The Center for Medical Progress, a group with ties to the anti-abortion movement, released a second video that it says shows that Planned Parenthood affiliates are profiting off providing researchers with fetal tissue from abortions.
The edited video, posted Tuesday morning, appears to show a Planned Parenthood official discussing compensation for providing specimens with two actors posing as tissue buyers. At one point, one of the actors appears to ask the official, whom the group identified as Dr. Mary Gatter, a member of Planned Parenthood’s national board who has also overseen affiliates in California, what she expects to be paid for intact tissue specimens.
“Well, why don’t you start by telling me what you are used to paying,” Gatter appears to say, later adding, “Well, you know in negotiations the person who throws out the figure first is at a loss, right?”
In response to the first video that The Center for Medical Progress released last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America acknowledged that its affiliates participate in tissue donations at the consent of its patients, but that it does not profit off the programs. The organization has said that providers only charge researchers the costs to procure and transport the tissue specimens, which it says abides by legal and industry standards.
In Tuesday’s video, Gatter appears to nod to this policy. “But see … we don’t … We’re not in it for the money and we don’t want to be,” she appears to say. “We want don’t to be in the position of being accused of selling tissue and stuff like that. On the other hand, there are costs associated with the use of our space, and all that kind of stuff.”
At the end of the video, the official appears to crack a joke about the negotiations for the specimen prices: “I want a Lamborghini.”
Planned Parenthood has said that it does not alter how its affiliates care for patients in order to salvage tissue for researchers, such as using an abortion technique not typically used at a certain gestation age. However, Gatter, appears to tell the actors that “that’s kind of a specious little argument,” suggesting that she would tell the surgeon at an affiliate to use a different technique in order to better preserve the desired tissue specimen.
“I think they’re both totally appropriate techniques, there’s no difference in pain involved, I don’t think the patients would care one iota. So I’m not making a fuss about that,” she appears to say.
Since the Center for Medical Progress released its first video last week, lawmakers have launched state and federal investigations into Planned Parenthood’s operations. In response to the first video, Planned Parenthood, apologized for the tone of the official captured on camera, but said its practices fall within the law and that the video was heavily edited to misrepresent its actions.
“It’s important to know that the source of these videos is a group of extremists who have intimidated women and doctors for years in their agenda to ban abortion completely,” Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero said in a statement Tuesday. “Last week, they released a deceptively edited video in order to falsely claim that a Planned Parenthood staffer was violating laws or might violate laws – when in fact the staffer said the exact opposite, at least 10 separate times, all of which were edited out of the video in order to mislead the public.”
The Center for Medical Progress eventually posted a fuller cut of its initial nine-or-so-minute video last week. A representative said Tuesday that the group was in the process of doing the same for this video.
A letter Planned Parenthood sent to congressional lawmakers Monday before the second video was released suggested it expected more videos were coming.
“We don’t know what the Center will release next, but we know enough to be deeply concerned about the infiltration of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates,” the letter said. “The ever-present threat of these deceptive practices makes it vastly more difficult for Planned Parenthood to do its important work.”
The letter also outlined the relationship the people believed to be involved video campaign has to the broader anti-abortion movement, as well attempts Planned Parenthood believes the Center for Medical Progress, under the guise of a sham company called Biomax, made to film its “sting” videos.
“We also believe that in at least one interaction at a Planned Parenthood facility, the Biomax representative asked questions about the racial characteristics of tissue donated to researchers studying sickle cell anemia, apparently seeking to create a misleading impression,” the letter said.