New video raises serious questions about Planned Parenthood’s abortions

(Screen grab of video by Center for Medical Progress)

An undercover video released Tuesday depicts a top Planned Parenthood official discussing techniques for aborting babies in a way to preserve their organs for transfer to an outside entity — and the amount of money that entity might expect to pay for them.

The video, filmed by the Center for Medical Progress, shows a two-and-a-half-hour lunch meeting between two people acting as agents for a stem-cell research firm and Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In it, Nucatola talks about the need to structure pricing for the organs to avoid the “perception” that they are being sold — which is against federal law. She also describes ways to perform the abortion to avoid damaging the organs, including one that is similar to the banned practice known as partial-birth abortion.

A shorter video with excerpts of the discussion is here (the full-length video follows at the bottom of this post):

Planned Parenthood released a statement acknowledging that “patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs” and that several of its facilities help them do so “with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards.”

The video casts doubt on that part about the “highest ethical and legal standards” being in place. In the video, Nucatola is heard talking about avoiding the “perception” Planned Parenthood clinics were making money:

“Some might do it for free. (Others) want to come to a number that it doesn’t look like they’re making money. They want to come to a number that looks like it is a reasonable number for the effort that is allotted on their part.”

Asked what amount might satisfy the clinics’ “sensitivity” on this issue, Nucatola said:

“I’m going to throw a number out: I would say it’s anywhere from $30 to $100 (per specimen), depending on the facility and what’s involved. It just has to do with space issues, are you sending someone there who’s going to be doing everything or is there staff going to be doing it, is there shipping involved, is someone coming to pick it up? … It’s really just about, if anyone were ever to ask them, well, what do you do for this $60? How can you justify that, or are you basically just doing something completely egregious that you should be (inaudible)? So it just needs to be justifiable. We have 67 affiliates. … At the end of the day, they’re non-profit. They just don’t want to — they want to break even, and if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that, you know, seems reasonable, they’re happy to do it.”

That’s not exactly calculating or reimbursing actual costs, or ensuring any charge for the organs is strictly a break-even amount. One would think that an organization as large and scrutinized as Planned Parenthood would have protocols for its clinics to use in setting these kinds of prices, to ensure there’s no room for confusion. But the concern, as relayed by Nucatola, seems to be only making the price “reasonable” so no one asks questions. The federal law banning fetal-tissue sales refers to “valuable consideration,” so a legal question would be whether there’s enough margin between the (apparently un-calculated) cost the clinic incurs and the “reasonable” price it charges to qualify as “valuable consideration.”

The Center for Medical Progress says this video was just the first of a series of videos and documents it plans to release about organ sales by Planned Parenthood. Among them is this flyer it describes as “an advertisement to Planned Parenthood clinics” which refers to “financial profits” and carries an endorsement by a different Planned Parenthood doctor. That doesn’t support the idea that charges for these “donations” are purely to cover costs.

(Screen grab of video by Center for Medical Progress)

(Screen grab of video by Center for Medical Progress)

As for the techniques involved, Nucatola describes some of the “effort that is allotted on their part”:

“I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.”

And:

“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.”

Note that Planned Parenthood has fought proposed laws that would even require them to offer ultrasounds to women seeking abortions. There seems to be a different standard if there may be something in it for the clinic. Then there’s this:

“The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium — the head — is basically the biggest part. … And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex (head-first). So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.”

That last bit — said, as with the two preceding excerpts, as Nucatola ate her lunch — describes a technique very similar to what’s known as a partial-birth abortion. The federal law banning that procedure defines it as:

“An abortion in which the person performing the abortion, deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus.” (emphasis added)

If that’s not an outright admission Planned Parenthood clinics still engage in partial-birth abortions, it is, at a minimum, an acknowledgment that they come right up to the line of legality. It also makes you wonder how a non-human “clump of cells” could — as early as nine weeks of development, according to the discussion on the video — have human organs that needed to be kept intact to be scientifically useful.

