Bobby Jindal's latest bizarre stunt: Screening Planned Parenthood videos on his lawn

"We will have a screen set up outside the mansion to display the Planned Parenthood videos"


Sophia Tesfaye
August 21, 2015 11:48PM (UTC)

Republican presidential long shot Bobby Jindal has waged a full scale war against Planned Parenthood and in his latest attack the Louisiana governor decided to air the controversial undercover videos in front of his home.

The Advocate reported that the governor aired a loop of the undercover videos targeting the women's health organization on the lawn of the governor's mansion in Baton Rouge Thursday as a counter protest to a group of about 50 supporters of Planned Parenthood who had gathered to protest Jindal's decision to cut Medicaid funding to the organization.

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Jindal claimed he held the screening to give protestors who objected to his decision to defund Planned Parenthood an opportunity to "witness first-hand the offensive actions of the organization they are supporting":

Planned Parenthood supporters are welcome to protest. We will have a screen set up outside the mansion to display the Planned Parenthood videos. We hope the protesters will take a minute to watch them so they’ll have an opportunity to see first-hand our concerns with Planned Parenthood’s practices.

Jindal has launched an investigation into the operations of Planned Parenthood based on allegations made in the video that the organization "haggled" over the sale of fetal body parts. Planned Parenthood has vehemently denied the charges, noting that fetal tissue is only ever donated, not sold for profit and that the procedure is legal. Still, Jindal cut off Louisiana's nearly $300,000 contract with Planned Parenthood, garnering a warning from the Department of Health and Human Services that the state may have moved in violation of federal law.

Louisiana State Director of Planned Parenthood Melissa Flourneoy called Jindal's latest move a political "stunt":

Governor Jindal isn’t even in Louisiana today, but he’s made sure to prove that he’s always ready to put politics before Louisianan’s health. This stunt is proof he doesn’t have any real answers for the people of Louisiana. He is ready to cut health care for thousands of low-income women and men without batting an eye. Because for Jindal, it's all politics all the time.

Jindal's play to endear himself even more to his rabidly anti-choice base is soundly out-of-step with sentiments of the larger American electorate. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll released this week found that by a 2-to-1 margin, Americans support federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

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Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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