Planned Parenthood exec condemns attack by 'militant' anti-abortion group


ABC US News | World News

The president of Planned Parenthood on Sunday delivered a blistering attack against the “militant anti-abortion activists” who plan to target her group with a dozen more secretly recorded videos.

In an appearance with ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” the group’s president, Cecile Richards, sharpened her tone against the group and blasted the hidden camera footage used to target her group as “heavily edited” and “sensationalized.”

The videos, which were filmed by anti-abortion advocates posing as buyers from a medical research company, show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the costs and methods of preserving fetal tissue for donation.

“To me, this isn't something that actually should be criticized or made fun of.  This is actually laudable that women and their families choose to make fetal tissue donations in order to potentially save the lives of other folks,” she said.

When asked why a Planned Parenthood official is shown haggling over the costs in the video, Richards fought back.

“They're not. The only people that are haggling in these videos are the undercover folks who are absolutely trying to entrap doctors,” she said.

Richards said there were few clinics that donated fetal tissue, but also praised those who participate.

While the footage does not specifically reference illegal behavior, it is also disturbing to watch. The officials discuss “crushing” parts of the fetal body to preserve the organs – comments that been seized upon by Republicans.

One week earlier, Richards released a video statement apologizing for the “tone and statements” of its first executive caught on tape. The organization later said the woman, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, had been “reprimanded,” though declined to say if she kept her position.

In her appearance Sunday, Richards doubled down on the argument that the officials’ comments were taken out of context. She made no reference to her previous apology or to the ramifications for her staff members who appeared in the video. 

She also declined to answer when asked if Planned Parenthood was planning any reforms in the wake of the video.

“The most disgusting part of this, to me, is these folks lied to gain access to clinics,” she said.