Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund announces open application period for board of directors

Erin Kate Ryan

In 2006, I called my local clinic and said, "I want to help women get their abortions."  Three years later, I'm in the thick of a young and dynamic movement, training volunteers, connecting women with the resources they need, and making the world a better place -- and I invite you to join me!

To our friends:

The Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund board of directors is excited
to announce an awesome opportunity:  from July 1 to September 1, we
will be accepting applications for the EMA Fund board of directors. 
This application process is open to everyone, so please make sure to
forward this information on to your friends and colleagues.  Email board@emafund.org to receive a board
application.

The EMA Fund will also be holding a volunteer training on August 22-23 (10-3 both days) for those who are interested in learning more but not certain whether they want to apply for the board.


What is the EMA Fund?
The EMA Fund is a resource of grants and financial counseling for women
living in or traveling to eastern Massachusetts who cannot afford their
abortions.  We collaborate with these women, their providers, and other
abortion funds to ensure that all women can access the abortions they
seek.  In the past ten years, the EMA Fund has worked with more than
1,500 low-income women and girls.  We’re an all-volunteer organization
with no office space or overhead; we currently manage and train a
roster of nearly 50 volunteers.  See our site at www.emafund.org.

How will it work?
The current board will collect applications until September 1, 2009.  We will review applications for the
month of September and possibly through October.  There is no
requirement that applicants have previous experience in abortion access
or reproductive justice.

After reviewing applications, the board will put together a slate of
potential board members.  This slate will reflect the board’s current
needs and our desire for well-balanced leadership.

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Anyone who might wish to join the board at any point in 2010 should
apply by September 1, 2009.  The selected applicants may be requested
to join the board for terms beginning any time in 2010 — that is, we
may choose to stagger the terms of board members by requesting that
they join us during the summer or fall of 2010.

The EMA Fund will consider applications from individuals regardless of
age (right now, all of our volunteers and board are under the age of
35), gender identity, immigration status, education level, or city of
residence, although we do have a strong preference for individuals who
will be able to attend monthly in-person board meetings.

After the September 1, 2009 deadline, the next open application period
for the board will be July 1 – September 1, 2010 for board terms
beginning in 2011.

We’re so excited to offer this opportunity to our community!  If you
have any questions about the board or the way we function, you may
contact the individual board members, or you may contact all of us at
once by emailing board@emafund.org.  The EMA Fund is on the verge of
some really exciting new projects, and we’re eager to enter our next
decade of existence bigger and better than ever.

The EMA Fund board,

Laurie — laurie@emafund.org
Erin Kate — erinkate@emafund.org
Sarah — sarah@emafund.org
Ayesha — ayesha@emafund.org

Wendy — wendy@emafund.org

Roundups Politics

The House Freedom Fund Bankrolls Some of Congress’ Most Anti-Choice Candidates

Ally Boguhn

With the 2016 election cycle underway, the political action committee seems to be working tirelessly to ensure the House Freedom Caucus maintains a radical anti-choice legacy.

In its short existence, the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) has made a name for itself through endless efforts to push Congress further to the right, particularly when it comes to reproductive health. Now with the 2016 election cycle underway, the caucus’ political action committee, the House Freedom Fund, seems to be working just as tirelessly to ensure the caucus maintains a radical anti-choice legacy.

Since its founding by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in January 2015, the group of ultra-conservative lawmakers that make up the caucus has ballooned from just nine members to at least 36 members, as of October 2015, who have confirmed their own inclusion—though the group keeps its official roster secret. These numbers may seem small, but they pack a punch in the House, where they have enough votes to block major legislation pushed by other parts of the Republican party.

And now, the group is seeking to add to its ranks in order to wield even more power in Congress.

“The goal is to grow it by, and I think it’s realistic, to grow it by 20 to 30 members,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), one of HFC’s founding members, told Politico in April. “All new members.”

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While the caucus itself reportedly does not endorse candidates, its unofficial PAC has already thrown money behind defending the seats of some of the group’s most notoriously anti-choice members, as well as a few new faces.

