In a not-so-shocking twist, two creators of the misleading anti-choice video, claiming that Planned Parenthood was engaged in the illegal sale of fetal tissue, have been indicted. The accused are the leader of “The Center for Medical Progress” David R. Daleiden and member Sandra S. Meritt, who were, respectively, indicted on a misdemeanor charge of attempting to purchase fetal tissue a felony charge of falsifying government records. The group now faces a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood after they spread libel about the nature of reproductive health and research.
Thanks to the rapid spread of these false videos through social media, many are now under the false impression that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue at a profit. Congress has ordered investigations into it, even, despite it being obviously false. It’s fairly obvious from this incident that people still don’t seem to understand what Planned Parenthood does.
Planned Parenthood’s medical services include treatment and prevention for sexually transmitted infections, contraception, breast cancer screens, pregnancy care and maintenance, medically-safe and legal abortions, education services, etc. Seventy-nine percent of their clients are people with income below the poverty line. All of the aforementioned services, abortion included, are extremely important for people of lower economic status on a personal, medical, and financial level.
Furthermore, many people to this day are very uneducated on the delicate, complex and highly-regulated nature of reproductive research but also fail to be taught the severe necessity of it.
The donation of fetal tissue or organs has been a common research practice since the 1930s, and an important one. Fetal research has led to extremely important medical feats such as the chicken pox, rubella, shingles, and hepatitis A. Fetal kidney cells were used to develop the polio vaccine. Research is also looking into possible treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and even stroke prevention. Fetal cells are more ideal for such research because of their high growth rate and their more ideal environment for viral propagation compared to animal cells.
“The Center for Medical Progress” then, is against everything its title would suggest it is for. We suspect most of our readers were already aware of its farce, but we caution that scientific and misinformation is rampant in the world of viral videos. Even today, other blatant falsehoods, like anti-vaccine advocacy and homeopathy are taken seriously by otherwise reputable news agencies. Don’t buy into it.