As we expected, Planned Parenthood is doing its best to avoid the substantive issues raised in the recent undercover video that shows their Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, acknowledging that PP affiliates do receive money for aborted fetal body parts.
They are hiding their unethical behavior by holding up the figleaf of altruism and humanistic benevolence.
There are at least three serious issues here.
- PP’s consent form does not inform the mother that they will be receiving money for the dead baby’s body parts.
- PP violates the ethics of patient care by altering the abortion procedure for reasons other than the well being of the patient, the mother. This is on a par with treating a dying person differently because you know you are going to harvest their organs. The objective is always the well being of the patient not how you can use the patient for some other objective.
- The national headquarters of PP are fully aware, support and approve this practice of their affiliates.
Here are a few notes on each of these three points.
Number one: Planned Parenthood claims that the money they receive is just covering their expenses. But the Center for Medical Progress claims that all the expenses of transportation, preservation, etc. are borne by the research lab purchasing the body parts. PP has no expenses. They receive money coming and going. They get money from the mother seeking to abort and they get money from the research lab who comes right to their door to pick up the specimens.
Number two. Dr. Arthur Caplan is one of the fathers of modern bioethics. He supports Roe v. Wade. Even he is concerned about PP’s practice. He told CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen that the sole concern of the abortion provider should be the well being of the patient, not the worry over whether they can extract undamaged fetal body parts. Quote: “In abortion , the goal is to give the safest abortion possible. Your sole concern has to be the mother and her health.” Doctors should treat the patient as they normally would and then use whatever is available after death. PP has a huge conflict of interest. On the undercover video, Dr. Nucatola admits they do just the opposite
Number three: Dr. Nucatola admits on the video that PP Federation of America’s lawyers are squeamish about this practice and have warned the headquarters not to get involved. Consequently, headquarters has always publicly distanced themselves from any affiliate who is caught doing this kind of monetary transaction. Now we know that headquarters knew about it, approved it and supported it.
PP is trying to say they are technically selling these body parts. The courts will determine whether or not this is criminal sale of body parts. What we know is that they have a financial interest which they don’t disclose to the mother. They unethically alter abortion procedures in the interest of the research lab acquiring body parts rather than the best interest of the patient. We now know it was known at the highest levels of the PP organization.
Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America is going to need something much bigger than a figleaf to hide her organization from the eyes of the law and the scrutiny of the U.S. Congress.