Tags: Abortion | Planned Parenthood | Planned Parenthood Videos | Center for Medical Progress

New PP Video Discusses Selling Eyes, 'Fresh' Body Parts

New PP Video Discusses Selling Eyes, 'Fresh' Body Parts
(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 15 September 2015 04:04 PM

A new undercover video released Tuesday by the Center for Medical Progress shows Planned Parenthood medical officials discussing the sale of such "fresh" body parts as eyes and reproductive parts — and expressing fears about any possible legal or media problems if their sales scheme was discovered.

"We've just been working with people who want particular tissues, like, you know, they want cardiac, or they want eyes, or they want neural," says Carolyn Westhoff, the organization's senior medical adviser, in the 10th video released by the anti-abortion group.

Story continues below video.


Westoff is talking with a CMP employee posing as a prospective fetal organ buyer.

"Certainly, everything we provide — oh, gonads! Oh my God, gonads." Westoff continues. "Everything we provide is fresh."

The latest video comes as Republicans in Congress are pushing to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding in the upcoming budget process, even if it means shutting down the government for the upcoming fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday called that move an "exercise in futility."

Several GOP presidential candidates have called for defunding the organization, while the group has received attacks from Democrats.

Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, has blasted the videos as part of a smear campaign.

In the latest footage, Westoff also raises concerns about any negative publicity that could result from the sales being discovered.

"Obviously, we would have the potential for a huge P.R. issue in doing this," she then says before offering to introduce the individual to "national office abortion people" from Planned Parenthood, according to the footage.

That person would be Deborah VanDerhei, the national director for Consortium of Planned Parenthood Abortion Providers (CAPS). The committee sets abortion policies for the organization.

Later in the video, VanDerhei refers to payments for fetal tissue as "donation for remuneration."

"I have been talking to the executive director of the National Abortion Federation," she says. "We're trying to figure this out as an industry, about how we're going to manage remuneration, because the headlines would be a disaster.

"If you do decide that you want to engage in remuneration, then you need to, like, think that through, and think New York Times headline when you're creating your policy," VanDerhei says.

The only official listed on the federation's website is Vicki Saporta, its president and CEO.

In another section, VanDerhei asks, "Is this really worth getting? I don't even know what in general, what a specimen generally brings in.

When she is told $100 per specimen, VanDerhei responds, "But we have independent colleagues who generate a fair amount of income doing this."

She also suggests that Planned Parenthood works hard to avoid leaving a paper trail about their fetal-tissue activity.

"It's an issue that you might imagine we're not really that comfortable talking about on email," VanDerhei later says in the video.

Also in that particular conversation was Vanessa Russo, the compliance program administrator for Planned Parenthood Keystone in Allentown, Pa.

In response to the comment, Russo argues, "A company like this that wants to give our organization money for the tissue — I think that that's a valid exchange, and that that's okay."

VanDerhei then nods in agreement.

The footage also shows Vanessa Cullins, Planned Parenthood's vice president for external medical affairs, raising concerns that the organization could face criminal prosecution if the body-parts scheme was discovered.

"This is important," Cullins tells another undercover CMS worker posing as a buyer. "This could destroy your organization and us, if we don't time those conversations correctly."

Eric Ferrero, Planned Parenthood's vice president for communications, called the latest video "yet another heavily edited video making false claims about Planned Parenthood."

"Even on this heavily edited video, Planned Parenthood staff are seen making it clear that fetal tissue donation must follow all laws and that there is no 'profit' or financial incentive for fetal tissue donation," he said in a statement published by The Hill.

"For more than a decade, Planned Parenthood has had clear guidance related to fetal tissue donation, which complies with all laws and actually goes well beyond the legal requirements," he said.

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A new undercover video released Tuesday by the Center for Medical Progress shows Planned Parenthood medical officials discussing the sale of such "fresh" body parts as eyes and reproductive parts - and expressing fears about any possible legal or media problems if their sales scheme was discovered.
Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood Videos, Center for Medical Progress
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2015-04-15
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 04:04 PM
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