Planned Parenthood has issued an apology for the tone of a recent video, which sparked a heated debate. In the video, Planned Parenthood Federation of America senior director of medical services Deborah Nucatola discusses the donation, or sale, of human tissue — which is harvested following abortion procedures.
The footage, which was recorded in 2014, was filmed by a representative with the Center for Medical Progress. As discussed on their official website, the organization is comprised of “citizen journalists,” who investigate companies and organizations with ethically questionable practices.
“We are concerned about contemporary bioethical issues that impact human dignity, and we oppose any interventions, procedures, and experiments that exploit the unequal legal status of any class of human beings.”
As reported by MSNBC, two of the organization’s “citizen journalists” posed as “fetal tissue procurement company” representatives to secure a meeting with Deborah Nucatola.
During the meeting, which was recorded without Nucatola’s knowledge, she discusses the specific procedures used to perform late-term abortions. She further discusses how those procedures are modified to ensure tissue is not damaged during the procedure.
“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m going to basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
Although the film was reportedly heavily edited, Nucatola also appears to discuss the sale of aborted fetuses to fetal tissue procurement companies.
The video’s content, and Nucatola’s seemingly callous demeanor, have become a point of heated controversy. However, Planned Parenthood insists the senior director of medical services’ words were taken out of context.
As reported by CNN, the organization has denied accusations of wrongdoing. However, the organization’s president, Cecile Richards, did issue an apology for Nucatola’s “tone.”
“Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide. In the video, one of our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion. This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements.”
Although Planned Parenthood apologized for Nucatola’s demeanor, Richards had some strong words for those criticizing the organization.
Via Twitter, Richards explained that “Spreading false information is an age-old strategy of people hell-bent on denying women care & shaming them for exercising their rights.”
She further stated that “1 out of every 5 women has been to PP in her life. Threatening [the] patients’ care & rights will get politicians nowhere real fast.”
Planned Parenthood’s apology for the controversial video specifically addressed Deborah Nucatola’s seemingly callous description of the late-term abortion procedures. However, the organization vehemently denies selling fetal tissue for profit.
[Image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images]