Did Planned Parenthood commit criminal conspiracy? An in-depth look

According to the first investigative video released by The Center for Medical Progress, it would appear that Planned Parenthood’s top officials are experts in evading the law and in breaking it.

Take, for example, this statement by Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services for Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“Partial-birth abortion. It’s not a medical term, it doesn’t exist in reality. … [N]umber 1, the Federal Abortion Ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation. So there are people who interpret it as intent. So if I say on Day 1 I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter. Because I didn’t intend to do this on Day 1 so I’m complying with the law..”

Except that she’s not. In no way does a conjured up “intent” on “Day 1” make an illegal abortion procedure legal.

A cursory look at the U.S. Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Carhart, 127 S. Ct. 1610 (2007) or at the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion ban itself, would tell any average citizen that what matters is if the abortion doctor knowingly committed an illegal partial-birth abortion. And knowingly doing something has very little to do with whatever your intent was the day before.

Surely this is not news to Nucatola. She is no doubt a smart woman.

Barking at the heels of law evasion comes the potential – and perhaps, the probability – that Planned Parenthood has committed criminal conspiracy. Of course, there is still more to prove, but let’s consider the case, as it were.

Criminal-Justice-GavelFederal law 18 U.S. 371 defines criminal conspiracy:

“If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”

Federal law prohibits a number of things Nucatola seems to have admitted to or planned on participating in, according to the investigative video.

For starters, it is against the law to modify an abortion procedure for the purpose of collecting tissue. Not only does Nucatola admit to doing this herself, but she also encourages the buyer to develop relationships with other abortionists so that they, too, will be more likely to modify their procedures for the purpose of harvesting fetal parts. Despite her statement that providers “should always do the procedure the same” and that that’s what they “try to do,” she also says:

“I think it helps to have a relationship with the provider, because if you do, you can have this conversation with them, and you can say, this is what we’re looking for today, and they’re more apt to [keep it in the back of their mind]…Of course I want to help.”

Is the scent of criminal conspiracy in the air yet?

doctorIf Nucatola has helped to convince or train any other abortionist to modify their abortion procedure for the purpose of collecting fetal tissue, it is likely that she is guilty of criminal conspiracy.

Federal law additionally prohibits profiting off of fetal body parts. This would be considered human tissue trafficking – a sort of “black market” offense. While Planned Parenthood deceptively claims it makes no profit, Nucatola is full of ideas and plans – plans being a specific signal of conspiracy – to help the buyer make a good business based on helping abortion clinics profit from “excess” fetal tissue.

At one point in the video, she suggests payment in services in addition to monetary “reimbursement” for the tissue – a clear violation against the law that prohibits purchasing body parts.

“Say, ‘I’ll give it to you for the same price, AND I’ll do that’. … [T]hat would be a huge sell, a huge, huge sell.”

Because, naturally, giving an additional incentive – monetary or in-kind – for a product is normally referred to as a profit. In this case, an illegal one.

Nucatola’s comments about Planned Parenthood’s Law and Litigation Department indicate that more top staff should be investigated. She states that the legal department has specifically advised the national office on how to handle their affiliates involvedment in fetal parts procurement. And, while they refuse to put out official guidelines, they continue to converse with affiliates and answer their questions on how to handle it. The possible criminal conspiracy truly rises to the highest levels of Planned Parenthood.

Perhaps one of the most implicating examples of possible criminal conspiracy is Nucatola’s eagerness to set up the buyer with a chain of for-profit abortion clinics – Family Planning Associates (FPA) – that she says may want a monetary profit from the baby body parts.

moneyIn general, Nucatola stated that for-profit clinics would have little problem making money off the harvesting of body parts. About FPA, she said, “I’m telling you, Family Planning Associates, they may go for their money.” Knowing this – and that it is a violation of law – Nucatola still connected the buyer with FPA. She said, “…I want to see all of this succeed. So, anything that I can do to work for everybody is a good thing.”

During the nearly three-hour meeting, Nucatola texted an FPA director, on behalf of the buyer, attempting to see if she could help make a deal. She also talked more than once about setting up the buyer with FPA, for example, at a specially-called meeting:

“Well, I’m sure people are dying to know [where the tissue goes]. And, they’re dying to know, here’s the thing, if you can do it for providers. In a way, you have backwards word of mouth. They’re going to tell it to the patients too, they are able to share that information and everyone’s going to get on board. … “[L]et me reach out to them and say: ‘Hey you know, do you guys ever wonder about these things?’ We just have to get together one night, and kinda talk about it and what happens.

Here’s an idea—the southern California medical directors have an LLC meeting quarterly, and they do it somewhere the San Diego, Orange, Pasadena, LA people, and Santa Barbara people all get together. So maybe we can do it like to coincide wherever they’re meeting someday, at the end of that day. I could pull in someone who runs the program at USC, I could pull in the person who is at Family Planning Associates, I could figure out if there is anyone locally –“

And at one point, Nucatola flat-out tells the buyer, “I think your best bet at this point would be FPA.”

While, as of yet, we do not know whether a meeting with FPA ever took place or how far the conversations went, we do know that if Nucatola did directly help plan a fetal parts sale between FPA and any buyer, and if FPA did indeed make a profit, criminal conspiracy has taken place. Although that is the most clear example of criminal conspiracy, there are a number of shades of gray, if you will, that deserve a full investigation by the proper officials.

When Congress and the several states investigate Planned Parenthood, they should not overlook criminal conspiracy.

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