

Updated on December 1, 2015
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The recent shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado has to open up the question about contributing factors of liability. In the months leading up to the attacks, the group was constantly in the news due to a video that appeared to show them negotiating a price for the sale of body parts from aborted babies.

The edited video was released on July 14th by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress. It highlights certain parts of a secretly recorded video showing Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, discussing the procurement of fetal tissues when conducting abortions.

The edited video leaves the impression that Nucatola is talking about Planned Parenthood affiliates making money from fetal tissue. But the edited video ignores other things Nucatola said that contradict that idea. In the edited video, Nucatola says the cost for fetal tissue specimens was between $30 and $100, “depending on the facility and what’s involved.” She defined “specimen” as, “one case. One patient.”

Nucatola’s comment, though, isn’t evidence that Planned Parenthood or its affiliates are selling “body parts” or fetal tissue for profit. The full video shows that after Nucatola mentions the $30 to $100, she describes how those amounts would be reimbursement for expenses related to handling and transportation of the tissues. Nucatola talks about “space issues” and whether shipping would be involved.

Fox News

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Planned Parenthood Congressional Hearings

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Running with the Falsehood

To say that Fox News would jump on this bandwagon would be an understatement. This type of issue is certainly a hot-button item for their viewership and they were more-than-willing to take the edited video and run with the case it attempted to make.

Truth be damned to them. Their goal, as is the goal of other networks, is to pander to the values and beliefs of their viewers. Conservative values pertaining to abortion certainly fit that mold and they were more than happy to report this as news.

Instead of debunking the video, they turned it into a scandal - one that ended in Congressional hearings for Planned Parenthood even after the Missouri Attorney General investigated and found no wrong-doing. Instead of agreeing with the findings, Congressional Republicans needed to make a public spectacle of the whole affair, further raising the awareness of the case the false video was attempting to make.

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GOP Debating the Issue

The issue got so much play that it became a major topic at the first GOP Presidential debates. Carly Fiorina bought in completely to the images the video spliced together and made it her main platform issue. She was the unpaid spokeswoman for what it stood for, suggesting everyone should go out and watch it so they could learn for themselves what was going on.

For someone running for the top office of the country to promote such an incorrect and falsified video should be a major red-flag about the judgment of that candidate. I can understand others having beliefs about abortion being wrong, but to promote falsified evidence on such a public stage is pretty concerning.

But she wasn't the only politician to jump on the falsified documents bandwagon. Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz got called out for displaying a slide that showed a graph created by an anti-abortion group instead of a neutral source.

When Richards said she’d never seen it before, Chaffetz replied: “It comes straight from your annual reports.”

Moments later, Richards shot back: “My lawyers just informed me that the source of this information is Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group. I would check your source.”

The truth be damned.

Pittsburgh, PA

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Connecting the Dots

In posing the question about shared liability, many people say that one man, one act. The shooter is the only one responsible for the heinous crime committed in Colorado. But to miss a developing trend might be very dangerous.

The Colorado shooter was heard talking about 'No More Baby Parts,' after his arrest. That is a direct link to the doctored video that caused the issues for Planned Parenthood.

Along with the attacks on Planned Parenthood, there is a lot of fear-mongering going on in this country relating to Syrian refugees and Muslims in general. There was a recent story coming out of Pittsburgh about a man complaining about just such an issue.

The passenger asked the driver where he was from, then began to talk about the Islamic State, or ISIS, the driver told the Post-Gazette from his hospital bed.

"I told him, 'Actually, I’m against ISIS. I don’t like them.' I even told him that they are killing innocent people," the driver said.

Once the taxi had reached its destination, a house in the Hazelwood area, the driver said the passenger asked him to wait so he could go inside for his wallet. When the man came back outside, the driver said, he was carrying a rifle.

Instead of paying for the taxi fare, he went inside, got his shotgun, and shot his Muslim taxi driver.

The messages being sent by the conservative media and specifically, Republican Presidential candidates, is being heard loud and clear. Planned Parenthood is bad, Muslims are bad. And the people listening are taking action.

Is it any wonder why President Obama tries to tone down the rhetoric when referring to acts of terror? There has to be a real fear of civility devolving in the country with there being such a divide among the people.

Responding to the Shooting

In responding to the shooting, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards made some pointed comments. This sort of hateful rhetoric "has real impact," Richards said, adding that some of the most heated language is in the presidential campaign. "Folks are willing to say anything, it seems, to get ahead in their political ambitions."

In another story, a former planned parenthood worker talks about working for a doctor who was killed by pro-life supporters and how their clinic was constantly under the threat of violence. So much so that she referred to the acts as terrorism. Follow the link below to see all of the things that were done.

Senator Cruz

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Another Nominee with Links to Crimes Against Doctors

Carly Fiorina is not the only Republican candidate to be tied to violence in relation to abortion cases. There was an article that links Presidential nominee to an activist who promoted the execution of doctors who perform abortions.

Troy Newman gave a sterling endorsement to Ted Cruz, one that Cruz touted in the media recently. Newman has written a book explaining his beliefs and was even willing to make a sound defense for someone found guilty of killing a doctor that has been performing abortions.

You can read that story here.

So, What Do You Think?

Does the angry rhetoric used by the media and Republican Presidential Candidates lead to violence?

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Deflect, Divert

As more details began to come out about the shooter, the Republicans began to weigh in. All of them deplore the incident of course, but each got very defensive when asked about the angry rhetoric used in recently months towards Planned Parenthood.

Senator Cruz tried to label the shooter as a transgendered left-wing activist. Fiorina called him deranged. At least Mike Huckabee was willing to call it what it was - an act of domestic terrorism.

Of course, the press got feedback from one of the Democratic candidates for President. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suggested such rhetoric may have inspired the alleged gunman.

“While we still do not know the shooter’s motive, what is clear is that Planned Parenthood has been the subject of vicious and unsubstantiated statements attacking an organization that provides critical health care for millions of Americans,“ the Democratic hopeful said in a statement. “I strongly support Planned Parenthood and the work it is doing and hope people realize that bitter rhetoric can have unintended consequences.”

Fiorina fired back.

“This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing the messenger because they don’t agree with the message,” she said. “Anyone who tries to link this terrible tragedy to anyone who opposes abortion or opposes the sale of body parts is … this is typical left-wing tactics.”

No Mrs. Fiorina, it's cause and effect.

Some Final Thoughts

I am admittedly a liberal and an Agnostic. I'm definitely pro-choice and my family raised me to respect a person until they give me a reason not to. I'm also becoming aware that people need to be vigilant after 9/11. They need to keep their eyes open for things that don't seem right, but still live their lives.

I also believe in the laws of this land. Some I agree with, some I don't. What I wish that people could separate are the laws and values they were raised with in regards to their religion and the laws of the country. There is just too much intermixing going on there.

It really comes down to a simple truth on trying to coexist. One person's religious law is another person's persecution. Please, keep your religion out of my government and the media. Live by your own religion, but leave others to do the same.

The United States would be a much better place if we could all do that.

Looks Can Be Deceiving

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 23 months ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting take.