Planned Parenthood Harvests Body Parts from Butchered Babies


July 15, 2015

9 min read

Pro Life



It’s abhorrent.  A senior Planned Parenthood abortionist was caught on tape detailing over the course of a two-hour conversation how its abortionists are intentionally “crushing” babies in order to harvest and sell whole organs from their dead bodies to third parties.

What’s the scariest part about this video where the senior official discusses the harvesting of organs from butchered babies?

It’s possible that the way Planned Parenthood is carrying out many of these despicable practices is in fact legal.

Yesterday, a relatively new group of pro-life activists called the Center for Medical Progress posted the undercover video.

The Washington Post has more details:

Anti-abortion groups also said the callous nature of the discussion captured on film should tug at viewers’ consciences — particularly when Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical research, apparently describes “crushing” the fetus in ways that keep its internal organs intact, and her remarks about researchers’ desire for lungs and livers.

“I’d say a lot of people want liver,” she says in the video posted on the Center for Medical Progress’s Web site, between bites of salad. “And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.”

She continues: “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.”

Revealing potential medical malpractice, she also discusses how abortionists change their practices depending on which organs third parties want harvested, even waiting to do abortions later than they normally would if the baby has a genetic abnormality.

She discusses how clinics have to pay to incinerate the butchered babies … unless they can get paid to harvest and transfer the body parts to a third party. Even if Planned Parenthood doesn’t make a profit off of the sale of dead babies’ organs alone, this is still quite the financial incentive for the big abortion giant's bottom line, getting paid instead of having to pay to dispose of the bodies.

As for that profit margin, Planned Parenthood’s practices sound dubious at best, as they try to skirt federal laws and exploit loopholes to legally justify the morally unjustifiable. Toward the beginning of their over-two-hour conversation, the Planned Parenthood abortionist explains:

“They just want to do it in a way that is not perceived as, ‘This clinic is selling tissue, this clinic is making money off of this.’ I know in the Planned Parenthood world they’re very very sensitive to that. And before an affiliate is gonna do that, they need to, obviously, they’re not—some might do it for free—but they want to come to a number that doesn’t look like they’re making money. They want to come to a number that looks like it is a reasonable number for the effort that is allotted on their part. I think with private providers, private clinics, they’ll have much less of a problem with that.”

You know, I would throw a number out, I would say it’s probably anywhere from $30 to $100, depending on the facility and what’s involved. […] So it just needs to be justifiable. And, look, we have 67 affiliates. They all have different practice environments, different staff, and so that number—

I think for affiliates, at the end of the day, they’re a non-profit, they just don’t want to—they want to break even. 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.

You can view the full two-hour-plus video of the abortionist speaking here; but warning, it is incredibly disturbing.

Killing babies in their mothers’ wombs and then selling their dead bodies (just as long as it doesn’t “look like” it’s for profit)?  This is the very definition of evil.  It shocks the conscience.

While it’s very likely that at least some Planned Parenthood affiliates are violating numerous federal statutes, the information on the video alone cannot confirm this fact. But it does raise numerous questions about Planned Parenthood’s practices and what our laws should be.

In fact, the actions of Planned Parenthood’s affiliates nationwide are of such dubious legality that, as the senior Planned Parenthood official explained, “[A]t the national office we have a Litigation and Law Department that just really doesn’t want us to be the middle people for this issue, right now.”

There are two applicable statutes that are at issue here.  The first, 42 U.S.C. § 289g, generally prohibits the sale of babies’ body parts, with one big exception.  It provides, “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.”

Problematically, the statute defines “valuable consideration” as not including “reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.” This is a key loophole Planned Parenthood blatantly exploits, claiming whatever price tag they choose falls into at least one of these categories.

