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Planned Parenthood Investigation? Then Also Talk Ending Research

Category: Women's Issues
Posted: 07/23/15 18:49, Edited: 07/23/15 18:51

by Dave Mindeman

Our MN House GOP members want an investigation of Planned Parenthood. They have formally asked Governor Dayton to authorize it.

Fortunately he quickly refused the bait.

While they admit that Boehner already will have Congress investigate any "violation" of Federal Law, for some reason these GOP legislators think that a Minnesota investigation is warranted as well.

And for what reason? If it is a Federal issue that needs to be investigated, by what authority would this request be issued? Minnesota has its own statute, but this "video" didn't take place in Minnesota and there has never been any allegation that any Minnesota clinics have violated any laws.

But let's get back to basics here. This "investigative" video was done over a year ago. If they truly felt Federal violations involved, why wait a year. Why didn't they go public and try to stop the practice immediately?

It's because there were no violations. Planned Parenthood was operating within the law with procedures that are not common but have been done for nearly two decades. Republicans know this - they just want another talking point. Another outrage to have.

Maybe the GOP wants to stop this research. But it has been scrutinized before....

Fetal tissue research was initially allowed under specific conditions and approval by a government Ethics Advisory Board (EAB).

A moratorium was in place for awhile as this same type of discussion came to national attention, but it was reinstated in 1993.

And why has it continued? Because important medical breakthroughs have come as a result. Many of our vaccines have come via this research...and current potential breakthroughs in Parkinson's and similar disorders have made significant progress with fetal tissue research.

Similar type discussions have come because of embryonic stem cell research. And potential medical breakthroughs have been even more promising in that regard.

But there is a lot of discomfort about the processes. Planned Parenthood has followed all the guidelines that have been meticulously discussed and put into best practices. And they only act as one part of the conduits for obtaining the fetal tissue. The law also stipulates that payment for the costs involved are legally justified. Planned Parenthood does not profit from any of this.

This video, a year in the making, is simply meant to make this issue as uncomfortable as possible. The editing of the video made every effort to make the doctor sound as callous as possible.

But there is no investigation needed. Nothing in that video showed any type of lawbreaking. The discussion was uncomfortable, but there were certainly no illegalities to this.

So, let's say that all this publicity and choreographed "revelations" succeed in changing the law so that no fetal research happens. That won't stop the abortions. They will continue.

But they will now have to explain to the millions of people who suffer from diseases that could find improvements from fetal tissue research happening now and should continue if the laws are left alone....that their hope must end.

Tell the Parkinson's sufferers. Tell those with spinal cord injuries. Tell those with ALS. Tell the future that new vaccines will no longer be researched and implemented.

We grapple with medical ethics all the time. We had discussions like this when organ transplants were not the routine procedures they are today.

If you want to end the fetal tissue research practices, yes, you can do that. But if you want that debate, then also discuss the trade offs that are necessary. The research into disease progress that must end. The sufferings of people with long term illnesses that will continue without hope. Be honest about that as well.

I know the MN GOP is always looking to get that knee jerk response that can give them a political edge on abortion issues. But, for once, try not to grandstand on an issue that needs a more reasoned discussion.

That's probably a lot to ask -- since this "outrage" was over a year in the making and cost a lot of time and money to stage.

But for once, just try.
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