Carly 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.
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.”