Top Planned Parenthood officials told undercover videographers that abortion clinics generate a "fair amount" of money from organ harvesting even as the organization denies that it turns a profit from it.
"We have independent colleagues who generate a fair amount of income doing this," Deb VanDerhei, the national director for Planned Parenthood’s Consortium of Abortion Providers, said. "Obviously we would have a huge P.R. issue, by doing this."
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The Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life non-profit, released a tenth video on Tuesday showing leaders at the nation’s leading abortionist candidly discussing organ harvesting.
"They want cardiac or they want eyes or they want neural," said Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, a Planned Parenthood medical adviser, as she held a plastic cup of wine. "People want spinal cords. So I mean, that sort of thing. Certainly everything we provide—oh gonads. Oh my God gonads. Everything we provide is fresh."
Staffers from the Center for Medical Progress posed as prospective organ buyers while speaking with the Planned Parenthood executives. VanDerhei told them that Planned Parenthood staffers prefer to discuss organ sales in person without leaving a paper trail. They feared that a public and media backlash if the practice was put in the spotlight.
"If they do it, that’s fine. We’re not going to say no, but we want them to really think about the New York Times’ headline," VanDerhrei says. "The headlines would be a disaster … It’s an issue you might imagine that we’re not comfortable talking about on email. And so we want to have the conversation in person."
Nearly every Planned Parenthood official in the video shared those concerns.
"Obviously we would have the potential for a huge P.R. issue by doing this," Westhoff said.
"This could destroy your company and us if we don’t time those conversations correctly," Vanessa Cullins, vice president for external medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says.
The undercover videos have led to intense scrutiny on Planned Parenthood since the first video was posted in July. Nearly every Republican presidential candidate has criticized organ harvesting, while Hillary Clinton, the top recipient of Planned Parenthood donations, has called the imagery in the videos "disturbing."
Several congressional committees and a number of states have launched investigations into the practice. Federal law prohibits abortionists from altering techniques to better harvest organs or profiting from their sale.
Senate Democrats blocked a bill that would have directed the $500 million that Planned Parenthood receives from taxpayers each year to local health centers.
Planned Parenthood did not return a request for comment.