Carly_fiorina_speakingCarly Fiorina said this about Planned Parenthood on Wednesday, September 16th during the 2nd GOP debate:

Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, “We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”

Either she didn’t watch the video and is claiming she did, she watched the video and is incapable of understanding what she saw, or she lied.

I’m an OB/GYN and I’ve watched the Planned Parenthood videos and am far more qualified than Ms. Fiorina to comment on what they do and do not contain or represent. As an aside, it also helps to have a rudimentary knowledge of editing movies on a computer something I do hope the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard possesses.

The Planned Parenthood video that Fiorina is supposedly referencing is the 3rd one, Human Capital Episode 3. Some anti-choice site claims the video is 11:49, but the one on Center for Medical Progress YouTube channel is 10:37 and that is the one I have referenced. There is a short clip of a fetus starting at 5:57, but it is clearly not from a Planned Parenthood clinic targeted by the operation, but is a stock video from the anti choice Grantham collection. If you can read you know that much.

Here is a screen shot:


Here’s where it gets technical and troubling for those who claim this is an abortion. I’ve viewed the video multiple times. I’ve seen many fetuses of this gestational age (I’d guess 18-20 weeks if the instrument is a Kelly, but I’m guessing on the instrument so could be wrong). Regardless, it’s not possible to tell if it is from a premature delivery/miscarriage or from an induced abortion.

If you look at the area I have circled you can see the cord looks clamped and this is not what typically happens during an abortion. Therefore, I favor a previable premature delivery as in this circumstance the cord is clamped even when there is no chance of survival. The long clamp is then removed and a plastic cord clamp attached. The plastic cord clamps are too fiddly to apply during a very premature delivery. We switch out the clamps to try to normalize in a small way a very painful event. Obviously no one can know for sure what the image is from, but the clamp raises serious doubts for me that this is even an image from an induced abortion.

The other strike against this image being from an abortion is it looks like there could be a knot in the cord. This would point to some kind of obstetrical event leading to a delivery and not an abortion. The images are grainy and so it is not possible to be certain, however, given the House voted to defund Planned Parenthood based on these videos you’d think they’d be at least as concerned about the facts as I am.

cord knot

The audio that runs over the video is the voice of Holly O’Donnell who describes herself as en ex procurement technician. This is what she says while the video of the fetus runs:

“..and its nose was very pronounced it had eyelids and it’s mouth was pronounced and so since the fetus was still intact she said okay well this is a really good fetus it looks like we can procure a lot from it.”

So no one says anything remotely similar to what Fiorina claims and the image is not taken from the “sting” operation and is very likely not even from an abortion. By the way, using images that are not from abortions is part of the bait and switch used by the Center for Medical Progress as this video also contains an image of a woman’s baby who was a stillbirth. I will not violate her or her baby’s memory further here by posting the image. My son died at 22 1/2 weeks. If someone used his image in such a way I would be traumatized and horrified.

Nothing in the videos matches Fiorina’s recollection. Several news sites have debunked her claims. If she has seen a different video she better produce it and not what she sent to Vox, because that has the same images.

The only conclusion I can reach is that Fiorina lied about the videos – either about what they contain or about seeing them. As she urged people to watch them she must be referring to videos that are available online and not some secret footage only available to the GOP.

I challenge Fiorina to produce the video she claims exists. I’d happily review it with her as it would probably be helpful to have an OB/GYN explain it and not a male politician or some guy from the Center for Medical “Progress.”





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  1. I’m guessing my original post will get deleted. I didn’t realize the video imbeds and doesn’t go to the cue, thus, the video pops up with the first frame of a woman’s vagina. NSFW. Thus, I’m reposting:


    Now that you have the evidence, you can see: there’s no “knot” in the umbilical cord, “Dr. Jen.” This was an abortion. Plain and simple.

      1. No, according to the person who procured the footage, it depicts, “a born-alive infant from a late-tem abortion.” See that last word there? A-b-o-r-t-I-o-n? That’s ABORTION.

  2. Unfortunately the baby is still dead. And the people (sic) involved are still using dead babies for research. This leads me to question the motives of the abortion providers.

