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Video Round Up: House Panel Aims To 'Capitalize' on Planned Parenthood Videos; Ohio TRAP Laws Threaten Clinics

Video Round Up: House Panel Aims To 'Capitalize' on Planned Parenthood Videos; Ohio TRAP Laws Threaten Clinics

September 17, 2015 — In today's clips, Democracy Now! covers a congressional hearing on Planned Parenthood following an antiabortion-rights group's release of heavily edited, secretly recorded videos that depict Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal tissue donation. Elsewhere, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry and guests discuss abortion restrictions in Ohio.

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In this Democracy Now! clip covering several topics, reporter Amy Goodman at the 8:50 mark discusses the House Judiciary Committee's first hearing into Planned Parenthood's fetal tissue donation program following "an anti-choice group's release of heavily edited videos targeting the organization."

Goodman shares Rep. Jerrold Nadler's (D-N.Y.) remarks on the committee's investigation. Nadler noted that the investigation should end because Planned Parenthood complies with the law on fetal tissue donation. According to Nadler, the panel "before any inquiry ... has already declared Planned Parenthood guilty and chosen to capitalize on the sensational, unsubstantiated smears made in a series of unethical, possibly illegal videos."

Near the end of the clip, Goodman also briefly touches on an arson case at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Pullman, Wash. (Goodman, Democracy Now!, 9/10).


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AP/KREM2 News' Briana Bermensolo provides more in-depth coverage of the arson at the Pullman, Wash., Planned Parenthood clinic, noting that authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. According to Bermensolo, Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins "said while they don't have a suspect motive, they feel confident this was a direct attack on the clinic, not random."

Meanwhile, she notes that clinic employees have set up a tent on the clinic site to provide certain services while Planned Parenthood looks for a new location. Bermensolo adds that, according to a spokesperson with Planned Parenthood, the clinic staff "will not let this act of violence stand in the way of serving patients" (Bermensolo, AP/KREM2 News, 9/10).


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MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry and guests discuss abortion restrictions in Ohio, including TRAP laws, or targeted regulations of abortion providers, that threaten to close two clinics in the state and a proposed ban (HB 135) on abortion in cases of fetal diagnosis of Down Syndrome.

Noting that the clinics have filed suit against the TRAP laws, Harris-Perry explains that if the two threatened clinics do close, "women in the region who are seeking an abortion will have to travel 220 miles roundtrip to Columbus or more than 500 miles roundtrip to Cleveland for women who are more than 16 weeks pregnant."

Harris-Perry also touches on the antiabortion-rights strategy of Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and talks with guest commentators about how TRAP legislation has restricted abortion access across the U.S. MSNBC's Irin Carmon notes that the clinic regulations are "[i]n some ways ... the most effective abortion restrictions," adding, "What has proven the most effective in standing in the way of women's choices is just shutting down the clinic." Carmon also calls out the "blatantly unconstitutional" ban on abortion in cases of fetal diagnosis of Down Syndrome, noting, "There's no asterisk in Roe v. Wade that says, 'Unless we don't like the reason the woman is having the abortion'" (Harris-Perry, MSNBC, 9/12).