According to OpenSecrets.org, the Center for Responsive Politics’ campaign finance database, thus far in 2016, the House Freedom Fund has invested in seven congressional candidates currently vying to keep a seat in the House of Representatives: Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA), Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Rep. Scott Desjarlais (R-TN), Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ). The PAC’s website also highlights two candidates hoping to move from their state legislatures to the House: Republican Indiana state senator Jim Banks and Georgia state Senator Mike Crane. The PAC is also backing the Republican candidate for Florida’s 2nd Congressional District, Mary Thomas; and Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, Ted Budd.

Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), who won a special election in early June to replace former House speaker John Boehner, also received funding from the PAC. He joined the House Freedom Caucus that same week.

The Republican Party actively works to deny access to virtually all forms of reproductive health care, so it is not surprising that the candidates supported by the House Freedom Fund, whose confirmed members are all members of the GOP, share similarly radical views on reproductive rights and health.

Here are some of the House Freedom Fund’s most alarming candidates:

Rep. Rod Blum

Rep. Blum, a freshman congressman from Iowa, considers his opposition to reproductive choice one of the “cornerstones” of his campaign. “It is unconscionable that government would aid in the taking of innocent life. I strongly oppose any federal funding for abortion and I will vote against any of our tax dollars flowing to groups who perform or advocate abortions on demand,” asserts Blum’s campaign site. The Hyde Amendment already bans most federal funding for abortion care.

Blum spent much of his first year in the House attempting to push through a series of anti-choice bills. The representative co-sponsored the medically unsupported Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would have enacted a federal ban on abortion at or beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy, in January 2015. He signed on as a co-sponsor for the failed Life at Conception Act, a so-called personhood measure that would have granted legal rights to fetuses and zygotes, thus potentially outlawing abortion and many forms of contraception, in March of that year. That July, Blum co-sponsored the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, which would have stripped the reproductive health organization of all federal funding for one year so that Congress could investigate it in the wake of the Center for Medical Progress’ (CMP) discredited videos smearing the provider. 

Blum’s co-sponsorship of anti-choice legislation was accompanied by a long series of like-minded votes throughout 2015, such as a January vote in favor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, which, among other things, would have made the Hyde Amendment’s annually renewed ban on most federal funding for abortion care permanent. He also voted to block Washington, D.C.’s Reproductive Health non-discrimination law, and in favor of a measure allowing states to exclude from Medicaid funding any health provider that provided abortions, as well as other anti-choice measures.

Blum’s brief time in Congress has been marked by such extremism that Emily’s List, an organization that works to elect pro-choice women, put Blum on their “On Notice” list in July 2015, signaling their intention to prioritize unseating the Iowa Representative. “In less than five months into the 114th Congress, we have seen Representative Blum lead the crusade to restrict women’s access to healthcare, most notably when he cosponsored a national abortion ban,” explained the organization in a press release on its decision to target Blum. “It’s clear that Congressman Blum is more focused on prioritizing an extreme ideological agenda over enacting policies that benefit more women and families in Iowa’s First Congressional District.”

Rep. Dave Brat

Rep. Dave Brat gained notoriety for his win against incumbent representative and then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014, a victory considered one of “the biggest political upset[s] in recent memory.” Like many of his HFC colleagues, Brat has co-sponsored several pieces of anti-choice legislation, including the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in 2015 and the Conscience Protection Act of 2016, which claimed to “protect” against “governmental discrimination against providers of health services” who refuse to provide abortion care. Brat’s voting record in Congress earned him a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee.

In April of this year, the Virginia representative signed on to a letter with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other anti-choice legislators, such as House Freedom Fund candidate Rep. Meadows expressing “serious concerns” about the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to update the label of abortion drug mifepristone to bring it in line with scientific research and evidence-based medicine. Though medication abortions are safe and result in complications in fewer than 0.4 percent of patients, the lawmakers nonetheless claimed that the regulation change could be dangerous, noting that the drug was originally approved during the Clinton administration and demanding a list of information about it.

In the wake of the deadly shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility in November, when the alleged shooter parroted the same violent rhetoric about the reproductive health organization popularized by the CMP’s discredited videos, many in Congress called for the panel investigating Planned Parenthood to be disbanded and for lawmakers to distance themselves from the videos. Brat, however, saw no reason the anti-choice violence should affect the conservative crusade to shut down access to reproductive health care. “Principles are principles,” Brat said at the time according to the Huffington Post. “They don’t change on a news cycle.”

