Tuesday, May 10, 2016

NM Lt. Gov Lurches Back to "Selling Baby Parts" -- Again

There's always time for another GOP "interpretive abortion dance."
Step One: Forget What Happened to Carly Fiorina. 
Step Two: With Enough Juice, Facts Mean Nothing. 

In New Mexico It's Never Too Late
 To Catch the Dark Ages Trolley
Is the GOP, FOX News scam about "harvesting baby parts" 
the phony fairy tale that will never die?

The particular "enchantment" that "The Land of Enchantment's" [New Mexico's] Lt. Governor has painfully exhumed from its "rightful resting place" is the now truly road weary tale of the phony Planned Parenthood video. Although absolutely everyone originally duped by the plot when it first surfaced was delighted to finally see it "six feet under" after the scam had been totally discredited, our collective relief may have been somewhat premature.

Yes, there has been an amazing, "enchanted" exhumation of the "selling baby parts" myth.

As of this week we are seeing what's left of this failed political intrigue's rotting, tattered corpse  once again propped up in the righteous catholic glare of local news to serve as the Lt. Governor's grisly hand puppet.

Still, perhaps we should begin just a little earlier in the tale's time line. MeanMesa has lots of foreign visitors, and many of them may have -- joyously -- missed the "box office opening" of the scheme as it was unfolding a few months ago in 2015. Relax. We can make this brief.

Of course the story is all about one of the Republican Party's favorite things: the suppression of women. As of late this misogynist penchant has focused primarily on attacking Planned Parenthood where millions of American women now receive their health care -- including very legal abortion services.

In this case the anti-abortion scammers, already widely acknowledged as a truly seedy lot from the "get go," sent shills into a Planned Parenthood clinic and videotaped the clinic administrator speaking about disposing of fetal tissue to legitimate research facilities. Once these "post-old testament" throwbacks had the video tape, they edited the hell out of it until what was left suggested that the Planned Parenthood clinic was selling the tissue.

The article below offers a very useful account -- all parties make their statement.
An "un-canonized saint" in the anti-uterin war

Baby Parts for Sale

Controversial videos show discussions 

with Planned Parenthood over fetal tissue sales.

Jul 14, 2015

[Excerpted. Links are left enabled. Visit the original article here: SNOPES]

In a press release issued in response to the video, Planned Parenthood asserted that this was the case:

In health care, patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases. Women at Planned Parenthood who have abortions are no different. At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards. There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field.

A well funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services has promoted a heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research. Similar false accusations have been put forth by opponents of abortion services for decades. These groups have been widely discredited and their claims fall apart on closer examination, just as they do in this case.

The Center For Medical Progress issued a response to the above-displayed press release, claiming that Planned Parenthood does profit off the use of aborted fetuses despite the group's denial:

Planned Parenthood makes two key admissions in their statement today: 1) aborted fetal parts are harvested at their clinics, and 2) money is exchanged in connection with this. They also tell several lies: 1) That proper consent is obtained from patients, 2) That Planned Parenthood does not make money off the body parts, and 3) that everything is legal.

The Center for Medical Progress has obtained an advertisement to Planned Parenthood clinics from StemExpress, LLC, one of the major purchasers of Planned Parenthood’s aborted fetal tissue. This flyer advertises 4 different times the financial benefit that Planned Parenthood clinics can receive from supplying fetal tissue, with the words: “Financially Profitable,” “Financial Profits,” “financial benefit to your clinic,” “fiscal growth of your own clinic.” The advertisement carries an endorsement from Planned Parenthood Medical Director Dr. Dorothy Furgerson.

None of this is standard across the mainstream medical field, but it is standard across Planned Parenthood’s insular and unaccountable abortion field.

The StemExpress brochure does include a quote from Planned Parenthood Medical Director Dr. Dorothy Furgerson as well as words related to finance, although it does not exclusively reference the sale of fetal tissue. It mentions, for example, "cell rich blood and raw materials that are usually discarded during obstetrical procedures," which includes blood drawn or collected from pregnant women (useful in medical research because it contains cell-free fetal DNA).

As reported by The Hill, Planned Parenthood released a second statement about the video in which the organization noted that affiliates can legally receive reimbursement for expenses related to tissue donation procedures:

“Deborah Nucatela was speculating on the range of reimbursement that patients can receive after stating they wish to donate any tissue after a procedure,” the organization wrote in a report.

