5 reasons why Planned Parenthood knows the ‘baby parts’ videos are true

One year ago, when the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released videos detailing Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and trafficking of fetal body parts, Planned Parenthood was quick to try to cover it up.

The non-profit’s CEO Cecile Richards went into damage control mode to attempt to assure supporters and patients that everything in the videos was a lie. But their claim that they were simply collecting reimbursements for donated fetal body parts didn’t add up. They’ve known all along that the information presented in the videos was true — and here are five proofs:

vanderhei, planned parenthood, headlines, disaster

  1. In the CMP videos, Planned Parenthood employees admit that the appearance of profit from fetal body parts would be a public relations disaster.

“We’re trying to figure this out as an industry, about how we’re going to manage remuneration. Because the headlines would be a disaster.”

– Deb VanDerhei, National Director, PPFA

“Obviously, we would have the potential for a huge PR issue, by doing this.”

– Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, Senior Medical Advisor, PPFA

“Well it’s an issue you might imagine that we’re not comfortable talking about on email.”

– Deb VanDerhei, National Director, PPFA

“They [clinics] just want to do it in a way that is not perceived as, ‘This clinic is selling tissue, this clinic is making money off of this.’” 

– Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, PPFA

“This could destroy your company and us, if we don’t time those conversations correctly.”

–Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Vice President for External Medical Affairs, PPFA

  1. Planned Parenthood admitted in the CMP videos that they were dancing around the illegality of fetal body part sales.

“[…] at the national office we have a Litigation and Law Department which just really doesn’t want us to be the middle people for this issue right now. […] And at the end of the day, they just decided right now, it’s too touchy of an issue for us to be an official middleman. […] But I will tell you that behind closed doors these conversations are happening with the affiliates.”

– Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, PPFA, when asked if there was a way to deal directly with PPFA for fetal body part sales rather than each individual affiliate.

  1. Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services admitted on video to taking orders from clients to find out which body parts were in demand. She also admitted to altering abortion procedures in order to obtain the valuable parts.

“I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting the forceps. […] So then you’re just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers, you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that, you know, we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part. I’m going to basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

– Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, PPFA

“For example, so I had 8 cases yesterday. And I knew exactly what we needed, and I kinda looked at the list and said alright, this 17-weeker has 8 lams and this one – so I knew which were the cases that were probably more likely to yield what we needed, and I made my decisions according to that too.”

– Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Serivces, PPFA


  1. Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services described on video how she believes breaking a law can be “up to interpretation”:

“The Federal Abortion Ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation. So if I say on day one, ‘I do not intend to do this,’ what ultimately happens doesn’t matter.”

– Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, PPFA

  1. Planned Parenthood had no policy in place for fetal body parts harvesting and admitted that this was a calculated move. If there are no policies or guidelines, then the umbrella organization of PPFA stands a better chance of protecting its reputation, should one affiliate be caught selling body parts.

“We are absent a policy and that’s relatively intentional, and the policy that we do have suggests that you just really think about what you’re doing, vet your procurement service, and, um, if there’s any way you can do it mission-based, that’s probably better. And that if you do decide that you want to engage in remuneration, that you really need to like, think that through. And think, ‘New York Times headline,’ when you’re creating your policy.”

– Deb VanDerhei, National Director, PPFA

“There are no guidelines. No. There are guidelines on research, but there are no guidelines on tissue procurement. And there never will be guidelines. […] If they’re [an affiliate] gonna, you know, participate in something like this, you know there are mechanisms by which contracts can be reviewed and things like that, but there are no guidelines.”

–Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, PPFA

Planned Parenthood announced that they would stop accepting compensation for fetal body parts within months of the release of the first undercover video. Each of the videos can be viewed at CenterforMedicalProgress.org.

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