Carly Fiorina’s fake Planned Parenthood claims are even faker than their previously-known fakeness

One of the reasons Carly Fiorina is currently in the top tier of Republican primary polling is that, during the last debate, she went on a sound bite-worthy tirade against Planned Parenthood and all who would defend them:

Here’s the punch line:

I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes,…Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, “We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”

It was one of the biggest applause lines of the night. The only problem was that it was almost entirely false. The clip Fiorina’s referring to was a segment of stock footage that played over an audio clip of a former employee of StemExpress (a company that until recently partnered with Planned Parenthood) describing an abortion procedure. The fetus shown was not confirmed to have been an aborted fetus, and the footage was not said to have been filmed at Planned Parenthood.

Her claim was so false, in fact, that her super PAC had to step in to make its own video that squared with Fiorina’s account.

Yesterday, the full video of the clip Fiorina described was released, which again confirmed precisely nothing in Fiorina’s claims and subsequent double-downs. As TIME reported:

[Center for Bio-Ethical Reform founder Gregg] Cunningham, an anti-abortion activist, declined to identify the date, location or authors of the video in an interview with TIME Monday night, saying his group makes agreements of confidentiality in an effort to acquire images of abortions. He also made no claim that the images shown in the video had anything to do with Planned Parenthood, the organization that Fiorina and others have targeted for federal defunding. “I am neither confirming or denying the affiliation of the clinic who did this abortion,” Cunningham said.

The full source video, which is extremely graphic, lasts about 13 minutes, and shows a fetus being extracted from the mother, placed in a metal bowl, prodded with medical instruments and handled by someone in the room. At times the fetus appears to move, and at other times it appears to have a pulse. There are no images on the full video of any attempt to harvest the brain of the fetus, and there is no sound. Cunningham said the jump cuts in the video are the result of the camera being turned off and on.

Cunningham also did not confirm that the procedure in the video was an abortion instead of a miscarriage, saying only that he was “confident” it was the former.

As Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum quipped, “So there you have it. The video was not taken at a Planned Parenthood clinic. The fetus shows some reflexive movement, but that’s all. No one says the fetus has to be kept alive. No one harvests the brain. But other than that, Fiorina was 100 percent correct!”

But Fiorina’s (and now Cunningham’s) claims weren’t done unraveling. Later in the day, Fusion reported that not only were the pictures of aborted fetuses in the videos not taken at Planned Parenthood, but in at least one case the picture isn’t of an aborted fetus in the first place; its of a stillborn fetus. What’s more, the Center for Medical Progress did not have permission to use the photo in question, which has apparently been circulated widely in the anti-abortion community

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Lexi Oliver Fretz has since granted CMP and Carly Fiorina permission to use the photos, which originally appeared on her blog while she was mourning her loss. Which is fine, if odd given that she never had an abortion (she is a committed Christian), and that the photos aren’t depicting what CMP and Fiorina are insisting they depict.

Every day, it seems like the conservative push to defund (let’s be honest, eliminate) Planned Parenthood intensifies, and every day it seems like a new lie emerges that directly undercuts their central claims about the organization. First it was deceptively edited videos. Yesterday it was deliberately nonsensical charts and misappropriated photos.

What’s next?


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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17 Responses to “Carly Fiorina’s fake Planned Parenthood claims are even faker than their previously-known fakeness”

  1. Texon says:

    Snarky and being a liar are not what I look for in a candidate.

  2. lynchie says:

    She originated the mortgage game played by the banks. Loans with no money down and the amount greater than the value. How can that be bad? Then bundled and sold as prime loans and magically the economy collapses till the taxpayer bails them out. No one goes to jail. Like J & J marketing and selling drugs to children. Settijng sales quotas and when caught just pay a fine.

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  4. Indigo says:

    Exactly. She’s Ann Coulter at a CEO desk.

  5. Indigo says:

    I see what you did there. It makes sense. Horrible, disturbing, Hallowe’en sense.

  6. ComradeRutherford says:

    Which is what makes her perfect for the GOP! And she lost 30,000 HP jobs. The GOP wants to cut gov’t jobs while driving up the deficit, it’s what they’ve always, and only ever done for the last 50 years. Fiorina is PERFECT!

  7. ComradeRutherford says:

    What’s next?

    That’s obvious, Fiorina says: These vicious rumors are all from Liberals trying to smear me. I never once said, “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, “We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” and I don’t know how such awful rumors get started!

