On May 30 Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe to tout her group's launch that day of an anti-Romney ad campaign. This was the day after Live Action released its first investigative video of a new series, which exposed Planned Parenthood as a facilitator of sex-selection abortion.
The Live Action videos were not mentioned during the Morning Joe segment, so either they were ignored or Richards stipulated she would only come on if they weren't brought up. Nevertheless, (somewhat) conservative host Joe Scarborough got in several digs against the abortion giant.
Richards looked tense during the interview, and "frankly" (one of her favorite words) haggard. Her voice, although typically husky, sounded hoarse. She must have done lots of talking (yelling?) the day before. Certainly Richards wasn't the bubbly persona we recently saw on Jon Stewart's show.
Planned Parenthood, the Komenator Emulator
Scarborough fired his first salvo beginning at 1:24 on the video:
Scarborough: So, you keep throwing out cancer screenings. Obviously, Planned Parenthood got on the front page of all the papers when one of the largest - actually, the largest, I guess - breast cancer prevention organization decided they didn't want to be involved with Planned Parenthood anymore. Do they not have a right to try to disengage from a very controversial issue?
Richards: Well, I actually think the Komen Foundation, which, of course, is working with us again, and we're really grateful for that partnership -
Scarborough: Well, they really had no choice, did they?
Richards: Well, I mean, they made that decision, and I think, honestly, we do the same work....
Abortion is preventative care?
Richards then knocked out several talking points, and then Scarborough pushed again, beginning at 2:38. Note the underlined sections below were not included in MSNBC's written recap of the interview, nor was the entire Komen conversation:
Scarborough: Do you understand why some Americans... would not want their tax dollars going to an organization that provides abortion services to probably any other organization on the planet? Just as a matter of morality. If somebody thinks that abortion is murder, they don't want their tax dollars going - they're just like I'm sure other Americans wouldn't want their tax dollars going to the NRA or to pro-life groups.
Richards: Well, of course, tax dollars do go to pro-life groups. But in any case, the important thing here is Planned Parenthood, again, we provide health care to one in five women in America. The vast majority of our healthcare services are preventive health care. And two things you need to know, Joe. One is, actually, all of the money that Mr. Romney wants to get rid of, not only for Planned Parenthood but for all other women's healthcare providers, is for preventative care, is for basically family planning. And I think most of the people around this table would agree the #1 reason -
Scarborough: Well, do you call abortions preventative care? What’s your definition of preventative care?
Richards: No. More than 90% of our services are cancer screenings, birth control services, well-women checkups....
There were more good soundbites in the interview, such as when Richards claimed "Planned Parenthood was started by Republicans all across the country." No, Planned Parenthood was started by socialist, racist, eugenicist Margaret Sanger.
In the face of a new Gallup poll finding Americans considering themselves "pro-choice" at a record low of 41%, Richards also unsurprisingly found that "the language 'pro-choice' and 'pro-life' is totally irrelevent in this country." Would she say that if the numbers were reversed? No way.