The release of undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of unborn baby organs has sparked a great deal of debate. After the Center for Medical Progress posted numerous such videos on YouTube, politicians have questioned whether or not the government should continue to support such a business with the annual half a billion federal dollars. The company’s president, Cecile Richards, recently testified before Congress in response to the obvious questions these videos raise. Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates insist that the revealing films are highly edited and misrepresent their company. So is Planned Parenthood guilty of any unethical or unlawful actions?
First and foremost, let’s examine the authenticity of the videos in question. For if they are wholly inaccurate we can relax our investigation on Planned Parenthood. When the videos threw suspicion on the business, Cecile Richards insisted that they were “deceptively edited.” Research has been done to verify the validity of the videos. A forensic analysis was conducted by Coalfire Systems, Inc. which revealed that “the recorded media files contained on the flash drive indicates that the video recordings are authentic and show no evidence of manipulation.” It certainly is true that the videos have been edited, but the purpose of this was to leave out unnecessary sections, such as ordering meals and restroom breaks. The full versions of each interview are available for view on YouTube. Yet few people are willing to dedicate so much time to watch the unedited version. One such video was over five hours and forty-five minutes in length. So presenting an edited version doesn’t automatically negate its authenticity.
Now we turn to examine if and how Planned Parenthood has been breaking the law. The organization receives between $55 to $60 per body part they sell. This adds up to approximately $500 dollars per baby. According to the Medical director at Los Angeles Planned Parenthood Mary Gatter, “We didn’t have to do anything. There was compensation for this.” The videos show several abortionists haggling for more money. And in a recent open letter Cecile Richards has stated that her company will no longer receive funds for baby parts. This is rather an unusual tactic for an innocent party.
Yet in addition to their selling of infants’ organs, Planned Parenthood has been caught changing their abortion procedure in order to procure more intact body parts. The videos captured officials explaining how and why they alter the procedure. Federal HHS regulations clearly mandate that “the timing and method of abortion should not be influenced by the potential uses of fetal tissue for transplantation or medical research.” Abortionist and director of Planned Parenthood Deborah Nucatola explains that the procedure can be tweaked to procure more intact body parts, “there are little things, changes they can make in their technique to increase your success.” One video depicts a baby boy who survived the abortion. The Born Alive Protection Act safeguards the rights of any child born with a beating heart. Still this little boy was left to die and then harvested for his organs. They have also been recorded conceding to performing partial-birth abortions. This is an illegal abortion where the abortionist delivers the entire baby except for the head, which remains in the womb. He or she then snips the baby’s neck. Such actions are doubtlessly unlawful.
I encourage you to view the videos for yourself. It is truly heartbreaking to hear a former worker describe how she cut through a live baby’s skull to procure the brain, or to watch the workers pick apart the baby’s lifeless body. Most Americans know Planned Parenthood as a positive place that provides health services. Yet this business certainly isn’t the sole provider of women’s health services, across the nation there are countless pregnancy centers dedicated to helping women. Planned Parenthood is unique in that they provide a third of all abortions in the United States. The abortions they are performing and their use of the babies are both unlawful and unethical.