Here’s the full footage, in case you have almost three hours on your hands:

Reader Comments 0

128 comments
coj
coj

Another right wing smear campaign of falsehood and lies promoted with the use of a highly edited video and out of context to boot. Reminiscent of the smear done to ACORN by that sleazy James O'Keefe and promoted by Andrew Breitbart.

reasonable40
reasonable40

The entire 2 hour video was released which actually makes the high level PP official look even worse.

JackClemens
JackClemens

Right up to the line of legality = obeying the law.

Linkster#13
Linkster#13

What is also telling in the video is the concerted effort of Planned Parenthood to educate their staff legally on the bounds of how to operate in the grey areas for conducting abortions.  They clearly are willing to push the limits of the law to harvest and sell fetal organs.  They consciously and will forethought search for legal means to procure, harvest, and market body parts for the biomedical industry.  Disgusting, barbaric practice.

Linkster#13
Linkster#13

Abortion is indefensible.   And the faction of pro-choice individuals that believes abortion is wrong but can't impose their beliefs on others is also wrong.  Science and modern ultrasounds clearly establish life begins in the womb prior to birth.  A fetus has the same human rights as any other human.  Liberals will accept global warming science, but not prenatal science.  The hypocrisy clearly defines the immorality and ethical depravity of Liberals.


Denying the unborn life - the preeminent right - is murder.  Liberals are doing backflips logically trying to defend the practice.  In reality, it is part of the narcissism of the nation - the "I can do anything without accepting responsibility for the action" sect.  Sex, drugs, alcohol, risky sex, business and financial fraud, thievery, etc, it is all good as long as a loophole can be found to justify the action.  Right now the immoral/unethical narcissists control govt and are changing the rules to gerrymander politics for decades, using govt handouts to buy the black and hispanic vote and adding millions of illegal immigrants to the voter rolls to consolidate their immoral and unethical reign.  Sickening.  


The demise of the US is in process.  What made this country great was the selflessness and the moral, ethical behavior of the Founders.  Those values have been replaced with selfish, immoral, narcissistic values that corrupt society and govt.  We are a corrupt nation, like the one that we fought in the Revolutionary War so we could establish a free nation of moral, ethical citizens.  It was our Puritanical values that led this nation to greatest.  We are so far from those values.  We are a very corrupt, evil, filthy nation that kills babies, celebrates depravity, wallows in self-indulgence.  Sad to see it happen.  

Shar1
Shar1

@Linkster#13 You really need to turn off Fox News and get out into the real world.


The Founders were highly flawed men.  White men only, many of whom owned slaves, were adulterers, died of venereal disease, duelled, drank to excess and borrowed money they couldn't repay.  They were sexist, racist and elitist, but they came together, thought, argued, compromised and gave to our generations a priceless gift.


We need to follow their example, not their faux (Fox?) sainthood.  Your argument is based on nonsequiturs.  Of course life begins in the womb -  'science and ultrasounds' are not necessary as this as been known since the Stone Age.  Your next assertion, however, is unrelated and completely false.  Fetuses do not have all the rights that breathing citizens do because they are parasites.  They are completely dependent upon their hosts' willingness to succor them, as well as their own developing medical viability.  A fetus does not take precedence over a woman, nor do your religious beliefs take precedence over her right to live her life as she sees fit.  

Contrary to your posit, antiabortion proponents who try to force their views on others are wrong, legally and morally.  Antiabortion activists who shoot doctors, harass and threaten women outside of clinics and who, having failed at pressing legislation that would deny women safe medical care, lie and cheat to smear and destroy practitioners who deliver that care are also wrong.  Antiabortion activists who try to ease carrying a fetus to term, through improved healthcare for women and children, improved schools and communities, improved child care options, etc, have listened to the issues, thought and compromised like the Founders you so admire.  Those who try to impose their will on unwilling people through force, deceit and oppression are more like King George.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Shar1 "They are completely dependent upon their hosts' willingness to succor them, as well as their own developing medical viability."

Every bit of that is also true for a newborn, infant and toddler.

MHSmith
MHSmith

Kyle, why didn't you tell us the unions made big donations to Planned Parenthood?

