Planned Parenthood took a major hit in 2015 with the release by the anti-abortion organization the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) of several undercover videos in which officials of the abortion provider discussed with actors hired by CMP the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.
Now Planned Parenthood is striking back with a lawsuit against CMP.
Filed in federal district court in San Francisco, the suit charges that officials from CMP — who set up a fake biomedical research company called Biomax Procurement Services to enable actors to pose as buyers of fetal tissue and secretly videotape conversations with Planned Parenthood officials — engaged in a three-year “complex criminal enterprise.”
Many have noted that the selection of the San Francisco district court, well known for its liberal decisions, was no doubt intentional.
In the first undercover video by CMP, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, is videotaped stating that Planned Parenthood regularly sells body parts of aborted babies. In a second video, another abortionist is caught discussing the sale of aborted baby body parts. In it, Mary Gatter, medical director of the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley (California) Planned Parenthood affiliate, is seen in discussion with undercover investigators who posed as officials with the biotech company that was said to serve as a middleman to sell aborted baby parts to universities and other research facilities.
The prices of the body parts are open to negotiation, Gatter explained to the investigators. Among the parts mentioned were liver, head, and heart. She also explained, as did Dr. Nucatola in the first video, that the abortion procedure itself could be modified to save the selected body parts.
Dr. Nucatola had told the actors that obtaining choice body parts could easily be accomplished; she simply needed to know beforehand what specific parts buyers wanted. “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that,” she explained, “so I am not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
Facing intense criticism and adverse publicity, and even threats of congressional action, Planned Parenthood officials defended their organization’s grisly practices. Cecile Richards, daughter of former Texas Governor Ann Richards and CEO of Planned Parenthood, attempted to mitigate the bad publicity created by the videos, apologizing for the “tone” of Dr. Nucatola, who casually spoke to the undercover investigators of the sale of body parts while sipping wine in a restaurant. Richards then condemned the investigators, claiming the videos were “heavily edited.”
Labelling the videos “heavily edited” to produce a different impression from the facts became the standard talking point of Planned Parenthood and its defenders in the political world and mainstream media.
Named as defendants in the Planned Parenthood lawsuit are the Center for Medical Progress; its director, David Daleiden (an actor in the videos); Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue (who is accused of helping plan the operation); and others who played roles in the fictitious biomedical research company.
“The people behind this fraud lied and broke the law in order to spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood,” claimed Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We filed the case to hold them accountable.”
Read the rest at The New American Magazine