In The News

Skiatook resident protests Planned Parenthood

By Lindsey Renuard News Editor

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Washington, August 11, 2015 | comments

Debra Hulslander took to the streets August 5 in the drizzling rain because she has a message she is passionate about.

Hulslander wants the government to stop giving Planned Parenthood our tax dollars. She said, “As Christians, we have to get out of our comfortable air conditioning and off our couches and stand up for what is right.”

The $528 million Planned Parenthood received from government grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements in fiscal year 2013-2014 accounted for 41 percent of their overall revenue. An additional 30 percent of revenue, $392 million, was received from private donations, according to Planned Parenthood’s 2013-2014 annual report. The organization offers reproductive services such as routine health care, sexual education, testing services, contraception, counseling, prenatal care, and adoption services, and many other services as well.

“I don’t really know what to do. I am so broken hearted and this is what I feel in my heart I need to do,” Hulslander said. So she made a sign and carried it up and down Hwy 20 in what she calls Grandma’s Social Media.

Her passion for this message was evident as she spoke, trying to hold back tears. “God won’t hold the church guiltless in this,” she said.

Her emotion comes from recent reports that Planned Parenthood has been selling baby parts. Several undercover videos of the organization have been posted to YouTube, released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, and focus on the medical practice of the sale of fetal tissue acquired from abortion clinics for medical research.

According to the New York Times:

The National Institutes of Health spent $76 million on research using fetal tissue in 2014 with grants to more than 50 universities, including Columbia, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, Yale and the University of California in Berkeley, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. It expects to spend the same amount in 2015 and 2016.

Researchers say fetal tissue is a uniquely rich source of the stem cells that give rise to tissues and organs, and that studying how they develop can provide clues about how to grow replacements for parts of the body that have failed.

“Think of fetal tissue as a kind of instruction booklet,” said Sheldon Miller, the scientific director of the intramural research program at the National Eye Institute.

“We couldn’t get this information any other way,” Dr. Miller said. He said the eye institute bought fetal tissue from a company, created specialized cultures of retinal tissue from it and sent them to other researchers.

This medical practice is currently legal. Fetal tissue may only be used or sold post-abortion with the consent of the woman undergoing the procedure. Some researchers obtain tissue directly from abortion clinics while others use a middle man such as Planned Parenthood.

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Studies of human embryonic stem cells will yield information about the complex events that occur during human development. A more complete understanding of the genetic and molecular controls of these processes may yield information about how such diseases arise and suggest new strategies for therapy. Today, donated organs and tissues are often used to replace ailing or destroyed tissue, but the need for transplantable tissues and organs far outweighs the available supply. Stem cells, directed to differentiate into specific cell types, offer the possibility of a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat diseases including macular degeneration, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.”

With the current spotlight on the sale of fetal tissue, many, such as Hulslander, are speaking out and want the laws changed. “These are not fetuses, they are babies,” Hulslander said, “and what is happening to them is not right.”

Congressman Jim Bridenstine introduced the GRACE Act, a bill to prohibit federal government contracts from going to companies that donate to Planned Parenthood. The bill would prohibit federal contracts with any entity that donates or matches employee donations to Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Congressman Bridenstine posted on his Facebook page July 31, “This week I sent a letter to House leadership explaining that I will not vote for ANY government funding measure that also funds Planned Parenthood. I will not be complicit in forcing taxpayers to fund the killing of unborn children.” Bridenstine is one of eighteen Republicans who have stated that they will not support any measure to fund the government if it continues to fund Planned Parenthood.

Senator James Lankford introduced a bill to end taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood for a year while they are investigated for possible illegal practices. The bill did not pass in the Senate Aug 3, getting only 53 of the 60 votes needed to pass.

Senator Lankford states on his website, “The recent videos uncovering Planned Parenthood’s inhumane abortion practices have hit a nerve with many Americans. While the government investigates Planned Parenthood to determine if their practice of adapting their abortion procedures to harvest the organs of children violates federal law, they should not continue to receive taxpayer money. This is a sensitive topic for many and I am aware our nation is divided on the issue of abortion, but it is common sense that we shouldn’t force taxpayers to assist the harvesting of human organs.”

Senator Lankford has said the fight is not over. He will be readdressing the funding of Planned Parenthood again this fall.

Debra Hulslander took to the streets with her beliefs. If you want to join the conversation, you can write to your Senators or Congressman, write a letter to the editor, host a prayer vigil. There are many ways, as Hulslander demonstrates, to stand up for what you believe in.

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