Houston indictments of anti-choice smear merchants show how their claims fall apart under the slightest scrutiny

26 Jan 2016 07:19 pm
Posted by: Donna

Center for Arizona Policy, not dealing well with Monday’s news

So many anti-choicers were having a bad day on Monday with the announcement that a Republican witch hunt of Planned Parenthood in Harris County, Texas had gone hilariously awry, with the perpetrators of the video “sting” being indicted by the grand jury while Planned Parenthood was cleared, that it’s difficult to pick just one to highlight but I’ll go with Andrew Napolitano of Fox News. Napolitano, a former judge, had a meltdown over a Republican prosecutor not just going after Planned Parenthood out of opposition to legal abortion irrespective of whatever evidence came forth in the case.

“The grand jury does not turn around and indict your witnesses, the people who brought you the case, without the prosecutor wanting this to happen!” Napolitano exclaimed.

He continued: “So, why would this prosecutor, appointed by Gov. [Rick] Perry, a former judge, a Republican woman, why would this prosecutor want to do this other than to send a message like, ‘I might be a Republican but leave Planned Parenthood alone’?”

“Leave it alone?” Napolitano shouted. “They’re using tax dollars to kill babies and sell their body parts!”

Anti-choicers are now in full martyr mode, and continuing to make their lurid claims, despite no evidence turning up of these sales of fetus parts for profit, let alone Planned Parenthood using tax dollars to facilitate them, in multiple investigations in several states, because the right wing base will continue to believe them. But that Andrew Napolitano feels confident to make the bald-faced admission that the attacks are purely politically motivated makes it all the more maddening to imagine how easily the same mainstream news people who were duped by David Daileiden’s con job will fall for the next one and give it undue credibility.

And you definitely don’t have to subject every outlandish anti-choice claim to the level of scrutiny that a grand jury would to see what really motivates the movement! A trio of filmmakers recently created a virtual reality project so that people could see and hear what anti-choicers say to women as they enter clinics:

Today (Jan. 22), on the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I went to Planned Parenthood. I sat in a room, bright and sterile, with a distraught woman as she recalled the trauma she endured just minutes prior — when she was verbally harassed by dozens of protesters outside the health center’s doors. She was visibly shaken and upset.

Then, I walked outside and witnessed first-hand the kind of tasteless vitriol that was being said. As I neared the Planned Parenthood’s doors, I was called a “whore” and a “wicked jezebel feminist.” My morals were questioned. I was told repeatedly that what I was doing, by accessing my right to safe and accessible health care, was the devil’s work. I felt sick to my stomach.

And then it was all over. Their threats were silenced, and I was left in the dark. I took off my virtual reality headset and went on with my day. But for millions of women across America, they’re not so lucky. They don’t get to just walk away from that distressing experience; they live through it. I’ve never been aggressively harassed by a group of strangers while walking into my local Planned Parenthood. But now I know, just a little bit, what that feels like — and it feels pretty sh-tty.

“Across The Line” is a five-minute immersive virtual reality experience that places viewers in the shoes of a patient entering a health center for a safe and legal abortion. I had the opportunity to demo the harrowing project at the Sundance Film Festival.

Using real audio gathered at protests, scripted scenes and documentary footage, filmmakers Nonny de la Peña, Brad Lichtenstein and Jeff Fitzsimmons created a powerful depiction of the often toxic environment that many patients must walk through to access health care on a typical day at Planned Parenthood. Virtual reality is often referred to as an empathy machine, and experiences like “Across The Line” best demonstrate its strength as a storytelling tool.

For about the millionth time, I can’t for the life of me understand how any damning “evidence” about Planned Parenthood produced by such angry, female sex-punishing freaks would be deemed worthy of a minute of respectful news coverage, let alone giving such conspiracy garbage prime op-ed placement in national newspapers. Of course, being treated as credible when they should never be probably goes a long way toward explaining why David Daleiden and his partners would feel it was just fine to commit various crimes in the process of “trapping” Planned Parenthood in the act of doing what they just know Planned Parenthood is guilty of.

And I seem to recall quite a few local news figures in Arizona having quite a lot to say when news of the fetal parts “sting” broke last summer, leading to an investigation by Governor Ducey that revealed (you guessed it!) no wrongdoing whatsoever by any abortion providers in the state. They seem to have forgotten all about it and none seem to have noticed this Texas story. Which is odd because I have a strong feeling that if the Texas grand jury had gone the other way, indicting Planned Parenthood, it would have gotten more attention here and maybe a local reporter or two at Planned Parenthood AZ’s door. But this? Crickets. So I guess it’s safe to predict that when they pull this bullshit again in a year or two, they’ll lap it up again.

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