One year ago, The Center for Medical Progress released the first in its groundbreaking series of undercover videos catching senior-level Planned Parenthood leadership negotiating the sale and haggling over the price of aborted baby body parts. Today, Planned Parenthood remains under investigation by multiple states and the Select Investigative Panel in Congress, which has determined that Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of fetal body parts, exposed patients’ private medical records, and pressured patient consent with fraudulent paperwork.
CMP’s undercover videos featured multiple top-level executives and medical directors at Planned Parenthood, including:
Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, PPFA
Dr. Mary Gatter, Medical Directors’ Council President, PPFA
Dr. Savita Ginde, VP & Medical Director, PPRM
Melissa Farrell, Director of Research, PPGC
Dr. Katharine Sheehan, Medical Director emerita, PPPS
Dr. Amna Dermish, Associate Medical Director, PPGT
Dr. Jennefer Russo, Medical Director, PPOSBC
Deborah VanDerhei, Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS) National Director, PPFA
At a business lunch meeting with CMP investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, Dr. Nucatola remarked over wine and salad: “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.” Nucatola also said of Planned Parenthood affiliates’ payments for fetal organs: “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 that.”
Dr. Gatter haggled over the price per fetal specimen with the undercover investigators, insisting, “You know in negotiations the person who throws out the figure first is at a loss, right?” and laughing, “I want a Lamborghini.”
Dr. Ginde suggested ways to maximize payments for fetal tissue: “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” Melissa Farrell in Texas promised, “If we alter our process, and we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers, we can make it part of the budget that any dissections are this, and splitting the specimens into different shipments is this. It’s all just a matter of line items.”
The first video, with Dr. Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, received over 1 million views on YouTube in the 24 hours after it was posted. Two days later, PPFA president and CEO Cecile Richards posted her own video apologizing for Nucatola’s “tone and statements.” But to date, none of these representatives of Planned Parenthood have come forward to correct their remarks on the videos or disavow them. Planned Parenthood has not divulged whether or not these representatives continue to work in the same leadership capacities.
The CMP videos now have more than 12 million views on YouTube, including over 3.2 million views of the first video. The videos prompted several Congressional committees and state agencies to open preliminary inquiries, but the only dedicated, nationwide, and in-depth official investigation is the Energy & Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Less than a week after the Panel was chartered, Planned Parenthood announced a “policy” change to no longer receive payments for supplying fetal tissue–after 3 months of insisting that these payments were completely legal and acceptable.
In the first half of 2016, the Panel has documented the for-profit business model for fetal body parts harvesting at some of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country and the company StemExpress. Last month, the Panel filed formal complaints with the Department of Health and Human Services on account of “systematic” HIPAA violations at multiple Planned Parenthood affiliates in their relationship with StemExpress, as well as the use of invalid consent forms with false representations to pregnant women.
“As more details and evidence continue to emerge in the ongoing investigation of Planned Parenthood’s aborted baby parts business, it’s clear Planned Parenthood is guilty of far more wrongdoing in their fetal harvesting scheme than anyone initially realized,” notes David Daleiden, CMP project lead. “Planned Parenthood has claimed for one year that they made no money from baby body parts, but faced with an ever-growing body of evidence to the contrary, they have yet to produce anything other than press releases to back up their lies to the public.”
Daleiden concludes, “The rule of law means that there cannot be one special set of rules for Planned Parenthood, and another for everybody else. Planned Parenthood is not above the law and must be held accountable for their callous and careless treatment of vulnerable patients and their barbaric profiteering on baby body parts.”