Pro-life activity has been dominated this week by the release on Tuesday morning of an undercover video by the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress. The CMP video was recorded at a luncheon meeting where undercover investigators, posing as representatives of a company trying to obtain fetal body parts, talked with Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. PPFA’s president, Cecile Richards, was also at the luncheon but did not take part in the videoed conversation.
The video shows Nucatola, an active abortionist, eating a salad and sipping wine as she calmly discusses her procedure for obtaining baby body parts. She talks about checking in the morning which parts are needed that day and explained that these might include hearts, lungs, livers, lower extremities (legs), and other parts of the baby who is being aborted. Many viewers of the video have been as upset by Nucatola’s callous demeanor as they have been by the fact that she talks about getting paid for the service and how the actual abortion procedure she describes seems identical to the illegal partial-birth abortion procedure.
The video caused immediate shockwaves across the pro-life movement and even among many traditionally pro-choice individuals. As we write this, the video has been viewed over two million times.
Several hours after the video became public, PPFA issued a statement denying it sells baby body parts for profit. CMP then immediately released a digital copy of a brochure prepared by an organ procurement company that clearly advertised its services as being financially profitable for the clinics who provide the parts. The brochure included an endorsement of the service from the chief medical director of PPFA’s largest affiliate—one that admitted harvesting baby body parts as long ago as the year 2000.
Political fallout has been swift. Many current candidates for U.S. president have condemned PPFA and its affiliates. Five states (Louisiana, Texas, Indiana, Georgia, and Ohio) announced investigations of PP affiliates in their states and more are considering this action. The House of Representatives has also announced two investigations.
Late on Thursday, PPFA president Cecile Richards released a video apologizing for the “tone and statements” made by Nucatola on the undercover video. She still is insisting that PPFA has done nothing illegal and is providing “compassionate” care.
This is an ongoing story and we will bring you updates next week. Please see this week’s Action Item for what you can do now.