6 things to remember about the damning undercover videos that exposed Planned Parenthood

baby body parts, Daleiden, Planned Parenthood, CMP, Center for Medical Progress

In the Human Capital Project, pro-life investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) went undercover for two years to expose Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in the body parts of aborted children. Though the tactics they used are common among investigative journalists (so much so that the U.S. Reporters’ Committee filed a friend of the Court submission in support of CMP, as they are a journalistic standard) Daleiden and Merritt have been forced into a years-long legal battle that has culminated in the two investigators — and others involved with CMP — being forced to pay millions to Planned Parenthood.

Yet it’s important to remember what was exposed during this years-long legal war: the abortion industry’s trafficking of fetal body parts and other illegal behavior.

1. Illegal abortion procedures

planned parenthood


In the very first video released by CMP in 2015, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s then-Senior Director of Medical Services, both discussed selling body parts and admitted to altering abortion procedures to successfully obtain fetal tissue. This included seemingly committing partial-birth abortions — which are federally illegal.

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. And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex. …

So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.

That is almost an exact medical description of a partial-birth abortion.

In another video, then-president of the Planned Parenthood Medical Directors’ Council, Dr. Mary Gatter, likewise talked about altering abortion procedures to better obtain fetal organs. Altering a procedure for the purpose of tissue collection is against federal law.

“If our usual technique is suction, at 10 to 12 weeks, and we switch to using IPAS or something with less suction, in order to increase the odds that it will come out as an intact specimen, then we’re kind of violating the protocol that says to the patient, ‘we’re not doing anything different in our care of you,'” she was recorded as saying.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Director of Research Melissa Farrell also spoke about altering abortion procedures so they could get intact preborn children. “If we alter our process, we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers,” she said, adding, “We deviate from our standard in order to do that.”

She further noted, “We can get creative about when and where, and under what conditions, we can interject something that is specific to the tissue procurement needs.”

Still another abortionist, Amna Dermish, talked about committing an abortion procedure on late-term babies, and her efforts to keep them “all in alignment,” in what again seemed to be a reference to late-term abortions. “It was trunk intact,” she said of babies aborted at 20 weeks. “They’re usually — what I’ll do — if it’s a breech presentation, I’ll remove the extremities first — the lower extremities — and then go for the spine and sort of break it down that way… if it’s a breech presentation.”

2. “I want a Lamborghini”

Gatter also negotiated payments for body parts, so she could make as much money as possible. “The money is not the important thing for me, but it has to be big enough that it makes it worthwhile for me,” she said, adding, “I want a Lamborghini.”

In a video featuring a conversation between Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, Senior Medical Advisor for Planned Parenthood, Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Planned Parenthood’s Vice President for External Medical Affairs, and Deborah VanDerhei, National Director for the Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS), the three joke about how body parts are seen as a “donation for remuneration,” and how abortion facilities can make “a fair amount of income” through it.

Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter

3. Breaking the law

In CMP’s fourth video, Dr. Savita Ginde explained not only that Planned Parenthood is aware that selling body parts is against the law, but they made plans to ensure they didn’t get caught:

So I feel like if you’re talking to other Planned Parenthoods, we sort of all have to be on the same page … almost to the point that we have to disclose to each other that we’re all doing this, so if anyone gets called out or runs with it, that we’re all like, “Oh, I didn’t know you were doing this, oh, I’m doing this too.” We have to be, um… I think we have to be coordinated with each other. … Well, and to make sure that we’re all saying the same thing. And that the CEOs are all saying the same thing.

[P]utting it under the research gives us a little bit of a, a little sort of overhang over the whole thing. … And in public I think it makes sense for it to be in the research vein than, I’d say, business venture.

Because if you have someone in a really anti state that’s going to be doing this for you, they’re probably going to get caught.

Additionally, Holly O’Donnell — who worked for Stem Express as a procurement technician — said Planned Parenthood also broke the law by not informing women or obtaining their consent because selling the body parts, as required. “If there was a higher gestation, and the technicians needed it, there were times when they would just take what they wanted,” she said. “And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”

4. Babies born alive

O’Donnell also insinuated that preborn babies might have been born alive and left to die. In one video, she spoke about witnessing an abortion at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda facility in San Jose, California. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating,” she recalled of an event she witnessed. “And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”

Despite the beating heart, O’Donnell was instructed to remove the baby’s brain.

