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Lindsey Graham Used Debunked Videos to Make a Case Against Planned Parenthood

Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is the Health Editor at SheKnows. She is a bioethicist and writer specializing in sexual and reproductive health and the intersection of bioethics and popular culture. She is an adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham ...

For the millionth time: Planned Parenthood does not sell baby parts, Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham, repeat after me: "Planned Parenthood does not sell fetal body parts." We get it — you’re desperate to repeal and replace Obamacare and have failed so many times that it’s embarrassing. But perpetuating a proven lie in order to take crucial medical care away from millions of Americans is dangerous and cruel.

Let’s back up. Last night, Graham (R-SC) and his colleague Bill Cassidy (R-LA) participated in a CNN town hall with Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to discuss the Republicans’ latest attempt to pass a health care bill. Predictably, like so many previous debates, the subject of defunding Planned Parenthood came up, which is the Republican version of a beauty pageant contestant saying she wants world peace.

More: No, Republicans: Defunding Planned Parenthood Definitely Will Not Save Money

At one point, a woman in the audience shared a personal story about the time Planned Parenthood doctors discovered cysts and benign tumors in and on her ovaries.

“I’m grateful for Planned Parenthood because without their care, it’s quite probable that my husband and I would not have been able to become parents,” she said. “Why would you advocate for a bill that would block women like me from the essential care that helped me to become a mother [and] provides affordable cancer screenings for thousands and thousands of people?”

So, wait. She’s saying that Planned Parenthood helped her become a mother and have kids? As if their purpose as an organization were to provide essential medical care and allow people to determine if, how and when they become parents?

Graham and his cohort are definitely big fans of women getting pregnant and giving birth to babies, so it’s safe to say he was pleased with this outcome, right?

More: Kate Walsh on Why Defunding Planned Parenthood Would Be Disastrous

Nah, to Graham, this seemed like a good time to dredge up a claim that surfaced in altered videos that have been squarely debunked.

“All I can say about this debate, about Planned Parenthood [is] a lot of Americans were pretty upset when they saw the videos of selling body parts of aborted children,” Graham said.

Lindsey, no.

Those edited videos you’re referring to from 2014 were the subject of several investigations, all of which proved them to be fake — not to mention the fact that the two anti-abortion activists behind the videos were charged with 15 felonies. The claims made in the videos regarding Planned Parenthood selling fetal tissues and parts are not true.

Here are some things that are true: Planned Parenthood provides services and information to 2.5 million people — yes, that includes some men — each year and an estimated 1 in 5 women in the U.S. has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once. The organization estimates that it helps prevent around 579,000 unintended pregnancies each year.

Want to learn more about what defunding Planned Parenthood could mean? Check out our video narrated by Kate Walsh.

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