In case you missed it over the weekend, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards sat down on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos and struggled to justify the selling of baby parts "for science" and "medical purposes." Richards was extremely defensive when asked about why Planned Parenthood doctors are seen in undercover footage haggling over the price for body parts and ironically accused the journalists who captured the footage of engaging in unethical practices. One doctor in particular was caught on camera negotiating body parts while joking that she wanted a Lamborghini.
"This has been a three-year, well funded effort by the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement in this country to try and entrap doctors with highly doctored videos. Doctors repeatedly said, which was edited out, Planned Parenthood does not at all profit from fetal tissue donation, which is an important element of healthcare research in this country," Richards said, failing to acknowledge that the organization behind the undercover video, The Center for Medical Progress, has released the "edited" footage Richards is referring to in full. "What is not told is that these [undercover videos] are highly selectively edited."
To his credit, Stephanopoulos followed up on that point, asking if Planned Parenthood doesn't profit from the sale of parts, then why do doctors participate in a negotiation process about price for baby parts?
"Planned Parenthood has broken no laws, we have the highest standards. The care and healthcare of our patients is the most important priority," Richards said. "This is actually laudable that women choose to make fetal tissue donations."
It isn't clear if women are knowingly donating (or in this case, Planned Parenthood selling) fetal organs harvested in late term abortions for "medical research." It is a felony to sell fetal parts to any company without the consent of the mother.
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Meanwhile, while Congress debates whether the abortion giant should continue to receive more than $500 million per year in taxpayer funding, big companies are denying any previous involvement or sponsorship of the organization.
Planned Parenthood once boasted a list of sponsors that read like a who's who of the Fortune 100, but now some of the biggest companies say they never gave money to the embattled organization.
Coca-Cola, Ford and Xerox are all among the companies listed in a roster of corporate sponsors claimed by Planned Parenthood, but representatives for the companies said they either never donated to the organization or had not in years. Planned Parenthood, which is now reeling from the release of two undercover videos in which top officials alluded to selling fetus parts, had published the company names on the website of its Washington, DC, chapter.
Planned Parenthood's financing has come under scrutiny in the wake of the video sting, which was carried out by the Center for Medical Progress. In the videos, Planned Parenthood officials were recorded talking to people posing as medical researchers about providing aborted fetal organs for research. Critics say the videos show Planned Parenthood is illegally harvesting and selling organs, although the organization's president, Cecile Richards, claims the group has done nothing illegal and is being smeared.
Exit question: Is Planned Parenthood an advocate for late-term abortion because the organization profits off of baby body parts that are significantly more developed in later pregnancy? We'll be finding out. The Center For Medical Progress reportedly has at least a dozen more undercover videos to publish in the coming weeks.