Planned Parenthood’s top priority is providing confidential, compassionate care to the women and men who visit our health centers. Our doctors and nurses provide a wide variety of essential health services, including life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and well-women exams. We also offer safe and legal abortion, which comprises less than 10 percent of our health services and is a critical component to reproductive health care.
Planned Parenthood is no stranger to harassment and political attacks. The recently released, deceptively edited videos targeting tissue donation programs are just the latest in an ongoing campaign of harassment by a militant group that wants to ban abortion and eliminate funding for programs that provide women access to birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings.
Although our local Planned Parenthood affiliate has never participated in tissue donation programs, we value women’s contributions to lifesaving medical research. Women’s personal decisions should be respected, not attacked.
Planned Parenthood health centers that offer the opportunity for women to donate fetal tissue rigorously follow all state and federal laws, obtain full consent from their patients and adhere to the highest ethical and legal standards.
The outrageous allegations made in these videos are simply not true. Neither Planned Parenthood nor the women making tissue donations profit in any way.
It’s clear that the discredited activists behind these videos will stop at nothing to prevent Planned Parenthood from providing critical reproductive health care to the millions who rely on us.
They will not be successful. We will not let that happen.
Julie Mickelberry is vice president of Public Policy and Communications for Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties.