A review of Planned Parenthood facilities throughout Pennsylvania initiated in response to an anti-choice video propaganda campaign has turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, according to state officials.
Last month, a fake company covertly run by anti-choice activists published several videos in an effort to try to defund Planned Parenthood.
The videos initially caused an uproar, but it soon became apparent to everyone from Factcheck.org at the University of Pennsylvania to the New York Times that the videos were misleadingly edited to try and suggest Planned Parenthood employees were engaging in illegal activity precisely because the activists couldn’t find real evidence of wrongdoing.
Even as awareness grew that the propaganda campaign had no substance, anti-choice lawmakers—some of who, incidentally, apparently screened the videos weeks before they were published—then conveniently used the videos as an excuse to attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.
At least a dozen states launched investigations into Planned Parenthood. So far, every state that investigated Planned Parenthood affiliates found them to be in full compliance with state laws and regulations, including Pennsylvania.
“There is no evidence that any Planned Parenthood site in this commonwealth is involved in the buying or selling of fetal tissue,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Karen Murphy wrote in a letter quoted in the Pittsburgh Tribune. Dr. Murphy initiated a review of Planned Parenthood facilities in conjunction with Governor Tom Wolf’s office, in response to the videos.
“We know, and the public knows, that Planned Parenthood serves millions of women, giving them basic healthcare, access to contraception, cervical screenings, and STI information and testing,” WLP Executive Director Carol E. Tracy recently said. “One in five American women have visited a Planned Parenthood for healthcare.”
A new poll shows “the vast majority of Americans favor providing federal funding for clinics that provide women’s health services, and most of them support these taxpayer dollars going to Planned Parenthood clinics specifically.”
Nonetheless, anti-choice activists are planning to protest outside of Planned Parenthood facilities across the country on Saturday, August 22 as part of a coordinated campaign to defund healthcare for women.
The protests will take place from 9am to 11am. Show your support by tweeting #StandwithPP and #PA4WomensHealth.
WomenVotePA is the action arm of the Women’s Law Project. Founded in 1974, the Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center devoted to women’s rights in Pennsylvania.
Text: Tara Murtha, WLP Staff