James Sherk, the senior policy analyst in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, said that “most union members have no idea that their union donates their dues to the largest abortion provider in America.”

http://dailysignal.com/2015/06/25/unions-made-big-donations-to-planned-parenthood-in-2014/


Oh don't those AFSCME tee-shirts featured in the picture from the link look good? 


Whoa, wait a minute, AFSCME... wasn't that union tied to the now defunct and debunked ACORN bunch of lying crooks Obama helped to organize, Kyle? 


“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”


Yeah, Congress should investigate baby-gate. 

WE81
WE81

Bottom line is, the anti-choicers want a world where if a woman gets pregnant, she stays pregnant by order of the state, no matter the circumstances. And they will smear, shame and stigmatize anyone to get it. Fwiw Kyle, the GOP's insane pandering on this issue (exemplified in the gleeful circulation of this idiotic video) has made me vow to never, ever, ever vote Republican again. I simply will not listen to people who insist on characterizing women who decide to stop an unintended pregnancy as baby-killers and murderers.

Tidning_
Tidning_

The video certainly speaks for itself. And it's equally clear there are liberal readers willing to excuse barbarity in the name of party politics.


LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

If abortion wasn't a heinous crime against humanity, selling baby body parts wouldn't be illegal.

Enoch19
Enoch19

When you defend selling crushed baby parts for profit but condemn the video that exposes the act, morality is dead. You have no humanity.  If a business were selling crushed puppy parts, the left would explode but since its only babies the will defend this grotesque abomination to the death.


I cannot imagine a decent human being anywhere who would be willing to actually defend the morality of selling baby parts for profit.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

For all those claiming PP is following the law, so too, are corporations who take advantage of loopholes.

I'll have to assume that's O.K. as well. 

GeorgiaRedNeck
GeorgiaRedNeck

Kyle,

If you put much faith in an undercover video, it raises more questions about you than the subject of the video.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Punish those who break the law, don't punish those who don't.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Quit while you have some legs to stand on Kyle...they are killing you below in the blog.

And I know that this will be moderated....why? Because of our past disagreements? Never once did I use bad language or anything of the sort...

I just called you out like these bloggers are doing. Stop with the mess and start with some good stuff! Remember Kyle

Dont stop believing.....

reasonable40
reasonable40

Using humans for experiments has been done before. A human life with unique DNA from a host body could not reasonably be called merely "tissue" from the host. By definition a fetus is a separate being from the mother. Because a baby needs the environment of a mother's uterus to grow and be born does not make the baby not a human life. As an example, if a person is in a car accident and needs intensive care (a respirator) to live for a certain amount of time, that does not make that person not a human life because they depend on the environment of "intensive care" to live. This is not a difficult moral question. That is the way I see it. Maybe you can see it that way too.

MHSmith
MHSmith

There is nothing good you can say about this planned abortion outfit. Look at the liberal logic below: If something is legal or goes up to the line of legal then that makes it perfectly okay, according to liberal logic on abortion and current law. 

Remember slavery Libs, it was once legal too but that wasn't okay!

Big difference between legally okay and morally acceptable.


Then again, for people who don't believe in God or the Bible or the value of "innocent human life", logic is the least of their shortcomings Kyle.  

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@MHSmith Welcome to the United States, where the constitution says we are not a theocracy. :) 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@MHSmith You just undermined Hillary's campaign strategy of "There is no smoking gun, you have no proof".  It is all she has left, as the appearance of impropriety surrounds her.

MHSmith
MHSmith

@LogicalDude @MHSmith 

Constitution?  Theocracy?

The constitution said nothing and has nothing written in it about a Theocracy. If you can show where as much as the word Theocracy appears in the constitution you might restore some credibility to your worthless retort.

The constitution also said nothing or has anything written in it about abortion, not even the word itself. Which only became law - by court decision - in the '1970s not the 1770s when the Constitution was written.

Roe-v-Wade was one vote shy from not being a law, when Justice Blackmun's announced a chill wind still blows and Justice Scalia awaits.



Now for your theology lesson dude:

- A Theocracy is a government only GOD can establish. 

