A video making the rounds on the web is causing headaches for Planned Parenthood. An undercover investigative video alleges that companies that want to collect human tissue are able to purchase aborted fetus tissue from Planned Parenthood in violation of federal law. In the video, Planned Parenthood’s head of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, is having a nice lunch juxtaposed with a conversation about seemingly subverting federal law by trafficking aborted fetal tissue through their franchise locations.
The undercover video is part of an ongoing investigation by The Center for Medical Progress, who has been undertaking a 3-year-long private investigation into Planned Parenthood’s alleged illegal trafficking of aborted fetal/baby parts. David Daleiden, the head of the project, gave a statement on the Center’s website detailing the undercover video.
“Planned Parenthood’s criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization. Elected officials must listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the law and for our tax dollars to stop underwriting this barbaric abortion business.
Highlights from the Planned Parenthood undercover video include Dr. Nucatola talking and describing how clinics will not only have quotas to fill for orders from companies like StemExpress (whose site is no longer online as of this writing), but will perform the abortions in such a way to ensure minimum damage to the aborted fetus.
“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
Later on, she describes how the presentation of the fetus is changed and aborted in a manner which is nearly identical to the banned partial birth abortion procedure. In regards to the federal ban, she had something to say to the reporters presenting themselves as a biological material procurement firm.
“The Federal [Partial-Birth] Abortion Ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation. So if I say on day one, I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter.”
The fallout from the undercover video of Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Nucatola is already being felt as her Twitter page has already been pulled.
— Jill Stanek (@JillStanek) July 14, 2015
Dr. Nucatola has been a public face for Planned Parenthood in the past on news outlets like CNN, but it seems that damage control is in full effect, and requests for comments from Planned Parenthood on the illegal trafficking of aborted babies/fetuses have gone unanswered.
It should also be understood that the above video is heavily edited for effect. While this does not make the material invalid, a raw, unedited presentation would be a better way to gain credibility in the arguments.
[UPDATE] Planned Parenthood has released a statement on the undercover video addressing some of the claims in the video. Eric Ferrero, VP of Communications, stated that “patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases. Women at Planned Parenthood who have abortions are no different.” Ferrero went on to say that there is “no financial benefit” for the donation of tissue for the patient of the clinic beyond possible reimbursement for transport to the research centers.
The Center for Medical Progress has already replied to the Planned Parenthood’s statement by claiming that Ferrero’s response confirms that “aborted fetal parts are harvested” and “money is exchanged.” A flyer from StemExpress, mentioned above, heavily promotes the “financially profitable” aspect of selling the discarded tissue for life saving research and medical cures.
The video above does not match up to Ferrero’s statement in all cases. Despite the heavy editing of the undercover video, Dr. Nucatola is very clear in her discussion of specific body parts in relation to price at one point stating, “A lot of people want liver.” Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is also not taking the statement from Planned Parenthood at face value either. A press release from the Office of the Governor states that he is directing the LA Dept. of Health and Hospitals “to launch an investigation into Planned Parenthood after reports surfaced alleging some Planned Parenthood affiliates are using partial birth abortions to sell fetal body parts.”
Putting aside the moral issues at play for many readers, the legality of abortions are a matter of law dating back to Roe v Wade. Abortion is a legal procedure and regulated by federal law. Planned Parenthood and any other organization that provides this service is required to abide by the regulations including the partial-birth abortion ban. Dr. Nucatola’s comments on the undercover video, despite being heavily edited, are enough to raise serious questions about the legal practices of the Planned Parenthood, and hopefully we will know more in the days to come.
[Image Source: Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock]