Video of Planned Parenthood doctor prompts calls for investigation

By Valerie Schmalz
Catholic News Service

SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) — A video released July 14 appears to show a top Planned Parenthood official discussing the sale of parts of aborted babies for research, including discussing ways the abortion procedure can be altered to preserve specifically requested body parts.

The nearly nine-minute edited video — filmed undercover and produced by the Center for Medical Progress — quickly went viral and Planned Parenthood denied making a profit on the sale of aborted baby parts.

"Planned Parenthood’s criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization," said David Daleiden, who led the undercover investigation.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal launched an investigation in his state, where the abortion provider is getting ready to open a $4 million clinic in New Orleans.

"Today’s video of a Planned Parenthood official discussing the systematic harvesting and trafficking of human body parts is shocking and gruesome," said Jindal, who is a Republican presidential candidate.

In the video released July 14, a woman identified as Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Medical Services Department, says: "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."

The video was shot at a business lunch in the Los Angeles area July 25, 2014, with actors posing as buyers from a human biologics company, according to the nonprofit Center for Medical Progress.

The center describes itself as a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances and in particular "contemporary bioethical issues that impact human dignity."

In the video, Nucatola says specific body parts go for $30 to $100 and fetal livers are in high demand.

As head of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Services Department, Nucatola has overseen medical practice at of the federation’s locations since 2009. She also trains new Planned Parenthood abortion doctors and performs abortions herself at Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles on women who are up to 24 weeks pregnant, according to Center for Medical Progress.

Planned Parenthood acknowledged it sometimes charges for aborted fetuses’ body parts used for research. However, Erin Ferrero, Planned Parenthood’s vice president of communications, said in a statement: "There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or Planned Parenthood."

Ferrero questioned the credibility of the video, calling it "heavily edited," and said the money mentioned is for actual costs such as transportation costs.

The video of Nucatola is part of the "Human Capital" project, a 30-month undercover investigation by the center and also supported by Life Legal Defense Foundation, a Napa, California-based nonprofit group that advocates for pro-life issues through the law and education.


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