It's been a busy week for pro-life and pro-choice activists. On Tuesday, an undercover video surfaced on Breitbart.com, allegedly showing a top-level Planned Parenthood executive lightheartedly discussing the sale of fetal organs and body parts for cash, claimed the film's producer, the Center for Medical Progress — and by Friday, a viral Twitter hashtag, #StandWithPP had erupted online in protest. The two-year-old Center for Medical Progress, which has come under fire for allegedly deceiving the IRS with its business intentions (that argument is still up for debate, of course), secretly filmed Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood's Senior Director of Medical Services, as she described to an activist how physicians would remove a fetus in order to protect organs that could later be donated. The video, which Planned Parenthood claimed was heavily edited, unsurprisingly prompted a bevy of GOP politicians to step forward and demand that the organization be de-funded.
"I hope everyone watches it," said Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Missouri) in a statement to the press on Wednesday. "[It's] the most horrifying and heartbreaking undercover video I have ever seen."
Former Texas governor and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry also chimed in on the matter. "[This is] a disturbing reminder of the organization's penchant for profiting off the tragedy of a destroyed human life," he said in a statement on his official Twitter page this week, adding that the organization's sordid reputation was the reason he would de-fund them if elected president.
Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, spoke out in response to the mayhem, apologizing for the tone that the executive took in the footage, but denying any illegality or wrongdoing in a video message on Thursday. She later took to Twitter to defend the organization as well, calling out right-wing politicians for using the scandal to their own benefit.
By Friday, however, a number of well-known voices, along with a slew of public users, had jumped on their Twitter accounts as well to lend their support to the beleaguered organization, tweeting under the hashtag, #StandWithPP.
Some were celebrities and well-known names:
Others were simply activists bolstering the organization that routinely offered women of all ages and social standing the care they needed:
Some individuals (and a few fellow organizations) criticized the video as a move by anti-choice activists looking for political gain or notoriety:
A few were angry that their choices and rights were being questioned publicly again:
Then, of course, there were the inevitable hashtag hijackers:
The Twitter war over Planned Parenthood's most recent scandal is far from over. But that doesn't mean the organization is throwing in the towel — especially now that they've (once again) become a viral social media sensation.
"We've fought for our patients before," tweeted Richards on Wednesday, "and we'll fight for them again and again."