Rep. Tim Huelskamp

Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp has been an anti-choice advocate since graduate school, when, according to the biography provided on his website, he was “active in assisting women in crisis pregnancies” while working toward a doctoral degree at American University. His advocacy continued as he made his way to Congress, eventually leading him to become the congressional “Pro-Life Caucus” whip.

Though he has cast plenty of anti-choice votes, the congressman’s most notable moment when it comes to reproductive rights may be a 2012 speech on the House floor, in when he compared abortion to slavery and accused Planned Parenthood and the Obama administration of being racist. “Perhaps the biggest war against our liberties is the war that is being waged against those that are not here today, the unborn,” claimed Huelskamp. “Besides slavery, abortion is the other darkest stain on our nation’s character and this president is looking for every way possible to make abortion more available and more frequent. And he wants you to pay for it. Even if you disagree with it.”

Huelskamp went on to falsely accuse Planned Parenthood of targeting people of color. “I am the adoptive father of four children, each of them either Black, Hispanic, Native American, and I am incensed that this president pays money to an entity that was created for the sole purpose of killing children that look like mine; a racist organization and it continues to target minorities for abortion destruction,” said the congressman. “Shame on this president and shame on that party.”

It wouldn’t be the last time Huelskamp exploited race in order to promote his anti-choice agenda. In 2015, the Kansas Representative lashed out at those who accepted awards from Planned Parenthood, tweeting that they were supporting a “racist” agenda.

Rep. Mark Meadows

Rep. Mark Meadows, who has a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee, co-sponsored anti-choice measures such as the House’s 2015 fetal pain bill, the 2015 Life at Conception Act, and the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2016 (PRENDA). He also once badgered a pregnant doctor testifying during a House committee hearing about the importance of offering maternity coverage through the Affordable Care Act. However, the congressman’s recent vendetta against Planned Parenthood stands out the most.

In July 2015, in the wake of CMP’s deceptively edited videos, Meadows latched onto the discredited films in order to justify defunding Planned Parenthood. “In addition to cutting funding for abortion providers, I strongly urge Congress to investigate the legality of the practices engaged in by Planned Parenthood,” said Meadows at the time.

In September, as Congress faced the looming threat of a possible government shutdown if they didn’t pass a budget bill, Meadows exploited the opportunity to push for Planned Parenthood to be defunded, no matter the cost. With the South Carolina congressman leading the charge, pressure from conservatives to pull funding for the reproductive health-care provider played a role in prompting then-House Speaker John Boehner to resign his position. Meadows was a co-sponsor of the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, which passed in the House as part of a compromise to narrowly escape the shutdown. 

But Meadows’ quest to attack Planned Parenthood didn’t end there. In September, the congressman also participated in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s hearing to “examine the use of taxpayer funding” by Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, a sham hearing used by the GOP to repeatedly push misinformation about the organization.

Rep. Scott Desjarlais

Rep. Scott Desjarlais, a medical doctor, is perhaps best known for his attempt to pressure his patient, with whom he was having an affair, into having an abortion when she became pregnant. While the congressman has repeatedly run on his anti-abortion credentials, his divorce papers also revealed he had supported his wife in having two abortions. Politico‘s Chas Sisk labeled DeJarlais  “the biggest hypocrite in Congress.”

Desjarlais made headlines again in 2015 for voting for a later abortion ban. A spokesperson for the Tennessee Republican told the Times Free Press that the vote was in accordance with the congressman’s record:

“Congressman DesJarlais was proud to vote in favor of this legislation,” said his spokesman Robert Jameson, who added that DesJarlais has maintained a “100 percent pro-life voting record” during his five years in Congress and “has always advocated for pro-life values.”

Indiana State Sen. Jim Banks

Indiana state Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) is one of the few candidates backed by the House Freedom Fund that has yet to win federal office, but his time in the state legislature has given him more than ample opportunity to demonstrate his opposition to reproductive health and rights.

