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Planned Parenthood Apologizes for Comments Made in Sting Investigation

Planned Parenthood released a two-minute video clip Thursday which offers an apology for the tone of comments made by a senior staffer who was caught in an undercover investigation by The Center for Medical Progress.

In the response released Thursday, Planned Parenthood’s President and spokesperson, Cecile Richards, personally apologizes for the tone of her own staff as seen in the sting video. “Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide. In the video, one our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion. This is unacceptable and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements,” Richards says.

It is not clear from the video or from the description whether Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s Senior Medical Director and the person caught by the undercover investigation, has been fired or disciplined for her “unacceptable” comments.

In the sting video, Dr. Nucatola can be seen drinking wine and eating a salad as she discusses how abortion doctors provide fetal organs that are being sought in a given day. “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact,” she says at one point.

Planned Parenthood maintains that the discussion seen in the clip related to legal tissue donations done with the approval of the women having abortions. Fetal tissue donations are legal so long as the provider does not charge for the tissue. The provider can legally charge to cover their own costs, such as shipping or transport.

In the sting video, Dr. Nucatola quotes a price of $30-$100 per specimen and refers to this as tissue donation; however, in the full video, Dr. Nucatola admits her affiliates are willing to make a modest profit on the harvesting of organs. “They want to break even,” Dr. Nucatola says, “And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.” Dr. Nucatola makes clear that the price per specimen has to appear reasonable in case “anyone were ever to ask them.”

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