Video of Planned Parenthood official discussing fetal body parts for cash has abortion advocates scrambling

The latest in a series of pro-life undercover sting videos features to reach the public shows Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical research, Deborah Nucatola, graphically discussing over lunch how to harvest organs from a baby being aborted, and the financial terms under which they could be shipped to medical researchers. It looks very, very bad, almost as if a big (nine figures in annual revenue) recipient of federal funding is killing babies to sell their parts for cash (a felony under federal law):


The cherished propaganda arguments of the abortion lobby are taking a blow, and triggering a response very similar to the model proposed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross for the stages of grief.

Stage one is denial.

Mollie Hemmingway of The Federalist yesterday captured the initial blackout of the news

But that couldn’t last for long. The video went viral, and besides, those darn conservative websites and Fox News don’t play by the old rules.

Stage two is anger.

The New York Times, pilot fish for the liberal media school, led the way in providing the emotional shading to be employed when discussing the video that will not go away. Jackie Calmes provided the buttons to push:

  • …a video that surreptitiously captured an official from the group explaining how it provides fetal parts to medical researchers.
  • The video, from a little-known activist group called the Center for Medical Progress
  • …the official tells her questioners more than once that the cost, $30 to $100, is reimbursement for clinics’ expenses.
  • the reaction threatened to incite the sort of opposition that has led congressional Republicans in recent years to try to shut down the government unless Planned Parenthood was stripped of federal money.

Stage three is bargaining.

Planned Parenthood released a statement by Eric Ferrero, its VP of communications, which takes the point that the summary video was “heavily edited.” But of course, the Center for Medical Progress has also provided a three hour unedited version of the conversation, but that is being ignored, when it is not dismissed (The Washington Post sniffs: “…there is no way to verify that the video is truly complete).

The Post itself apparently engaged in some bargaining in its coverage.  Mark Hemingway of The Weekly Standard points to a tweet from American Elephant that captured the Post’s revision of its headline.


And Hemingway points out some factual spin.

Here’s what the Post wrote:

The Center for Medical Progress, which recorded and edited the video, says the footage proves that Planned Parenthood is breaking the law by selling fetal organs. But the video does not show Nucatola explicitly talking about selling organs. The Planned Parenthood official says the organization is “very, very sensitive” about being perceived as illegally profiting from organ sales and charges only for the cost, for instance, of shipping the tissue.

This passage is incorrect in multiple ways. The video does absolutely show Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical research Deborah Nucatola "explicitly talking about selling organs" and it's hard to fathom what hairsplitting is involved to say otherwise. You can read the transcript, but she specifically talks at length about about performing abortions in a certain way so as not to damage the valuable organs taken from the fetuses. She even says at one point, "a lot of people want intact hearts these days, they’re looking for specific nodes. AV nodes, yesterday I was like wow, I didn’t even know, good for them. Yesterday was the first time she said people wanted lungs. And then, like I said, always as many intact livers as possible."

The other way the Post has mishandled this story is the issue of profiting off of these sales. Saying the "the organization is 'very, very sensitive' about being perceived as illegally profiting from organ sales and charges only for the cost, for instance, of shipping the tissue" makes it sound like Planned Parenthood and their affiliates aren't profiting off of harvesting organs. Earlier today, the Center for Medical Progress -- the pro-life group that released the video -- also released a copy of a flyer from StemExpress, a major purchaser of Planned Parenthood’s aborted fetal tissue. As the Center for Medical Progress notes, "This flyer advertises 4 different times the financial benefit that Planned Parenthood clinics can receive from supplying fetal tissue, with the words: 'Financially Profitable,' 'Financial Profits,' 'financial benefit to your clinic,' 'fiscal growth of your own clinic.' The advertisement carries an endorsement from Planned Parenthood Medical Director Dr. Dorothy Ferguson.”

We can expect the bargaining stage to continue for some time. There will be quibbles about whether the “expenses” mentioned are realistic, or whether the clinics just hand over the body parts and they are whisked away with no expense. But the ultimate problem is that money is being discussed over lunch and wine, and the Planned Parenthood official explains how procedures can be structured to provide the specific body parts needed.

If Kubler Ross is correct, what will follow is depression. We do have an election coming in which the feminist left plans to be a major participant, raising and funneling money to the candidates friendly to maximizing the number of babies “harvested.”

Acceptance is the final stage, and with death, that is possible, but with social movements, complete acceptance is unlikely.

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