See more of our coverage on the misleading Center for Medical Progress videos here.
The secretive anti-choice organization Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a second undercover video Tuesday. The group claims that the footage shows a Planned Parenthood official “haggling” over the price of fetal tissue.
The eight minutes of edited footage was posted on the organization’s YouTube channel Tuesday morning. The video shows hidden camera footage of Dr. Mary Gatter, president of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Directors’ Council, in a conversation with two unidentified people.
The footage appears heavily edited, with sharp jumps in the footage and time stamps appearing in some parts of the video but not others.
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Gatter twice says in the edited video that Planned Parenthood does not financially gain from fetal tissue, saying, “We’re not in it for the money” and “The money is not the important thing.”
Only after significant prodding by an unidentified woman does Gatter discuss forms of compensation. However, it appears that Gatter is specifically referring to compensation for the cost Planned Parenthood accrues from transplanting and storing the fetal tissue.
“We don’t want to be in the position of being accused of selling tissue and stuff like that,” Gatter said. “On the other hand there are costs associated with the use of our space, and all that kind of stuff.”
The reimbursement of these costs is completely legal under current law. Federal law specifically allows the entities involved to make and receive “reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.”
The video is part of a series of undercover videos that CMP is planning to release as part of the Human Capital Project. There have been questions raised about the tactics that CMP employs to gain the footage, and whether or not they cross ethical and legal boundaries.
David Daleiden, the project leader for CMP, said in a statement that the second video shows Planned Parenthood officials leadership admitting that they “harvest aborted baby parts” in exchange for payment.
“Planned Parenthood’s only denial is that they make money off of baby parts,” Daleiden said. “But that is a desperate lie that becomes more and more untenable as CMP reveals Planned Parenthood’s business operations and statements that prove otherwise.”
Troy Newman, president of the anti-choice group Operation Rescue, released a statement in an email to supporters saying that the video proves that “Cecile Richards flat-out lied” when she denied claims by CMP that Planned Parenthood profits off the sale of fetal tissue.
“Now it also appears that Planned Parenthood is also lying to women, altering their procedures in order to get body parts that can be sold for profit,” Newman wrote. “These represent serious legal and ethical breeches [sic] for which Planned Parenthood must be held accountable.”
Newman, who has a long history of anti-choice activism and close ties with perpetrators of violence against clinics and abortion providers, was listed as a secretary on CMP’s initial nonprofit registration form. Newman claims to have consulted on the undercover investigation conducted by Daleiden.
There are many unanswered questions about CMP’s agenda. There are no tax returns for CMP publicly available, and the group has disclosed essentially no details about its organizational structure, leadership, or funding. The Life Legal Defense Foundation, Americans United for Life, and Operation Rescue have all claimed to be involved with some aspects of CMP’s operations.
Daleiden has declined to answer questions from Rewire about his organization.
The undercover videos have led to Republican lawmakers asking for congressional hearings to investigate the claims made by CMP. GOP legislators in at least seven states have called for investigations of Planned Parenthood.