In other words: Message received. When the third undercover video of Planned Parenthood hit the Internet, with its graphic documentary look at the harvesting of human organs from the remains of a “war-torn” unborn child, Hillary Clinton told the New Hampshire Union Leader that she looked at the pictures and “obviously find them disturbing.” She also said the video raised questions about “the whole process” of fetal organ harvesting, “that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country,” and said Congress should investigate “everything and not just one (organization).”
That set abortion-rights advocates into a frenzy, demanding much stronger support. And so, even as a fourth video featured a technician declare “Another boy!” and a Planned Parenthood VP note “it’s a baby,” Hillary hit reverse thrusters to back away from any criticism of the abortion industry (via Katie Pavlich):
Proud to stand w/Planned Parenthood & for access to quality, affordable healthcare for women, men & young people. -H https://t.co/XLuRvxzsyZ
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 31, 2015
The pressure may have come from both within and without the Hillary campaign. The Washington Free Beacon notes the connections of two top Hillary campaign aides:
The Clinton campaign has drawn heavily from pro-abortion professionals. One of its top officials in Iowa, the nation’s first primary state, is Lily Adams, daughter of Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards. Jane Emerson, the women’s outreach director of Clinton’s failed 2008 campaign, previously served as CEO of the abortion provider’s South Carolina operations.
Planned Parenthood has also partnered with Clinton’s controversial family foundation, helping with six projects under the Clinton Global Initiative umbrella. The Clinton Foundation did not respond to a request for comment.
The only surprise about this reversal was that it took so long to see it. Even at the time Hillary’s comments to the Union-Leader began to make the rounds, I wrote that her walkback might come before I had a chance to publish the post on Wednesday morning. The lack of alacrity in reversing this progressive heresy makes Team Hillary look remarkably out of touch and short of the skills necessary to run a top-tier campaign, especially in the fast-response sphere.
CBS News’ report on the fourth video from Center for Medical Progress last night captured the awkward shift, but noted the dissonance between that and her previous position:
Democrat Hillary Clinton weighed in after a meeting in Maryland.
“It’s another effort by the Republicans to try to limit the health care options for women and we should not let them succeed once again,” Clinton said.
But Clinton has also called the images in the videos disturbing and called for a nationwide review of the way fetal tissue is procured.
In fact, the fourth video unlocked the story for another national broadcaster. NBC News’ Lester Holt also gave it two full minutes of play last night (from last night’s QOTD):
Only ABC didn’t cover it last night, which is … interesting indeed. The hook for CBS and NBC was the fight to defund Planned Parenthood, an angle which allowed the two networks to frame this as an aggressive (if not extreme) GOP policy with a new tactical approach but still forced them to cover some of the video as well. Is ABC so skittish about reporting on Planned Parenthood that it won’t even cover a major policy fight on Capitol Hill?