CNN's Costello Defends Planned Parenthood, Cupp Calls Her Out as 'Liberal'

On Wednesday's CNN Newsroom, anchor Carol Costello defended federal funding for Planned Parenthood in a segment which included conservative CNN commentator S.E. Cupp and liberal CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill supposedly for balance, but was so slanted to the left that Cupp quipped that "I love doing your show because I know I'll get to debate two liberals."

Costello introduced the segment touting a recent Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll reporting that 61 percent of Americans oppose defunding Planned Parenthood without informing viewers that other polls have indicated that, when people actually look at the videos exposing Planned Parenthood's grisly practices, more people support cutting federal funding to the abortion provider. Costello:

Now, this whole hearing was based on heavily edited videos secretly taped by an anti-abortion group. If Republicans had hoped that these videos would be Planned Parenthood's demise, take a look at this Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll. Sixty-one percent of Americans are against defunding Planned Parenthood.

The CNN host then showed a clip of several pro-abortion actresses in a video defending Planned Parenthood.

When she brought aboard Cupp and Hill, she began the discussion by turning to Cupp and demanding:

So, S.E., this hearing was supposed to assure voters that Planned Parenthood was not profiting from selling fetal tissue, but that wasn't what this hearing was about. Why not just be honest about it?

When Cupp recalled that Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms, Costello jumped in to interrupt her:

CAROL COSTELLO: Okay, let's stop there. Let's stop there with the mammogram thing. Let's stop there.

S.E. CUPP: Well, let me just finish-

COSTELLO: No, let's stop there. When you go to your gynecologist, S.E. Cupp, they do a breast exam, right? And do you get your mammograms there at the doctor's office? Or do you go to a separate facility? Because that's what I do.

The conservative commentator pointed out that there are many more community health centers than there are Planned Parenthood offices, and these health centers do perform actual mammograms unlike Planned Parenthood.

Moments later, Costello oddly found fault with House Republicans for inviting several female Republican members who were not on the relevant committee for the Planned Parenthood hearings. Costello:

And on the subject of seeming anti-woman and this Republican health committee, I just want to lay something by you, S.E. Republicans were so freaked out about appearing anti-woman during that hearing, the Washington Post reports the chairman admitted three Republican women to participate because only one GOP woman was on the committee. Why was that necessary?

A bit later, after Cupp asserted that the Republican "position on abortion is far more in touch with the majority position in this country," Costello and Hill both jumped in to dispute her, leading Cupp to observe that she was debating two liberals:

COSTELLO: No. No, no, no. (INAUDIBLE)

HILL: Not according to polls.

COSTELLO: You're not looking at the polls.

CUPP: Let me finish. I love doing your show because I know I'll get to debate two liberals.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Wednesday, September 30, CNN Newsroom:

CAROL COSTELLO (AT 9:37 A.M.): Now, this whole hearing was based on heavily edited videos secretly taped by an anti-abortion group. If Republicans had hoped that these videos would be Planned Parenthood's demise, take a look at this Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll. Sixty-one percent of Americans are against defunding Planned Parenthood. Cue the pro-PP video, brought to you by some of Hollywood's most famous women.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON: Because Planned Parenthood stands up for me.

FELICITY HUFFMAN: Because reproductive rights are human rights.

AISHA TAYLOR: Because every woman deserves the right to be the architect of her own destiny.

KRISTEN BELL: Because I want my girls to have access to birth control behind my back one day.

JENNY SLATE: Because I believe that I have the right to decide what's right for me.

COSTELLO: Okay, so let's talk about all this. Let's bring in CNN political commentators Marc Lamont Hill and S.E. Cupp. ... So, S.E., this hearing was supposed to assure voters that Planned Parenthood was not profiting from selling fetal tissue, but that wasn't what this hearing was about. Why not just be honest about it?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think Republicans have been honest. They want to expose the goals of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood wants to be primarily in the abortion providing business. If they didn't, they would-

COSTELLO: But what are you basing that on?

CUPP: -quit doing abortions.

COSTELLO: What are you basing that on?