Banks’ campaign website highlights the candidate’s “pro-life” position as a key issue for his race for the House, providing an extensive record of his anti-choice credentials and claiming that he is “running for Congress so that northeast Indiana continues to have a strong voice for innocent lives in Washington, D.C.” That page includes a laundry list of campaign promises, including amending the U.S. Constitution to give a fetus legal human rights, which could outlaw abortion and many forms of contraception; banning federal funding for abortion, though such a ban already exists; eliminating federal funding for any organization that performs abortions domestically or abroad; and opposing any change to the Republican platform on abortion.

The state senator’s site goes on to suggest that “it has been far too long since the Supreme Court discovered that women have a ‘right’ to have an abortion,” lamenting that much of the anti-choice movement’s work to shutter access to abortion in state legislatures hasn’t been replicated on a federal level and promising to address the issue if elected.

Included in his anti-choice resumé is a note that both Banks and his wife have been working in the movement to oppose choice since graduating college, when the two joined Focus on the Family, an organization that has spent millions of dollars promoting its extreme agenda, even devoting $2.5 million to run an anti-abortion ad during the 2010 Super Bowl. The two also worked together on the Allen County Right to Life Board of Directors, and Banks’ wife, Amanda, remains the board’s vice president.

But most extreme of all was the legislation Banks spearheaded while in the state legislature, which included several targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) measures. Most recently the state senator sponsored Indiana’s SB 144, a bill that would modify the state’s 20-week abortion ban to outlaw the procedure once a fetal heartbeat could be detected, typically around six weeks’ gestation. In a statement on the bill, Banks claimed the law was needed because it “would protect unborn Hoosiers’ right to life and also includes important women’s health protections.”

Investigations Abortion

Abortion Foes Use Misleading Videos to Pressure Planned Parenthood Contractors

Sofia Resnick

Sitting in the shadows of CMP’s high-profile video campaign is a lesser-known strategy abortion opponents have employed for decades—to cut off access to abortion directly at the source by trying to shut down existing Planned Parenthood abortion clinics and prevent new ones from opening.

See more of our coverage on the effects of the misleading Center for Medical Progress videos here.

Sweat streaming into his cropped beard, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney stood alone on the steps of the United States Capitol on a recent Monday, beneath the sun’s noontime blaze, and livestreamed himself praying to God that the U.S. Senate would, later that day, vote to discontinue all federal funding to Planned Parenthood.

Prompted by a series of surreptitiously recorded videos produced by the California-based Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and deceptively edited to suggest that Planned Parenthood illegally harvests and sells aborted fetal tissue to medical researchers, the vote failed. But Mahoney, a Presbyterian minister and longtime opponent of abortion rights, told Rewire that he believes this video series will continue to influence the abortion debate at the national level, and hopes it will devastate Planned Parenthood’s reputation.

Meanwhile, Mahoney is leading a much more direct, grassroots campaign against the nonprofit network of reproductive-health centers, by trying to halt construction of a new Planned Parenthood facility in Washington, D.C.

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Sitting in the shadows of CMP’s high-profile video campaign is a lesser-known strategy abortion opponents have employed for decades—to cut off access to abortion directly at the source by trying to shut down existing Planned Parenthood abortion clinics and prevent new ones from opening. It’s just one element of the multipronged effort to curb abortion access and ultimately criminalize the procedure.

And the new videos represent a powerful messaging tool for grassroots campaigns like Mahoney’s.

“Certainly the videos give us more information to give out to the community and to press on why we wouldn’t want a Planned Parenthood in our neighborhoods and in our city,” said Mahoney, who is close friends with the leaders of CMP and who has been working to impede abortion access for nearly four decades.

A former national media director of the controversial anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, Mahoney now directs the Christian Defense Coalition and is the lead pastor of Church on the Hill D.C., a Christian activist group headquartered across the street from the Capitol. Last month, he helped launch a campaign called Abortion-Free DC after learning of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.’s plans to erect a new health center that will provide abortions in addition to other reproductive and sexual health services. The Planned Parenthood affiliate shuttered an older clinic (which did not provide abortions) last year and sold its 40-year-old downtown clinic in July as part of its plans to center its services at a larger, revamped facility.

