White House spokesmen have repeatedly said they did not know whether President Barack Obama has seen the controversial Planned Parenthood videos, and on Friday, press secretary Josh Earnest told TheBlaze he’s not aware of any reason to think the president will watch them.
“Not that I’m aware of. I don’t believe that he has that planned for his weekend,” Earnest told TheBlaze.
The White House has been staunchly defending Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider and a political ally that has twice endorsed Obama.
The organization is under scrutiny after undercover videos by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress purport to show Planned Parenthood officials talking about the sale of fetal body parts in gruesome detail.
Congressional Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood, which Earnest said is “certainly something that would draw a presidential veto.”
TheBlaze also asked Earnest about a Senate Republican proposal to redirect the $500 million going to Planned Parenthood each year to less controversial community health centers that outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics, and provide the same screenings and other health services.
“Planned Parenthood does provide a range of important preventative care and health care services, including screenings, vaccines and checkups to men, women and children across the country,” Earnest responded. “Millions of men and women visit Planned Parenthood clinics annually. The other thing that is true, this is also applies to Planned Parenthood, sometimes I think it gets lost, is that no federal funds, including federal funds are permitted to cover abortions or administer plans that cover abortions except in the case of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is endangered. That’s been the federal law since the 1980s. Nothing has changed.”
In a statement, David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress, which made the videos, said the White House has the wrong focus.
"Planned Parenthood and its political allies are using every means possible to try and silence us and suppress investigative journalism but none of these bullying tactics change the facts our undercover investigation continues to prove, that Planned Parenthood illegally harvests, traffics and sells aborted baby body parts for profit," Daleiden said in the statement. "The four video reports we have released so far are undeniable to anyone who watches them and they prove that Planned Parenthood is engaged in a gruesome and inhuman enterprise. One would think the reaction would be to stop forcing hard working Americans to pay for this enterprise, isn't there a better way to spend the American people's money than to give half a billion a year to an organization engaged in selling aborted baby body parts?"