Hillary Clinton called the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood brokering aborted body parts “disturbing,” but the Republican National Committee pounced on her remarks as too little, too late.
Clinton told the New Hampshire Union-Leader that she’s “seen pictures” from the videos “and obviously find them disturbing.”
“Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions. I think there are two points to make,” Clinton said. “One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country.”
“And if there’s going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one (organization).”
That could be a reference to some congressional Democrats’ call to investigate the Center for Medical Progress, which shot the undercover footage and has been releasing the videos.
Clinton told the New Hampshire paper that she’s “well aware that passions are very high.”
“I have said for more than 22 years that abortion should be legal, safe and rare,” she said. “As first lady, I led an effort to try to lower the number of teenage pregnancies and we succeeded, and as president I will continue to work toward that so that women are fully empowered, they can afford to make responsible decisions, and I hope we will be successful at that.”
RNC press secretary Allison Moore said “it should not have taken a third video showcasing Planned Parenthood’s barbaric side business of selling fetal body parts for Hillary Clinton to change her tune.”
“Instead of condemning these horrific revelations, Hillary Clinton has stood by Planned Parenthood despite weeks of unsettling headlines,” Moore said. “Rather than lead, Hillary Clinton has once again shown herself to be someone who will do or say anything to get elected. Perhaps that’s also why she has yet to spell out what limits, if any, she supports on abortion.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) focused his comments on criticizing Senate Republicans to cut off support for Planned Parenthood, calling it “an attack on women’s health.”
“The current attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood is part of a long-term smear campaign by people who want to deny women in this country the right to control their own bodies,” Sanders said.
“Let’s be clear: Federal funding for Planned Parenthood does not pay for abortions. The vast majority of government funding that Planned Parenthood receives is through Medicaid reimbursements. Cutting that funding will be devastating to the health needs of millions of women who desperately need the quality services Planned Parenthood provides.”
Not everyone in the Democratic caucus is on board with that view.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) signed on to a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services demanding an investigation of Planned Parenthood to determine if they’re breaking organ trafficking laws.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) called the videos “very troubling.”
“Look, there are laws against sale of fetal tissue,” Kaine told radio host John Fredericks. “This is the kind of thing that is extremely troubling. The only cautionary note that I would throw into the mix here, is that there has been some prehistory of people going into Planned Parenthood offices, and taping interchanges, and then editing them favorably to make a point. And in fact, the reason I know this is one of these happened in Richmond a couple of years ago where somebody went and tried to tape an interchange with a Planned Parenthood staffer and kind of edited it to make it seem pretty scurrilous. You’ve got to get the full facts if this video was, as is, or, whether there’s been some nefarious editing to it”.
“But certainly, kind of a discussion about sale of fetal tissue issue in that way post-abortion would be highly troubling and it ought to be looked at,” the senator added.
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), an anti-abortion Dem who has only a 20 percent rating with NARAL, told CBS affiliate WSBT-22 that he “found the comments made in the video disgraceful and disturbing and he fully supports an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices.”
Senate GOP leaders were to hold a press conference this afternoon on a new bill to defund Planned Parenthood.