Third undercover Planned Parenthood video surfaces
An anti-abortion group released a third undercover video Tuesday morning, the latest in a series of efforts that have stirred controversy over Planned Parenthood’s acceptance of money in exchange for fetal tissue.
The heavily edited video from the Center for Medical Progress identified a doctor as Savita Ginde, a Planned Parenthood official in Colorado. The undercover video appeared to show her negotiating with someone posing as a buyer of fetal tissue.
“I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it,” Ginde said.
Much of the video also followed a phlebotomist named Holly O’Donnell, who described how she was disturbed by being involved with fetal tissue after taking a job drawing blood with a company called StemExpress.
“The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens,” O’Donnell said. “No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.”
This latest video revisited a clip from the first leaked video, which showed a conversation in which Dr. Deborah Nucatola, a Planned Parenthood official, said: “I think for affiliates, at the end of the day, they’re a nonprofit, they just don’t want to — they want to break even. And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.”
Planned Parenthood has strongly pushed back. The organization said it does not profit from fetal tissue donation for medical research but is just compensated for expenses, which is legal. It pointed to statements in each of the first two videos where the officials said they were just looking for compensation, not profit.
Planned Parenthood has also apologized for Nucatola’s tone, while attacking the video-makers as simply out to take the organization down and restrict women’s health access.
Congressional Republicans have launched committee investigations into the group, and many have called for cutting off federal funding. The Senate could vote on such a measure this week.
Planned Parenthood has not yet released a formal statement about the most recent video, but the head of its political advocacy group sharply condemned it during an unrelated call with reporters Tuesday.
“The full footage has not been released and it is required to provide any context,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
“This video really shows some extremely disturbing violations of patient privacy and dignity. Entering the labs under false pretense and surreptitiously filming a part of an abortion procedure, which is disgusting in terms of the level of violation in patient privacy and compassion for women,” Laguens added.
— Updated at 11:57 a.m.
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