Op-Ed

No more taxpayer funds for Planned Parenthood

Opponents of abortion listened to Alejandro Capote of Students for Life of America during a Defund Planned Parenthood rally in downtown Lexington on July 28.
Opponents of abortion listened to Alejandro Capote of Students for Life of America during a Defund Planned Parenthood rally in downtown Lexington on July 28. Lexington Herald-Leader

The Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos and documentation showing how people at the highest levels of Planned Parenthood are negotiating the sale of body parts and adjusting the way they perform abortions so the body parts are more accessible.

The first undercover footage shows senior director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood charges fees to transfer body parts of aborted fetuses donated for research.

Nucatola is shown sipping on wine and chomping on a salad as she callously boasts about getting intact hearts and livers and even skulls for a human biologics company.

Other undercover footage, taken by disguised pro-life activists, shows Melissa Farrell, director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, summarizing her affiliate's approach to fetal tissue payments. "If we alter our process and we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers, we can make it part of the budget that any dissections are this, and splitting the specimens into different shipments is this. It's all just a matter of line items."

Farrell goes on to discuss how fees for specimens contribute significantly to her affiliate's overall finances.

Stem Express CEO Cate Dyer is shown saying that severed, intact skulls are "the hardest thing in the world to ship." The activist posing as a buyer remarked, "Make sure the eyes are closed."

Dyer responded: "Tell the lab it's coming! So they don't open the box and go, 'Oh God!'" And "their lab techs freak out and have meltdowns."

These recent startling revelations are no surprise to citizens involved in pro-life work. Pro-lifers have watched for decades as Planned Parenthood literally gets by with one scandal after another.

The world's largest abortion provider has powerful friends in the White House and in Congress, in addition to many wealthy corporate donors.

Planned Parenthood presents itself as an organization that cares about and helps poor women. In truth, there is not a single medical service that teens and adults receive at its facilities which they would not be able to get from a primary-care physician or a community health center.

There is, however, an important exception — some Planned Parenthood offices provide abortions, which account for more than $150 million, or more than half, of their annual fee-for-service revenues.

In 2014 alone, Planned Parenthood Action Fund gave over $600,000 to over 100 Democratic candidates. President and CEO Cecile Richards is a personal friend of the president and first lady and is a frequent visitor to the White House.

In 2012, Richards took a leave of absence from Planned Parenthood so she could volunteer full-time on President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. Planned Parenthood reported that its political groups spent $15 million during the 2012 election season.

In 2013, Obama became the first sitting president in history to address a Planned Parenthood event.

This organization has over a billion dollars in annual income, which includes over $550 million it receives from the federal government in taxpayer dollars to perform other medical services.

In August, Senate Democrats blocked a bill co-sponsored by Sens. Joni Ernst and Rand Paul to redirect money away from Planned Parenthood and send it to the more than 1,200 community health centers in 9,000 sites in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Given the plentiful alternatives that can deliver much-needed health care to the poor, U.S. taxpayers should not be forced to participate with their tax dollars with the profoundly unjust and immoral activities of Planned Parenthood.

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