- Man can only create a "church-state" to mimic GOD: Which the Constitution has plenty to say about and written in it to prohibit “a” (as in one)Church-State(“an” establishment), as it was in England

  • Congress shall make no law respecting “an establishment” of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;



We however, are not even a constitutionally recognizable "Republican form of government" the founder's had in mind when they wrote the Articles, let alone a Theocracy. .



Correct yourself with this:



Welcome to the U.S. Supreme Court where nine justices determine when the murder of "innocent life" is not to be protected under the 14th amendment of the Constitution.



"Today's United States is without any doubt, ethically corrupt and morally bankrupt!"


Shar1
Shar1

So on the one hand we have Planned Parenthood that follows the law and on the other we have a pair of people who lie about who they are and film this woman without her knowledge or consent and then make the video public in hopes of smearing her organization enough to destroy it.


Who, exactly, is the immoral entity here?


It does give another reason for Republicans to attack Planned Parenthood, a group that provides low income women with Pap smears, mammograms, HPV vaccines, birth control and other reproductive health care that Republicans find an intolerable waste of money as well as using about 3% of their resources (all private) to provide abortion services.  And, predictably, Republicans have jumped at the chance to tear down a crucial part of women's health care safety net.


War on women, anyone?

MHSmith
MHSmith

@Shar1 

Support the war against "heart disease". 

Then you'll have a real woman's health issue to trumpet and rally a fight against.

 The number one killer of women in this country is heart disease. Not pregnancies.    



LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Shar1 "Who, exactly, is the immoral entity here?"


I generally support whistle-blowing organizations who may use undercover video to expose wrong-doings. 


But so far, the best argument I see goes like:  "someone talked about something that may go up to the line of legality and perhaps crossing it".  


There is no evidence that any legal line has been crossed. If the legal line was crossed, then there are legal consequences. 




SvenOttke
SvenOttke

@Shar1 Follows the law?  They are selling body parts.  That's not following the law.

coj
coj

@SvenOttke @Shar1 Selling body parts? What a crock of bile. No one makes any money out of donated organs, just like any hospital in the US. Where in the video did they say body parts were sold? 

NorthAtlanta
NorthAtlanta

@Shar1

They do not provide mammograms.  So it's a war on women to tell the truth about Planned Parenthood?  Sorry.  Most people aren't buying that schtick anymore.

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@Shar1 Oh give us a break.  If an undercover video suited your point of view, you'd be advocating it as a completely moral activity.

Linkster#13
Linkster#13

@Shar1 Your logic is not logic.  It is legal to record your own conversations, without notice.  More troubling is your equating the killing, mutilation, and harvesting of human organs for profit to recording a conversation without one's knowledge.  


The issue is harvesting human organs for profit.  Killing infants for profit.  Barbarism.  The US is only one of seven nations that allow late term abortions, the others being North Korea. China, Singapore, Vietnam, Netherlands and Canada; 200 other countries ban the practice.  We aren't enlightened, we are barbaric.  

Shar1
Shar1

@SvenOttke @Shar1 Nope.  They are operating according to the law.  The people who videoed this in hopes of entrapping and smearing this person and her organization are liars and self absorbed, self righteous hit men, yearning to trample other people - and particularly women - for their moment of fame.


It's ludicrous and sensationalistic to say that they are "selling body parts".  The only reason this comes up is because yet another conservative group wants to find some way to emotionalize Planned Parenthood and shut it down.  There is zero regard for the fate of the women who depend upon its services, no interest or respect for women's right to reproductive health care.


Republicans are being forced to mind their rhetoric on some of their favorite targets - blacks, gays and Latinos - but women are still in the crosshairs.  Your comments are typical of the irrationality and contempt that Republicans tend to display towards women's issues, particularly if they involve reproduction.

Shar1
Shar1

@Linkster#13 @Shar1 Read.  Think.  Open your mind.  Learn.


No one made a profit.  There was no profit.  Late term abortions are legal only in the case of medical necessity.


Control of her own reproductive health and choices is the number one way to raise a woman from poverty; education is second.  And raising women from poverty is the number one way to benefit Ifamilies.  What is barbaric is forcing women to carry fetuses they don't want, can't care for and know will negatively affect their existing children to term because some other person or power thinks they should have to.


