Commentary Abortion

Lila Rose and Live Action Decline to Respond to Questions About “Gotcha” Video, Failure of PRENDA

Andy Kopsa

While researching PRENDA, Rewire reached out to Lila Rose's PR representative with some questions about her video and the pending legislation. And we got... crickets.

While researching PRENDA, Rewire reached out to Lila Rose’s PR representative with some questions about her video and the pending legislation. Jameson Cunningham of the conservative Shirley & Banister Public Affairs group* responded positively to my initial request for interview. As is typically the case (in my experience) he wouldn’t consent to a phone call but did agree to an email exchange.

Here are the questions I asked him:

1.  How many Planned Parenthood clinics were visited to obtain the necessary footage?

2.  I was told by a member of the pro-life movement that PRENDA will expose “democrats as extremists” when and if they successfully block it (because of the two-thirds majority required under suspension rules) and that the suspension tactic was used likely for this purpose.  Does Live Action hold this view? That the supposed ultimate goal of the co-release of the videos and PRENDA vote is essentially a political tool to “expose” democrats in what we all know is a contentious election year?  And if not, can Live Action condemn the Republicans who are utilizing the real problem of sex selection in Asian countries for political gain in the United States?

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3.  Why does Live Action choose to “expose” Planned Parenthood offering legal abortion on demand services under the rubric of “killing baby girls” when simply being anti-abortion would suffice? Since no data exists to substantiate the claim that gendercide in the US exists (see next question). 

4.  Has Lila Rose and representatives of Live Action read the congressional testimony from last year’s sub-committee meeting on PRENDA? There is no evidence of sex-selective abortion as a crisis in the United States. Absolutely zero. All the statistics are based on studies of societies where the patriarchal society does enforce desire to abort girls in Asia and India. That is not specific to America. So, what evidence – aside from a Planned Parenthood representative(s) ham-handedly answering a woman’s question about gender-based abortion – does Live Action really have that Planned Parenthood is in any way “promoting” female gendercide? (Promotion in my view is not answering a woman’s question within the bounds of the law regarding abortion in the US).

5.  Does Live Action feel that gender based genetic testing should be outlawed? Even in the event to identify sex-specific anomalies?  

6.  Does Live Action believe that IVF and pre-pregnancy sex selection should be outlawed?  Pre-pregnancy selection is actually where this issue could be reasonable discussed versus through a video of a few abortion providers and a false question.  

7.  As a Catholic, I have certain beliefs. I happen to believe that women and men have free will. I also believe that one doesn’t have the right to impose one’s religion on another.  I can’t force someone on the street to assume a saint’s name and go through the sacrament of Confirmation. How, based on your organization’s religious belief about when “life” begins, can you impose that on a society that is based on not dictating one’s personally held beliefs?  

8.  Would Live Action support comprehensive sexual education including abstinence and proper instruction on using contraception (when age appropriate) as a means to decrease unplanned pregnancies then achieving a goal of decreasing the number of abortions?

9.  Ms. Rose has been quoted to say in regard to federal funding of PPhood that although taxpayer funding of abortion is illegal “all money is fungible.”  Would the same then be true of the Crisis Pregnancy Centers that have gotten millions and millions of taxpayer funds when they illegally proselytize?  

I know this is an onslaught of questions but this is a very serious charge your organization is leveling against Planned Parenthood. Thank you for your time.

Although he consented to take my questions, Mr. Cunningham did not reply to this email, nor several follow up emails requesting comment nor a phone call to his firm.

After PRENDA died in the House last week, again we again reached out to Mr. Cunningham for comment. He replied with a press release that predictably included the following:

“We applaud the brave leaders in Congress such as Rep. Trent Franks for leading the charge against the abhorrent practice of sex-selective abortion.  The struggle to stop gendercide is a bipartisan issue–more Democrats voted in support of the ban than Republicans against—but the battle is far from over.”

When it was revealed (not surprisingly) that Rose’s video of PPhood reps talking to the fake client about adoption was left on Live Action’s cutting room floor, again I shot a question to Mr. Cunningham. Again no reply. As I have always maintained in my reporting, sometimes no comment speaks louder than anything.  And in this case it means the “gendercide” right hasn’t a leg to stand on.   

It is worthwhile to look at a few of Shirley & Banister’s distinguished list of clients.  Here are a few standouts:
  • Ann Coulter
  • Christine O’Donnell (“I’m not a witch….”)
  • Citizens United (that Citizen’s United)
  • Club For Growth (That Club for Growth a la Koch Brothers)
  • Herman Cain
  • NRA
  • The Republican National Committee
  • The Susan B. Anthony List
  • Heritage Foundation

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