CNN’s Cuomo Clashes with GOP Rep. on Defunding Planned Parenthood; ‘You Shouldn’t Rush to Defund’

Monday’s New Day on CNN saw a continuation of the program’s defense of Planned Parenthood from its video scandal and the efforts in Congress to defund the abortion provider as co-host Chris Cuomo sparred with Republican Congresswoman Diane Black (Tenn.) about the “rush to defund” them over what he claimed “has long been legal and is certainly not cause for outrage or at least hasn't been until now.”

Concerning the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), Cuomo contended that “[t]hose videos have been maligned by both sides as being selectively edited and showing something that is legal and a ongoing practice” and asked Black if she thought “that those videos are taken out of context.”

Black responded by detailing how such claims don’t hold up to scrutiny when considering that the full video and transcripts are available online as opposed to “a cut and paste” and ruled that “anybody who has any conscience at all should be appalled by the activity that’s on that video.”

Declaring for argument’s sake that the contents of the video are “all true,” Cuomo maintained that the scandal “does not change that what is done in terms of using tissue for research and being reimbursed is something that you've been aware of, Congressman, has long been legal and is certainly not cause for outrage or at least hasn't been until now.”

Black then fired back by informing the CNN host that she’s “a nurse and I’ve been a nurse for more than 40 years, so I’ve been in the industry for a long time.” In part, she continued with a lengthy explanation of what the videos show Planned Parenthood did breaks the law:

There are a couple of things that are problem here. One is the NIH Revitalization Act says that you cannot alter or in any way alter the timing or procedure that is done in order – for the sole purpose of harvesting tissue and we see in the video they talk about doing that. The doctors actually talk about, well, if you need a heart or a lung or a liver, we can do a less crunchy procedure or one of the doctors – Nucatola – says we'll crunch above and we’ll crunch below. That is against that act.

Turning to the defunding debate in Congress, Cuomo fretted that the abortion group will be defunded without an investigation first and urged Black to ponder that solution:

You're saying you want to defund. Why not investigate first, then decided whether Nucatola and these others are talking about practices that actually happen and happen in a way that are exclusive of the existing regulations and then decide what the appropriate action to be way of the legislation and then decide what the appropriate action to be, whether or not funding or how to be done. 

Following the lead of his colleague Alisyn Camerota from last week (here, here, and here), Cuomo accused Black and Republican Senator Joni Ernst (Iowa) of being “misleading at best” when it comes to defunding Planned Parenthood in stating that they could eventually get their money back. 

Further touting Planned Parenthood talking points, Cuomo waved in front of Black and viewers an unnamed study painting a picture of a grim reality for women in areas where there’s not a Planned Parenthood facility:

I'm looking at a study now from 2012 that saying that, for instance, in Texas too many women, thousands would lose, especially low-income women, that’s what we’re talking about here, would lose access that many of, the clinics are an hour and a half away, that only 3 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions and they don't use tax dollars for that. I mean, you know, you're smiling while I say it but you know these are serious issues and you shouldn't rush to defund, should you? 

In fairness, Cuomo brought up the scandal earlier in the show when he interviewed White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and pushed him to take a position on the videos that the New Day co-host described as containing “no high ethical standards.”

The relevant portions of the transcript from CNN’s New Day on August 3 can be found below.

CNN’s New Day
August 3, 2015
8:34 a.m. Eastern

CHRIS CUOMO: Those videos have been maligned by both sides as being selectively edited and showing something that is legal and a ongoing practice. Do you believe that those videos are taken out of context? If not, why?

REPUBLICAN CONGRESSWOMAN DIANE BLACK (Tenn.): No and let me tell you why, Chris. I had the opportunity to be able to view those videos with full video footage before they actually showed them to the public and if you go back and you can go see that video coverage if you go on the internet. You can see it's not a cut and paste. This is actually what is happening – full conversations and anybody who has any conscience at all should be appalled by the activity that’s on that video. The callous, cavalier attitude about what life and what they're doing to life. So, I can tell you it is not a cut and paste. 

CUOMO: But how they do their job at Planned Parenthood. Okay? Let's say that’s worthy of criticism. They talked about fetal babies in ways that is undignified that made them seem like just objects. That made seem like it was just about the money. Let's say that’s all true. That does not change that what is done in terms of using tissue for research and being reimbursed is something that you've been aware of, Congressman, has long been legal and is certainly not cause for outrage or at least hasn't been until now. 

