Tram Nguyen, director of the Ambulatory Surgery Center, Planned
Parenthood Gulf Coast, in Houston, Texas. (Screenshot: CMP)
WARNING: The video, images, and descriptions in this story involve abortion and fetal body parts. The material is graphic and disturbing.
(CNSNews.com) -- In the fifth and latest investigative video of Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of aborted baby organs and tissue, officials with the organization discuss altering the abortion process to get “intact, fetal cadavers,” and help to identify body parts from aborted twins, including intestines, brain, lung, arm and “orbits,” eyeballs.
“The intestines are here, right here, see?” says Planned Parenthood’s Tram Nguyen, as she and a “buyer” (undercover actor) poke through the dismembered and torn body parts of aborted twins dumped into a rectangular glass tray.
“This comes out, like I said, the organs come out really well,” says Nguyen. “See, you can see all the intestines, pretty much all of it’s intact.”
When the buyer notes the “orbits” and remarks that Nguyen had collected such eyeballs before, she says, “Yes, orbits are so easy [to find], like 95% of the time. … Yes, they come out, like firmer.”
David Daleiden, project leader of the undercover videos recorded by the Center for Medical Progress, said, “Anyone who watches these videos knows that Planned Parenthood is engaged in barbaric practices and human rights abuses that must end.”
There is no reason for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, to continue “to commit such atrocities against humanity” and “still receive over $500 million each year from taxpayers,” said Daleiden.
According to its latest annual report (2013-14), Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions for that fiscal year and received $528.4 million in “government health service grants and reimbursements.”
Concerning the latest investigative video, Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said, “Extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission and services are making outrageous and completely false claims.”
“The footage released today doesn’t show Planned Parenthood staff engaged in any wrongdoing or agreeing to violate any legal or medical standards,” said Laguens. “Instead, the latest tape shows an extremely offensive intrusion and lack of respect for women, with footage of medical tissue in a lab. These extremists show a total lack of compassion and dignity for women’s most personal medical decisions.”
The entire fifth video from CMP, and its earlier undercover videos, can be viewed here. (WARNING: Graphic medical procedures are discussed and images of aborted baby tissue, internal organs, and limbs are shown.)
In the fifth video, entitled “Intact Fetuses ‘Just a Matter of Line Items’ for Planned Parenthood TX Mega-Center,” actors posing as buyers for a fetal tissue procurement company had a meeting and lunch with Melissa Farrell, the director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, in Houston, Texas.
Melissa Farrell, director of research, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.
They also meet with a Planned Parenthood nurse and Tram Nguyen, the Ambulatory Surgery Center director at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.
In a statement, the CMP notes, “The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2). Federal law also requires that no alteration in the timing or method of abortion be done for the purposes of fetal tissue collection (42 U.S.C. 289g-1).” (The law in question is here.)
As the video unfolds, Planned Parenthood’s Melissa Farrell reveals that when an abortion-doctor “needed an intact specimen,” an intact aborted baby, “we can make it happen.”
“We just need to figure out how that we can do this under our project needs,” says Farrell.
She then discloses that there are six doctors at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast that do abortions post-16 weeks, meaning more than 4 months into a pregnancy.
While discussing those personnel who do second trimester abortions, Farrell also says, “Because some of our doctors in the past have projects and they’re collecting the specimens. So they do it in a way that they get the best specimens. So I know it can happen.”
When the buyer (actor) asks, “The doctors were also doing research?” Farrell answers, “Uh-huh.”
Later in the video, Farrell is having a lunch-meeting with the buyers and discussing fetal tissue procurement and the potential to apparently change the abortion procedure. She also comments on Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s large operation.
“I think everyone realizes, especially because my department contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here,” says Farrell. “You know, we’re one of the largest affiliates? Our research department is the largest in the Unites States, larger than any the other affiliates’ combined.”
Back at the office, the discussion between Farrell and the buyers continues, with a focus on altering the abortion “process” and potentially obtaining “intact, fetal cadavers.”
Buyer: “ … [I]f that provider is needing to change the technique a little bit and, I know, I’m going against my side of this but, I’m okay with it, now I want you to be paid per specimen.”
Melissa Farrell: “Uh-huh.”
Buyer: “And rather than, oh here, just ship this off – no.”
Melissa Farrell: “Mmm.”
Buyer: “This is what we’re looking for.”
Melissa Farrell: “Uh-huh.”
Buyer: “And if you can do that, and it compensates you, and financially that’s helping you to grow your clinic, I’m willing to do that.”
Melissa Farrell: “Uh-huh.”
Melissa Farrell: “Yeah. And so if we alter our process—“
Melissa Farrell: “And we are able to obtain intact, fetal cadavers, then we can make it part of the budget that any dissections are this, and splitting the specimens into different shipments is this. That’s, it’s all just a matter of line items.”
While discussing an order for fetal tissue from a researcher that was eventually not filled, Farrell states, “The purpose of this is to obtain cadaver, fetal tissue for humanized mouse model for study: innate and adaptive response to viral cancer autoimmune disorders to facilitate treatment options for deadly human disorders.”
In the second half of the undercover video, the buyers, Melissa Farrell, a Planned Parenthood nurse/technician, and ASC Director Tram Nguyen are in the abortion clinical pathological laboratory. They buyers ask if there are any “fresh specimens,” aborted baby parts, they can observe. The exchange occurs as follows:
Buyer: “Are there any fresh specimens from today that we can still look at?”