“The promotional video mis-characterizing Planned Parenthood’s mission and services is made by a long time anti-abortion activist that has used deceptive and unethical video editing, and that has created a fake medical website as well as a fake human tissue website that purports to provide services to stem cell researchers,” the group wrote in a two-page statement.

It also provided several pages of background research about the organization’s use of donated fetal tissue, which it describes as “humanitarian undertaking that hold the potential to cure disease, save lives, and ameliorate suffering.”

The statement explains that Planned Parenthood affiliates can legally receive reimbursement from a tissue donation procedure for the “additional expenses related [to] tissue donation, which can vary based on individual circumstance,” but it does not go to staff members or providers.

The controversy prompted questions about the nature of the Center for Medical Progress, which describes itself as "a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances." The organization's Twitter and Facebook accounts are both just a few months old, and the only videos found on the group's YouTube page are the two shown above, even though the organization has supposedly been engaged in a three-year long investigation. The group's web site also initially presented nothing more than standard stem cell research-related articles from mid-2013 onwards, until it suddenly switched to its current "investigative" form.

Lt. Governor John Sanchez' 15 Minutes of Fame
Flying Without Wings
Trying to piece together flammable headlines from yesterday's news.

Of course we have already watched "selling baby parts," right wing, Presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina, obliterate her campaign by citing the discredited, phony video which purportedly showed Planned Parenthood administrators casually discussing the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses for medical research. The handy "cut and paste" anti-abortionist wing nuts who initially prepared the video found themselves indicted by the very same Texas grand jury originally convened to dismember Planned Parenthood -- their intended victim.

By this point, naturally, one might anticipate that there remained very few Americans who had not yet disabused themselves of this "whole cloth" deception effort. In fact even all the Republican candidates had wisely discontinued using the discredited incendiary in their campaigns, and even the majority of reactionary prophets in the "televangelical" industry had finally shied away from their relentless fund raising ["love offerings"] scams attached to the video.

However, while depositing this video in the "dumpster of historical embarrassments" seemed to be the well orchestrated pattern of the reactionary Republicans nation-wide, here in New Mexico, it turns out, there was one, ever so shaky, potential political reservoir still unspoiled by the almost explosive discrediting effort.

I know! Let's try the
"selling baby parts" thing again. 
[photo source]
Probably after being coached by the likes of the ALEC "opinion managers" and the Catholic Bishops' professional lobbyists in Santa Fe, the Martinez administration's Lieutenant Governor decided to "drill one last dry hole" in the grisly matter in hopes of eliciting some public enthusiasm for the foundering state executive.

The following is quoted from the PRO-LIFE site's reporting on the Lt. Governor's frantic, last minute gambit. Every possible ballot still remaining in the "selling baby parts" demographic must be harvested.

Breaking: NM Lt. Governor Denounces #PP [Planned Parenthood] Sells Baby Parts
By Tara Shaver
July 27, 2015
[Excerpted. Read the original article here -PROLIFE WITNESS]

Albuquerque, NM- Today The Center for Medical Progress released another videothat shatters the myth that Planned Parenthood is not in the business of selling aborted baby parts for profit. 
NM is home to Southwestern Women’s Options late term abortion facility whose own medical consent form states that parts and tissue obtained during abortion procedures will be used in medical research. This is illegal in NM, [2013 New Mexico Statutes Chapter 24 - Health and Safety Article 6B - Jonathan Spradling Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act aborted baby parts cannot be sold or donated legally in the state.
Today Lt. Governor of NM John Sanchez posted a denouncement of Planned Parenthood’s illegal practices and requested a federal investigation of their killing business. See his post below.
“The power of the people comes when we let our voices be heard, your voice, your phone calls and emails have no doubt reached the ears of the NM state capital this week. While we are thankful that Lt. Governor Sanchez is requesting an investigation of Planned Parenthood at the federal level, we need a statewide investigation of New Mexico’s out of control and unregulated abortion facilities immediately,” stated Bud Shaver, Executive Director of Protest ABQ.

