Planned Parenthood has long been a target for those who oppose abortion in all of its forms. The organization, which has been around since the 1920s, has become adept at dealing with protesters and those who would prefer it be shut down.
But when the Center for Medical Progress began releasing videos in mid-July that show members of Planned Parenthood’s team talking about harvesting and selling human body parts from abortions, the organization suffered a staggering blow that has provided renewed energy to the anti-abortion movement.
For much of the summer and fall, discussions on Planned Parenthood have moved to the front of political talks across the nation. The undercover videos, which have been in the works for years, have been released on YouTube and become a sensation, having been viewed millions of times. So far, the organization has released about 30 videos.
Many of the videos are difficult to watch because of the subject matter, and Planned Parenthood executives have not always helped themselves. For example, in one video, the president of the Planned Parenthood Medical Directors Council jokes that she would like to get a Lamborghini as part of a deal for selling human body parts that result from abortions.
As one might expect, everybody is a little bit unhappy.
Planned Parenthood claims the videos are misleading or even downright lies. The anti-abortion crowd is complaining that the videos have received begrudging coverage from the mainstream media.
Now the fight has gone to Congress, where conservative lawmakers are pushing for Planned Parenthood to no longer receive federal funding.
All of this has injected new energy into what is perhaps the most divisive topic in the United States, maybe even the world. So of course the Columbia Basin Badger Club will put on a forum about it. This will be a lunchtime event Friday, Dec. 4, at the Shilo Inn in Richland, and the subject is “Should Planned Parenthood be Defunded?”
Our speakers for this forum are:
▪ Rachel Alexander is a senior editor for The Stream who also writes for Townhall, Human Rights, the Christian Post and the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research. She is a former assistant state attorney general for Arizona and is the past editor of Western Shooting Journal. The Bremerton native earned degrees in political science and history from the University of Washington and a law degree from the University of Arizona. She lives in Phoenix.
▪ Yohanna Kinberg has served as the associate rabbi at B’Nai Torah in Bellevue for the past 11 years. Kinberg, who grew up in Eugene, Ore., is active with several Jewish organizations and has strong commitments to reproductive rights, the environment and Israel. She lives in Olympia with her husband, Rabbi Seth Goldstein, and their two children.
The Columbia Basin Badger Club is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to start or continue interesting conversations in the community. As we like to say, we don’t take sides in a political discussion, but our speakers do.
The Columbia Basin Badger Club is sponsored by the Tri-City Herald, Esprit Graphic, Northwest Public Television and Group Health.
We invite you to attend this important forum.
Andy Perdue is an independent wine journalist and Washington native who is chairman of the program committee for the Columbia Basin Badger Club. He lives in Richland.
If you go
What: Columbia Basin Badger Club forum
Subject: Should Planned Parenthood be defunded?
When: 11:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 4.
Where: Richland Shilo Inn, 50 Comstock St.
Cost: $20 for members/$25 for members who register in advance. $30 at door. Forum includes lunch.