An investigation into Planned Parenthood is not the point. The videos don't show evidence of a crime, but that's not the point.
These videos are part of a shift in the strategy of the anti-abortion movement to shut down clinics and limit access. In a January 2015 interview, Troy Newman, one of the backers of the video project, described how he had stopped trying to change the law and was now changing tactics:
That abortionist has a real office... And so when we start thinking strategically and tactically on how we can focus in on that particular place and close it down. In other words, shutting off the supply side of the abortion industry.
Press reports about the Planned Parenthood videos state that the "sting" project took more than a year to implement. So while Newman was saying these things, he was aware the videos were coming. During that same month, Newman elaborated on the strategy in a clip for the conservative WorldNetDaily (video below):
We're excited about our gains that 75 percent of all the nations abortion clinics have closed. We're excited that there were once 2,200 abortion clinics, and there are now 550. But we will not relent, we will not stop speaking for the unborn children, until every abortion clinic like this one behind us is closed...
Today Politico details the growing effort by Congressional Republicans to cut hundreds of millions of dollars for Planned Parenthood as a result of the video:
Congress’ planned crackdown on Planned Parenthood is looking increasingly real.
Republican leaders are weighing a series of votes to defund Planned Parenthood - possibly beginning before the August recess...
And Roll Call has reported that Republican lawmakers knew about the controversy weeks before it would happen:
Rep. Tim Murphy, a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus and chairman of the Energy and Commerce subcommittee looking into the video, said at a Wednesday news conference he’d seen the clip weeks before. Asked afterward why he and others waited until this week to take action, Murphy struggled for an answer before abruptly ending the interview with CQ Roll Call, saying he should not be quoted and remarking, “This interview didn’t happen.”
The anti-abortion movement doesn't need Planned Parenthood investigated to see whether it committed a crime. They don't need to get to the bottom of this, because the trumped-up outrage will help kill the funding, and the funding is the issue. It's part of Troy Newman's larger vision for a country in which access to abortion is gone and Roe v. Wade is moot.
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