Planned Parenthood warns of sting videos to come
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Planned Parenthood, under fire for a heavily-edited video suggesting the organization violated federal law in facilitating the donation of fetal tissue, says it believes future videos may make racially-charged claims. The health provider and advocacy group also says the anti-abortion group posing as a medical research procurement company may have had access to the inside of its clinics, jeopardizing “our patients’ privacy and dignity.”
The new information was disclosed in a letter from Planned Parenthood’s senior counsel, Roger Evans, in response to a request from a congressional committee that the doctor depicted in the video appear there for questioning. The Center for Medical Progress, a group that appears to have been formed for the sole purpose of secretly recording Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, has said it plans to release a video a week.
The first video, released on July 14, depicts a senior Planned Parenthood executive, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, casually discussing over lunch later abortion procedures and how to possibly leave intact fetal parts for the purpose of medical research. Nucatola did not know she was being recorded and apparently believed she was speaking with representatives of “Biomax,” the fake tissue procurement company set up by anti-abortion activists. The full transcript makes clear that, contrary to the video’s suggestion that Planned Parenthood illegally profits from these donations, Nucatola stressed that affiliates who participate in these programs are primarily seeking to be reimbursed.
Evans’ letter says that the anti-abortion group tried to get Planned Parenthood to agree to higher amounts for fetal tissue, which he says were rebuffed. “Biomax offered to pay much more, sending the affiliate a ‘procurement agreement’ that offered a payment of $1,600 for a liver and thymus – an astronomical amount compared to the minimal cost-recovery fees that affiliates with tissue donation programs currently recoup,” Evans wrote.
Evans’ letter did not directly respond to questions about whether Nucatola or other providers may modify later abortion procedures for the purpose of keeping certain organs intact. He did say that Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood, “will lead our briefing team.” The Republican-controlled House committee has asked for that briefing to take place before July 31.
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