There have been hours and hours of videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). While watching them is certainly enlightening as to the attitudes and agenda of Planned Parenthood, here are three indisputable things we have learned from the videos.
1) Planned Parenthood alters its abortion procedures for procuring “better” tissue specimens.
Federal law states: “No alteration of the timing, method, or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy was made solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue.” 42 USC § 289g-1(b)(2)(A)(ii). Additionally, federal HHS regulation states: “The timing and method of abortion should not be influenced by the potential uses of fetal tissue for transplantation or medical research.” (IRB Guidebook, Chapter VI, Section A).
Yet Dr Amna Dermish, an abortion doctor for Planned Parenthood in Austin, TX, is recorded saying, “my aim is usually to get the specimens out pretty intact.” She says that she will sometimes utilize ultrasound guidance to convert a 2nd trimester fetus to a feet-first breech presentation. (Video #11) Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services for Planned Parenthood Federation, describes modifying the abortion procedure so that certain body parts can be collected. She says, “If you maintain enough of a dialogue with the person who’s actually doing the procedure, so they can understand what the end-game is, there are little things, changes they can make in their technique to increase your success.” (Video #1) Dr. Melissa Farrell, director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, says that they can “get creative” about when, where, and under what conditions they can procure usable tissues, including getting creative about how the abortion procedure is done. (Video #5)
What’s unclear is whether these alterations can cause complications or additional health risks to the woman – the same women about whose health Planned Parenthood cares so much. It is also not clear whether women understand that they are agreeing to different abortion procedures in order to “donate” these aborted fetal tissues.
2) Harvesting fetal tissue is a common practice for Planned Parenthood.
During her testimony before Congress, Cecile Richards stated that harvesting fetal tissue was a rare occurrence, which only happened in a handful of Planned Parenthood facilities.
However, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services for Planned Parenthood Federation, calmly and coolly discusses her expertise in performing abortions to harvest fetal tissue. (Video #1) Dr. Katharine Sheehan, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest, talks about having had an arrangement with a tissue procurement company for ten years. The tissue procurement company returns a portion of the money back to the clinics. (Video #3) Dr. Savita Ginde, VP and Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, discusses their attorney being able to help them skirt federal law, having been familiar with the intricacies of if from assisting other Planned Parenthood clinics. (Video #4) A technician at the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast facility states that she attended a Planned Parenthood in-service where PPFA was encouraging more participation in fetal tissue procurement by various clinics. (Video #5)
3) Abortion is a big part of Planned Parenthood’s business.
Planned Parenthood bills itself as being a provider of “women’s healthcare” and have repeatedly stated that abortions only account for 3% of its business.
In the Center for Medical Progress videos, however, a technician at the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast facility states that they do about 40-50 abortions a month at the 16-22 week gestational age. (Video #5) Holly O’Donnell, a former technician for StemExpress, talks about how they would have over 40 patients in 8 hours at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Fresno. (Video #6) Dr. Amna Dermish, an abortion doctor for Planned Parenthood in Austin, TX, states that they were scheduling 25 abortion procedures a day, ten days a month. She goes on to say that they are now increasing up to 30 abortions a day. (Video #11)
Fact-checkers at The Washington Post and FactCheck.org both have debunked Planned Parenthood’s claim that only 3% of its services are abortion; at least 12% of Planned Parenthood’s business is abortions. Financially, about 15% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue is from surgical abortions; this doesn’t include the chemical abortions occurring through contraceptives.