Recently undercover videos were made public that revealed a Planned Parenthood executive discussing the potential sale of body parts from an aborted fetus. Dr. Deborah Nucatola, who performs abortions at a clinic in Los Angeles and is the senior director of medical services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America was speaking about her role in the selling of baby body parts. Following the release of two appalling videos, showing Dr. Nucatola casually discussing the sale of body parts while she sipped her wine and munched on her salad, viewers got a much clearer picture of what goes on behind the scenes with the abortion giant organization, Planned Parenthood. In response to public outcry to the video, the Planned Parenthood organization said that the tissue and body parts were to be used only for medical experimentation. Organizations who perform abortions, like Planned Parenthood, can donate fetal tissue and other body parts following an abortion with the patient’s permission, and only for the purpose of legal medical research.
The selling-for-profit of fetal tissue and organs is still illegal under both state and federal statutes. Currently Missouri law classifies this crime as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable with up to one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. The federal statutes are more severe with the punishment for selling fetal tissue and organs set at up to ten years in prison and fines up to $500,000. Some would like to see Missouri change or amend its statutes to match the federal laws.
Following the release of the disgusting videos, elected officials at all levels of government are calling for investigations into this draconian practice. In our state, the Missouri House will investigate how Planned Parenthood clinics and personnel dispose of fetal remains. The Missouri Senate has created a committee to look further into Planned Parenthood’s activities in Missouri, and our state’s Attorney General will open an investigation into Missouri’s Planned Parenthood clinics practices. Regardless of whether one is pro-life or pro-choice on abortion, the allegations require careful review to make sure that these horrific practices are not occurring within our state and that no Missouri law has been violated.
Missouri has some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation. In 2010 a law was passed requiring women seeking an abortion to be provided with an ultrasound of the fetus, an opportunity to listen to their baby’s heartbeat, and to receive a state-produced brochure proclaiming that life of each human being begins at conception and that abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being. In 2011 abortions after twenty weeks were banned unless the mother’s life was in danger or the fetus was not viable. In 2013 doctors were banned from prescribing abortion-inducing drugs unless they were physically present at the abortion procedure. In 2014 a seventy-two hour waiting period to have an abortion was made law. A woman is required to receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having such a procedure. Then she has to wait the seventy-two hours before the abortion can be performed. Counseling must be provided in person and is required to take place before the waiting period begins, thereby necessitating two separate trips to the facility. If the patient is a minor, parental consent has to be obtained before the procedure can be done.
Almost simultaneously with the videos being released, Planned Parenthood announced the August 3 re-opening of its Columbia abortion clinic. It stopped offering abortions in 2012 when their physician left and they were unable to find another to take its place. Before the re-opening of the Columbia clinic, St. Louis was the only other Planned Parenthood surgical abortion facility in our state.
Today, approximately 11,000 Missouri women obtain abortions yearly, with almost half of those procedures being performed out-of-state. Planned Parenthood does approximately 325,000 abortions nationwide every year and receives roughly $500,000,000 per year in federal funds. Some are calling for an IRS audit of this organization and want all federal tax monies cut off while the investigations are ongoing.
Whether Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers are selling, buying, or donating fetal baby body parts from abortions, most individuals agree that all of these unbelievable practices are wrong and should be banned from our state. And with the evidence showing Planned Parenthood negotiating prices for fetal body parts, there is simply no excuse for them to continue receiving our federal tax monies.