LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — New undercover video footage released Tuesday purportedly captures a top Planned Parenthood official describing how the national family planning organization sells body parts of aborted fetuses for research.
The video from nonprofit group Center For Medical Progress was recorded July 25, 2014, during a business lunch at a Norwalk restaurant between Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood Federation of America senior director of medical services, and actors posing as buyers from a “fetal tissue procurement company.”
In a statement released Tuesday, PPFA spokesman Eric Ferrero acknowledged Planned Parenthood assists patients who want to “donate tissue to scientific research,” but that the practice is done with “full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards.”
Nucatola is the head of PPFA’s medical services department and has overseen medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009, according to Center For Medical Progress’ David Daleiden.
In the video, the buyers are heard asking Nucatola, “How much of a difference can that actually make, if you know kind of what’s expected, or what we need?”
“It makes a huge difference,” Nucatola replies. “I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.
“The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium — the head — is basically the biggest part,” she adds.
“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact,” Nucatola explained.
Said Ferrero, “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.
“A well-funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services has promoted a heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research,” he added.
When asked by the actors about a possible price range, Nucatola estimated it “would probably anywhere from $30 to $100 [per specimen]”, according to a transcript (PDF) released by Center For Medical Progress.
Nucatola has trained new Planned Parenthood abortion doctors and performs abortions herself at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles up to 24 weeks, according to Daleiden.
Anit-abortion website Lifenews reported Nucatola deleted her Twitter account shortly after the release of the video.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a 2016 presidential candidate, announced Tuesday afternoon that he has directed the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to investigate all Planned Parenthood operations in his state in response to the video.