Similar testimony was given by Dr. Ben Van Handel, executive director of Novogenix Laboratories, which also harvested organs from aborted babies. He likewise explained, “There are times when after the [abortion] procedure is done that the heart actually is still beating.”

5. Laughing about dead babies and body parts

Numerous videos showed how cavalier many of the staffers were about the human bodies they were butchering and selling. StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer joked about shipping entire heads through the mail, and how squeamish people would be upon receiving them.

Buyer: Make sure the eyes are closed!

StemExpress: Yeah! [laughter] Tell the lab it’s coming!

Buyer: Yeah.

StemExpress: They’ll open the box, go, ”Oh God!” [laughter] So yeah, so many of the academic labs cannot fly like that, they’re not capable.

In one video, abortionist Savita Ginde spoke about the body of a baby she had just aborted, saying, “If I looked at that, I’d be like that’s good to go,” while her assistant joked that it was a “five star” specimen.

Still another video showed a conversation between former medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest Dr. Katharine Sheehan, ABR Procurement Manager Perrin Larton, and Dyer. During the conversation, it’s again insinuated that preborn children are being harvested after being born alive. But rather than being disgusted by it, they seemed to find it funny.

“I literally have had women come in and they’ll go in the O.R. and they’re back out in 3 minutes, and I’m going, ‘What’s going on?'” Larton laughed. “Oh yeah, the fetus was already in the vaginal canal whenever we put her in the stirrups, it just fell out.”

aborted babies

One video was suppressed by a restraining order granted to the National Abortion Federation (NAF); in it, footage was obtained from a NAF meeting in which they laughed about shocking staff at funeral homes. Renee Chelian, an abortion facility owner, said,

I started visiting funeral homes, who ultimately started talking about how much a body weighs, before they could figure out how much it was gonna cost, and then we had to go from pounds to ounces, and they were like, “We don’t even know how to charge for this.” And they showed me a body bag, and I was like, “Dude, we need to go to like, a Tupperware container.” [audience laughter] In which case, we started talking about the freezer jars we use, which really freaked them out, because all the fetal tissue was mixed together, after we do a POC check, and they were, they just wanted me to leave. And when a funeral home wants you to leave, it says a lot about the population you’re handling…

In the same video, she talked about how everyone in the Detroit area used garbage disposals — putting fetal remains into the Detroit sewer system — to get rid of the bodies. She said she was worried about the public relations fallout to that, so she suggested an incinerator at the meeting. “[W]hen you look at incinerators, for cremation, the website descriptions are, small cat, small dog, larger dog,” she said. “So we were looking, trying to compare our jars to larger animals you might incinerate. We don’t think we need one big enough for a horse [audience laughter].”

Another video from the NAF meeting showed the audience laughing at responses to second-trimester abortion procedures from abortionists. “An eyeball just fell down into my lap and that’s gross [laughter],” Uta Landy, the former executive director of NAF, said. “And I say to myself, ‘This abortion is going well; it’s going safely.’ [laughter and applause]”

6. Employees later admitted under oath that they harvested body parts

Planned Parenthood repeatedly, publicly accused CMP of doctoring the footage  — but behind closed doors, they admitted the truth.

In testimony under oath, numerous Planned Parenthood officials admitted that they trafficked in the body parts of aborted children. A video released by CMP in 2019 featured depositions from Nucatola, as well as Tram Nguyen (Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Senior Director of Abortion Access), Dr. Dorothy Furgerson (Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte), and others. Invoices and documents revealed that some facilities received upwards of $10,000 per month from the sales of body parts, while the executives — like Tram Nguyen — admitted they had indeed planned to move forward with the financial agreements as seen in the videos.

Planned Parenthood, abortion, Center for Medical Progress

Screenshot, CMP video, Planned Parenthood officials under oath

Additionally, a court filing earlier this summer further confirmed that Planned Parenthood executives and employees “spoke the words recorded in the videos.” The filing argued that CMP should be forced to pay the full $16 million awarded to Planned Parenthood, despite admitting to the videos’ veracity. Planned Parenthood’s argument essentially is this: yes, we committed the crimes, but CMP should still be punished for its undercover journalism. And a Planned Parenthood-linked judge apparently agreed.

This appears to confirm that the abortion giant’s only concern is that the public discovered their law-breaking behavior, and to this day, they remain taxpayer-funded and unaccountable.

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