CUPP: Well, because it would be a much bigger business model -- I write about this in today's Daily News, by the way. It would be a much better business model and much better for women if Planned Parenthood would quit doing abortions, continue to take federal funding, regain access to the state funding that has been cut off from them, and expand their services outside of mostly urban areas where they provide health care services. They also don't provide mammograms and a number of other services that they simply refer women to.

COSTELLO: Okay, let's stop there. Let's stop there with the mammogram thing. Let's stop there.

CUPP: Well, let me just finish-

COSTELLO: No, let's stop there. When you go to your gynecologist, S.E. Cupp, they do a breast exam, right? And do you get your mammograms there at the doctor's office? Or do you go to a separate facility? Because that's what I do.

CUPP: Right, but, so, the 9,000 community health centers -- that widely outnumber the Planned Parenthoods that are only about 700 and mostly in urban neighborhoods -- do perform mammograms right in their offices. And they're in a lot more rural areas where more women have access to them. So what my party is doing -- what Republicans are doing in trying to defund Planned Parenthood -- is to re-allocate those resources to community health centers that can provide so many more opportunities and services to women in so many more places. I don't know why anyone would choose to put providing an abortion to a woman in Chicago over providing a cancer screening to a woman in Duluth, but that's what Planned Parenthood does.

COSTELLO: Marc, is that what's happening?

(MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR)

COSTELLO: And on the subject of seeming anti-woman and this Republican health committee, I just want to lay something by you, S.E. Republicans were so freaked out about appearing anti-woman during that hearing, the Washington Post reports the chairman admitted three Republican women to participate because only one GOP woman was on the committee. Why was that necessary?

CUPP: What do you mean? Why was it necessary to allow more women to come in to-

COSTELLO: Yeah, why invite more women on the panel?

CUPP: Into a hearing about women's issues? I think that was entirely appropriate. If we didn't, we'd be having a different debate, right? Why didn't they let more women into this hearing?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No S.E., I think you're right, S.E., I think they were right to let women in. I think the more fundamental question is: Why aren't there more women on the committee in the first place? (Costello nods her head) Oftentimes they do-

CUPP: I can't answer that question. I don't know why they're not on that committee. If you want to read sexism into this, go right ahead. I have no idea why those women are not on the committee.

COSTELLO: I'm not reading -- I'm not reading sexism, but if it was just about concern about the unborn and concern about Planned Parenthood was selling fetal tissue and making profit, what difference does it make how many women were on that panel asking questions?

CUPP: I think it is about concern for the unborn and defunding Planned Parenthood. I don't think anyone is saying otherwise. And I think women were invited into the hearing ostensibly and presumably because they care deeply about that issue.

HILL: Yeah, but women are sometimes used as the props for male patriarchy. In other words, they go out, they wage wars on women and they get women to be the facial front of it so that it doesn't look as such, and that's what's troublesome to me about this whole thing.They're feigning, you know, indignation, outrage about female bodies and all this stuff, and really what they're trying to do is cut off choice and access for the most vulnerable women in this nation.

CUPP: Let me tell you that the outrage, Marc, let me tell you because I live in this arena. The outrage is not feigned. The outrage is real. The outrage over abortion and Planned Parenthood, over 300,000 abortions provided a year, is real. And, frankly, the Republican Party and its position on abortion is far more in touch with the majority position in this country. I don't think in the pro-choice arena-

COSTELLO: No. No, no, no. (INAUDIBLE)

HILL: Not according to polls.

COSTELLO: You're not looking at the polls.

CUPP: Let me finish. I love doing your show because I know I'll get to debate two liberals, but I- (Hill and Costello laugh.)

HILL: Well played.

COSTELLO: I'm just into facts. I just want facts. And we're all talking about federal dollars go to fund -- go to abortions, and it doesn't.

(CROSSTALK)

CUPP: Well the facts are (INAUDIBLE) want abortions after 20 weeks to be illegal. That is a majo-, that is a fact.

Congress Budget Polling Conservatives & Republicans Abortion CNN CNN Newsroom Planned Parenthood Carol Costello S.E. Cupp


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