I knew a guy a Duke Med years ago who had come fo rob/gyn post doc training from his home in Lebanon.  He told me that providing birth control without a husband's consent was illegal there, and that he had had desperate women come to him over and over, women who had borne a child per year since they were married at 15 and who just couldn't face having the 16th or 20th, women who were not married and whose pregnancies, once known, would get them killed, women whose husbands were abusive rapists and who could not care for the children they already had.  He had to turn all of them down.  


Is this the world you want to impose on American women?


Have faith in women. They alone can weigh all of the factors in their lives and come to a decision that is best for their families and themselves.  No dogma, particularly if they do not share it, is better than a rational decision and safe means (whether abortion or good prenatal care) to implement that decision.

PITTFAN
PITTFAN

How she can sit there and say they need to "harvest the tissues morally and ethically" when aborting babies is not morally or ethically right is beyond me!  Yes, I realize abortions are legal and can be performed but anyone with a conscience wouldn't perform them.

JackClemens
JackClemens

@PITTFAN Abortion is legal because it is a choice that is morally and ethically right.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

If the percentage of proggies on this blog were an indication of how many proggies there are in Georgia, we would be a blue state and they would be advocating censoring right wing hate speech by shutting down this blog. 


Kyle you need to call Orkin. 


SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@RafeHollister In your case, disagreeing with your point of view would be considered "right wing hate speech."   I would think most citizens would be in favor of upholding the law, and prohibiting partial birth abortions and selling their body parts.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 It looks like the House of Representatives is ready to investigate Planned Parenthood (again).


Sigh


Perhaps something good will come of it ?


Lord knows the millions of taxpayer dollars they wasted on Benghazi sure didn't .

RLSmith
RLSmith

@HeadleyLamar A hell of a lot more taxpayer dollars are being wasted on PP. They should not receive one taxpayer dime.  

sssinff
sssinff

"it is, at a minimum, an acknowledgment that they come right up to the line of legality."


Organization follows the law. Oh, the shame!!

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@sssinff Note the phrase "at a minimum" -- she simply didn't specify the technique enough to say definitively that it crosses the line, though it is hard to see what the difference might be.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Kyle_Wingfield @sssinff "didn't specify the technique enough to say definitively that it crosses the line,"


Which is why we are confused that you ignore the article debunking the video. If there is a statement by Planned Parenthood saying 

"At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards."


Then you don't believe that, evidently. 

But someone who says something that "didn't specify", you just assume it jumps right over the line of legality. 


You say: " it is hard to see what the difference might be."

The answer is, one way is legal and the other way is not legal.  From all evidence, Planned Parenthood is acting legally. 


MHSmith
MHSmith

@Kyle_Wingfield @sssinff 

Abortion in and of itself crossed the moral line, adding to it the organ harvesting crime against humanity only reserves a special place for them next to the devil in hell.    

sssinff
sssinff

It looks like the House of Representatives is ready to investigate Planned Parenthood (again).


So....with gay marriage off the table, the GOP are going back to their greatest hits in social issues, abortion.


No alternative to Obamacare, no alternative to the Iran nuclear deal, no jobs bills, nothing on infrastructure. Sadly, the GOP are bereft of any actual ideas for governance. Oh, and immigrants tukerjobs!


I truly can't wait for the first debate in a few weeks.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@LogicalDude "But someone who says something that "didn't specify", you just assume it jumps right over the line of legality. "

No, that's the opposite of what I did. I deliberately stopped short of making that accusation. But there is enough in what she did say to raise the question.

And by "from all evidence" I can only assume you mean "based on PP's press release."

MHSmith
MHSmith

@LogicalDude @MHSmith @Kyle_Wingfield @sssinff 

 Can you ever stop lying?! 

That statement was made in respect to the illegal harvesting of organs without consent of the person or their legal guardians consent and selling them for a profit. 


SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@sssinff And you guys gave Nixon a hard time.  How can it be "tissue" if there are definable organs.  Did the law change about not using aborted children for stem cell research?