In June at his Big Flats Town Hall Meeting Rep. Tom Reed promised the crowd that he would “stand with the funding for Planned Parenthood.” (Ithaca Voice–which has a link to the audio recording of his complete quote.)
Fast-forward to September 18, Rep. Reed when voted to prohibit “the availability of federal funds for any purpose to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any of its affiliates or clinics”. Rep Reed informed us that “In light of the recent appalling revelations regarding Planned Parenthood, I join the voices calling for suspension of federal funding pending a full investigation into the alleged harvesting and sale of human body parts.”
The House of Representatives are holding the investigation that Reed called for. The investigation, which has been called political theater, seemed to be an one-sided attack on a popular organization that is a vehicle for the right wing to reinforce their already formed opinions.
The Committee Leader Rep. Chaffetz showed a graph comparing how the number of abortions increased and “Cancer Screening” (Mammograms) decreased between 2006 and 2013. Looking at the graph you would see that the amount of abortions was greater than the amount of mammograms, which, if you read the numbers, you would see was not true. (Ms. Richardson, Planned Parenthood President, explains that most of their centers do not perform the mammogram; that is done at radiological clinics after they are referred by Planned Parenthood.)
The graph of the left is the one that Rep. Chaffetz presented during the investigation. The one on the right (Honest Version) was created by Mother Jones blog, and shows the same data on a traditional graph–that is–one with a Left Axis.
Rep. Chaffetz, said “I pulled those numbers directly out of your corporate reports.” (Slide says “Source: Americans United for Life”). Which is not true unless his second job is working for Americans United for Lives. If the data is true, it is easy to see why his version was created to pass along mis-information. Most people will look at the graph, which is shown quickly, and think that more abortions were performed as Breast Exams.
Ms. Richards, head of Planned Parenthood pointed out that the source was Americans United for Life, which is an anti-abortion organization. Follow this link to see the 3 minute video of the interaction between Rep. Chaffetz and Ms. Richards.
If Rep. Reed was interested in un-bias Planned Parenthood investigations, he should read the Missouri investigation report that cleared Planned Parenthood of all charges. Or he could read about the investigations done in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Florida which also cleared Plant Parenthood of all wrong doing. He could have his aides read (and report) the Media Matters summary of those states’ investigations along with other court cases clearing Planned Parenthood.
It looks like we were are going to live through another Government By Crisis in December. Congress has passed a short budget extension to divert us from closing the government now. Last time, in 2013, the our congressman joined the Tea Party to closed our government over Obamacare.
He has stated that he wants an investigation on the selling of body parts. The House will find what the House wants to find. Reed is going to do what he thinks is best for Reed. Maybe, just maybe, he will keep the promise he made in Big Flats in June and “stand with the funding of Planned Parenthood.” Then, maybe he won’t.