Republicans seize on Planned Parenthood video

 

Republicans are seizing on a video purportedly showing a top Planned Parenthood executive discussing the transfer of aborted fetal tissue.

ADVERTISEMENT
"This latest news is tragic and outrageous," GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said in a Facebook post linking to the video.

"This isn't about 'choice.' It's about profiting on the death of the unborn while telling women it's about empowerment," Fiorina said.

"This video is beyond disturbing," Sen. John McCainJohn McCainTrump's new debate challenge: Silence Senate rivals gear up for debates McCain opponent releases new ad hitting his record MORE (R-Ariz.) tweeted.

The undercover video, which surfaced Tuesday morning, shows a woman identified as Deborah Nucatola, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's senior director of medical services, describing in detail procedures to retrieve body parts.

"A lot of people want intact hearts these days, because they're looking for specific nodes," the woman says in the video released by The Center for Medical Progress, a self-described group of citizen journalists monitoring medical ethics. The video was reportedly recorded in July 2014 by people posing as representatives from a fetal tissue procurement company.

"Yesterday was the first time she said people wanted lungs," the woman continues. "Some people want lower extremities too, which, that's simple. I mean that's easy."

"I don't know what they're doing with it. I guess they want muscle," the woman adds. "[W]e've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that."

In a statement, Planned Parenthood described the video as "heavily edited" and said it "falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research."

“In health care, patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases," Eric Ferrero, the group's vice president of communications, said in the statement.

"Women at Planned Parenthood who have abortions are no different. 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," Ferrero continued.

"There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field," he added.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, another Republican presidential candidate, announced Tuesday afternoon he would be directing his state's Department of Health and Hospitals, with the FBI, to launch an investigation into Planned Parenthood's "alleged criminal activity."

"Today’s video of a Planned Parenthood official discussing the systematic harvesting and trafficking of human body parts is shocking and gruesome," Jindal said in a statement.

"This same organization is seeking to open an abortion clinic in New Orleans," Jindal said, suggesting a license would be withheld until the investigation is complete.