Nurse: [laughter] “We had a really long day and they're all mixed up together in a bag. If I would have known 10 minutes ago, I would have saved something.”
Buyer: “You know, It’s not like we need something today, but if we could get a visual today of it -- is that possible? That would be a good thing.”
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.
(Screenshot: ABC News)
Nurse: “Yes, let me see. That one’s probably frozen.”
Buyer: “What we’re looking for is a visual baseline of intactness and everything, just so that we know.”
PPGC’s Tram Nguyen: “How intact they are, right?”
Buyer: “Just on a typical day, kind of what that looks like.”
Tram Nguyen: “It varies based on gestation. Sometimes they come out really intact. Do you want to do –”
Nurse: “You’re not going to see anything intact today. Because the way we collect the tissue, it all gets collected into one container.”
Tram Nguyen: “We either – you know what? – is the cremation?”
Buyer: “What was the latest case that you did today?”
Unidentified Planned Parenthood Doctor: “The latest case we did today was a 5 week and 3 days.”
Tram Nguyen: “No, the last one.”
Nurse: “Oh, at 20 [weeks]. It was a twin. I know what you mean: 20 [week] gestational age.”
The nurse then goes to a refrigerator and removes a plastic bag, and then says, “And that was one of the very first ones. So I’m assuming that one could almost be frozen.”
Buyer: “So, we’re often looking for liver and thymus – are two of the most in demand.”
The nurse then rinses the aborted baby parts in a white plastic strainer, like a pasta strainer. Then she puts the body parts in a glass tray on top of a bright white light. The “buyer” then starts to examine some of the aborted baby parts and tissue.
Buyer: “And now this – Tram Nguyen, can you help me out here? I don’t, I think this is lung, right?”
Tram Nguyen: “Yes, that’s correct.”
Buyer: “Yeah, these are lungs because that’s the trachea in the middle there.”
Tram Nguyen: “The intestines are here. Right here, see?” (Picking through the tissue.) This comes out, like I said, the organs come out really well. See, you can see all the intestines, pretty much all of it’s intact.”
Buyer: “This is a big placenta right here?”
Tram Nguyen: “Yes.”
Buyer: “Do you ever see thymus?
Planned Parenthood’s Tram Nguyen: “It depends, whenever we do 20, 22-weekers, we do. We get a lot better—”
Buyer: “But it’s difficult to find thymus at this gestation?”
Tram Nguyen: “Yeah.”
Buyer: “What gestation is this?”
Tram Nguyen: “This was an 18 week, she was about 18 weeks or so. She [the mother] was also a minor.”
Buyer: “Oh, so this one wouldn’t be for collection?”
Tram Nguyen: “No. She was a minor.”
In the glass tray, several small parts of a human baby (or twins) are clearly visible and identifiable, including part of a tiny arm and hand, and a leg and tiny foot.
The buyer says, “Is this? This is a limb. Okay, and this is scapula [shoulder blade]?” Tram Nguyen answers, “Yeah.”
“What we do in the OR [operating room] is that we lay them [the aborted babies] to account for everything before it gets put back in the basin and just like sealed up, and packaged up,” says Nguyen, “because we actually do a lot of collections for sexual assault cases.”
David Daleiden, project leader, Center for Medical Progress.
Asked about some other tissue, Nguyen says, “with that, it’s different -- it’s placenta and long bone. But it’s still very, it’s very cleaned up.”
Buyer: “These orbits [eyeballs] are good too. At this stage you start to get the retinal pigment epithelium in the back, which is -- you’ve collected that before?”Then the buyer and Nguyen have the following exchange:
Tram Nguyen: “Orbits [eyes]. Yes, orbits are so easy, like 95%of the time.”
Buyer: “They’re easy to find, too, even in their early gestations because you just look for the –”
Tram Nguyen: “Yes, they come out, like, firmer.”
Near the video’s end, Planned Parenthood’s Melissa Farrell and Tram Ngyuen are discussing fetal tissue procurement in front of the buyers.
Nguyen says that Planned Parenthood apparently is “encouraging more participation” in procurement of aborted baby parts “but they don’t want to get too into the mix of it.” When Farrell asks her if she has an idea “why the other affiliates in Texas think it’s illegal,” Nguyen pauses and then responds, “Really?”
In an August 4 press release, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America said, “The video released today will be difficult for many people to see. Medical procedures and medical research are often difficult to watch. The video shows a Planned Parenthood staff member with an actor posing as a medical researcher handling fetal tissue in a lab. It is standard medical practice to review tissue to ensure the health and safety of patients, and this tissue was being examined and handled under the false pretense of a standard laboratory site visit for people purportedly conducting qualified medical research.”
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said in a statement, “Once again, these undercover videos show the callousness of Planned Parenthood to eagerly strip away the human dignity of the prenatal child, rip it up (or keep it intact for a higher fee) and sell the baby piece by piece.”
“All the senators who voted last night [Aug. 3] to keep funding Planned Parenthood with tax dollars need to answer for this video today and answer why they are funding such a disgusting, and likely criminal, organization,” said Hawkins.
Commenting on the vote in the Senate, House Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) said, “With this vote, we saw just how truly intertwined today’s Democratic party is with the big abortion industry.”
“Forty-five senators decided to ignore the ugly truth of what is happening behind closed doors at Planned Parenthood clinics and to pretend that the videos we have all seen with our own eyes simply do not exist,” said the congresswoman.