Defund!

When I was just a happy kid, stuck with the heart of a sad punk, we would on occasion have a very special evening at the Catholic Church where we would watch the latest bloody mess of an anti-abortion featurette in 16mm color. These cinematic gems featured crosscuts between some tortured soul of an obstetrician explaining the awfulness of abortion, and gruesome photos of fetuses in different stages of dismemberment. In that pre-Internet Eden, the women involved were probably unaware that some low-rent Riefenstahl had appropriated those pictures for use as props in his bloody propaganda. Sadly, the same thing isn’t true today:

The Center for Medical Progress, a right-wing group engaged in a long-term video strategy to discredit the national women’s health organization, released its seventh video on Wednesday. Like several videos before it, the newest footage relies heavily on an interview with Holly O’Donnell, a procurement technician who briefly worked for a biological company that partners with some abortion clinics to collect fetal tissue donations.

At several points, O’Donnell discusses the process of procuring fetal organs — which can be used to help advance scientific research, if abortion patients choose to donate the material after their procedure — before the camera cuts to photographs of fetuses. Although the video insinuates those fetuses are connected to the collection process that O’Donnell is describing, they’re actually recycled photographs from other sources, as RH Reality Check reports.

One of the photos (displayed at the video’s nine-minute mark) isn’t an aborted fetus at all. It’s actually a stillborn fetus prematurely delivered at 19 weeks.

The woman who took that photo, Alexis (or “Lexi”) Fretz, initially published it on her blog — where she also shared the story of grieving her stillborn son, whom she named Walter Joshua. In a Facebook post, Fretz said that she did not give permission for the Center for Medical Progress to use Walter’s photo, though she does not plan to take legal action against the group.

The dozen or so members of the he-man women haters club in the GOP race already had the excuse they needed to call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood after the first video came out, so perhaps this crew of nutjobs could have stopped making shit up after, say, the third or fourth video.






44 replies
  1. 1
    Arm The Homeless says:

    Anyone else get the impression that the 26yo festering pustule who is the supposed head of this fake organization is simply the willing patsy of his paymasters?

    What better way to gain a following as a martyr for the cause than get sued into oblivion once the truth about their videos started leaking out?

    Look for this loony to be a RedState front pager by next year.

  2. 2
    Belafon says:

    If Lance Armstrong had stayed retired instead of returning to the tour, the statute of limitations would have run out on investigating him.

    They don’t know when to quit.

  3. 3
    Jado says:

    “… so perhaps this crew of nutjobs could have stopped making shit up after, say, the third or fourth video.”

    Is that even possible? I thought you said the were GOP…

  4. 4

    No, they couldn’t have stopped making these things. They live for this shit. I suspect there’s some really freaky, nasty sexual component to this fetish they have with showing dead fetuses, but I don’t even want to even begin thinking about what it could be.

    My guess is that all of these weirdo right-wing anti-woman, anti-sex, anti-abortion assholes, whether they’re men or women, have some deep sexual problems. I can understand how people can be against abortion, but these people go so far beyond that. They have some deep loathing of women, a fear of women having autonomy–especially when it comes to sex–a fucked up way of looking at sex, a need to see women somehow “punished” for having sex, a fear of sex, and yet, inevitably, a craving for it…

    I could go on, but I won’t. These people need some serious psychological help here, but, needless to say, they’ll never get it. Instead, they’ll keep letting off their pressure with this sick obsession with aborted fetuses. I guess the worst thing is that every one who has children is helping to raise a whole new generation of these sickos.

  5. 5
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I read the first sentence and thought you were going to call for defunding the Catholic Church.

  6. 6
    Botsplainer says:

    They’re committed conservative Christians, therefore they lie.

    It’s as natural as breathing to them.

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    That whole science thing has been a thorn since Copernicus, n’est-ce pas?

  8. 8
    Yatsuno says:

    @NotMax: Sure. Blame the Polish guy.

  9. 9
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Copernicus ran an abortion-plex? Learn something everyday.