Please join us in thanking Lt Governor John Sanchez for speaking out on the inhumane practice of selling aborted baby parts. But it would be very naive to think that these incidents are only isolated to Planned Parenthood. Please, also ask him to urge a statewide investigation of NM abortion facilities in light of the SWO consent form and the Jonathan Spradling Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act Section 24-6B-2 that prohibits the selling and or donation of aborted baby in NM.
Please continue to call both the AG and the Governor with the following points:
-NM is home to the largest late term abortion facility in the nation where babies are killed up to the day of birth.
-NM law prohibits the selling of body parts and aborted baby body parts are explicitly excluded from donation to medical research.
-This facility’s own consent form mandates that women agree to the use of their babies bodies to be used for medical research.
-At least 5 other states have launched investigations to ensure that this practice of harvesting and selling aborted baby body parts are not occurring in their jurisdiction.
-The Attorney General has a duty to uphold the laws of New Mexico and the United States, this issue is in his jurisdiction.
The Lt. Governor's Secret Suicide Mission
Of course the scheme involved BOTH more anti-abortion snake oil AND the
 Republican obsession with looting the in-state MedicAid health care money.

For ALEC, the Mega-Churches and the Bishops it was a "marriage made in heaven"
or, at least, 
a three-way, NM legislative equivalent of a "heroin and cheap sex PR sandwich."

Well, it's no secret that old white men all across the nation are obsessed with the prospect of controlling uteruses -- that is, "making women pay for having sexual pleasures not authorized by tribal patriarchs." Of course such an ancient, psuedo-biblical wet dream has a few "problems" right off the bat, but -- in fact -- this particular fantasy has even more "problems" than most.

First, we must acknowledge that what might appear to be simply another awkward lurch from colonial times actually represents the "cutting edge" intersection of no fewer than three ridiculous NM GOP "business plans." MeanMesa sees the hopeful "benefactors" of these "business plans" as, roughly, the following list.

1. The NM Council of Catholic Bishops

In New Mexico the Bishops find themselves largely in command of vast Federal dollars -- the Washington resources being channeled through the famous "Catholic Charities." The "Charities" are financed to around 70% by Federal programs.

Naturally, even though the precise legislation which established this "money highway" carefully prohibited the Bishops receiving the check from using their position to proselytize their message of "the good news," they have always had their own, Bishop-style "wet dream" of using it to stop abortion in any way possible. [Supreme Court decisions are now considered "optional" by the "truly righteous." They have been seriously emboldened by all the Catholics now among the Supremes.

The Council of Bishops made sure that they were ealt into this hand. They keep a full-time lobbyist at work in the Round House.

2. The NM Evangelicals

Seeing how profitable "caring for the poor" had become in the Catholic business plan, the evangelicals -- primarily those arising from mega-churches sufficiently endowed with an endless stream of "tithe cash" to employ their own lawyers and lobbyists -- naturally entertained their own dreams of creating their own "altruistic cottage industry" business plan similar to that highly successful model of the Catholics.

However, good salesmanship on the part of these Dominionist Evangelical "leaders" suggested that their plan might be even more appealing to the hordes in their smelly congregations if it were to include various, dramatic schemes to control every uterus in the entire state. Absolutely anything which could be added which might include even the most tenuous reference to the phony Planned Parenthood video would be "selling like whores in a lumber camp."

3. NM ALEC [American Legislative Exchange Council]

Now, as an industrial political business entirely sustained by "raking a few bucks off the top" of the flow of "gift dollars" slowly migrating [through an intentionally opaque anti-democracy swamp] from the billionaires into the election "war chests" of GOP New Mexico state Congressional candidates, we have to assume that ALEC has absolutely zero interest in any New Mexico fetus -- alive, dead or being sold to medical researchers.

ALEC lives in a strange world where the "currency of the day" is exclusively defined as purchasing votes. Once ALEC candidates have been elected, the focus shifts to various opportunities for these "fortunate legislators" to "pay back" the generous assistance they received from ALEC during their campaigns. 

So, what is the "ALEC interest" in the "burning fetal question of the day?"

It turns out that nothing, absolutely nothing delivers the votes as much as juicing up low information New Mexicans with the phony video about "selling baby parts." While ALEC has no interest whatsoever in fetuses, the criminal, political gang has a screaming, "right now" interest in absolutely anything that will deliver votes.

With the sold out Republican in the New Mexico Governor's Mansion, the political horizon in the state is bleak indeed for the GOP. Conditions in the New Mexico economy have steadily rotted into a dismal, "tooth ache" stage. Votes are even more important than ever.

