During the GOP undercard debate Thursday night, the candidates found one thing to agree on: limiting reproductive rights.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, and former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore participated in the debate moderated by Fox News hosts Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer. The event took place four days before the Iowa caucus, the 2016 election's first primary.
"Planned Parenthood engages in partial-birth abortion, in late-term abortion, they alter those abortion techniques to harvest and sell body parts," Fiorina said. "Most Americans find this practice horrific."
The candidate's last accusation refers to a video of Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical research Deborah Nucatola discussing techniques for preserving fetal organs and tissue. Conservative media outlets spread the rumor that the organization was profiting off aborted fetuses.
In reality, multiple investigations have found Planned Parenthood not guilty of selling fetal tissue. Rather, the organization donated organs and tissue to research facilities and were legally reimbursed for the costs associated with the donation. To quell attacks from the right, Planned Parenthood announced in October that it would stop collecting these fees.
Fiorina's term "partial-birth abortion" is a political one, not a medical one, according to NPR. The procedure, which involves partially extracting the fetus, is legal and typically takes place before viability.
Nevertheless, the candidate promised that "in a President Fiorina budget, there will not be one dime for Planned Parenthood, although there will be a lot of money for women's health."
Santorum also chimed in against reproductive rights, claiming that he and his wife were advised to have two abortions, but didn't go through with them.
Fiorina came to Santorum's defense, saying she had no basis to question his "pro-life credentials," and echoed this sentiment in a tweet immediately after the debate:
The main debate, featuring Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, followed.
Donald Trump chose not to participate due to a dispute with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, and hosted his own event in Iowa instead.