  10. 10
    Debbie says:

    @Botsplainer:

    It’s less their religion than their oversized self-righteous fury. Same kind of fury that lied about Kuwaiti incubators and is lying now in parts of Israel.

  11. 11
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    and thought you were going to call for defunding the Catholic Church.

    And so, great ideas are born.

  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    They have already been shown to be liars.

    But, I say….bring it on.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    And he performed appendectomies on the side.

    (rimshot)

    @Yatsuno

    (giggle)

  14. 14

    You don’t understand.

    We Christians are supposed to be holy and righteous and different than everyone outside of our faith. Now we could spend our lives like Jimmy Carter serving the poor and curing the sick, or we could try to make other people outside of our group look like Satanic baby killing monsters, so we can feel better about our own sad, miserable, insignificant lives and imagine ourselves as godly holy warriors fighting demons.

    And serving the poor is hard.

  15. 15
    Oatler. says:

    Patricia Heaton’s Twitter is full of PP rage as she passes along every screwball instigator’s propaganda. How Eden Sher tolerates her (and refuses my advances) is beyond me.

  16. 16
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Since federal funds are not used for abortions, what do all these anti-abortion films have to do with the federal funding of Planned Parenthood? I don’t get the connection. Hope that Democratic Congress Folks hang tough in their support of Planned Parenthood and counter this madness.

  17. 17
    WereBear says:

    At this point, they may scoop up a few waverers, but it really is:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): My guess is that all of these weirdo right-wing anti-woman, anti-sex, anti-abortion assholes, whether they’re men or women, have some deep sexual problems.

    So they are not going to stop, ever. Best thing to do is salt the ground they grow in.

  18. 18
    redshirt says:

    Abortions for all!

  19. 19
    Jeffro says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Since federal funds are not used for abortions, what do all these anti-abortion films have to do with the federal funding of Planned Parenthood? I don’t get the connection.

    I think the idea is that if all funding, period, to PP is ended, the organization will go under (consequences to millions of womens’ health be damned) and there will never be another abortion ever again.

    Or if you’re Ted Cruz, the idea is that regardless of how it all shakes out, you’ll be the GOP nominee for President.

  20. 20
    JustRuss says:

    There are half a million to a million miscarriages in the US every year. I don’t know how you square that fact with the belief that every fertilized egg is a special snowflake blessed by God, without making god incredibly cruel or incompetent.

  21. 21
    NotMax says:

    @JustRuss

    Simple (in every possible sense of that term).

    “It’s a mystery.”

  22. 22
    Jeffro says:

    @JustRuss: I think the anti-abortion crowd sees that as god’s prerogative, so often assumed to be mysterious and beyond our mortal understanding. Funny how “god’s prerogative” always seems to coincide with the controlling aspects of religion – don’t question, don’t exercise any autonomy, just do what we (usually, the patriarchy) say.

    I wonder what these folks would say to the idea of god exercising his prerogative…by ensuring women continue to have choice in these matters.

  23. 23
    Amir Khalid says:

    @JustRuss:
    Aren’t there Republican politicians who believe that it should be made a crime to have a miscarriage? That’s half a million to a million women in jail right there.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Hey, those for-profit private prisons need fodder from somewhere.

    (Is it necessary to label it as snark?)

  25. 25
    elmo says:

    You want a truly horrifying picture? Click over to the article and take a look at the woman holding up the crucifix. It’s one of the graphic ones. Christ hangs there, bloody and awful, and on the crosspiece it says:

    “The Agonizing Jesus Christ”
    followed at the bottom by…
    “Who Loves You.”

    FUCK that’s disturbing. Creepy awful stalker vibe, like Christ is a pathetic unrequited lover who has scourged himself to prove his devotion.

  26. 26
    NorthLeft12 says:

    The position of the Catholic Church on abortion, contraception, and sex in general was a very large part of the reason that I eventually left the church. I could just not stand the hypocrisy…..my own, not theirs.

