On Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that he has not yet seen the video exposing Planned Parenthood’s trafficking body parts of aborted babies (see above). Earnest also says that he hasn’t talked to President Obama about the video and doesn’t know if the President has seen it.
A reporter then asks the bottom line question: “Does the President think that it is ethical to use the remains of aborted fetuses for medical research?” Earnest seems to deflect the question by referring reporters to Planned Parenthood and by saying he can’t comment on the inner workings of Planned Parenthood. But he does say that Planned Parenthood’s policies are consistent with the highest ethical standards.
Whether or not Planned Parenthood lives up to its own policies, Earnest doesn’t say. But he does seem to indicate on behalf of the President that the policies themselves are okay. I don’t think this is an ungenerous interpretation, given that Dr. Nucatola has been advising the Obama administration on family planning policy since 2010.
What the President thinks about this issue matters. It will definitely shape the public conversation. Reporters need to press this question until there is clarity. What does President Obama think about Planned Parenthood’s longstanding practice of trafficking the body parts of aborted babies? Does he think its ethical or not?