Fallout Continues For Planned Parenthood After Undercover Videos

A number of charities and corporations are clarifying their relationship with Planned Parenthood after recent undercover videos appear to show officials discussing the price of fetal tissue from abortions.

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) last week released videos in which Planned Parenthood officials are seen discussing selling human tissue from abortions. CMP is an Irvine, Calif.-based nonprofit that describes itself as “a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics advances.”

The allegation that the organization profits from tissue donation is untrue, according to Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). She appears in a two-minute video on the nonprofit’s website addressing the undercover videos by CMP, which she described as a smear campaign.

“Our donation programs — like any other high-quality health care providers — follow all laws and ethical guidelines,” Richards said. “Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide. In the video, one of our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion. This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements,” she said.
“We know the real agenda of organizations behind videos like this, and they have never been concerned with protecting the health and safety of women. Their mission is to ban abortion completely and cut women off from care at Planned Parenthood and other health centers,” she said.

The videos have prompted Republicans in Congress to renew calls to de-fund and investigate Planned Parenthood while Democrats have countered with calls to investigate CMP.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) issued a statement from CEO Gary Reedy in response to a report by The Daily Signal that indicated the charity funds Planned Parenthood. In the past, ACS funded a limited number of grants to implement cancer control programs, such as training clinic staff to screen patients for smoking, providing patients the benefits of quitting smoking, and referring patients to a toll-free smoking cessation helpline. Those grants are no longer active, he said. “The American Cancer Society does not fund – nor has it ever funded—abortion or contraceptive counseling,” Reedy said.

The Daily Signal, a news website of the conservative Heritage Foundation, this week published a story that listed some three dozens companies and nonprofits that directly or indirectly support Planned Parenthood.
Several corporations, including Xerox, Ford and Coca-Cola, reportedly were listed on PPFA’s website as corporate sponsors until this week. A message to PPFA was not returned by presstime.

March of Dimes posted a message on its Facebook page clarifying its relationship with Planned Parenthood. The organization “does not promote or fund abortion services, nor may foundation funds be used for directive counseling regarding abortion.” However, since 2007, five local March of Dimes chapters have given local grants to Planned Parenthood “exclusively for prenatal education. In these communities, these are the only such services available to improve the health of low-income women and reduce the risks of birth defects, low birthweight, and prematurity in their babies.”