See the first two posts – Prolegomena and #1 – for an introduction to this series.
The first video released by the Center for Medical Progress depicts Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services for Planned Parenthood, meeting with actors posing as buyers from a human biologics firm. (Note: There is a video edited for length and content, and a full, unedited video below the fold).
Recall from the first post that it is illegal to change the abortion procedure in any way for the purpose of preserving fetal organs and tissue. Now:
2:54 – Dr. Nucatola notes that livers are in demand, and that they will use ultrasound guidance to “crush” the right parts of the fetus, in order to preserve certain organs.
3:53 – Dr. Nucatola explains how the abortion provider will sometimes change the “presentation” of the fetus for the purpose of preserving certain organs. In medical terms, she explains that if the baby is presenting head-first, then they will have to crush the head; but if they can turn the baby around to feet-first, then the head will probably be able to come through without damage. There is no mention of the safety of the mother. The motivation is entirely the preservation of fetal tissue.
5:57 – Dr. Nucatola, on hearing that her buyers are interested in certain tissues, explains that she can “maintain dialogue” with the abortion providers, and they can make changes to the process to increase the success of preserving tissue.
Recall also that it is illegal to profit from the sale of fetal tissue.
7:13 – Dr. Nucatola advises that the legal arm of PP said they needed to steer away from the idea that PP is a middleman, because it could look like they are selling tissues. She goes on to reiterate that their pricing is “per specimen,” which belies the fact that they are not simply recovering their costs. That is, a liver from one abortion might be more costly than a liver from another abortion – but they will charge a standard price, rather than charging for the actual costs of the procurement.
The second video features a conversation with Dr. Mary Gatter, PP’s President of Medical Directors’ Council. (The edited and unedited videos are, again, both presented).
Clips pertaining to selling fetal tissue at a profit:
0:22 – Actor posing as buyer asks what price Dr. Gatter is expecting. Dr. Gatter responds with a negotiation tactic (as she later admits) – why don’t you tell me what you’re used to paying?
1:21 – Dr. Gatter refers to “our volume” – the number of abortions – from which the supply of organs will come. This is indicative of her view that she is trading in a commodity, rather than simply offering donated tissue as it happens to become available.
1:48 – Dr. Gatter explains that, in some cases, there was essentially nothing for PP to do in order to provide tissues to a buyer; but compensation was still expected and exchanged.
2:22 – Buyer asks what sort of compensation is usually offered for “in tact” fetal tissue. Dr. Gatter responds, “Why don’t you tell me what you are used to paying?” But if PP was only recovering their costs, this would be irrelevant.
A little later, Dr. Gatter explains that, “You know, in negotiations whoever throws out the figure first is at a loss, right?” The buyer pushes further, and Gatter responds with $75 per specimen.
The buyer responds that this is too low – she would be willing to pay more – and Dr. Gatter admits she was willing to pay $50 per specimen. Again, negotiation would be irrelevant if PP was simply recovering costs.
6:49 – She conditionally accepts the $75 per specimen, but says she will go and find out what other affiliates are getting. Of course, it should not matter what other affiliates are getting – she only has to know what it costs Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley Planned Parenthoods in order to procure the tissues in question.
Once more, recall that altering the abortion procedure in any way, for the purpose of preserving tissues, is illegal. Note:
4:38 – Buyers ask about getting second trimester specimens, and Dr. Gatter explains that there is a little bit of a problem with this.
Ordinarily, they use one technique, but if they want to preserve the specimen, they have to use a technique that applies less force by suction. She admits that this is a violation of protocol, which both PP and the patient have signed and agreed to.
However, she personally finds the argument against changing the procedure to be specious, and she will consult with the legal arm of PP to see what they can do.
And she admits, a second time, that the consent says there’s to be no change in procedure, in accordance with the law cited.
6:11 – If the business relationship with the buyers goes forward, Dr. Gatter will follow-up on the legality of using a “less crunchy” technique to procure the tissues requested.
By my estimation, there is enough reason here, in just these two videos, to suggest that systemic illegal activity is at work within Planned Parenthood.
Systemic, because these are leaders within the organization, and not dismissible as rogue agents. In fact, at the end of the first video, Dr. Nucatola is explicitly lauded as “amazing” by Cecile Richards, President of PPFA.
Illegal, as demonstrated above.
There are more videos, and I will note the evidence of illegal activity in further posts. However, the main thrust of the legal case will continue in the next post.