Abortion-Free DC is a loose network of local activists (Mahoney said about 10 to 15 people have been showing up to planning meetings) who are currently employing a range of tactics to stall the construction of the new facility, from praying and staging protests in front of the building site, to using the new CMP videos to try to convince construction workers to abandon their posts. They’re mining D.C.’s building and zoning codebook, hoping to find Planned Parenthood in violation of any regulations. Mahoney said the group intends to carry out these actions “prayerfully, peacefully, and publicly.” On August 22, they are planning a prayer vigil at the building site, and starting September 23, the group says it intends to stage 40 days and nights of prayer and protest in front of the building site as part of the national 40 Days for Life campaign that targets abortion clinics.

While the efforts of Abortion-Free DC are local in scale, the use of these strategies and techniques are national.

At the National Right to Life Convention in New Orleans last month, Saint John’s Seminary theology professor Angela Franks, a socially conservative author and activist, outlined the strategies that she used to stymie the construction of a new Planned Parenthood facility in Morgantown, West Virginia, in 2005. Upon learning of the plans for the new clinic, Franks also formed a local coalition—which she dubbed Planned Parenthood Hurts Girls—to help orchestrate boycotts and breed hostility against Planned Parenthood. Franks’ conference session was called “Fighting Goliath: How to Take Aim at Planned Parenthood.”

More recently, abortion opponents in New Orleans successfully stalled a new Planned Parenthood facility. In addition to frequent protests by abortion foes, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond threatened contractors working with Planned Parenthood that the Archdiocese of New Orleans would deny them future building contracts for churches and schools. And the Louisiana state health department initially denied Planned Parenthood’s operating license application based on a new law targeting abortion clinics. On appeal, the state recently cleared the way for Planned Parenthood to begin construction. (Soon after, someone not yet identified attempted to set the construction site on fire.)

In D.C., Mahoney’s group is attempting to use many of the same techniques to stop the construction of the new clinic.

As in Louisiana, Mahoney’s group is seeking help from the Catholic Church. Abortion-Free DC has asked the Catholic Archdiocese of Arlington to lean on a general contractor working on the site who also sits on a Catholic high school board in Arlington. Mahoney said the group is preparing to send an open letter this week asking the archdiocese to threaten to deny future contracts with anyone building the health center. When contacted, the contractor did not respond to our questions or confirm these details. Archdiocese spokeswoman Elise Italiano would not confirm these discussions with Abortion-Free DC or the contractor in question, but said in an email said that “the diocese is always disappointed to learn that any business has partnered with Planned Parenthood.”

“Because we remain committed to the protection of all life, we oppose all efforts that undermine that principle; instead, we support programs which offer a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy the medical, financial, and material resources she needs during her pregnancy and after her child’s birth,” Italiano said.

The protesters are also trying to sway public opinion by painting Planned Parenthood as insensitive to the needs of schoolchildren. The new facility is located in a commercial and residential neighborhood in Northeast D.C., next door to Two Rivers Public Charter School’s elementary campus and across the street from Two Rivers’ middle-school campus.

“They know that people demonstrate, that people come out there with signs,” said Mahoney. “Why would Planned Parenthood be so insensitive to create this kind of turmoil in a neighborhood?”

Those “people” turn out to include Mahoney himself: Prayerful demonstration is something in which the reverend takes considerable pride. When asked to provide Rewire with a picture to accompany this story, Mahoney supplied an image of himself getting arrested in June 2010, after he trespassed at the former Planned Parenthood site in Northwest D.C. He was arrested (but not prosecuted) after praying on the clinic’s sidewalk entryway, shortly after the center had erected a short fence in front of the clinic to keep activists at bay.

(Source: Rev. Patrick Mahoney)

(Source: Rev. Patrick Mahoney)

This was not the only time Mahoney has been arrested in his three decades of protesting at that facility, but he noted that his form of protest is to pray and that he himself has never held signs in front of an abortion clinic. In fact, he said he tries to discourage activists from using graphic signs.

Indeed, Dr. Laura Meyers, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., said she was very familiar with the frequent protesters—including Mahoney—at the old center.

