Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards issued a personal apology for the video that surfaced of the organization’s top doctor discussing the sale of body parts from aborted fetuses.
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In a video message released Thursday, Richards blames Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, for using an "unacceptable" tone in the video that does not reflect the "compassion" with which the organization treats its patients.
In footage captured undercover by the non-profit organization Center for Medical Progress and released Tuesday, Nucatola is seen touting the sale of heart, liver and other body parts of aborted babies to a company called Stem Express.
"Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide. In the video, one of our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion," claims Richards in the video message. "This is unacceptable and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements."
She also blasts the Center for Medical Progress for using "secretly-recorded, heavily-edited videos to make outrageous claims about programs that help women donate fetal tissue for medical research," adding later that such anti-abortion organizations are not "concerned with protecting the health and safety of women."
"The allegation that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true. Our donation programs, like any other high-quality healthcare providers, follow all laws and ethical guidelines," Richards claims.
Republican lawmakers have slammed Planned Parenthood, which has received $27.8 million in taxpayer money this year, since the undercover video surfaced Tuesday.
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) called on President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to "denounce" the "gruesome" abortion practices and demanded hearings be held on the issue.
Democrats, on the other hand, have dismissed the video.
"It’s got a Benghazi feel to it, for me," Rep. Scott Peters (D., Calif.) said of the controversy.