Planned Parenthood Controversy: Doctor Admits Aborted Fetus Body Parts Are Sold

Planned Parenthood Controversy: Doctor Admits Aborted Fetus Body Parts Are Sold
9 month old fetus jason wilson / Flickr CC BY 2.0

In an undercover video released Tuesday by anti-abortion activists, a top doctor from Planned Parenthood is shown discussing how body parts of aborted babies are sold.


The video shows Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), saying that she uses partial-birth abortions for intact body parts.

In her capacity as the senior director of PPFA’s Medical Services department, she has supervised medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009. In addition to performing abortions herself at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, she also trains abortion doctors, as reported by LifeNews.

In the video, she is shown at a business lunch speaking with buyers (who are actually actors) from a human biologics company.

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Nucatola talks in the video about how fetal hearts, lungs and livers are taken out without crushing them during an abortion procedure. While the federal law sees the commercial sale of human fetal tissue as illegal, non-commercial tissue donation is within bounds of the law if the woman undergoing the abortion procedure gives her consent.

Although Nucatola discusses the estimated pricing in the video, Planned Parenthood says that she “was speculating on the range of reimbursement that affiliates can receive after patients state they wish to donate tissue after a procedure.”

Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero said, “At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards.”

He further emphasized that there is no financial benefit involved for either Planned Parenthood or the patient in tissue donation.

“In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field,” he said.

Nucatola can be heard in the video, saying, “This is not something with any revenue stream that affiliates are looking at — this is a way to offer patients the services they want and do good for the medical community.”

Planned Parenthood also has offices in New York and Washington, D.C.

Watch the complete footage here:

In 2012, researches wrote in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Fetal tissue transplantation offers unique research opportunities for exploring fetal development and epigenetic changes that stem from common environmental exposures and other stressors.” While the practice in essence is not illegal, there are myriad complexities associated with it.

A 1988 publication on fetal tissue transplants in the Washington University Law Review says, “Tissue transplant from aborted fetuses may thus restore functions in persons suffering from degenerative neurological diseases.… Right-to-life groups fear that it will legitimate and encourage abortion.”

Ferrero said the video “falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research. Similar false accusations have been put forth by opponents of abortion services for decades. These groups have been widely discredited, and their claims fall apart on closer examination, just as they do in this case.”

The video was produced by the Irvine, California-based Center for Medical Progress, and released in collaboration with other anti-abortion organizations.

David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, said, “Planned Parenthood’s criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization. Elected officials must listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the law.”

Daleiden has previously worked with Live Action, an anti-abortion group, as reported by ABC News.

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