Allegations that Planned Parenthood has illegally profited from the sale of fetal tissue isn’t changing many people’s minds about the organization, according to a University of Missouri professor.
Anti-abortion activitists and lawmakers have said that series of undercover videos of Planned Parenthood doctors talking about fetal tissue collection and related costs should change the minds of some who support the organization or abortion availability.
Political Science Professor Peverill Squire says that isn’t likely.
“I think most people have formed their opinions on this topic and are likely not to be shaken one way or the other,” Squire told Missourinet. “We’ll probably have a lot of sound and fury about this for a little while, but in the end I don’t think much will dramatically change.”
“They have put Planned Parenthood on the defensive,” Squire said of the videos. “I think a lot of people have started to think about some of the activities involved in fetal tissue research that they probably hadn’t thought about for two decades.”
Squire says the issue has reignited the abortion debate, that will play into the 2016 elections for each side.
“This will be good for the Republicans if it gets the pro-life people worked up in favor of whoever gets the Republican nomination. On the other side, the Democrats will try to use it to maintain their lead among women voters and again to get, particularly young, single women, out to vote,” said Squire. “Again, it won’t be so much trying to change people’s minds, but trying to get people actually out to vote.”
Squire doesn’t expect much to change as a result of Congress’ attention to the matter, though there might be at the state level in some states.
Planned Parenthood dismisses the videos as being edited to present a false narrative, and says it has conducted its fetal tissue donation program legally and ethically in the states where it exists. It says Missouri is not one of those states.
A state Senate committee on Planned Parenthood continues its hearings this afternoon. Watch live at Missourinet.com.
Professor Squire spoke to Missourinet before the University of Missouri’s alleged connection to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia’s resumption of abortions came to light.