Berman: Mich. Planned Parenthood extends Fiorina invite
Planned Parenthood’s Lori Carpentier is extending an unexpected invitation to Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.
The businesswoman and star of Wednesday’s GOP debate will be on Mackinac Island Saturday for a Republican conference. Carpentier’s welcoming letter is a timely one.
“Planned Parenthood has two health centers within about an hour’s drive from Mackinac Island. ... I’m writing to invite you to visit one of those health centers during your visit,” she wrote in a letter emailed to Fiorina’s staff on Friday.
What are the chances that Fiorina, who vaulted from second string debate status to the top of the lead GOP debate on Wednesday, will actually visit one of Planned Parenthood’s centers? Her debate-night performance included a grisly, if hyperbolic, description of an aborted fetus she purportedly viewed on a sting video targeting Planned Parenthood. Fiorina’s unflinching words showed her primed for war against the women’s health organization.
“Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain,” Fiorina said. That image could have been plucked from a sci-fi horror movie. But so far no fact-checker has found the scene she described in the Center for Medical Progress sting videos targeting Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood has denounced it as blatantly false, while Vox.com’s Sara Kliff called it “pure fiction,” after watching all 12 hours of the Center for Medical Progress’ videos targeting Planned Parenthood. “But the things Fiorina describes — the legs kicking, the intact ‘fully formed fetus,’ the heart beating, the remarks about having to ‘harvest its brain’ — are pure fiction,” she wrote, posting all 12 hours on the website.
Although several GOP candidates expressed outrage at abortion and Planned Parenthood’s involvement in it, Carpentier said Fiorina is being singled out because she’s “attesting to things that are blatantly untrue.” Fiorina has yet to retract any of her statements, instead saying people can “rest assured” her description is accurate.
Fiorina’s sensationalistic attack on Planned Parenthood is part of a mounting political tsunami this week targeting the organization, from a Friday vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to defund the organization to a new oversight committee in the Michigan Senate to investigate the organization.
“We have an honest disagreement about whether abortion should be safe and legal in this country,” Carpentier wrote in her letter to Fiorina. “We can have an honest conversation ... but you should not come at it dishonestly, with totally false claims about what Planned Parenthood does.”
With clinics in Petoskey and Marquette, Fiorina could take a tour, where she’d indubitably find little to horrify her. Both of those facilities provide medical services to women of all income levels. Neither offers abortions.
Too bad Fiorina’s trying to portray Planned Parenthood as an enemy of humanity. Otherwise, she might lead her fellow Republicans to Petoskey, for a tour of a cottage-y clinic that provides women with contraception, pap smears and other not-too-scary health care services.