“The irony is stunning,” she told Rewire in an interview, when told that Mahoney had criticized Planned Parenthood for potentially subjecting school children to protesters at the new facility.

Meyers said the affiliate’s board has been planning for years to relocate and expand services at a bigger clinic, and that they purchased the new building two years ago. She said the affiliate is working to complete construction and reopen in the District in early 2016 and that they have discussed plans for the center with the Two Rivers schools and the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

“We’re really excited about being embedded in that community, and our goal is to be great community neighbors, for both the charters and others living in the neighborhood,” Meyers said. “We provide preventive health care to thousands of men and women, and we are striving to be great community partners.”

Mahoney said his group is also exploring regulatory avenues to shutter or stall the building’s construction, but an initial strike fell flat.

Last month, activists filed a complaint with the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, claiming Planned Parenthood was violating the District’s building rules by not properly displaying a permit sign. However, upon inspecting the property, inspectors determined that Planned Parenthood is complying with all building regulations, the department’s legislative and public affairs director Matt Orlins told Rewire.

Of course, even if Abortion-Free DC were to succeed in stopping the new Planned Parenthood, the District would not actually be “abortion-free,” as there are a few independent abortion providers there.

But for longtime abortion foes, the opportunity to block the Planned Parenthood clinic in D.C. is symbolic.

And the group is leveraging the recent attack videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress, whose co-founder is Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, where Mahoney worked before Newman became president of the organization.

Mahoney said one of the Abortion-Free DC activists has shown some of the videos to construction workers and repeated CMP’s allegations that Planned Parenthood unlawfully sells fetal tissue for profit. None of the unedited videos actually support this allegation, and the numerous state investigations into those accusations have so far returned no evidence of wrongdoing.

Mahoney dismissed criticism of CMP’s work, which he said his friend, Newman, revealed to him two weeks before it launched. He argued that critics’ claims that the videos were deceptively edited are baseless because the group has released the full unedited footage.

But Mahoney admitted that he has not watched most of the unedited videos, save for the first one that was released in mid-July.

“I haven’t bothered looking at any of the other unedited tapes, because it’s just so long and I trust the integrity of David Daleiden,” he said, referring to CMP’s chief executive officer.

Ultimately, though, Mahoney and his fellow Abortion-Free DC activists believe the true power in the videos is not in their accusations that Planned Parenthood might have broken federal law.

After a recent Friday-night strategy meeting, Mahoney and seven of the Abortion-Free DC activists gathered for drinks at the Dubliner, an Irish pub near the Capitol. Many of the activists told Rewire that the aspects of the videos that move them and are likely to sway people who generally support abortion rights are the graphic images of discernible fetal body parts and the seemingly casual manner in which some of the Planned Parenthood doctors and directors talk about fetal remains and the donation thereof.

Clutching her 2-month-old daughter, Michele Hendrickson explained the anger she felt watching the first Planned Parenthood video, wherein Planned Parenthood senior medical director Deborah Nucatola tells undercover CMP operatives that processing fees for fetal-tissue donation range from $30 to $100. In the edited version, though, she appears to be saying that affiliates sell specimens for about $30 to $100 each.

“Two months ago, her liver would be worth $30,” said Hendrickson, referring to her daughter, Lucy. Hendrickson serves as the capital regional coordinator for Students for Life of America, which advocates against abortion on college campuses. “Two months ago her body parts were worth something that were just casually discussed. I’m totally fine with calling that heartless.”

The videos contain no evidence of abortions occurring that close to viability, but rather, of predominantly first- and second-trimester procedures, including for fetuses with fatal anomalies and for victims of sexual assault.

At the end of the day, the Abortion-Free DC activists realize their effort to stop the new Planned Parenthood clinic is “a serious uphill battle,” Mahoney said. But he said they are committed to fighting regardless of what happens.

And Planned Parenthood is too. The D.C. affiliate’s director, Dr. Laura Meyers, said she is not fazed by these dedicated efforts to block construction of the new health center.

“Regardless of what swirls around Planned Parenthood, we continue to see patients; we continue to provide care no matter what,” Meyers said. “And we will build that building.”