  27. 27
    elmo says:

    @JustRuss:
    These people happily worship a god whom they believe to have:
    — commanded the slaughter of every man, woman and child in Amalek, down to babes at the breast;
    — murdered the wife and children of his most devoted servant in order to win a bet;
    — drowned every living thing on Earth except for a token pair of each species

    And that’s just in the first few chapters of his autobiography. You think incomprehensible cruelty is a turnoff for these people?

  28. 28
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Jeffro:

    I think the anti-abortion crowd sees that as god’s prerogative, so often assumed to be mysterious and beyond our mortal understanding. Funny how “god’s prerogative” always seems to coincide with the controlling aspects of religion – don’t question, don’t exercise any autonomy, just do what we (usually, the patriarchy) say.

    Jeffro, what kills me is the absolute arrogance of a large number of Christians who continually preach on about the beauty of God’s plans and how certain events, from the horrific to the banal, are part of his [yeah, it’s always a him, ladies] wonderful plans. And yes, if they were right that would make God some kind of capricious, sadistic, psychopath.

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    @NotMax:
    I think it has indeed been seriously proposed by some idiot or other.

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    @Jeffro: RE: I think the anti-abortion crowd sees that as god’s prerogative, so often assumed to be mysterious and beyond our mortal understanding.

    Yep. That’s it. We have to let God’s will be done, and maybe pray for understanding and accepting. To make a decision that supposedly goes beyond what the Bible allows is prideful, arrogant, sinful.

    You see this thinking also in the refusal to allow abortion to save a woman’s life. The deeply religious would say that only God knows if the woman’s life is really in danger, not any human, so a woman must defer to God’s wisdom here and not have an abortion.

    And there is a variation of this is some religious objection to climate change. God said in the Bible that he would not destroy the world again, after that little Noah business, so humans are prideful, sinful and anti-God if they assert that human actions can have any negative impact on the climate.

    I wonder what these folks would say to the idea of god exercising his prerogative…by ensuring women continue to have choice in these matters.

    Funny thing. The Bible is often very understanding and forgiving of what women do.

    And oddly enough, there is no prohibition of abortion anywhere in the Bible.

  31. 31
    Brachiator says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    And yes, if they were right that would make God some kind of capricious, sadistic, psychopath.

    Of course, the easy counter to this is that the religious could say that if you are a godless atheist who believes in evolution, then you believe that Mother Nature is some kind of capricious, sadistic psychopath.

  32. 32
    WereBear says:

    @Brachiator: To the religious, everything is a matter of worship.

    They have no concept of simply accepting a scientific fact.

  33. 33
    elmo says:

    @Brachiator: Maybe so, but we don’t actually think of nature as a person or being, and we certainly don’t choose to worship it. Meanwhile the god they choose to worship openly admits to being a murderous psychopath, slaughtering children for no reason, commanding his followers to do the same, and so on.

    How can the god who ordered the killing of every Amalek child possibly be offended by abortion?

  34. 34
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Brachiator: Uhhh, Mother Nature is a fictional construct by humans to personify the phenomena that occurs around us every day, right? I always thought of it that way, rather than some all powerful being that oversaw and directed every natural event on the Earth. Because that would make her a god.

    If you were snarking, I completely missed it.

  35. 35
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.. Psalms 137:9 (NIV)

  36. 36
    Jeffro says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    Jeffro, what kills me is the absolute arrogance of a large number of Christians who continually preach on about the beauty of God’s plans and how certain events, from the horrific to the banal, are part of his [yeah, it’s always a him, ladies] wonderful plans. And yes, if they were right that would make God some kind of capricious, sadistic, psychopath.

    “It’s god’s plan” = “I am going to turn off my brain now”

    I think I’m stealing it from Hannibal Lechter of all people/characters, but the religious always seem to focus on the 1 person who was saved in a church’s collapse (“Divine intervention!”) rather than the 200 buried in the rubble (“God’s will!”). Just. Crazy.

  37. 37
    Mike in NC says:

    Local newspaper prints lots of letters to the editor bemoaning sluts who have abortions. No surprise that these letters are all sent in by men.

