Planned Parenthood wrote a five-page letter to Congress Monday arguing the Center for Medical Progress has “spent a decade deceiving the public and making false charges” about its abortion practices. CMP revealed two undercover videos over the last week featuring top Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.
In the first released video, CMP’s undercover investigators are discussing the price of infant body parts with Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s national medical director. She tells the CMP investigators, who joined her under the guise of representatives of a medical research company – Biomax – that hearts and livers are most popular right now.
“Every provider has had patients who want to donate their tissue and they absolutely want to accommodate them. They just want to do it in a way that is not perceived as, ‘This clinic is selling tissue, this clinic is making money off of this,’” Nucatola told them. “You know, I would throw a number out, I would say it’s probably anywhere from $30 to $100 [per specimen], depending on the facility and what’s involved.”
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Planned Parenthood senior counsel Roger K. Evans disputed the claims made by CMP in a letter to Congress Monday. “During the surreptitiously taped meeting, Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood expressly stated that ‘nobody should be ‘selling’ tissue. That’s just not the goal here,’” Evans wrote.
This highly relevant statement was omitted from the video excerpt. In fact, ten times during the conversation, Dr. Nucatola said Planned Parenthood would not sell tissue or profit from tissue donations, and all ten instances were cut out of the video, misleading the public into thinking she said something she didn’t.
Evans would go on to attack CMP’s head, David Daleiden. “Over the last eight years, Mr. Daleiden has participated in at least 10 separate attacks on Planned Parenthood involving gaining access to our health centers and offices under false pretenses, taping staff (and sometimes patients) without their knowledge on at least 65 occasions (not counting this latest fraud), and misleading the public with heavily edited tapes and flat-out false charges.”
The letter was written in response to a letter composed last week by members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee requesting Dr. Nucatola brief committee staff no later than July 31 “to explain specifically the context and meaning of her statements on the video, what comments were edited or not portrayed accurately, and to provide information so that we may better understand your organization’s practices and standards relating to the collection and sale of fetal tissue.”
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Evans’ letter continues: “When the video was released last week, there were assertions by leading politicians that [Dr. Nucatola’s] remarks were evidence of illegal, and possibly criminal, activity. Republican Governor Scott Walker accused Planned Parenthood and Dr. Nucatola of ‘heinous, and possibly illegal actions.’ Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal directed state officials to launch an investigation into ‘this alleged evil and illegal activity’ and asked the FBI ‘to assist … in investigating this alleged criminal activity.’ We strongly dispute these assertions, and the longer video footage of the conversation with Biomax does not support them.”
But in light of these allegations, we are understandably in the process of retaining counsel to advise us on the best way to proceed. Until we have completed this engagement and provided counsel an opportunity to become familiar with the relevant facts, we cannot provide a definitive response.
On Tuesday, one day after Evans’ letter, CMP released a second undercover video featuring another top Planned Parenthood official discussing how aborted baby parts could be harvested and sold. The video concludes with the official joking at the end of the clip ensuring there was enough “compensation” so she could purchase a Lamborghini.
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