Debate Magazine

Conservative Boogeymen and Bad Conservative Government

Posted on the 03 August 2015 by Doggone
The deeply indebted MN GOP is trying to play their wedge politics on the state's dime, in contrast to legitimate non-wedge-issue investigations, in calling for an investigation into MN Planned Parenthood.  It makes sense they want to use state $$$$ to advance their political agenda, they're still pretty much broke from their past considerable fiscal irresponsibility.  They have very little money of their own, so they try to grab state money.
Planned Parenthood is seeing a spike upwards in donations; and now the MN GOP want to see a spike upwards in theirs out of this pseudo-controversy.
My hope is that in recognizing that MN PP is doing MORE, not less for women in this region, so that Minnesota consumers of the care they provide are not short changed by overstretching of the limited PP resources, the lege instead of investigating PP authorizes significant funding for PP.
A wasteful and pointless investigation would help the MN GOP gin up some excitement and motivate their base to action, which is the purpose of manipulating a wedge issue.  The right operates not by legitimate governing, but by keeping their base in an emotional turmoil and misinformed state of agitation and anger.  To keep that working for them, they have to poke the base with a big wedge issue stick on a regular basis or they get less crazy, and they give less money.
It's pretty well established that in spite of the efforts to fake videos to the contrary, Planned Parenthood is NOT 'selling baby parts', not nationally, not in MN.  Donations of tissue are not selling, and only four clinics in the US have the costly arrangements in place that permit tissue donation.  Minnesota is not one of them.
No one is getting rich on baby carcasses, to put it as crudely as the right likes to do, intentionally mis-framing and mis-representing the issue.
The reality is that once again the right has overplayed any legitimate objection they might have had -- legitimate meaning one that is honest and valid.  The result has been an INCREASE NOT A DECREASE in donations to PP.
Apparently it deeply upsets the right that their inept dishonesty did not work out as planned.  Minnesota PP, which is now doing more, not less good work in taking on the overflow of women seeking reproductive health care and choice, from neighboring red states that have attempted to oppress them with unconstitutional over-regulation, is now under threat of investigation from Minnesota Republicans.
Like the endless efforts to repeal Obamacare, even though they know it is not happening, like the shutting down of government to defund Obamacare which did not happen,  like the endless and pointless hearings on pseudo-scandals that produce NOTHING, at the federal level, now we have state level Republicans wanting to waste more tax payer money on a crazy, costly and useless witch hunt, for no other reason than cheap and exploitive political theater. 
I'd speculate with some reason here that throwing in Mayo and especially the U of MN, that this is also the right's way of subtly threatening those two entities as well.  Certainly the U of MN is dependent on state funding directly, and the state lege can threaten the Mayo indirectly with their authority.
From the City Pages

Republicans demand investigation of non-existent abortion program

Though Planned Parenthood maintains that the videos were heavily edited to remove the employees' repeated statements that fetal tissue is only donated, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is spearheading a federal investigation to prove otherwise. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood in his own state, as has Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
A group of 65 Minnesota lawmakers are calling on Gov. Mark Dayton to follow suit. The problem is, Minnesota's Planned Parenthood doesn't even have a tissue donation program.
Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Jen Aulwes says that although some other affiliates across the country give women the option to donate their aborted fetuses to science, the Minnesota branch doesn't have any way of doing so even if patients specifically ask for it.
"We definitely stand by all our sister affiliates around the country who do have those programs," Aulwes says. "We haven't made a conscious decision not to have one. We just happen to not have that particular program in place."
Fetal tissue donations contribute to all kinds of medical research, playing a role in the creation of the polio vaccine and the search for a cure to Parkingson's Disease. Aulwes says none of the legislators who signed the letter to Dayton actually checked with Planned Parenthood Minnesota first to see if it had such a program to investigate.
Dayton said he would not grant the 65 Republicans an investigation. Instead, he offered a bewildered restatement of the obvious: "As far as I'm concerned there's no basis for an investigation at taxpayer expense into a private nonprofit organization that has stated they don't engage in those practices here in Minnesota."
Still, Republican lawmakers press on, unconvinced that Planned Parenthood should be taken at its word.
Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) just wants Democrats to look into it. "The letter that was sent out was written in a way that was very matter-of-fact and in a way that I was truly hoping that Democrats would say, 'Yes, we do need to look into this in Minnesota to make sure it's not happening here,'" she says. "I could really change the tone of that letter but I really, truly wanted an investigation, and I'm not doing it for political reasons. It's astounding that the pro-choice community has been basically silent on this."
Planned Parenthood may say that fetal issue is only being donated and not sold for profit, but the undercover videos did reveal the callousness of the people in the abortion industry, Scott says. "How can you talk about crunching baby bones and parts while you're dining? That I think is off-putting to a lot of people."
Of course Planned Parenthood would deny doing anything illegal, she says. Lawmakers need to make sure that local research hospitals like Mayo Clinic and U of M aren't in the market for fetal tissue.

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