Jumping on the phony video's bandwagon is an overt act of desperation, but if the perpetrators -- such as the bumbling Lt. Governor -- are desperate enough to try it, there is still a faint possibility that the scheme might work. At least it might "sort of" work, and for the Lt. Governor that prospect is more than enough incentive to open his mouth and jump in with both feet. 

Who Could Be Better at Inciting Riots
Than a Seated Lieutenant Governor?
Oh sure, it's going to be bloody, but...
just think of all those votes!

There are few -- very few -- New Mexican voters who remain convinced that NM ALEC is not firmly in command of everything emerging from the GOP controlled State House or emerging from the ALEC controlled Governor's office. For those among us who are still retaining even a passing interest in the industrial corporate domestic news there is little left to question the brutal economic disasters underway in Republican controlled red states -- the list is depressing -- Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Alabama and others.

New Mexico has consistently been positioned among the "basket cases," but under the Republican/ALEC control in Santa Fe, matters have steadily inched toward even worse conditions. So, if you happen to be the Republican Lt. Governor, what can be done to improve the situation? This question becomes even more pressing if an election is on the horizon.

It is, after all, increasingly more difficult to sell the "small government, lower taxes" line when neighboring states are making steady economic head way under Democratic leadership. The NM Lt. Governor, sizing up this politically toxic economic situation, immediately embraced a the political tactic of attempting to solidify the GOP's base in the state and re-energize Republican voters.

How, exactly, could New Mexico's hill billies, bigots and biblical lunatics be coaxed back into the motley herd which is the GOP's state voter base?

Easy. Trot out the old, discredited video showing Planned Parenthood "selling baby parts" and hit the gas! In fact the Lt. Governor took this already heavily soiled, political gambit even further -- he demanded that the names of every UNMHSC employee -- nurse, orderly, doctor, administrator -- be listed and provided to the public.

Here, we can take up some of the local reporting on the story. From KOB4 local news:

UNM HSC statement:
Center never bought, sold fetal tissue
J.R. Oppenheim, KOB.com
[Excerpted. Visit the original KOB4 pos here. 
Visit the site to watch the video of the KOB4 televised news reporting.]

The University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center denies claims it bought or sold fetal tissue one day after Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez addressed the issue in a Facebook post.

HSC issued a statement Sunday afternoon on the matter, saying HSC has been given a second-round of subpoenas from the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. Those subpoenas, HSC says, “seek the depositions of two of our faculty members, as well as certain documents relating to their research that use fetal tissues.”

On Saturday night, Sanchez wrote on Facebook that the House probe uncovered something “troubling and alarming” at HSC. He also wrote the Southwestern Women’s Open Clinic partnered with HSC for the research.

[MeanMesa spent a little time transcribing the section of the KOB4 story about the Lt. Governor demand for a list of the names of all persons involved in the fetal tissue research at the hospital. The transcript of this part of the video follows.]

Right now lawmakers in Washington are demanding information about fetal tissue research at UNM Health Sciences Center. Their request has sparked controversy back here in New Mexico..

Strong words from New Mexico's Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez about the fetal tissue research at UNMHSC. He wrote on his FaceBook page:

“I have been clear about my opposition to the harvesting of infant organs by Planned Parenthood and am even more appalled to learn that it could occur right here in conjunction with the University of New Mexico.”

“The process is both barbaric and unethical, and I certainly expect better from UNMHSC and its leaders.”

“After defending the program UNMHSC explained its position to refuse Federal lawmakers demand for lists of names of staff and students working in the program. A spokesperson cited the Planned Parenthood shooting and other acts of violence against medical professionals writing that

“Publicizing their names serves no other purpose than to expose them to threats and intimidation.”

The Health Sciences Center says that while it won't hand over those names, it does plan to cooperate with the rest of the investigation.

Of course UNMHSC gave the right answer as it denied the Lt. Governor his "list" of targets. John Sanchez was entirely aware that publishing such a list would incite every drawling biblical lunatic in the entire state of New Mexico to go on a shooting spree.

Still, Sanchez's scheme might have possibly delivered some sort of minimal political advantage -- i.e. some votes already firmly embedded in the "selling baby parts" demographic. With the rest of New Mexico's population stumbling aimlessly through the state wide wreckage of the Martinez administration, the prospect of inspiring even the dregs of the state's "gospel warriors" to lurch forward into fresh felonies might look like a promising election gambit given the forlorn track record of the Martinez machine.

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