Ted Cruz Misrepresents Newest Attack Video Against Planned Parenthood

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Ted Cruz Misrepresents Newest Attack Video Against Planned Parenthood

Teddy Wilson

Cruz, in a press release, used a clinic technician's interest in fetal development to charge that the clinic employee thought abortion procedures were "cute."

See more of our coverage on the effects of the misleading Center for Medical Progress videos here.

Presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) condemned out-of-context quotes from a heavily edited video of Planned Parenthood employees that was published Tuesday by an anti-choice front group.

The video is the latest in a series of surreptitiously recorded videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), but the first video the group has published since September 15 after publishing videos weekly for nearly three months. Cruz, in a press release, used a clinic technician’s interest in fetal development to charge that the clinic employee thought abortion procedures were “cute.”

The video features footage of Dr. Amna Dermish, a physician and abortion provider at Planned Parenthood in Austin. During the video, which was recorded on October 12, 2014, at a reproductive health-care providers conference, Dermish describes a second-trimester abortion procedure.

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David Daleiden, the project leader of CMP, claims the video shows Dermish describing a so-called partial birth abortion procedure. At no point in the video does Dermish appear to describe an intact dilation and extraction (D and X) abortion procedure. Rather, Dermish describes in detail a dilation and evacuation (D and E) abortion procedure, which involves a different surgical process.

Cruz took offense to a portion of the video during which he claims the people being recorded made light of the procedure.

“At another point, the women laugh as one describes severed baby organs like hearts and livers as ‘cute,’” Cruz said. “There is nothing ‘cute’ about the contents of this video. There is nothing ‘cute’ about abortion providers’ callous disregard for human life.”

Cruz is apparently referencing a statement made at the 7:20 mark in the video by Andrea Ferrigno, corporate vice president of Whole Woman’s Health, while discussing an unnamed procurement technician’s attention to detail while examining the fetal tissue.

“One of our [procurement technician] persons is really into organ development,” Dermish said. “She’ll pull out like kidneys, and the heart at likethe heart we frequently see at nine weeks, she always looks for it.”

Daleiden asked if the technician does this “just like for fun,” at which point Ferrigno appears to be calling the technician “cute” for the person’s interests in organ development. “It’s amazing, it’s sort of I have so much respect for development, it’s just incredible,” Dermish said.

CMP has been praised by anti-choice activists and Republican lawmakers, but questions have been raised about CMP’s deceptive tactics, ideological agenda, and connections to violent anti-choice activists.

The release of the newest video came days after revelations that Texas state officials recently raided several Planned Parenthood clinics.

Investigators from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) served subpoenas for records at Planned Parenthood offices in San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. State officials were seeking a wide range of information from the organization, including patient records, billing information, and employee information.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement that the actions taken by Texas officials should be a “national scandal.”

“It is completely outrageous that Texas officials are using thoroughly discredited, fraudulent videos to cut women off from preventive health care, including cancer screenings, HIV testing, and birth control,” Laguens said.

Cruz said that Planned Parenthood is “not worthy of taxpayer funding,” and that other states should follow Texas’ lead.

“Gov. Abbott’s efforts to protect the lives of the unborn should be emulated in states across the country, and I will continue to lead the fight in the U.S. Senate to defund Planned Parenthood and direct funding to alternatives that offer high-quality, affordable women’s health care,” Cruz said.

While Planned Parenthood does receive government support to provide reproductive health-care services, those funds cannot be used for abortion care under federal law. The organization and outside groups have confirmed abortion care makes up about 3 percent of its total services.

Cruz has been one of Congress’ most militant opponents of Planned Parenthood, and was a key architect of the latest Republican attempt to shut down the federal government over the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Cruz, during the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, took credit for his part and said he was “proud to lead that fight.”