Planned Parenthood says secret video distorts tissue donation program

Planned Parenthood said that a secretly recorded video was edited to falsely portray the group's fetus tissue donation program. The video has since gone viral. 

Joshua Roberts/Reuters/File
Members of Planned Parenthood and more than 20 other organizations hold a "Stand Up for Women's Health" rally in Washington on April 7, 2011. Planned Parenthood has recently denounced a video, taken in secret and released online, that the group says falsely portrays its tissue donation program.

Planned Parenthood said on Tuesday a secretly recorded video that surfaced on the Internet falsely portrayed the reproductive health group's participation in the sale of tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses.

The non-profit organization said the video had been heavily edited and recorded by a group that was established to damage its reputation. It said in a statement the video "falsely portrays Planned Parenthood's participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research."

The video, which has gotten widespread exposure on the Internet, was produced by the California-based Center for Medical Progress, a self-described organization of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances.

Reaction to the video from some Republican presidential contenders was swift. One of them, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, called for an investigation of Planned Parenthood.

Another, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, called the video "a disturbing reminder" of what he characterized as "the organization's penchant for profiting off the tragedy of a destroyed human life."

The video identified a woman speaking about selling fetus body parts as Planned Parenthood Federation of America's senior director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola. Planned Parenthood confirmed on Tuesday that Nucatola was in the video.

The Center for Medical Progress said the video showed Nucatola discussing the sale of body parts from aborted fetuses during lunch with actors posing as buyers from a biological company.

Representatives for the group were not immediately available for comment.

The Center for Medical Progress said it was founded in 2013 but appears to have begun posting on Twitter and Facebook in the past few months.

Planned Parenthood explained in its statement, "Patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases.

"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.

"There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood."

In addition to abortions, Planned Parenthood health centers across the United States provide healthcare and information regarding birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, cancer and other reproductive issues.

On its website, the organization dates its beginnings to 1916 when activist Margaret Sanger and others opened the United States' first birth control clinic in Brooklyn.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Additional reporting by Patrick Enright in Seattle and David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Toni Reinhold)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Planned Parenthood says secret video distorts tissue donation program
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today