Colorado GOP Tries To Keep Planned Parenthood Rage Alive

komen-planned-parenthood4-19NEWS’ Kyle Clark reported last night that, although she no doubt really wanted to, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has announced that there will be no investigation by the state of Colorado into the fetal tissue donation policies of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains:

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman says state law requires the investigation be conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, or CDPHE, which told 9NEWS Tuesday that it has no plans to investigate Planned Parenthood.

Coffman said Wednesday in a written statement that she views CDPHE’s decision as the “final response” to calls for investigation.

Abortion opponents had hoped Coffman, a pro-life Republican, would join other attorneys general who have launched independent investigations into Planned Parenthood.

Coffman’s decision not to investigate Planned Parenthood is noteworthy also because Colorado is one of only a few states where Planned Parenthood acknowledged having a fetal tissue donation program.

As Clark reiterates in last night’s story, consensual donations of fetal tissue are legal both under Colorado and federal law. It’s illegal to sell fetal tissue, but not illegal for clinics to receive a nominal fee to cover expenses for the storage and transport of the tissue. Colorado State University and other research organizations that was acquired such tissue have used to to perform lifesaving medical research on a variety of human diseases–research that has been vitally important to public health and relatively uncontroversial, until anti-abortion activists began posting heavily edited undercover videos earlier this year.

Rep. Dan Nordberg (R).

Rep. Dan Nordberg (R).

But as resident GOP-slanted “reporter” Valerie Richardson at the Colorado Statesman writes, local Republicans are not giving up on the chance to vilify Planned Parenthood a little while longer:

Thirty Colorado Republican legislators called Wednesday for a state investigation into Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and whether it is involved in “the sale and transfer of fetal body parts.”

“A civilized society cannot allow unethical and illegal medical practices such as the harvesting of aborted human organs and babies for monetary gain. I would hope that even proponents of abortion would agree to that much,” said state Rep. Dan Nordberg, R-Colorado Springs, in a press release…

“Planned Parenthood is not above the law,” Nordberg said. “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a duty to enforce state statutes and I expect them to do their job, regardless of any congressional investigation.”

The letter, signed by 22 state House members and eight state senators, calls on Wolk to investigate possible violations of state law and “take necessary legal action to end such practices.”

Given the political makeup of Congress, the “inquiries” underway against Planned Parenthood today by Republican-controlled congressional committees are likely to employ the most sensationalist language possible to describe fetal tissue donation for medical research. But at least with regard to the “evidence” released so far by anti-abortion activists, there’s nothing that points to any actual violation of the law–and it’s hard to see any legitimate inquiry determining that there was. In general, the recent undercover video releases against Planned Parenthood have succeeded only in firing up the existing anti-choice base, not in fomenting any broader opposition to the organization or its work.

And barring anything unexpected, that will be the story of this request by a majority of Colorado GOP legislators to “investigate” Planned Parenthood–a few more protests, a press conference next January, and legislation that pays no more attention to the relevant facts than today’s press release. Legislation that will die in the Democratic-controlled House, of course, but not before Republicans use it to motivate their base.

But as we’ve said about the national push to demonize Planned Parenthood using these discredited videos and the same anti-abortion “torture porn” they’ve been circulating for years, this stuff motivates the Democratic base too. The proof can be seen every time an abortion ban ballot measure goes down to overwhelming defeat in Colorado, and with the notable exception of “Con Man Cory” Gardner in 2014, usually taking Republican politicians down with it.

What will this all look like by November of 2016 to general election voters? We’re pretty sure Dan Nordberg hasn’t even given that a moment’s consideration. And that should make smart Republicans very nervous.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    In short, Colorado Pols says to wait for the investigation they have already declared illegitimate.

    Great idea, thanks libs!! On second thought, we'll pass.

    • Davie says:

      Pass what?  Gas?

      Keeping that rage going really gives your reptilian brain a good workout.  It has the added effect of suppressing your higher logical functions.  I guess that helps keep reality at bay, too, which I suppose is your goal.

  2. Moderatus says:

    You also "forgot" to mention that CSU's own ethicists recommended they stop obtaining baby body parts for research.

  3. Cogito says:

    Should the state also be investigating CU and CSU and other institutions which received the donated tissue?  If so, that will set a lot of teeth on edge.  If not, then an investigation of Planned Parenthood alone would be a witch hunt.

    • BlueCat says:

      Considering the charge for a tylenol in a medical facility context the amounts clearly are very modest ones in line with with incurred expenses. If they were actually selling the fetal tissue the amounts would be very much higher. Modster's heartthrob apparently at least has a better idea of what the law allows her to do than the Donald does. 

  4. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Moderatus:  there's no issue here, unless you're one of those who wants to impose their personal religious views (anti-abortion, anti-contraception) on all Colorado citizens.

    • MapMaker says:

      Wow, CHB! those rose colored glasses are working really well!

    • notaskinnycook says:

      Thanks, CHB. A voice of reason in a shouting match.

    • BlueCat says:

      Unfortunately, CHB, imposing personal religious views about abortion and contraception is exactly what every single Republican majority legislative body nationwide has been treating as the top of the agenda priority for many years now. You haven't noticed? 

      • MichaelBowman says:

        A good read in The Guardian today: It's not just Trump: Latinos should boycott the Republican party en masse

        The Republican rhetoric surrounding undocumented immigration is not only racist. It is also, statistically speaking, wrong. And not just a little wrong, but really, really wrong. So, let’s call this what it is: an ad hominem attack on all Latinos. Those of us who are or aren’t products of undocumented immigration, those of us whose families have inhabited the American Southwest, and the rest of this continent known simply as “America”, for longer than any white man can claim. America was a brown country before it was anything else. We’re still here. We still fight. We still, and will, vote. This is our country, and we can bring the Republican Party to its knees.

        • BlueCat says:

          Also wrong about most of the Mexicans crossing the border being criminals. They actually have a lower crime rate than the American born. Also wrong about increasing illegal immigration from south of the border. Depending on the data source the rate has either flat lined or gone negative with fewer undocumented present than years ago meaning more leaving than coming in. 

          No evidence that south of the border immigrants, legal or undocumented, are taking jobs that would otherwise be taken by American born citizens or bringing down wages. Corporate practices have done a great job of eliminating jobs and lowering wages all by themselves and crack downs on the undocumented have always resulted in labor shortages in various sectors, such as agricultural, because American born citizens won't take those jobs in sufficient numbers. 

          Nobody ever hears hysteria over Canadians coming into the country and overstaying their visas. This isn't even thinly disguised bigotry. It's perfectly clear bigotry and it's not the exception among Republicans but the rule. Period.

  5. Gadfly says:

    If they keep this up the Republicans will lose their Senate Majority and seats in the House too

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