The president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, dismissed recent videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors preparing to harvest and sell parts of aborted babies. Richards claimed this morning in interview with George Stephanopoulos that the videos had been edited, and besides, she said, "the folks behind this, in fact, are part of the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement that has been behind the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, and in their churches."
"This has been a three-year, well-funded effort by the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement in this country to try to entrap doctors and of course highly doctored videos, which show absolutely doctors repeatedly said, it's all been edited out, Planned Parenthood does not at all profit from fetal tissue donation, which is an important element of health care research in this country.
Richards continued, "I think what's not told is, of course, these are highly selectively edited, the folks behind this, in fact, are part of the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement that has been behind the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, and in their churches. And that's what actually needs to be looked at."
If Boris Nemtsov, the Russian statesman and activist killed in Moscow last week, had been a character in a political thriller—and he certainly had the looks and charisma for the part—the script might have been criticized as lacking subtlety. There is the opposition leader gunned down on the eve of a major protest march, shortly after an interview that foreshadows his murder. There is his nemesis, the authoritarian strongman whose foes often turn up dead, vowing to personally oversee the investigation.
On a frigid, windy night in Washington, a couple hundred people trekked to the Newseum for a vigil for the murdered French journalists from the Parisian weekly Charlie Hebdo, the police that died trying to protect them, and those that were wounded.
Outgoing Maryland governor Martin O'Malley is commuting the sentences of the state's four remaining inmates on death row. In 2012, Maryland abolished the death penalty, but the law did not apply to those already sentenced for execution. O'Malley, a Democrat, said in an official statement that executions of convicted murderers "make every citizen a party to a legalized killing as punishment."
Last week the world of comic books reeled from two bits of sensational news. First, it was -revealed that Archie Andrews, hero of the classic Archie comics, was dead. Or rather, “dead,” as they put it in industry parlance, because only the Archie of one of the Archie books, Life with Archie, had bought the farm. (The Archie of the long-running flagship book, Archie, lives on.) What made Archie’s demise so notable was the manner in which he was dispatched. He was assassinated. Gunned down while valiantly saving the life of his friend. Who’s a war hero.
By most accounts, Kermit Gosnell seemed stunned last week when a jury found him guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in what seemed to have been his routine killings of newborn babies at his abortion clinic in Philadelphia; he thought he was doing his job. Abortion is legal and is a much-touted right. The president recently lavished praise on Planned Parenthood, a lobbyist for which had testified to Florida legislators in March that an infant born alive in the course of an abortion might be left to die anyhow.
President Obama was asked about the Kermit Gosnell trial in an interview that aired this morning:
"Have you been watching the Gosnell trial? It's a Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of gruesome crimes. Are you following it, and do you think it animates a larger debate about abortion in this country?"