Making her third appearance in four days on this site, CNN’s New Day co-anchor Alisyn Camerota toted the line of Planned Parenthood on Friday morning concerning their baby parts scandal in a interview with video maker David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress in which the former Fox News host parroted Planned Parenthood’s denial of any wrongdoing and promoted the so-called benefits of medical research using “fetal tissue.”
Right from the beginning, Camerota came at Daleiden with Planned Parenthood talking points related to the findings of the four videos that alleges the organization sells baby parts from aborted babies.
Emphasizing that “all Planned Parenthood says they’re trying to do is cover their costs for handling or storing or need be to get reimbursed for” something that’s “totally legal,” Camerota demanded: “So, where do you think the smoking gun is?”
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Daleiden worked to explain the horrifying questions raised in the videos, but Camerota simply pushed back from the left, affirming that “Planned Parenthood disputes that” and then brought up her interview on Tuesday with Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laugens.
Camerota then teed up a clip from Laugens by lecturing Daleiden that the abortion provider is “no way selling fetal tissue and transferring fetal tissue is legal.” After the clip, Camerota continued:
She says unequivocally Planned Parenthood is not making a profit and in fact, what you did, she says, is unfair, because you were targeting doctors who don’t really know all the accounting details of how much the transfer costs.
Turning to the issue of using baby parts for “research,” Camerota hyped that:
[S]cientists who use fetal tissue say they have been used to cure or help prevent all sorts of diseases. They have been used to in the polio vaccine. They have been used in the rubella vaccine, chicken pox. They have been used to treat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The research using fetal tissue has saved lives.
From there, she repeatedly tried to get Daleiden to go on the record whether or not he supports “fetal issue for research.” The CMP official attempted to shoot back: “[W]hat’s not legal is selling aborted fetal tissue, profiting off of fetal organs, changing abortion procedures in order to get higher quality body parts or using partial birth abortions or even live birth abortions to do so.”
Wanting none of that, Camerota recycled a talking point from moments earlier: “Planned Parenthood says they’re doing none of those things. I mean, Planned Parenthood says that you’ve deceptively edited the videos but that they’re not doing any of those things and they follow the letter of the law.”
As this writer mentioned at the top, this is Camerota’s third appearance on NewsBusters this week. On Tuesday, Camerota suggested to Laugens in that interview that the prices for baby parts be fixed as she worked to downplay the scandal. Two days later, Camerota had on Republican Senator Joni Ernst (Iowa) and sought to boost the image of Planned Parenthood by playing up their “cancer screenings” and “birth control” that they offer to women.
The relevant portions of the transcript from CNN’s New Day on July 31 can be found below.
CNN’s New Day
July 31, 2015
8:22 a.m. Eastern
ALISYN CAMEROTA: It appears there’s some sort of negotiation going on and what Planned Parenthood says is it’s about the transfer of fetal tissue to biotech companies that will use them for research and all Planned Parenthood says they’re trying to do is cover their costs for handling or storing or need be to get reimbursed for that. They say that they’re not selling the fetal tissue and by the way, covering costs for the transfer is totally legal. So, where do you think the smoking gun is?
DAVID DALEIDEN: Right, so, there’s basically two points there. The first point is that Planned Parenthood is openly admitting they do harvest the fetal tissue and receive payments in connection with that. So that means the second point, the only question is are those payments constituting a financial benefit to Planned Parenthood? And is it constituting a profit that’s greater than whatever costs, the real or imagined, they might have for supplying the fetal tissue? And when Planned Parenthood partners with a middleman biotech company that allow a technician to come into their clinic and harvest the body parts, Planned Parenthood actually doesn’t incur any cost from the harvesting of the fetal organs because the technicians are the ones doing all the consenting of the patients. They’re packaging the tissue, they’re dissecting the fetuses, they’re shipping it off. All of those costs are absorbed by the biotech company and yet Planned Parenthood is still getting paid $50 or $75, even $100 per specimen just from supplying an aborted fetus.
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CAMEROTA: Okay, Planned Parenthood disputes that. They say that it is their staff doing the consenting, getting the consents for the patients as well as if they have to do some sort of storage or transfer, but we had the executive vice president of Planned Parenthood on New Day this week. Her name is Dawn Laugens and again, she says they are simply trying to cover their costs. They are in no way selling fetal tissue and transferring fetal tissue is legal….She says unequivocally Planned Parenthood is not making a profit and in fact, what you did, she says, is unfair, because you were targeting doctors who don’t really know all the accounting details of how much the transfer costs.
DALEIDEN: Right, well, that’s the point I wanted to comment on is that, you know, I think she’s right that the doctors are not the ones who should be setting those prices and so, you know, I don’t know why the doctors thought they should be negotiating with our investigators and even haggling over the price of the fetal specimens with them because if it were truly just getting reimbursed for costs, they could have said, ‘well, our costs are going to be this. Our accounting can invoice you and we’ll just pay for that,’ but none of the Planned Parenthood doctors or investigators spoke with did that. They wanted to set prices, specifically arbitrary prices per body part from the fetuses that we would harvest.
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CAMEROTA: David, you know, let’s talk about one of the larger issues here. Obviously, the videos are disturbing to watch, but again, it’s legal and in fact, scientists who use fetal tissue say they have been used to cure or help prevent all sorts of diseases. They have been used to in the polio vaccine. They have been used in the rubella vaccine, chicken pox. They have been used to treat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The research using fetal tissue has saved lives. So, are you against using any sort of fetal tissue for research?
DALEIDEN: Well, I think there’s a couple points to unpack there. First of all, you know, abortion is legal under certain regulatory framework, but what’s not legal is selling aborted fetal tissue, profiting off of fetal organs, changing abortion procedures in order to get higher quality body parts or using partial birth abortions or even live birth abortions to do so. So, in all of –
CAMEROTA: Yes and Planned Parenthood says they’re doing none of those things. I mean, Planned Parenthood says that you’ve deceptively edited the videos but that they’re not doing any of those things and they follow the letter of the law, but back to the research –
DALEIDEN: Right, right. Planned Parenthood hasn’t even responded to the point-by-point description of a partial birth abortion procedure that their senior director of medical services gave in the very first video that we’ve released. So, they’ve dropped that argument and they’ve not even responded to it.
CAMEROTA: But again, are you opposed? What is your goal here, David? Are opposed to – you trying to ban abortion out right by showing these videotapes? Or are you opposed to any sort of research being done on fetal tissue?
DALEIDEN: Right. Well, the goal of this project, which was a two-and-a-half-year investigative journalism study is to really clearly document and illustrate for the public exactly how Planned Parenthood harvests and sells aborted baby parts and that’s something that a lot people find shocking, disturbing, offensive and when it comes down to violations of the law when people are using illegal abortion procedures in order to harvest and sell fetal tissue for profit, that’s something that most people find barbaric and that’s something people don’t want to be funded by the taxpayer dollars.
LifeNews Note: Curtis Houck writes for Newsbusters, where this column originally appeared.