Planned Parenthood was accused of selling fetus parts and performing illegal abortions in a video released Tuesday by the Center for Medical Progress, a nonprofit organization "dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances." The 8-minute video features a woman whom the organization says is Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
In the video, Nucatola says the provider performs late-stage abortions so they can sell aborted fetus parts. She discusses the price of different parts over a meal with two actors who were hired by the Center for Medical Progress to pose as interested buyers.
Registered as a 501 organization in 2013, the Center for Medical Progress has two videos published to its YouTube account. Both videos were uploaded Tuesday and contain footage of the alleged Planned Parenthood doctor. The center also has a hastily built website that contains many broken links and posts that only date back to July 6.
Center for Medical Progress member David Daleiden told International Business Times that he was the project leader for the videos, which he says were the result of a "multi-year investigation" conducted by the Irvine, California, organization. He is one of five to 10 members of the organization.
Daleiden says that actors were hired for the investigation and met Nucatola at an "abortion meeting." He declined to say where the meeting took place or elaborate on its nature. Daleiden also would not disclose how many actors were involved in the video. "She approached our actors and told us that she had been involved in fetal tissue sales for many years," he said.
He said there were more videos to come from "many, many hours of video," and that four others have already been produced and will be released soon. "It's all of footage of top-level Planned Parenthood doctors and leaders," he said.
The video also appears on youth anti-abortion organization Live Action's website, which has tried to discredit Planned Parenthood with undercover videos before. In 2011, the site released a video that depicted a clinic employee offering to help cover up a prostitution ring. Planned Parenthood released a statement in response that said they had contacted federal authorities following the visit.
Daleiden has long been involved in anti-abortion activism, including through the Live Action organization. He has previously written several posts about Planned Parenthood for Live Action's blog and its news site, Live Action News.
Live Action once sent out a press release in March 2009 that claimed Daleiden, who was a Claremont McKenna College student at the time, and another student were banned from Pomona College in Claremont, California, for videotaping a Planned Parenthood event at the school. It says the school later "rescinded its ban [sic] after facing strong opposition from students, faculty and alumni." Daleiden is quoted as believing that the ban stemmed from the questions he asked the Planned Parenthood representative.
Daleiden also has previously contributed to the Weekly Standard, a conservative blog, about abortion workers who have become anti-abortion activists.
Planned Parenthood and Nucatola could not be reached for comment Tuesday.