WASHINGTON, D.C., February 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an interview with NCB12 last weekend, President Barack Obama was asked about the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood, caused by the release of several undercover videos by the pro-life group Live Action.
The have shown Planned Parenthood staff members at seven different facilities offering advice to an undercover investigator disguised as a “pimp” on how to obtain secret abortions, STD testing and contraception for his underage prostitutes.
“There’s a conservative group that went into Planned Parenthood with video cameras and taped what appeared to be Planned Parenthood workers turning a blind eye to sex trafficking,” the NBC 12 interviewer said to President Obama. “Republicans here in Washington have turned this into a call for you and for other leaders in Washington to strip Planned Parenthood’s funding from the federal government. Do you think this video should be a reason to look at Planned Parenthood funding? Do you think it’s a setup? How would you react to that?”
The president responded, suggesting that the controversy was “manufactured” and that it shouldn’t distract leaders from job creation.
“I will tell you, the vast majority of people right now, what they’re thinking about are jobs, the economy – I think sometimes these issues get manufactured and they get a lot of attention on the blogosphere,” said Obama in a Feb 17 interview with NBC12 of Virginia. The president also noted that he believed Planned Parenthood “in the past has done good work.”
The videos, which were recorded by investigators in seven clinics in New Jersey, Virginia, Washington D.C., and New York in January, have been followed by calls for the defunding Planned Parenthood by pro-life leaders and legislators, which depends on government grants for a third of its funding. On Friday U.S. Representatives voted in favor of an amendment that would strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding.
Obama appeared unaware that the recordings took place in several clinics, saying problems at “this center” should be addressed locally.
“If there was a specific problem at this center, it should be addressed, but we shouldn’t get so distracted with some of these issues that we ignore what’s really going to determine how well our kids do in the future,” he said.
While the Obama administration’s health care reform was under construction, Planned Parenthood frequently touted a close relationship to the White House on the issue: White House Public Engagement director Tina Tchen personally updated Planned Parenthood during its July 2009 summit on the progress of the legislation and reiterated the administration’s commitment to “women’s health.”
In 2007, then-senator Obama told the abortion giant at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event that “reproductive care” would be “at the center, the heart” of his future health care plans.