House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is offering a new response to the undercover videos that reveal Planned Parenthood executives haggling over the sale of body parts of unborn children: Investigate the people who made the videos.
One of the videos reveals an executive in Planned Parenthood’s California branch stating that she wants enough money for a Lamborghini. Another executive cavalierly discussed the sale of livers and other fetal organs.
The videos were released by the Center for Medical Progress, which says it has further videos to come.
On Thursday, the Washington Examiner reported Pelosi’s perspective.
“Let’s have an investigation of those people who are trying to ensnare Planned Parenthood in a controversy which doesn’t exist,” she said.
Already, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has told Planned Parenthood to preserve documentation and evidence for what he sees as a looming congressional investigation, and at least eight states have begun their own review of Planned Parenthood.
A pair of Republicans in the House and Senate are also jointly pushing bills that would block federal funding from Planned Parenthood for one year, pending a full federal investigation of the group.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., both introduced bills Wednesday — legislation that Black said has received a “favorable response” from GOP leaders.
The organization receives in the range of $500 million from the taxpayers annually, and more than 90 percent of its pregnancy services are abortions.
Planned Parenthood has claimed it doesn’t profit from the organs and tissue, because that would be against federal law.
But the second video reveals a Planned Parenthood executive warning, to actors posing as organ buyers, that she won’t be low-balled in payment. And she says that she’ll check what other Planned Parenthood locations are getting for unborn infant organs, and if the price she’s considering is too low, it can be “bumped up.”
Then she explains she wants to purchase a Lamborghini, the exotic supercar that sells for some $200,000.
Several other House Democrats, the Examiner reported, are trying to shift the focus from the revelations about Planned Parenthood to the people who made the videos.
The report said Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Zoe Lofgren, Jerrold Nadler and Yvette Clarke wrote to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and California Attorney General Kamala Harris. The lawmakers asked them to probe whether the Center for Medical Progress broke any laws by misrepresenting to Planned Parenthood officials who they really were.
Pelosi said Planned Parenthood doesn’t charge for infant organs.
“They have only defrayed the cost of mailing that to someone, which is not breaking the law,” she said.
But in the second video, Mary Gatter, the president of the Planned Parenthood Medical Directors Council, explained that wasn’t the case at all.
Gatter discussed how someone from the purchasing company would be at the abortion business to select and take “specimens” and that the payment was for the use of the space in the building.
“Planned Parenthood has as its top priority women’s health, that’s what they’ve always been about,” Pelosi said. “Women’s health does include reproductive health, but it’s about breast cancer, cervical cancer testing and services to women.”
However, those claims were undermined by a statement from a former Planned Parenthood clinic director.
The Examiner reported Abby Johnson, who quit the abortion business several years ago, explaining to Fox News’ “Hannity” show, “Planned Parenthood is harvesting these organs, this tissue, as early as 7 and 8 weeks gestation, at a lot of their abortion facilities across the country.
“They are packaging them, they are shipping them off to … companies that act as middle men, sometimes directly to the research labs, and they’re getting paid a pretty good price for each specimen that they send out,” Johnson said.
She worked for Planned Parenthood for eight years.
“We would talk to them [women] and say … ‘This is an opportunity for you to give back, by donating the fetal tissue to research, it could potentially save the lives of other people,'” Johnson said.
She explained the reality is that Planned Parenthood is “going to pick through the body parts that are removed from your uterus, and we’re going to pick out the best organs, the ones that we can get the most money for, and ship them off.”
WND reported Kansas became the eighth state to open an investigation.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said in a statement that his state “remains committed to a culture that respects the dignity of life at all stages.”
“Recent videos show Planned Parenthood employees treating the unborn as commodities as they discuss the sale of tissue and organs. This does not reflect the culture of life most Kansans want,” the governor said.
Brownback follows Republican governors in Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Arizona and Missouri in launching similar probes.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said after the second video was released: “Today’s new grotesque revelations necessitate that Texas expand its investigation into this abhorrent practice.”
Republican leaders in Congress are weighing a series of votes to defund Planned Parenthood, possibly beginning before the August recess.
House Speaker John Boehner is “demanding” that President Obama back a full-blown investigation into Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood, in its most recent annual report, said it received $528.4 million in taxpayer finding in the 2013-14 fiscal year.
That means it received an average of $1,447,671 in taxpayer funds per day and an average of $60,320 every hour.
The first video showed Planned Parenthood Medical Director Deborah Nucatola talking about the sale of livers and other fetal organs.
In the second video, Gatter says: “But, you know, the money is not important. But it has to be big enough that it makes it worthwhile for me. It’s been years since I’ve talked about compensation, so let me just figure out what others are getting and if this is in the ballpark, that’s fine. If it’s still low, we can bump it up. I want a Lamborghini,” she says.
WND has contacted Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign about the issue but has received no response from Clinton or her campaign staffers.
Clinton and President Obama are among the top recipients of Planned Parenthood contributions, according to InfluenceExplorer.com.
WND asked Clinton’s campaign the following questions:
- Are you opposed to Planned Parenthood’s apparent harvesting of body parts of aborted babies and selling them?
- As a top recipient of Planned Parenthood political contributions, does it concern you that these proceeds from dead babies might be helping to fund your presidential campaign?
- Will you continue to accept those political contributions even after these new revelations?
A spokesman for CMP said: “Planned Parenthood’s leadership admits they harvest aborted baby parts and receive payments for this. Planned Parenthood’s only denial is that they make money off of baby parts, but that is a desperate lie that becomes more and more untenable as CMP reveals Planned Parenthood’s business operations and statements that prove otherwise.”
WND reported last week the first undercover video already was having impact.
See the original video that exposed the scandal:
The full, unedited video of Nucatola, from which the shorter version was taken, is here: