More undercover Planned Parenthood video footage was released Tuesday by an anti-abortion group that claims the video shows an employee discussing the price and methods of selling fetal tissue from abortion for research. Last week, the Center for Medical Progress released its initial video, one of supposedly many, which featured hired actors posing as interested buyers of fetal tissue. The video was met with condemnation from conservative politicians, who launched a congressional investigation, and left Planned Parenthood and abortion rights advocates reeling.
The new eight-minute video features a woman who the center says is Mary Gatter, medical director of Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles. At what appears to be a restaurant, Gatter discusses the price of the tissue with two Center for Medical Progress actors. As with the initial video, it is highly edited, making it difficult to determine the context of her comments. The full-length footage, which was released later Tuesday afternoon, exceeds an hour.
"Let me just figure out what others are getting," Gatter says in the video, "and if this is in the ballpark, then it's fine. If it's still low, then we can bump it up." She adds, laughing to indicate she's joking, "I want a Lamborghini."
Planned Parenthood has fired back, pointing out that the sale of fetal tissue for research purposes is legal with the patient's consent. While providers cannot profit, regulations allow them to charge fees to cover the costs of packaging and shipping. Planned Parenthood filed a complaint detailing the Center for Medical Progress' "deplorable and possibly unlawful actions" in a letter to Congress Monday.
“As a high-quality health care provider, Planned Parenthood has extremely high standards, and any time those standards are not being met, we take swift action," said the letter. "But what we know right now is that a group of extremists who have intimidated women and doctors for years – in their agenda to ban abortion completely – are not 'documenting' misdeeds; they are trying to create them, quite unsuccessfully. Indeed, from all that is known today, the only people who have broken laws are the extremists who have been hounding women and Planned Parenthood doctors for years.”
Project leader David Daleiden has been the face of the center since the video's release, appearing in interviews with the national media, but the initial 501 organization registration forms, filed in 2013 and obtained by Planned Parenthood, list two other board members: Albin Rhomberg and Troy Newman. Newman, the group’s secretary, is the president of Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group that ran a harassment campaign against Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas, a campaign that ended only when an active member of the group, Scott Roeder, murdered Tiller in his church in 2009.
Tuesday's video triggered immediate reactions from elected officials. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has announced that the state will expand its investigation in response to the new footage.
“This latest video showing yet another Planned Parenthood senior official negotiating the price of unborn baby body parts is more than just callous and morally bereft, it may be criminal," said Abbott in a statement. "The video appears to directly contradict Planned Parenthood’s statement last week that they do not earn a profit for selling body parts. Today’s new grotesque revelations necessitate that Texas expand its investigation into this abhorrent practice.”
Daleiden told International Business Times last week that there were more videos to come from "many, many hours of video."
"It's all of footage of top-level Planned Parenthood doctors and leaders," he said.