The mostly male-dominated movements angling to ban abortion have a history of peddling Big Lies:  Abortion causes breast cancer (studies prove otherwise); women commonly suffer from post-traumatic abortion syndrome (neither the American Medical Association nor the American Psychiatric Association recognizes such an ailment); abortion threatens future fertility (no evidence of that either.)

But the past month has seen the biggest lies of all.

I’m talking about those selectively edited videos that dominated the news and falsely accused Planned Parenthood of breaking the law by profiting from the sale of aborted fetuses.

Just this week, experts determined that Planned Parenthood broke no laws.

Fearing that such vindication would not generate the buzz associated with the videos, those of us at Majority Ohio had to fight back.

So we produced this video:

Unlike the sleazy videos that inspired it, ours does not hide that it’s been heavily edited.

It opens with Ohio Right to Life President Michael Gonidakis who is made to look as if he supports Planned Parenthood. (He should. If Planned Parenthood goes under, unintended pregnancies will go up — and so will demand for abortion).

Others in the video who are known abortion opponents have had their words altered to make them appear to be pro-choice. They are Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted, Auditor Dave Yost, Senate President Keith Faber, and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.

The reaction from some punked by the video was predictable. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Right to Life’s Gonidakis said this:

“Clearly the video creators lack any moral character or regard for anything but profits arising from aborting babies and selling their body parts.  This video and the people who created it are pathetic at best.” 

Let’s talk about the people aligned with the group that created the videos that falsely accused Planned Parenthood of profiting from the sale of fetal tissue.

Four names appear on paperwork for the Center for Medical Progress, the front group for anti-choice extremists who are behind the videos. Despite its name, the Center employs no doctors or scientists working to advance medical treatments. The addresses it lists are postal drops in California.

One of its listed allies is Nicole Surkala. Here’s what we know about her:

Surkala was convicted in California in 2007 of willful cruelty to her 12-year-old son, according to court papers. Police found she kept a horse and seven dogs in a house in Modesto that was filled with animal feces and rotting produce.

The house was so badly infested with flies that Surkala’s young son had to sleep in a tent to escape them, Animal Control Officer Jennifer Sol, who went to the residence investigating a neighbor’s complaint Monday, told the Washington Post.   “There was nothing in my career that could have prepared me for what I came into,” Sol said.

If you’re interested, Majority Ohio has details on the other three but the mom who neglected her son is the one who stood out to me.

Majority Ohio is in partnership with ProgressOhio and others that want the candidates for President to talk about women’s health and economic issues.

Please join the conversation.  The candidates need to from you.


Sandy Theis is executive director of ProgressOhio, which is a member of the Majority Ohio coalition