Planned Parenthood video describes fetus with ‘beating heart’


The newest video from an anti-abortion group targeting Planned Parenthood claims that its doctors have performed “custom abortions” of fetuses that sometimes have beating hearts to obtain fetal tissue for medical research.

The video, produced by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, includes undercover footage of multiple Planned Parenthood officials and procurement partners discussing how to obtain tissue from late-term fetuses.

Most of the video — which is choppy at parts due to editing — features an interview with an ex-employee of Planned Parenthood’s former partner, Stem Express, who says she witnessed her colleague perform a late-term abortion of a male fetus whose heart was still beating.

“She just taps the heart and it starts beating,” the former employee, Holly O’Donnell, said. “Since the fetus was so intact, she said, ‘Oh, this is a really good fetus, it looks like we can procure a lot from it. We’re going to procure brain.’ ”

O’Donnell then describes a procedure to remove the brain.

“That was the moment I knew I couldn’t work for the company anymore,” O’Donnell said.

The video also includes brief clips of three Planned Parenthood officials as well as employees of two biomedical companies, Novogenix Laboratories and Advanced BioScience Resources. Each of the encounters is filmed with a hidden camera.

The Center for Medical Progress’s use of secretly recorded footage has prompted legal action from Stem Express, which has been targeted in multiple videos. The biomedical company sued to block the Center from releasing more footage and has since ended its relationship with Planned Parenthood.

The video also includes graphic images of late-term fetuses, though it is unclear where those images came from.

Planned Parenthood has strongly defended its method of obtaining and donating fetal tissue, denying allegations that the group has profited in any way from the program. 

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