  3. wanted to respond to “mothers don’t go to abortion clinics to miscarry.” My wife nearly did. She had a miscarriage and needed a D&C. Due to problems between our insurer, specialist, and general practitioner it was taking a long time to have the procedure scheduled, leaving us emotional wrecks and nervous about infection. When we called them, Planned Parenthood was willing to do the D&C the next day, as it is the same procedure as a 1st-trimester abortion (except our embryo would have been dead when we walked into the clinic). Insurance got its shit together and we didn’t need to use PP, but we certainly were happy it was an option. A mother without insurance, or who wanted a more supportive environment than an ER might use PP or another abortion provider instead of a hospital, where you have to wait for hours while people with life-threatening health issues get treated first.

    Besides, even if someone goes to the hospital with a miscarriage, the fetus is not going to be rushed to an isolette at 18 weeks. No way. That is more than a month before any chance at a viable delivery.

    1. I’m sorry for you and your wife’s loss.
      And you are right about not saving a 19 week gestation baby.
      I had a severe IUGR baby (2lb at 37 weeks) and spent every day sitting in NICU/SCN for 2 months before she was well enough to come home and I saw some very small premmies not make it and none of them were under 24 weeks (and those were under 26-7 weeks were also more than likely to have CP, blindness, breathing difficulties, mental retardation etc etc).
      Anti choicers don’t follow logic, they operate solely on irrationality and hysteria, so these lies they spew are inherently believable to them because they never stop to question their viewpoint (because they are incapable of doing so without massive soul searching).

  4. The Federalist Staff contacted the source of the video clip you are questioning and they assured them it is from a clinic and from an abortion.

    “The video clip we provided to CMP depicted an intact delivery abortion. It was filmed at an abortion clinic. It was not a miscarriage. Mothers don’t go to abortion clinics to miscarry. Had this case been a miscarriage, the mother would have presented at a hospital and her baby would have been rushed to an Isolette for appropriate neonatal care — not abandoned to writhe and eventually expire in a cold, stainless steel specimen vessel. As regards the organizational affiliation of the abortion facility in which this termination was performed, our access agreements forbid the disclosure of any information which might tend to identify the relevant clinics or personnel with whom we work. Preserving confidentiality is vital to future clinic access. I can, however, assure you that the footage in question is not anomalous. It is representative of the frequent outcomes of many late term intact delivery terminations performed at clinics of all organizational affiliations.”

    1. Those are just words and are not proof. I don’t take the word of non experts who can’t disclose when or where or how they obtained the video. Sorry. You’ll have to do much better than that.

      1. The fetus in the video in the video is alive. The fetus in the video is in a specimen dish. It’s not a stillbirth; it’s not a premature birth.

      1. If you bothered to read the fine details, you would realize that Holly O’Donnell and Jessica from StemExpress did not DISSECT A LIVE FETUS as you claim in your article. The first fetus Holly describes was fully intact BUT in Holly’s own words (transcript) she describes the DEAD fetus that they dissected for the brain tissue, was pretty “torn up” (from the abortion) but the head was still intact. She was talking about TWO different fetuses, BUT the spliced video was designed to mislead. So sorry Andy Bax, the details help REFUTE the lie that STEMEXPRESS (not Planned Parenthood…another pesky detail) dissected a LIVE FETUS.

    2. I wouldn’t give you two cents for your comment. You are a well established pro-life site. And CMP used this to mislead viewers into thinking this was the fetus of Holly O’Donnell’s narrative. You can go on line and see hundreds of videos allege showing crimes of infanticide and yet we get the BS that this is hush hush filming, got to keep it a secret….baloney. These videos conveniently turn up on pro-life sites for fund raising. They makes lots of money, but never find their way to the AUTHORITIES for prosecution.

  5. My God, exploiting images from what are undoubtedly horrendous experiences for the people they actually happened to is beneath contempt. And they’re doing so in the pursuit of denying women access to birth control and health screening.

    1. Unfortunately the baby is still dead. And the people (sic) involved are still using dead babies for research. This leads me to question the motives of the abortion providers.

    2. Have none of you people ever heard the concept of “B roll”? Of course that isn’t the baby they were talking about, it’s an image used to demonstrate what fetus at that stage of development looks like.

      Do basic concepts of video and cinematography even register to you people?

      1. @Dr jen gunther
        Reason be damned, right?? Doesn’t have to be researched or truthful just show how DISGUSTING and TORTOROUS abortion is.

      2. I am continually amazed at the dishonest extremes to which the anti-choice conservatives will go to further their agenda. And they get away with it!

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