Since anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress began releasing hidden-camera videos of Planned Parenthood executives discussing the use of fetal tissue for medical research two weeks ago, the healthcare provider has been under attack by anti-abortion activists across the country and in Congress. The videos purport to show Planned Parenthood employees talking about selling fetal body parts, which is illegal. But the recorded conversations are actually about the very legal practice of giving fetal tissue over to medical researchers. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards wrote a powerful op-ed in The Washington Post on Wednesday that not only responds to all the hate her organization has been receiving, but also reassures readers that American women that Planned Parenthood will not stop providing essential health care.
With the Senate planning to vote on a bill that would end the $500 million of federal money given to Planned Parenthood each year, the health provider's future seems a little shaky. As Richards points out in her op-ed, those funds go toward breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, STI testing and treatment, and wellness exams for low-and-middle-income women. Because of the Hyde Amendment, no federal funding goes toward abortion services.
Here are the best quotes from Richards' Washington Post op-ed, which will calm your fears about the future of Planned Parenthood and make you proud to be a supporter.
On Uncovering Wrongdoing
These extremists created a fake business, made apparently misleading corporate filings and then used false government identifications to gain access to Planned Parenthood’s medical and research staff with the agenda of secretly filming without consent — then heavily edited the footage to make false and absurd assertions about our standards and services. They spent three years doing everything they could — not to uncover wrongdoing, but rather to create it. They failed.
On Creating Panic
While our opponents have been working to create scandal and panic where none exists, doctors and nurses at Planned Parenthood health centers have continued to provide care to thousands of women, men, and young people every day — contraception, cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and safe and legal abortion.
Whose efforts are doing more to help families and make our country healthier?
On Attacking Women
Attacking this funding is attacking women who need preventive health care, including women who need cancer screenings and contraception. Congress should not allow politics to get in the way of lifesaving care.
On Political Statements
The women who come to Planned Parenthood don’t do so to make a political statement; they come to get high-quality, affordable, and compassionate care. When a patient comes to us, we don’t ask her if she’s a Democrat or a Republican because health-care provision should never be political.
On The Future
The extremists will not win this battle. The goal of these attacks is to get Planned Parenthood to stop providing care — and that will never happen. We have proudly provided reproductive health-care services for 99 years, and we are only getting started.
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