Another part of that statute outlines laws regulating government research using human fetal tissue. Babies’ body parts cannot be used for government-funded research if “the timing, method, or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy was made solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue.” Planned Parenthood is clearly altering many aspects of abortions to obtain certain tissue.  The Planned Parenthood executive goes into great detail about the steps an abortionist will take to preserve organs intact, altering how they may normally commit an abortion:

[M]ost providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps. . . . So then you’re just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers, you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that, you know, we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m going to basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact. And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex, because when it’s vertex presentation, you never have enough dilation at the beginning of the case, unless you have real, huge amount of dilation to deliver an intact calvarium. So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.

In other words, Planned Parenthood routinely alters the method of performing the abortion in order to obtain the baby’s organs.  What is unknown is whether any of the babies’ body parts Planned Parenthood is harvesting and selling (even if at cost) are being used in research paid for by federal tax dollars.  Regardless, this provision should be applicable to all research and not just research done or funded by the federal government.

The second statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1531, is the partial-birth abortion ban. The abortionist details exactly how late-term abortionists intentionally circumvent this statute on a regular basis:

There’s a group of people who use [the drug digoxin] so they have no risk of violating the Federal Abortion Ban. Because if you induce a demise before the procedure, nobody’s going to say you did a “live”—whatever the federal government calls it. Partial-birth abortion. . . . So some people use it to avoid providing a “partial-birth abortion.” Others use it because they actually think it makes the tissue softer and it makes it safer and easier to do the procedure. Is there data for either of these? No. Because number 1, the Federal Abortion Ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation. So there are some people who interpret it as intent. So if I say on Day 1 I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter. Because I didn’t intend to do this on Day 1 so I’m complying with the law. There are other people that say well if you induce demise it doesn’t matter, you’re never gonna do it so you don’t have to worry about intent.

This argument is not persuasive, but this law also includes some ambiguous areas. For example, as long as the baby is slaughtered before being delivered intact and the organs are harvested at that time, the abortionist is not in violation of this law – an obscene technicality.

These laws must be reformed. These loopholes must be closed. We must stop the abortion industry from harvesting organs from butchered babies. These vulnerable women are manipulated by the abortion clinics to help their bottom line even if the mother’s health is put at greater risk.

For example, even if Planned Parenthood obtains consent forms, as the law requires, from each woman undergoing these gruesome procedures, do those consent forms tell mothers that they might turn the baby into a breech position – which is potentially more dangerous for the mother – in order to salvage and sell the baby’s whole head? Was each and every mother aware of this gruesome possibility?

Planned Parenthood, an organization that received over $500 million of our tax dollars last year, must be held accountable. The abortion industry continues to do whatever it can to profit at the expense of life. We knew they were killing innocent babies. Now, it’s clear they are butchering babies in ways to help their own bottom line.  For those who defend the abortion giant, it’s “[w]eird how clumps of cells magically become ‘intact livers and hearts’ once it’s time for Planned Parenthood to harvest that baby for cash.”

Enough is enough. This barbarism must end.

Join us in calling for the full defunding of Planned Parenthood and a full congressional investigation into these horrific practices.

Already, there are calls at both the state and federal levels to investigate and ban these abhorrent practices.  As Speaker of the House John Boehner just said:

Nothing is more precious than life, especially an unborn child.  When anyone diminishes an unborn child, we are all hurt, irreversibly so.  When an organization monetizes an unborn child – and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video – we must all act.   As a start, I have asked our relevant committees to look into this matter.

This is why our pro-life advocacy matters. This is why we are defending commonsense pro-life laws at the Supreme Court that protect the health of women and save thousands of unborn babies.  Ironically, the national Planned Parenthood executive in this video audaciously discusses how the national Planned Parenthood legal team is not optimistic about any abortion cases that go before the Supreme Court.  The abortion industry is reeling, which is all the more reason to continue pressing forward for life.

Finally, Congress must pass legislation already being considered that will protect innocent lives, like the late-term abortion ban, and pass new legislation to reform the current laws to outlaw these barbaric practices that treat women and children like commodities instead of lives worthy of full dignity.