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Undercover video shows Planned Parenthood official discussing fetal organs used for research


SANDHYA SOMASHEKHAR, DANIELLE PAQUETTE

Source:
Washington Post
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
7/14/2015

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ABSTRACT Undercover video shows Planned Parenthood official discussing fetal organs used for research - The Washington Post Accessibility for screenreader Sign In Username PostTV Politics Opinions Local Sports National World Business Tech Lifestyle Entertainment Classifieds Jobs Real Estate Events Rentals Cars WP BrandConnect Subscribe Newsletters & Alerts washingtonpost.com © 1996-2015 The Washington Post Help and Contact Us Terms of Service Privacy Policy Submissions and Discussion Policy RSS Terms of Service Ad Choices Sections The Washington Post Undercover video shows Planned Parenthood official discussing fetal organs used for research Sign In Username Subscribe Politics Undercover video shows Planned Parenthood official discussing fetal organs used for research Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share via Email More Options Share on Whatsapp Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on Tumblr Share via Email Share on Whatsapp Share on Pinterest Share on Google Plus Share on LinkedIn Share on Tumblr Resize Text Print Article Comments 1711 By Sandhya Somashekhar and Danielle Paquette July 14 at 9:52 PM Follow @sandhyawp Follow @dpaqreport Editor's note: Contains graphic language. The Center for Medical Progress released a video that allegedly shows a Planned Parenthood executive talking about selling fetal organs. (The Center for Medical Progress) An antiabortion group on Tuesday released an undercover video of an official at Planned Parenthood discussing in graphic detail how to abort a fetus to preserve its organs for medical research — as well as the costs associated with sharing that tissue with scientists. Over lunch at a Los Angeles restaurant, two antiabortion activists posing as employees from a biotech firm met with Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical research. Armed with cameras, the activists recorded Nucatola talking about Planned Parenthood’s work donating fetal tissue to researchers and pressed her on whether the clinics were charging for the organs. 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. The video threatens to reignite a long-standing debate over the use of fetal tissue harvested through abortions and could add fuel to efforts seeking to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy . In a statement, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood said the video misrepresents the organization’s w ork. Planned Parenthood clinics, with a patient’s permission, may sometimes donate fetal tissue for use in stem cell research, said the spokesman, who added that the group’s affiliates, which operate independently, do not profit from these donations. “At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health-care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards,” spokesman Eric Ferrero said. “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.” He accused the Center for Medical Progress of mounting a misleading attack similar to those by other groups that have tried to mount undercover “stings” targeting Planned Parenthood. But antiabortion groups said the video shows that Planned Parenthood is essentially selling fetal organs and that Congress and other authorities should investigate. Buying and selling human fetal tissue is illegal in the United States. Federal regulations also prohibit anyone from altering the timing or method of an abortion for the sole purpose of later using the tissue in research. Donating the tissue for research, however, is legal with a woman’s consent. Antiabortion groups also said the callous nature of the discussion captured on film should tug at viewers’ consciences — particularly when Nucatola apparently describes “crushing” the fetus in ways that keep its internal organs intact and her remarks about researchers’ desire for lungs and livers. “I’d say a lot of people want liver,” she says in the video posted on the Center for Medical Progress’s Web site, between bites of salad. “And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.” She continues: “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.” It’s hard to assess ex.......