By Cheryl Sullenger
Washington, DC — Today the Center for Medical Progress released Episode 4 of the “Human Capital” documentary web series, and the 10th video so far in the Planned Parenthood baby parts scandal.
The video focuses on conversations with a number of Planned Parenthood executives who discuss the matter to “remuneration,” or financial compensation, for aborted baby tissue.
A “Go for it!” message is clearly conveyed by Deb VanDerhei, National Director of the Consortium of Abortion Providers, (CAPS), which is a committee within Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). However, throughout her conversations, fear of “New York Times headlines” and Congressional hearings tempered her language related to the selling baby parts.
“Headlines would be a disaster,” said VanDerhei.
This concerns is expressed also by Carolyn Westhoff, Senior Medical Advisor for PPFA, who incidentally guaranteed to a potential buyer that the tissue they provide — whether it be cardiac, eyes, spinal cords, or gonads – are fresh.
“Obviously, we would have the potential for a huge P.R. issue by doing this,” she said, speaking of selling fetal parts while swilling down a cocktail.
Fear of discovery and concern for negative publicity seems always at the heart of careful conversations about the fetal organ trade.
According to VanDerhei and Deborah Nucatola, Senior Medical Director, PPFA, the organization has intentionally made a decision not to put fetal tissue sales guidelines in writing, but indicated that if an affiliate calls with questions, answers would be given.
As far as compensation, Nucatola responded, “Nothing is written. There’s nothing in stone.”
“This is all about appearances for Planned Parenthood. They work very hard to put an appearance of legitimacy to their trafficking in fetal remains, yet it is clear they are very aware of its illegitimacy and the repercussions if they were ever to get caught,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue who also serves on the Board for the Center for Medical Progress. “They are naturally distrustful, even of each other, and they are careful how they couch references in their discussions. But it is very clear they have something to hide from the public. If they were just donating tissue to science in exchange for hard costs, why the concern over what the public will think?”
Van Derhei reinforces the fact that there is profitability in selling fetal remains.
“We have independent colleagues who generate a fair amount of income doing this and if they have smaller margins or don’t have the ability to fundraise because they’re not non-profit, that’s really helpful,” she said.
From VanDerhei’s comments, it is clear that there is “profit” to be made in the sale of aborted baby remains, and that trafficking in baby parts can be found not only in Planned Parenthood, but throughout the abortion industry.
Vanessa Russo, Compliance Program Administrator for Planned Parenthood Keystone (Pennsylvania) was perhaps the most impatient with any potential legal concerns.
I sort of, my stance on that is like, we feel like we can’t consent to be bullied by ridiculous laws and this media that doesn’t understand the big picture. And I don’t relay think that we should participate in that level of discussion, and that we should operate as an organization the way any other organization would. And so I don’t feel that I’m a researcher at heart, and so I love the idea of being able to do this and participate in research. I would love to see this happen somehow . . . And that we should not curtail our business for ridiculousness . . . A company like this that wants to give our organization money for the tissue, I think that that’s a valid exchange. And that’s okay.
Van Derhei reassured Russo, “There are Planned Parenthoods that participate in donation programs that are reimbursed for it . . . Yeah. I think go for it. And use us to the extent that you can. And I know Northern California, Mar Monte, and LA, they all provide donation for remuneration. So they would be the people to chick with about how that goes.”
The conversations in today’s CMP videos add to the bulk of evidence already released that shows Planned Parenthood profits from selling aborted baby remains, that Planned Parenthood alters procedures to ensure body parts are sellable. In addition, the video clarifies that Planned Parenthood officials know that profiting from fetal tissue sales is illegal, but have devised language to make their illicit profits appear legitimate. It is also clear that Planned Parenthood officials feared their side business in baby parts would land them in legal trouble and generate bad publicity.
“As long as the public remained unaware of Planned Parenthood’s profiting from the sale of aborted baby tissue, their attitude was ‘go for it – but carefully,’” said Newman. “They wanted the money, but also wanted to retain plausible deniability if they were ever to be caught. Now that they have been caught, every word out of the mouths of Planned Parenthood’s executives is an effort to deny wrongdoing and deceive the public and law enforcement into thinking their behavior was legitimate when it was not.”
The Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing on Planned Parenthood’s alleged illegal conduct on Thursday, September 17 at 3:00 pm (EDT). More hearings are to come.
CMP’s David Daleiden has indicated that this will be the last video to be released for a while, but promises to resume publication of additional undercover footage in the near future.
Reminder: Urgent Webcast Tonight!
David Daleiden will be featured in an urgent webcast set for tonight, Tuesday, September 15 at 9 pm Eastern. There supporters will hear the latest updates from David and his legal team, who are battling lawsuits that are attempting to silence the CMP and prevent the release of additional videos.
To register for the webcast, please visit http://stopbabypartstrafficking.com.