Planned Parenthood and the Price of Human Life

A different video shows Mary Gatter, MD, president of the Medical Directors’ Council of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley, California bargaining over an advantageous price per specimen. She concludes the negotiation by laughingly stating, “it’s been years since I talked about compensation, so let me just figure out what others are getting, if this is in the ballpark, it’s fine, if it’s still low then we can bump it up. I want a Lamborghini.”


By Georgiana Constantin l August 19, 2015

Recently, videos have surfaced portraying high ranking Planned Parenthood employees and undercover reporters posing as representatives of a fetal tissue procurement company.

These videos show negotiations between the two parties in which questions come up about   usable fetal body parts and what would be their “fair market value.” The talks range from “fair compensation” for harvesting these organs to which parts of the fetus are currently more marketable: hearts, arms, legs, brains, livers, lungs etc.

One of the videos shows Deborah Nucatola, MD, Senior Director of Medical Services, Planned Parenthood Federation of America discussing the market situation in a relaxed tone, over lunch while stating facts such as “I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is the calvarium, the head is basically the biggest part. Most of the other stuff can come out intact.” She then adds, “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 the conversation continues in the same manner and tone.

Another video shows how the “quality” of aborted fetus’ organs is being judged by representatives of the organization, while staring down at the small bodies, which have had their organs torn out, some ripped to shreds, others intact, according to the skill of the doctor who performed the abortion procedure.

A different video shows Mary Gatter, MD, president of the Medical Directors’ Council of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley, California bargaining over an advantageous price per specimen. She concludes the negotiation by laughingly stating, “it’s been years since I talked about compensation, so let me just figure out what others are getting, if this is in the ballpark, it’s fine, if it’s still low then we can bump it up. I want a Lamborghini.”

In the wake of such vividly shocking and damning evidence, Americans whose tax dollars contribute to the existence of this entity, and some of their representatives, have taken action to defund Planned Parenthood.  Most notably Senators and presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have backed a bill in Congress to defund the organization. However, the bill never passed the Senate.  Consequently, the fight against these unethical, inhumane practices is expected to take a new approach. “It should be a very easy decision that taxpayer funds will not go to fund an ongoing criminal enterprise,” Cruz argued.

Retired neurosurgeon and presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson exposed the origins of the Planned Parenthood organization and its founder Margaret Sanger in separate interviews over the FoxNews network. On “Your World” he said, “I know who Margaret Sanger is and I know that she believed in eugenics and that she was not particularly enamored with black people.” On the “Factor” Carson told Eric Bolling that “the number one cause of death for black people is abortion.” Carson explained that the majority of Planned Parenthood clinics are located in minority neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, some states are coming to their own conclusions, quite expeditiously. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley noted, “as a doctor and Alabama’s governor, the issue of human life, from conception to birth and beyond, is extremely important. I respect human life and do not want Alabama to be associated with an organization that does not.”  In the same vein, on August 3rd Louisiana’s Department of Health ended its Medicaid provider contract with Planned Parenthood. Governor Bobby Jindal stated that “Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life. It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.” The state of New Hampshire also managed to defund the organization.

In the ongoing debate regarding the existence, legality and ethics of such fetal tissue trafficking, some argue that the videos were taken out of context or tampered with, while others see the whole discussion as a necessary step towards unveiling uncomfortable and indeed disturbing truths.

Whichever way one prefers to view the situation, it is clear the dispute has opened the door to another, more imperative question, that of how society defines life, particularly human life.

Philosophers and scientists have historically had difficulties with the definition of life in terms that are unequivocal. However, would it be safe to say that a fetus inside a mother’s womb is in fact life? And if so, when does this life begin or rather when do people generally agree it begins? Whatever the answers one gives to these questions, the emphasis falls on the fact that such a dialogue is taking place and that the very definition of life is up to interpretation. Even more so, biology itself is up for interpretation.

It is going to be a long journey ahead, indeed, in terms of reaching a conclusion on such matters. Nevertheless, we must tread carefully and not let the reality of humanity escape us, while searching for its definition.

Therefore, while actions similar to the ones Planned Parenthood performs don’t seem to be the norm, is it really necessary for us to wait before anyone is held accountable?


Georgiana Constantin is a law school graduate who has studied International, European and Romanian law at the Romanian-American University in Bucharest and received her Masters from the Nicolae Titulescu University in Bucharest. Ms. Constantin, who is based in Romania, is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.

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