In article on Thursday entitled “Clinton’s Planned Parenthood ties run deep,” Politico reporters Annie Karni and Anna Palmer touted “opportunities for the Democratic front-runner” despite the scandal swirling around the abortion provider: “And while Republicans seized on the scandal to attack Clinton – demanding that she return the group’s campaign contributions – some Democrats were quick to see some silver linings.”
The two explained the political “silver linings” of Planned Parenthood possibly selling fetal body parts: “A full-throated defense of Planned Parenthood helps shore up Clinton’s support among wavering liberals, while the GOP’s efforts to defund the family-planning group allow Clinton to make the case that her election would be a bulwark against efforts to roll back women’s rights.”
They touted: “Indeed, when the scandal began to spread last week, Clinton was quick to put it in the context of years of attacks on an organization synonymous with support for abortion rights.”
While the piece detailed Clinton’s extensive long-term affiliation with Planned Parenthood, it maintained an uncritical tone of that connection:
But Clinton’s relationship with Planned Parenthood goes beyond a shared belief in a woman’s right to choose. The group is interwoven with a network of women’s organizations that are among her strongest backers, and Planned Parenthood leaders and activists are among her personal friends, including President Cecile Richards.
When Clinton announced her candidacy for President last April, Richards tweeted that “there has never been a presidential candidate with as strong a commitment to women’s health & rights” and called the moment #Historic. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund noted in a news release at the time that Clinton had a 100 percent congressional scorecard every year she served in the Senate, during which the fund tracked 16 votes.
Clinton’s relationship with Planned Parenthood also extends to the Clinton Global Initiative. For the past two years Planned Parenthood has been a member of CGI and in 2012 committed to train “youth peer providers” in Latin America, Africa and the U.S. on ways to promote birth control.
Additionally, Planned Parenthood will sponsor two global youth fellowship programs and create a national youth organizing strategy to help push for increased investment in access to reproductive health care, according to CGI’s website. Planned Parenthood does not contribute money to CGI, according to sources familiar with the organizations.
Noting that “Some of Clinton’s Republican rivals are eager to tar her with the most recent scandal,” the article highlighted Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul demanding Clinton answer for her support of the controversial organization.
Rather than discuss the serious political challenges facing Clinton, Karni and Palmer again looked for an upside: “Cruz and Paul’s attacks on Clinton may be aimed at rallying support among the Republican base, but they are also what many Democratic strategists said they are hoping for – that Republicans will get mired in fighting Clinton on social issues, rather than fiscal or economic issues.”
The item concluded with Democratic pollster Geoff Garin promoting the results of a slanted survey he conducted for Planned Parenthood:
“Both Democrats and independents overwhelmingly support continued support for Planned Parenthood, and women voters in particular look at Planned Parenthood as a trusted source of health care,” said Garin, who conducted a recent poll on the issue for Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “In political terms, it’s very clear that Hillary Clinton is on the right side of public opinion. The Republicans who have a mania against Planned Parenthood are digging a deep hole for themselves with general election voters.”
It should be noted that Karni is the reporter that Politico has assigned to follow Clinton on the campaign trail.