Politics & Policy

Dem Staffers Walk out of Planned Parenthood Video Screening

Democratic staffers walked out of a screening of the Center for Medical Progress’s Planned Parenthood videos at the U.S. Capitol this morning.

Aides to Representative Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.), Representative Judy Chu (D., Calif.), and Representative Grace Napolitano (D., Calif.) left the screening after arguing that Susan B. Anthony List, the pro-life group that organized it, should play the unedited footage of the entire video series. Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser replied that if the staffers were going to be disruptive, they would have to leave. One staffer acknowledged on the way out that they couldn’t have stayed to watch the full-length footage, which runs about 40 hours. “It would have been instructive,” the aide told reporters. “There’s 30 minutes of video missing according to independent forensic analysis.”

Susan B. Anthony List invited more than 2,000 House and Senate Democratic staffers to the screening. “I am writing today to invite you and other Democratic congressional staffers to view all of these videos, which will be playing in their entirety,” the invitation said. “Our plan calls for starting these videos at 10:00 am and playing through each one. For anyone who wants hard copies of the full-length videos, we will provide those to you after the screening.”

#share#Nine aides from seven offices appeared at the screening, based on the sign-in sheet, but several left in protest of the abridged tapes being shown. Two others stayed for part of the screening, but then left to attend a separate meeting. “We would love to see the room full, but every person matters,” Marjorie Dannenfelser said after the screening.

#related#Dannenfelser also said that the 40 hours of footage is available for viewing at the SBA List office. “Anybody is welcome to come to our office and stay there ’til you’re done,” she said.

Staffers from Planned Parenthood’s national office stood outside the room, distributing literature to reporters and congressional aides arguing that that the videos had been “heavily edited” in order “to perpetuate a smear campaign against Planned Parenthood.”

— Joel Gehrke is a political reporter for National Review.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated since its initial publication.

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