2,000 Democratic Staffers Invited to See Planned Parenthood Videos; Only 3 Watch

Penny Starr | September 3, 2015 | 7:05pm EDT
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Some 2,000 members of Democrat staff were invited to a screening of the nine undercover videos focused on Planned Parenthood selling body parts of aborted babies but only a handful showed up for the event at the Capitol on Sept. 3, 2015. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List invited some 2,000 Democrat staffers to attend a screening Thursday of the nine undercover videos that have been released by the Center for Medical Progress showing top medical officials with Planned Parenthood Federation of America discussing the sale of body parts of aborted babies.

Fewer than 10 Democrat staffers showed up out of the some 2,000 Democrat staffers invited, and only three actually watched the videos – just two of whom watched all of the 90-plus minutes of video footage.

“Horror is hard to look at,” SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser said when CNSNews.com asked about the low turnout for the screening. “Horror is very difficult.”

Before the screening, eight people identified themselves as Democrat staffers, including two who are interns. Only one staffer stayed for some of the screening, while the two interns stayed for the entire screening.

CNSNews.com inquired as to why Republican staffers weren’t asked to attend, and SBA staff responded that following media reports in both The Hill and the Weekly Standard that Democrats expressed support for Planned Parenthood but admitted not watching the videos. Dannenfelser decided to give Democrat staffers a chance to see the videos and report back to their bosses.

Following the screening of the graphic videos, which include footage of Planned Parenthood medical staff sorting out body parts in a Petri dish and a former procurement technician describing how she had to cut through the face of an aborted baby to get to its brain, Dannenfelzer compared the revulsion the videos evoke to the animals rights movement and the outlawing of child labor in the U.S. based on undercover operations that exposed wrongdoing and cruelty.

“Nobody wants to see horror,” Dannenfelser said, calling the few who did attend the event “hardy souls.”

None of the staffers who came to the screening, including those who stayed to watch, were willing to speak to the press.

When Congress returns next week, the federal funding provided to Planned Parenthood -- $528 million for fiscal year 2013-2014 or $1.4 million a day – is expected to bring heated debate.

“There are a lot of things we don’t want to see but we certainly have an obligation in the policy world and especially when we’re members of Congress or staff to see what the topic is,” Dannenfelser said.


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