  38. 38
    Jeffro says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yep. That’s it. We have to let God’s will be done, and maybe pray for understanding and accepting. To make a decision that supposedly goes beyond what the Bible allows is prideful, arrogant, sinful.

    You see this thinking also in the refusal to allow abortion to save a woman’s life. The deeply religious would say that only God knows if the woman’s life is really in danger, not any human, so a woman must defer to God’s wisdom here and not have an abortion.

    In the refusal to make exceptions even in the case of r*pe, incest, and to save the life of the mother, I see their thinking as frankly much more sinister. I read it as “Yes, ladies: we are serious enough about staying in control of your reproductive system, i.e. you, that we’re willing to make you bear your r*pist’s and/or father’s child, or let you die if necessary.”

    I’ll donate $100 to the charity of the reporter’s choice, each and every time a reporter has the stones to ask this of a GOP candidate professing such extremism: “You’d stick to this no exceptions rule, even if it was your wife who had been r*ped…or your daughter’s ectopic pregnancy?” I know the extremists will still say “yes” and I don’t care…I just want them to pay the price politically for espousing such views.

    EDITED to try and get out of moderation…?

  39. 39
    Brachiator says:

    @elmo:

    Maybe so, but we don’t actually think of nature as a person or being, and we certainly don’t choose to worship it. Meanwhile the god they choose to worship openly admits to being a murderous psychopath, slaughtering children for no reason, commanding his followers to do the same, and so on.

    The religious and non-religious both observe a universe that is capricious, arbitrary and cruel. The religious create a deity they believe will protect them from it, even if others are sacrificed. The non-religious have to accept the arbitrariness of the universe as a given.

    How can the god who ordered the killing of every Amalek child possibly be offended by abortion?

    Good question. Have you ever challenged a religious person about this? What was their response?

  40. 40
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    When I was just a happy kid, stuck with the heart of a sad punk,

    Yay Nada Surf!

    Love that song.

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    @Jeffro:

    In the refusal to make exceptions even in the case of r*pe, incest, and to save the life of the mother, I see their thinking as frankly much more sinister. I read it as “Yes, ladies: we are serious enough about staying in control of your reproductive system, i.e. you, that we’re willing to make you bear your r*pist’s and/or father’s child, or let you die if necessary.”

    The refusal to accept the life of the mother as an exception is pretty clearly part of the “we can’t know the Deity’s will” arguments. Similar to this are refusals to take dying people off life support or to end pointless treatment that only sustains the body as a lifeless husk.

    The net effect may be to punish women, but that is not the sole or primary source of the objection.

    The r@pe and ince$t issues typically emphasize the idea that the baby is innocent life (even though we are supposedly all born in sin), and certainly innocent of the circumstances of its birth. And from here you can add on, if you like, the madness that appears to want to punish women. I’ve heard, but can’t quite confirm, that some states even allow the “fathers” in these circumstances to sue for custody, which to me seems to compound misery and evil on top of a bad situation.

    But the bottom line is that all this denies the woman any choice, and says that the status of the unborn is superior to that of a living woman.

    I’ll donate $100 to the charity of the reporter’s choice, each and every time a reporter has the stones to ask this of a GOP candidate professing such extremism: “You’d stick to this no exceptions rule, even if it was your wife who had been r*ped…or your daughter’s ectopic pregnancy?”

    I would go further. I would ask, “Candidate X. Have you ever had (if a woman) an abortion, or have you ever paid for, or procured an abortion for a wife, a lover, any of your children, or any friend or relative, or for any person with whom you had a sexual relationship?”

  42. 42
    Myiq2xu says:

    Does a 19 week old stillborn baby look different from a 19 week old aborted baby?

  43. 43
    J R in WV says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    There are women serving 30 year prison sentences for having miscarriages right now. Mostly in South America, and it is one of the few things that the religious right want to bring home from down south.

    Sick puppies indeed.

  44. 44
    Cpl Cam says:

    @Myiq2xu: Not to the biology experts at Center for Medical Progress, apparently…

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