BLACK: Okay, Chris. So, let's break that down a little bit. 

CUOMO: Please.

BLACK: First of all, I'm a nurse and I've been a nurse for more than 40 years, so I've been in the industry for a long time. There are a couple of things that are problem here. One is the NIH Revitalization Act says that you cannot alter or in any way alter the timing or procedure that is done in order – for the sole purpose of harvesting tissue and we see in the video they talk about doing that. The doctors actually talk about, well, if you need a heart or a lung or a liver, we can do a less crunchy procedure or one of the doctors – Nucatola – says we'll crunch above and we’ll crunch below. That is against that act. So the second thing is the selling of organs. We know very clearly that, yes, organs are harvested and for an administrative fee but they cannot be sold, but you see these two doctors that are negotiating and one of them actually talking about them needing a Lamborghini. If there were no profit from this, why would they not say here is our administrative fee. Here is how much it costs to harvest, store, and transport it. You wouldn't be having a negotiation for that particular part.

CUOMO: Understood. Understood on both –

BLACK: The third piece is on the partial birth abortion. When Dr. Nucatola says that it's up to interpretation and it doesn't matter in the end, that is very suspicious. So, should we not be investigating what is going on in Planned Parenthood? I believe we should.

CUOMO: You ask an interesting question, which is: Should you be investigating? The answer easily could be yes, it's within your purview, but that's not really what you're doing, is it? You're saying you want to defund. Why not investigate first, then decided whether Nucatola and these others are talking about practices that actually happen and happen in a way that are exclusive of the existing regulations and then decide what the appropriate action to be way of the legislation and then decide what the appropriate action to be, whether or not funding or how to be done. Because, as you know, to say that Planned Parenthood, as Joni Ernst did, can just – the slack can get easily picked up. You can still get these same women the help they need. You know that's misleading at best. 

BLACK: That is not misleading. As a matter of fact, let me tell you why I know it’s not misleading is because here in the state of Tennessee, where I live, we were able to get that money. There are over 1,200 federally qualified health departments across this country. We were able to get the same services, the same amount of money coming to the state of Tennessee and, by the way, providing those preventive health services that women need with things that Planned Parenthood doesn't have that they once said they had like mammograms. So, we knows it is possible. It’s been done here in the state of Tennessee and other states for the same amount of money.

CUOMO: But you know that, in other states, it’s very difficult to do. I'm looking at a study now from 2012 that saying that, for instance, in Texas too many women, thousands would lose, especially low-income women, that’s what we’re talking about here, would lose access that many of, the clinics are an hour and a half away, that only 3 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions and they don't use tax dollars for that. I mean, you know, you're smiling while I say it but you know these are serious issues and you shouldn't rush to defund, should you? 

BLACK: These are serious issues and it's serious when Planned Parenthood, who performs over 327,000 abortions a year, they get half a billion dollars of taxpayer money and that money could be given to the other clinics and I will tell you there's a lot of competition out there to get the money and part of the reason why these health clinics that are federally qualified don't even want to try is because they've been cut out of the funding previously. We saw it happen here in the state of Tennessee and it – there's so much misinformation throughout and I want to set the record straight. I want to see the study that you're referencing, but I know, from my personal experience as a nurse and someone who served in the state legislature that we did this here in the state of Tennessee and it can be done across the entire nation to get good preventive health care to women.

CUOMO: But that's one of the parts of the mission of Planned Parenthood, right? I mean, that is Senator Bob Casey, who shares your opinions about abortion, does not share his opinion about the bill because he says many of the preventive measures they use keep the number of unwanted pregnancies down and the study is called “Deteriorating Access to Women's Services in Texas,” and it was done by a number of female authors. I’ll – October 2012 – I'll pass it down to the office. We're very comfortable following this story up. We want to make sure we track the process. There are big questions here, Representative and we appreciate you being on New Day to outline them.

NB Daily Congress Media Bias Debate Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Pro-choicers Pro-lifers Political Scandals Sexuality Abortion CNN New Day Video Government & Press Planned Parenthood Diane Black Chris Cuomo
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links