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.
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.