Saturday, July 18, 2015

Did She Really Say Planned Parenthood Sells Aborted Baby Parts?

The Center for Medical Progress has made a big splash with a short, heavily edited video purporting to show that Planned Parenthood profiteers by selling the organs and tissues of aborted babies.

The claim centers on a few snippets of conversation during which Dr. Deborah Nucotela discusses that Planned Parenthood affiliates typically charge $30 to $100 "per specimen" and that the national office doesn't want to be "a middleman."

That sounds pretty damning until you watch the entire video. Since it's nearly three hours long, the Center for Medical Progress is probably hoping that hardly anybody will bother to slog through the whole thing. But I did. I also provide a rough timeline so that you can listen to the sections that are of particular interest to you.

What really jumped out at me was that it was the people posing as buyers that kept bringing up money. All Dr. Nucotela seemed to want to talk about was how exciting it was to know how the tissue would be used, what kind of medical research was being done, and how the best way of recruiting affiliates would be to do presentations and hold meetings that address the research that is being done with the tissue. In fact, her enthusiasm about the medical research is so strong that she actually texts the medical director of Family Planning Associates Medical Group, the biggest competitor to Planned Parenthood in California, trying to arrange for her to meet with the buyers.

Dr. Nucotela went into some detail about how Planned Parenthood calculates what to charge for procuring fetal tissue by noting that they use the same calculation that they use when they come up with a fee for training people on their premises. These calculations focus on staff time and whether or not they'd be able to use space for paying patients or would have to use it exclusively for the training during a certain period. The affiliates use roughly the same formula when calculating how to "break even" on providing fetal tissue.The fee depended on things like whether the affiliate would have to use additional staff time to "consent" (do counseling and informed consent) for the donations, and how much staff time might be taken up in the lab or packaging tissues for shipping. The more the procurement company did themselves, the lower the cost per specimen. The more the affiliate had to do, the higher the cost per specimen.

The real clincher, I believe, is in this exchange:

Buyer: If we can offer to a given affiliate that we're gonna -- we'll take care of everything -- the consenting, and the collection, you know -- we don't even need an extra room, really just need, you know, three feet of space in the path lab in the back with a light and everything to do that.

Dr. Nucotela: Which we already have set up, you just have to --

Buyer: Right, right. Is that -- are there affiliates that would just donate the tissues for free? Or --

Dr. Nucotela: Probably.

That simply doesn't sound like profiteering to me.

I don't want anybody getting the idea that I'm a big fan or Planned Parenthood, or that I approve of gutting fetuses for medical science. I would love to see Planned Parenthood go down in screaming flames. One of the biggest reasons that I hate Planned Parenthood is their habitual dishonesty. They lie about fetal development. They lie when they say they provide "non-directive options counseling." They lie about the quality of their doctors. They lie about prolifers. Their lies are despicable.

It is equally despicable to lie about Planned Parenthood.

The way that the short video was edited goes beyond simple lying and into the real of bearing false witness against Dr. Nucotela. The video is edited to make it seem as if she's saying the opposite of what she's really saying. The only thing presented honestly -- and granted, it's gruesome -- is Dr. Nucotela cheerfully munching on her salad while casually discussing how she crushes living unborn babies in order to avoid damaging their organs.

That segment alone is enough shock and  horrify almost everybody, regardless of how they feel about abortion. I really wish that the Center for Medical Progress had simply stuck with that. Honestly bringing evil to light is Biblical and moral and ethical and ought to be done. Espionage in order to bring these things to light is moral and ethical. But lying and trying to make people's motives appear deplorable is not. It's breaking a Commandment. And there is no excuse for that.


prolifefootsoldier said...

I read your post. You bring up posts to consider.
I am an economist. If I were a part of an investigation there are many questions I would want answered about profiteering. We don't know for sure today. There are questions. In any case the profit would be at the affiliate level not at the national level.
Here are three possible investigation outcomes that would show profiteering:
1. Revenue for baby organs is greater than abortuary harvesting and delivery costs. The costs claimed by abortuaries should not include their overhead costs. If abortuaries try to claim these costs that would be evidence that they are profiteering.
2. Prices for different baby organs differ from one to another in a way that is unrelated to costs for removal and delivery of different organs. Such differentials would show that prices may be related to demand rather than cost.
3. The abortuary aggressively and deceptively seeks consent for harvesting from mothers rather than simply accommodates the independently expressed desires of a mom to have her baby's organs used in research.
Let's see how the facts come out.

Christina Dunigan said...

Regarding 1: Dr. N repeatedly said that the affiliates just want to break even. She admonished the purported buyers not to go in offering buckets of money, that the way to get affiliates on board would be to stress the medical research. She conceded that if they left a small enough footprint at the clinic, they could probably get the tissue for free. She described in detail how they calculate costs. I can see no profiteering there.

Regarding 2: Dr. N said that PP charged "per specimen," which she defined as "per patient." The procurement firm can take just the liver or could take the heart, lungs, liver, intestines, spinal cord, and both lower limbs and that would still be one specimen -- even though I'm sure the procurement companies would be willing to pay for each thing they collect.

3. Dr. N specifically said that the affiliates take extra time to "consent" patients for "donation," unless the procurement company choose to do that -- in which case they would charge less. I know from multiple sources that the "informed consent" for the abortion itself is deceptive and tries to sell the abortion, but I would want to see evidence before I'd say they lie about the donations.

I'm just disgusted that, when there is so much legitimate evil to report, this group felt it was necessary to create imaginary evil.