Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Press fail #7,332
Last night, TIME magazine put out this story without any context or comment from any experts:
The video that Carly Fiorina graphically described at the last Republican presidential debate, depicting a moving fetus on a table following an apparent abortion, was released online in its entirety Tuesday morning, according to Gregg Cunningham, the founder of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, who collected the footage.
Cunningham, an anti-abortion activist, declined to identify the date, location or authors of the video in an interview with TIME Monday night, saying his group makes agreements of confidentiality in an effort to acquire images of abortions. He also made no claim that the images shown in the video had anything to do with Planned Parenthood, the organization that Fiorina and others have targeted for federal defunding. “I am neither confirming or denying the affiliation of the clinic who did this abortion,” Cunningham said.
During the debate on Sept. 16, Fiorina denounced the images on videos that had been produced by a separate group, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). “As regards [to] Planned Parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape, I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes,” she said. “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.”
No video released by the Center for Medical Progress showed the image Fiorina described, but one of the CMP videos does include a brief edited clip from the video Cunningham released on Tuesday, showing a fetus on a stainless steel background with its leg moving.
David Daleiden, who created the Center for Medical Progress videos, edited in the Cunningham footage to illustrate a story that he had been told on camera of a medical technician witnessing an abortion that resulted in an extracted fetus with moving legs and beating heart.
The full source video, which is extremely graphic, lasts about 13 minutes, and shows a fetus being extracted from the mother, placed in a metal bowl, prodded with medical instruments and handled by someone in the room. At times the fetus appears to move, and at other times it appears to have a pulse. There are no images on the full video of any attempt to harvest the brain of the fetus, and there is no sound. Cunningham said the jump cuts in the video are the result of the camera being turned off and on.
Cunningham says he is confident the procedure was an abortion, and not a miscarriage, owing to the lack of medical treatment offered to the fetus. He said he estimated the age of the fetus at about 17 and a half weeks. “It is unimaginably more horrifying than the clip that we licensed for CMP to use and that Carly Fiorina made reference to in the debate,” Cunningham said.
There were a couple more paragraphs with quotes from Cunningham, who is an ex Air Force colonel and wingnut GOP politician and that's it. Can you see what they forgot to do? That's right, they forgot to ask an actual doctor if what this zealot says makes any sense.
Today there's this update, which is the least they can do:
UPDATE: Hours after the publication of the video, several medical experts raised questions about whether the video showed an abortion or a miscarriage. Current medical guidelines do not call for resuscitation of a fetus at 17 and a half weeks. For a fuller discussion of the accepted medical practice, click here.
Here's a doctor who looked at the footage:
The Center for Bio-Ethical reform released the full video of Fiorina’s “fully formed fetus.” It’s a premature delivery.
Slate has a good summary of the issues involved and has a wonderful conclusion about what the full video adds, “the revelation that the fetus came out of a woman’s body.”
Greg Cunningham, the curator of the illegally obtained video and the founder of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, told Time magazine that it had to be an abortion “owing to the lack of medical treatment offered to the fetus.” The statement underscores the fact that Cunningham has no idea what he is talking about as the fetus is 17-18 weeks and hence pre viable so no one would render care. It is highly atypical to offer neonatal care before 23 weeks. A neonatologist who attempt to resuscitate a 17 week delivery would be considered unethical.
It is easy to see how someone who has no obstetrical training might think this could be something other than a previable premature delivery. Cunningham’s statements clearly show he is no medical expert and isn’t in the position to explain it. However, I am.
Here are all the issues with the video from start to finish:
It is illegally and clandestinely shot. I feel very badly for the poor woman in question and wonder why Fiorina and our elected officials are not as outraged as I am about her violation and exploitation. I had second thoughts about watching it myself given the lack of consent from the woman, however, I felt if I could end the conversation about it faster by weighing in. Time magazine or Slate have links.
The prep of the patient. The physician (I’m assuming) pours surgical prep/cleaner on the woman’s perineum. We don’t do that anymore for spontaneous deliveries or for abortions that involve induction of labor. This tells me this video is at least 15 years old or from another country.
The delivery. It is a spontaneous delivery as the operator waits for the fetus to be expelled.
This is what we do with a previable premature delivery. If this were shot mid way through a 2nd trimester abortion (meaning the Laminaria in the cervix, which are osmotic sticks that help the cervix dilate, had just been removed) it is highly unlikely the operator would have waited for a spontaneous expulsion.
The cord is clamped on the fetal side. If this were an abortion it would just be cut. Really. No one ever does this with an abortion as it serves no purpose.
Waiting for the placenta. The clamp is left on the placental end and at the end of the video the placenta still hasn’t delivered. If this were an abortion the placenta would be removed with suction immediately, no one would wait 11 minutes. Ever. Every abortion clinic has a suction machine.
There is no proof this video is in a Planned Parenthood clinic never mind in the United States. This could easily be an operating room.
Instead of wasting tax payer dollars over highly edited videos our government should be investigating who illegally taped this woman’s delivery. If Cunningham says he didn’t take the video then of course he also can’t be sure what was going on. He can’t have it both ways.
Just so you know. They're lying. At this point, the assumption among the press should be that they are lying until proven otherwise.
digby 9/30/2015 12:00:00 PM