GOP Candidates Freaking Out About Grand Jury That Indicted Anti-Abortion Activists

SOURCEThink Progress

After a Texas-based grand jury declined to indict Planned Parenthood on Monday, clearing an Austin-based clinic of any wrongdoing, GOP presidential candidates are simply doubling down on their opposition to the national women’s health organization. Although the jury chose to indict the videographers who tried to discredit Planned Parenthood in a misleading video campaign, rather than the organization itself, the verdict has only further inspired candidates to speak out against the nonprofit and its “disturbing” mission.

Here’s what they’ve said so far:

Carly Fiorina

Fiorina, who spoke at the D.C. anti-abortion rally March for Life on Saturday, shared her opposition to the jury’s decision on Hugh Hewitt’s talk show Tuesday morning.

“Yes, well, this is why it’s a fight for the character of our nation. We know for a fact that because of Planned Parenthood’s own announcement that they would no longer accept payments for what they call ‘fetal tissue,’ and they were, in fact, trafficking in baby body parts. So guess what? I’m not going to sit down and be quiet as I said at the March for Life. I will not sit down and be quiet, I know the value of life, we know what’s going on, and I will continue to stand for the character of this nation,” she said.

“Here’s what I know: Planned Parenthood has been trafficking in body parts. Planned Parenthood has been altering late-term abortion techniques to this specific purpose of harvesting body parts. In President Fiorina budget, there will not be a single dime for Planned Parenthood.”

Marco Rubio

Rubio spoke with CNN on Monday night, shortly following the news of the indictment.

“I’m disturbed. We’ll need to learn more, but I’m disturbed that while Planned Parenthood, who are the ones that were actually selling off these (body) parts were found having done nothing wrong, the people who tried to expose them are the ones that are now facing criminal charges,” he said.

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee took his disappointment to Twitter Monday night.


Ben Carson

Carson didn’t directly speak to the Texas decision, but his campaign Communications Director Larry Ross told CNN the candidate is “saddened” by the decision.

“He is equally shocked that they instead decided to indict the individuals that exposed Planned Parenthood’s heinous and illegal activities,” Ross wrote in an email. “As President, he will use the full weight of his office to not only cut off all federal funding for this organization, but also prosecute them for crimes against the unborn.”

This post will be updated with additional statements as they become available.


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Alex Zielinski is a health reporter at ThinkProgress. She was previously at Atlantic Media as an Editorial Fellow. Prior to her move to D.C. in 2015, Alex reported on city politics and social issues for the Portland Mercury and Street Roots in Portland. She graduated from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication in 2011. Her work has been featured in Washington City Paper, Bitch magazine and other publications across the Pacific Northwest. Alex is originally from Arcata, California.