Planned Parenthood Adviser: Researchers Want Unborn Babies' 'Gonads, Oh My God, Gonads’

By Michael W. Chapman | September 16, 2015 | 4:38pm EDT

( – In the latest undercover video about Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of aborted baby parts for scientific research, Planned Parenthood officials reveal there is no written policy for the practice; they prefer to discuss it in person and not by e-mail; and they are very concerned about seeing headlines about the practice in the New York Times

In addition, Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, senior medical adviser for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), reveals that “a lot of people” at Columbia University in New York get aborted baby “tissue” for “various studies.” 

Dr. Westoff adds that people the PPFA is working with want “particular tissues” from aborted babies, such as “cardiac [heart], or they want eyes, or they want neural,” and “[c]ertainly, everything we provide – oh, gonads. Oh my God, gonads.”

Gonads are the sexual reproductive glands: the testicles for a male and the ovary for a female.

The undercover investigative video is the 10th video to be released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).   The series of videos, headed by lead investigator David Daleiden, has sparked a firestorm on social media and cable news, but the networks ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely ignored the videos.

The House Judiciary Committee has launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood and the federal funding it receives each year, and five states have taken steps to cut off funding to the abortion provider in the wake of the videos. Those states are Alabama, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Arkansas and Utah.

In one of the discussions with Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president for external medical affairs at PPFA, she expresses her concerns about keeping the issue of harvesting aborted baby parts for research “under the radar screen.”

“We got to see what happens in terms of stem cell research,” says Cullins. “Okay? Because you can’t really talk about it [fetal tissue] unless there’s some changes as it relates to stem cell research. … Until you come up with some type of cure, or something, it’s probably wise to keep it under the radar screen.”

“I think that’s dangerous to start talking about fetal tissue acquisition and how it’s acquired,” said Cullins. In the same vein, she later said, “This is important. This could destroy your company and us, if we don’t time those conversations correctly.

When it comes to payment for the aborted baby parts, Deborah VanDerhei, national director of the Consortium of Abortion Providers for PPFA, says on the video: “I have been talking to the executive director of the National Abortion Federation, we’re trying to figure this out as an industry about how we’re going to manage remuneration. Because the headlines would be a disaster.”

Later, VanDerhei again expresses her concern about media attention, stating, “[T[here’s independent providers that are doing this and we have no control over what they’re doing. And that could be the headline. Or it could be a very well-recognized hospital that does it.”

“I mean, that headline’s the headline,” says VanDerhei. “I’m just saying that, it wouldn’t be Planned Parenthood’s headline but it would be a headline that could potentially create legislation that would make this [use of aborted baby parts] impossible for anybody. And we don’t want to make any missteps.”

VanDerhei also reveals that Planned Parenthood has no written policy on the procurement of aborted baby parts and their sale to researchers.

“We are absent a policy and that’s relatively intentional, “ she says, “and the policy that we do have suggests that you just really think about what you’re doing, vet your procurement service, and if there’s any way you can do it mission-based, that’s probably better.”

“And that if you do decide that you want to engage in remuneration, that you really need to think that through,” says VanDerhei, adding, “and think, New York Times headline, when you’re creating your policy.”

In a separate conversation about the harvesting of aborted baby parts, VanDerhei says, “Well, it’s an issue you might imagine that we’re not that comfortable talking about on email. And so we want to have the conversation in person.”

Also,  in an undercover video of a lunch discussion with Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of Medical Services for the PPFA, the “buyers” ask her about Planned Parenthood’s guidelines for fetal tissue procurement and distribution.

“There are no guidelines,” says Dr. Nucatola. “There are guidelines on research but there are no guidelines on tissue procurement. And there will never be guidelines.”

As to the price or sale of aborted baby parts, “nothing is written,” says Nucatola. “There’s nothing in stone.”

In its latest annual report (2013-14), Planned Parenthood states that it performed 327,653 abortions that year and received $528.4 million in “government health service grants and reimbursements.” 

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