  8. BeccaM says:

    I’ve worked in the tech industry since the early 1980s, including almost two decades with various Silicon Valley companies. I’m acquainted with HP employees, both current and former, and in fact very nearly went to work for HP in the mid-90s (budgeting fell through at the last minute). I don’t know of anyone in the tech industry, most particularly those from HP, who doesn’t loathe Carly Fiorina.

    She destroyed careers and killed American jobs. She decimated people’s retirement pensions and savings (esp. for those with stock options and who were invested in HP via 401k). The b*tch even made up her own jargon word for the layoffs, calling them ‘right-shoring’ — which of course was nothing other than shipping jobs overseas so some other country’s labor force could be exploited for less money.

    And after coming to the very brink of destroying HP, Fiorina got to keep her golden parachute…and hasn’t worked a corporate job since then, because her name is mud and has become synonymous with failure and bankruptcy, accompanied by fish-story lies about how black is white and up is down.

    Oh, and let’s not forget how Fiorina’s failures and possible crimes go beyond mere incompetence and capitalist pig greed as CEO. She was also implicated in illegal 3rd party sales of HP equipment to Iran. And before that, she was involved in the Lucent accounting scheme where the company loaned its own money to customers, who would then use this money to buy Lucent products. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Lucent (under Fiorina’s ‘leadership’ (sic) as COO) recorded these transactions as BOTH revenue-producing sales AND as solid debt-loan assets on Lucent’s books. (Let’s just say most of these loans were NOT triple-A quality and a whole lot of ’em were never paid back.) This accounting fraud caused the stock price to skyrocket…until people began to learn about the cheating, after which the stock price collapsed and the company became a mere shell, eventually acquired by Alcatel. But not until after Fiorina had made a ton of money herself.

    If there’s one thing Fiorina is good at, it’s cheating and lying…and walking away with her pockets stuffed with cash. I honestly think that’s her entire goal in this presidential campaign, too.

  9. MoonDragon says:

    I’m forced to speculate (it would be irresponsible not to do so) that Ms. Fiorina is heavily invested in coat hangers. She wishes to defund Planned Parenthood and preaches pro-life propaganda while supporting the right of companies to deny maternity leave. If a woman cannot afford to take leave to have a baby (or even risk termination if she does so) and cannot obtain a safe legal abortion, then the only alternative . . .

  10. BeccaM says:

    We don’t know Fiorina has never had an abortion, only that she has not admitted to having one. LOTS of women have had abortions they talk about with no one.

    Anyway, what’s next is the Republican party truly cares not at all about truths anymore. All of their candidates are peddling competing versions of the basest forms of radical reactionary propaganda.

  11. 2karmanot says:

    Godwin be damned, Fiorina has the soul of a psychopathic Nazi. The sheer maleficence, darkness and evil she incarnates would make her a great Disney archetype.

  12. Ol' Hippy says:

    If one can see how the right wing extremists compare to other countries extremists it gets scary. There really isn’t too much difference except they haven’t beheaded any one(yet).

  13. Ol' Hippy says:

    As I’ve said before, where are the videos of real children destroyed by missiles launched by the US forces authorized by the GOP when invading two countries of dubious intelligence? These people spend more money destroying REAL lives in a week than is used to fund PP for a year. I know it’s maybe an apples to oranges comparison but that’s what I think is missed when these GOP hypocrites want to de-fund PP and deny women their right to reproductive health. I think the GOP has lost a sense of reality when attacking these needed services unavailable to poor women and men.

  14. Indigo says:

    Carly Fiorina is the former CEO of HP who lost more money than God. Why say more?

  15. Baal says:

    Imagine if a progressive showed a video of ISIS beheading a hostage and claimed this is an argument against the American justice system use of the death penalty.

    That is essentially what Carliy Fiorina is doing with her issue du jour, except what she is doing is probably even more off the rails than that.

  16. The_Fixer says:

    This should be Carly Fiorina’s undoing. Will it be? Nah.

    This is S.O.P. for the Ultra-Right-Wing of the Republican party (which seems to be most or all of them these days). In fact, it seems that the bigger lie you make up, the more they are inclined to believe it and support it unconditionally.

    The fact remains that these lies should be kept front-and-center and not be allowed to be forgotten. People who aren’t in that delusional club need to know and understand that this is an organized campaign to destroy Planned Parenthood, and if successful, will put many lives at risk.

  17. MoonDragon says:

    Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are. Greg Cunningham, enabler of deceit and calumny, was a Republican state legislator from Centre County, PA. In 1980 his district was gerrymandered to guarantee his re-election. He was such a douche, he lost to a woman. He then fled, tail between his legs to set up his lie factory. If Carly & Co. want to depend on this asshat for supporting evidence, it’s all I need to know.

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