Opinion: Planned Parenthood under scrutiny for illegal actions

Written by: Brooke Cary

Planned Parenthood has been one of the most hotly debated topics since the legality of its abortion methods and commercial dealings with fetal tissue was questioned in a series of videos, which were released to the public in July.

The Senate voted against a proposal on Sept. 24, which would have withheld $500 million in annual government-issued funds to support Planned Parenthood, while investigations continue. The proposal was attached as an amendment to the new government-spending bill and was proposed by Tennessee congresswoman Diane Black in the U.S. House of Representatives. The amendment received bipartisan support and was passed in the House of Representatives on Sept. 18, but the Senate voted down the bill 53-46.

If passed, the amended bill would have reallocated those funds to the 13,500 community health clinics across America.

The videos revealed Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services admitting to a morning “huddle” to make sure doctors know what fetal organs are on the list to harvest for the week. “For example, so I had 8 cases yesterday … I kinda looked at the list and said ‘OK,’ I knew which were the cases that were more probably likely to yield what we needed, and I made my decisions according to that, too. So it’s worth having a huddle at the beginning of the day, “Nucatola said. “A lot of people want intact hearts these days.”

In other videos, Planned Parenthood executive Mary Gatter was recorded haggling over the price of fetal specimen. She started out, “$75 a specimen,” before jokingly asserting that she would like a Lamborghini.

The organization’s scrutiny began when the video recordings were released, showing executive Planned Parenthood employees negotiating the prices of harvested fetal tissue and organs. PP authorities have been caught focusing their case-by-case abortion methods on better fulfilling “orders” of aborted fetal organs, which they have been selling to medical research companies.

Pro-life and pro-choice members of the community have been shocked at the statements made by Planned Parenthood executives. Some have dismissed the videos as falsified. Cecile Richards, CEO and representative of Planned Parenthood has testified in court that the videos are deceptively edited and a false representation of what occurs behind the scenes at the approximately 700 clinics across America. Forensic analysts, however, seem to disagree. Coalfire Systems, the forensic analysis and cyber-security company has revealed that the videos are indeed unadulterated, leaving Congress, the Senate, Judiciaries and the president to weigh the organization and it’s illegal actions.

Governmental defunding of the organization has raised concern for some, who are wondering who will provide necessary health services to women. Congresswoman Lummis stated that 40 percent of Planned Parenthood is funded by taxpayers. Planned Parenthood claims to provide a number of women’s health services other than abortions including cancer screenings, STD screenings and birth control. Many are concerned that women will be left with few or no options.

Planned Parenthood claims cancer screenings are a large part of their health services offered and when President Obama responded to the proposal to defund the organization, he stated that women would lose access to mammograms.

Unfortunately, PP clinics do not perform mammograms. Almost every PP clinic can only refer patients to entirely separate clinics to get their cancer screenings done. Most PP clinics do not even have the equipment to provide a mammogram. If you aren’t sure, call one of their clinics and ask.

The organization claims their defunding would deny women access to these services, even though PP don’t actually offer them. But there are many alternative options.

In Riverside County alone, there are 10 community health clinics and two Planned Parenthood facilities. The nation as a whole has approximately 20 community health clinics for every one Planned Parenthood located in a given community. These community clinics must are required to provide the same and more health services than PP, aside from abortions, which can be provided by alternative abortion clinics. There are two abortion clinics within 10 miles of downtown Riverside.

Free clinical breast exams, mammograms, pelvic exams and Pap tests are also provided to low-income women or women without insurance through California Department of Health Care Services’ program Every Woman Counts.

What truly concerns officials is the unlawful commercialization of fetal organs. Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Nucatola was filmed stating that the “reasonable ones” (doctors) will make adjustments to abortion procedures to harvest more intact fetal organs. “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not going to crush that part. I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above, and I’m going to see if I can get it all intact,” Dr. Nucatola said.

Altering surgical methods removes the focus of performing a safe abortion to performing a profitable abortion for PP. Abortion procedures should not be seen as an opportunity to harvest goods. “When an organization monetizes an unborn child — and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video — we must all act,” United States House speaker John Boehner told CNN.

Adamant defenders of Planned Parenthood are concerned that Planned Parenthood will cease to exist if the U.S. Government were to withdraw funding. In reality, defunding Planned Parenthood would harm the organization, but the availability of women’s health services would not be decreased.

The public should weigh the presented evidence objectively, taking a serious look at whether or not Planned Parenthood is a financially responsible organization, which has proved itself trustworthy with taxpayer dollars. People should know that Planned Parenthood cannot be trusted with performing “safe” abortions; a claim which they surrendered when their executives began engaging in the commercial sale of aborted body parts.

Contact the writer: brooke.a.cary@gmail.com