Planned Parenthood under fire

Bev Ehlen, state director of Concerned Women for America, holds a sign outside of a Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis July 21. She was among several pro-life supporters demonstrating after the release of two videos that showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the method and price of providing fetal tissue obtained from abortions for medical research. CNS photo/Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review
Bev Ehlen, state director of Concerned Women for America, holds a sign outside of a Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis July 21. She was among several pro-life supporters demonstrating after the release of two videos that showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the method and price of providing fetal tissue obtained from abortions for medical research. CNS photo/Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review

‘Videos show the dramatic facts of what really occurs during an abortion’


by Joe Bollig
joe.bollig@theleaven.org

Editor’s note: This story contains language and depictions of abortion procedures that might be upsetting to some readers.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The conversation over wine and salad sounded as callous as it was casual: how to abort an unborn child so their organs could be extracted and used for medical research.

This particular business lunch conversation was recorded between a Planned Parenthood Federation of America official and two “employees” of a new biomedical research company.

“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,” said Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood Federation of America senior director of medical services, in a video.

The covert video was recorded on July 25, 2014, at a California restaurant and released on July 14 this year.

The biotech company “employees” posing as buyers were actually operatives from the Center for Medical Progress, which shot the video as part of its Human Capital investigative project.

The Center for Medical Progress describes itself as “a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances.”

Before the furor over the first video died down, a second video was released on July 21.

In this video, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Medical Directors’ Council Dr. Mary Gatter talked with two more Center for Medical Progress covert operators.

In the video, shot in February 2015, Gatter discussed a “less crunchy technique” to abort unborn children in order to get the desired organs and negotiated the price per specimen.

“Let me just figure out what others are getting, and if this is in the ball park, then it’s fine; if it’s still low, then we can bump it up. I want a Lamborghini (sports car),” said Gatter.

Ron Kelsey, consultant for the archdiocesan pro-life office, has seen both videos and he is appalled.

“The videos show the disgusting, horrific nature of what really happens with abortion,” he said. “They are removing the semantic veil used by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, which uses words such as ‘tissue’ or ‘blob of tissue.’ The videos show the dramatic facts of what really occurs during an abortion. The emperor has no clothes — or ethics.”

In a July 21 post on the Kansans for Life blog, KFL legislative research director Kathy Ostrowski pointed to a harsh element of fetal tissue collecting.

“The brutal truth of fetal harvesting is that the unborn child MUST BE CHOPPED UP WHILE ALIVE to extract ‘usable’ pre-ordered organs: hearts, lungs, livers, heads, etc.,” wrote Ostrowski.

Although some make attempts to justify the practice of using tissue from aborted children for the sake of seeking cures, Kelsey is unaware of any lifesaving benefit derived from such research.

In an email sent out on July 17, Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, denounced what she called “outrageous and untrue claims from a rabidly anti-choice group.”

“We support those Planned Parenthood affiliates who help women and families who decide to donate tissue for often lifesaving research,” said McQuade. “However, PPKM does not have such a program.”

The Planned Parenthood Clinic in Overland Park did participate in such a program 15 years ago, according to Mary Kay Culp, state executive director of Kansans for Life. In March 2000, the ABC investigative television program “20/20” broadcasted a segment about fetal tissue harvesting and donation at the clinic.

Although a 1993 law forbade the sale of fetal tissue, it contained an ambiguity about what was “reasonable payment” for the process involved. U.S. Attorney Jim Flory announced in 2008 that the buyer did not violate federal law.

Questions about violation of federal and state laws have arisen again with the two new Planned Parenthood videos. It is illegal to sell human fetal tissue for “valuable consideration,” and it is illegal to change the manner of an abortion to procure such tissue. Additionally, federal law prohibits a certain kind of abortion — the partial-birth abortion.

Questions raised by the videos have led to calls for investigations of Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue harvesting practices.

On July 15, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce announced an investigation of Planned Parenthood. On July 21, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback announced that Kansas had become the eighth state to investigate Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue donation.

There have also been calls to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, of its annual $528 million of taxpayer funding.


 

Center for Medical Progress

To view the summary videos, full video footage, transcripts and press releases from the Center for Medical Progress, go to: www.centerformedicalprogress.org.

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