Popular social media posts this week made questionable claims about Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and Planned Parenthood.
To sort through the facts, CapRadio’s PolitiFact California reporter Chris Nichols joins us for this week’s ‘Can You Handle The Truth’ segment.
On the serious allegations of these social media posts
They claimed that when Harris was California's attorney general, she failed to prosecute Planned Parenthood for "selling baby parts" and that she went after two "pro-life journalists" instead.
They refer back to 2014 and 2015. That's when two anti-abortion activists released edited videos of Planned Parenthood staff talking about the donation of fetal tissue — which is used for medical research and is legal as long as the provider does not profit from it.
On what several states found after they looked into the allegations against Planned Parenthood
A total of 12 states, many led by Republican governors, investigated Planned Parenthood, which denied the allegations.
None of the investigations ever led to any criminal findings against Planned Parenthood for this activity.
So, it’s correct that Harris never brought charges. But it’s also correct to say the accusations against the group were unfounded. And the portrayal in these Facebook posts of selling “baby parts” is also really distorted. These are donations of fetal tissue as a source of cells used by researchers, and after the woman involved has provided written consent.
On the allegation that Harris was going after two pro-life journalists
Harris was attorney general when her office started investigating the anti-abortion activists. But she had moved on to the U.S. Senate by the time charges were brought against them for violating state privacy laws.
So, in the end, we found these posts were misleading and not accurate. We rated them False.
On presidential candidate Joe Biden’s comments about “packing the courts” and Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination
Biden has been asked by reporters whether he would expand the number of Supreme Court justices if he wins the presidency. This is what’s known as court-packing. Democrats would also need to control the House and Senate to accomplish this.
Biden did not answer that when asked this past weekend, though he later said he was “not a fan” of the idea. But in his earlier response, he also made a questionable claim about the effort by Republicans to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in an election year.
“The only court-packing going on right now ... it’s going on with Republicans packing the court now,” Biden said at an airport. “It’s not constitutional what they’re doing.”
Legal experts said the move to fast-track Barrett right before the election does seem to conflict with some Constitutional principles.
But those experts also said there is no specific clause in the Constitution that would prevent Republicans from moving forward.
In the end, PolitiFact rated Biden’s statement as False.
On where to find official ballot drop boxes across California
Earlier this week we learned that the California Republican Party set up unauthorized ballot drop boxes in several counties.
The California Secretary of State has a website, caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov, that allows anyone to enter their address or zip code and quickly find a list of the official, authorized ballot drop box locations near them, along with all the early in-person voting locations. You can also contact your county elections office.
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