NASHVILLE (BP) — Some 13,000 pro-life activists called on Congress to defund Planned Parenthood at more than 60 rallies across America on the same day the Center for Medical Progress released a third video showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of baby parts obtained through abortion.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Senate will vote on defunding Planned Parenthood before Congress’s August recess. The House appears unlikely to vote on defunding before the recess, though pressure on Speaker John Boehner to schedule a vote is mounting, the Hill reported. President Obama is expected to veto any bill defunding America’s largest abortion provider.
Richard Land, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission who was instrumental in highlighting the blight of abortion to Southern Baptists, said the Center for Medical Progress videos have the potential to incite enough public outcry to provoke legislators to override a presidential veto. Land noted that the third video, which was released July 28, is “really grotesque” in its depiction of abortion clinic workers examining baby parts and discussing their sale.
Reaching a veto-proof majority in Congress will require “making the political pain of not defunding worse than the political pain of defunding,” Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, told Baptist Press. He noted controversy sparked by the videos “has the potential to become the ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ of the abortion debate,” a reference to the Harriet Beecher Stowe novel that “put a human face on slavery for a lot of Northern readers” and incited outrage toward slavery.
The third CMP video includes footage of a former employee of Stem Express, a company that supplies human tissue to biomedical researchers, discussing her experience procuring baby organs at a Planned Parenthood clinic. The video also shows what appear to be baby parts in clear pie dishes sitting atop a light source.
A physician identified as Savita Ginde, vice president and medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, says in the video, “I think the per-item [pricing] works a little better just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”
The nationwide rallies, organized by Students for Life of America and Pro-Life Future, attempted to translate the outrage stemming from the CMP videos into concrete political action. Though tallies of the number of gatherings varied, Students for Life of America said it “conservatively” estimated that protests occurred in 65 cities. SFLA President Kristan Hawkins told LifeSiteNews the rallies led at least two women not to follow through with their planned abortions.
The rallies were catalogued on social media under the hashtag #WomenBetrayed.
“Hundreds are showing up at each event and the grassroots are on fire,” Hawkins said. “Every news outlet was at the D.C. rally, and we are seeing articles in the media from nearly every rally. It’s been an incredible day uncovering the truth about Planned Parenthood and making sure all Americans know what goes on behind closed doors and how the abortion giant makes money off of women in their times of crisis.”
The rally in Washington drew more than 500 people, including three Republican presidential candidates: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Ben Carson, the Daily Signal reported.
Carson said it is “such a gross distortion of God’s original intent” to believe women have the right to kill their unborn children, Politico reported. He lamented that America has “gradually slid in terms of our morals to a point where we don’t really care about the killing of human beings.” The “good news” is that “we are changing.”
In related news, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton told the New Hampshire Union Leader the CMP videos are “disturbing” and said congressional investigations should examine the entire abortion industry, not just Planned Parenthood.
“I have seen pictures from [the videos] and obviously find them disturbing,” Clinton said. “Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions. I think there are two points to make. One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country.
“And if there’s going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one” organization, Clinton said.