To: Interested Parties
From: Eric Ferrero, Vice President, Communications, Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Date: September 21, 2015
Re: Carly Fiorina – even Fox News says she’s lying
Carly Fiorina lied about Planned Parenthood in front of millions of people last week in the Republican primary debate. And she has continued to lie ever since.
Caught in a total lie, Fiorina and her campaign are trying to muddy the waters, but it’s actually very clear.
Here’s what happened. On Wednesday night, Fiorina said:
As regards Planned Parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape, I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, to watch these tapes. 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.
This is not true -- period.
When it became clear that the scene she describes simply does not exist on any videos, Fiorina and her allies offered several differing views about what she was referring to. They ended up saying that she was describing an image from an extreme anti-abortion archive called the Grantham Collection, which has been caught in the past making false claims about its photos and videos. The image was spliced into an interview with a woman who is working with anti-abortion activists.
The image simply does not show what Carly Fiorina described during the debate.
Here are the facts:
Fact: The scene she describes is not on any of the videos that have been released. The image she is pointing to does not match her description at the debate. She has not produced video showing what she described.
Fact: There is no audio at all with the image; it is voice-over of an interview with a woman working with anti-abortion activists.
Fact: The video has nothing to do with Planned Parenthood and was not taken at Planned Parenthood.
Fact: The video apparently has nothing to do with fetal tissue donation.
Fact: It is not even confirmed that the image is related to abortion. (In the same video released by this group, they passed off a photo of a woman’s stillborn son as an aborted fetus, and they used it without her knowledge or permission.)
Fact: While the videos being released by anti-abortion extremists have been heavily edited and widely discredited, this isn’t about editing – the video she is describing actually doesn’t exist.
Over the last few days, virtually every independent fact-checker that has reviewed Fiorina’s claim about this video has found it to be false. She has offered no proof and no explanation – she has simply said that the videos show what she says they do, all evidence to the contrary.
Don’t take it from Planned Parenthood. Here’s Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday with Fiorina yesterday:
WALLACE: First of all, do you acknowledge what every fact checker has found, that as horrific as that scene is, it was only described on the video by someone who claimed to have seen it? There is not -- no actual footage of the incident that you just mentioned?
FIORINA: No, I don't accept that at all. I've seen the footage. And I find it amazing, actually, that all these supposed fact checker in the mainstream media claim this doesn't exist. They're trying to attack the authenticity of the videotape. I haven't found a lot of people in the mainstream media who've ever watched these things. I mean, they will claim somebody watched it for them. I will continue to dare anyone who wants to continue to fund Planned Parenthood, watch the videotapes. And anyone who wants to challenge me, first, is going to have to prove to me that they watched it.
WALLACE: You want to defund Planned Parenthood. So let's talk about what the organization actually does -- 4.4 million health services involving sexual diseases and infections, 3.5 million services in family planning, 935,000 services in cancer screening and prevention, 1.1 million other women's health services, and, yes, 327,000 abortions. Ms. Fiorina, I understand that you want to end all abortions, but you're also willing to cut off funding for all of those HIV tests and breast exams?
FIORINA: Well, of course not. All of those things are important. I'm a breast cancer survivor and I've been engaged in programs that move aggressively into neighborhoods to make sure that all women are screened, every single one of those women's health services that you just described are vital to be continued, and, actually, vital to be expanded. Of course we should be funding those things. But I find it fascinating that Democrats will never support taxpayer funding, for example, for a women's health center right next door to a Planned Parenthood that would provide all those same services and also provide women an alternative to abortion. Of course, those other services must be available to any woman and every woman. But that's not what this argument is about. This argument is about whether or not, we, as a nation, are going to stand by while taxpayer money is being used to fund this kind of butchery.
WALLACE: You brought up the question of taxpayer. And you say that we should defund Planned Parenthood as part of the budget battle, which we're going to get in -- by the end of this month, even if that means that we end up with a government shutdown, regardless of who's responsible for that government shutdown. Carol Tobias, who is the head of -- the president of National Right to Life, has just written a column in which she says that that – a shutdown -- would be a big mistake, that it's more important to elect a pro-life president. She writes, quote, "All of these goals are more easily and effectively achieved if the 71 percent of American voters opposed to a government shutdown aren't angry at the pro-life candidates running for president." Is she wrong when she says a shutdown would be a mistake?
FIORINA: Well, I disagree with her on this, and I'll tell you why. First, something very important has changed since the last government shutdown. What's changed is the Republican Party has historic majorities in the House and we now control the majority in the Senate. A lot of people worked really hard out there in the nation to make that happen. I was one of them. And I think people worked hard because they expected a change based on that majority. And I do think that people want to know what do we stand for? What does our party stand for? What do I stand for? And I will say once again, President Obama can explain to the American people why it is so important to him to continue to fund this organization that no one denies is engaged in this kind of barbarity.
Planned Parenthood is proud to provide safe and legal abortion services to women, in addition to a host of preventive health care, including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, annual exams, and STD testing and treatment.
It’s clear that Carly Fiorina opposes safe and legal abortion, and would ban abortion nationwide if she could. She should make that case to the American public – but she should do so on the merits, without dishonesty and deception.