Abbott Pounces After Another Planned Parenthood Sting Video Appears

Tuesday morning, the dubiously named Center for Medical Progress released the second undercover video stemming from what it claims has been a three-year "undercover" investigation of Planned Parenthood. Like the first video, released a week ago, the new video shows a Planned Parenthood senior executive talking about, depending on your point of view, donating fetal tissue for medical research or harvesting and selling the body parts of murdered babies. Last week's video featured  Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services Deborah Nucatola, this week's features Mary Gatter, medical director for Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley.

Both women describe tissue donation in casual terms and the fees provided by research organizations. Planned Parenthood says those fees cover costs such as storage and transportation; anti-abortion advocates insist that the money exchanged means fetal tissue is being sold. Selling tissue from aborted fetuses is a federal crime. Gatter says some particularly inelegant things in the second video. She talks about "less crunchy" abortion methods that can help keep tissue intact and jokes about wanting a Lamborghini in reference to fees, before immediately laughing and saying "no." 

Planned Parenthood, through a statement from spokesman Eric Ferrero, says that the video doesn't show Gatter talking about doing anything illegal and that she "[states] over and over again that she follows all laws and medical standards."

Tuesday morning, before much of the dust from the new video had settled, Texas Governor Greg Abbott leaped at the opportunity to announce that he was going to expand the multiple state investigations into Planned Parenthood he helped launch last week.

"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. 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," he said.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, the umbrella organization for all of North Texas' Planned Parenthood clinics, says it doesn't participate in fetal tissue donation, despite it being standard practice in the medical community.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick wants to make sure PPGT isn't lying.

"We need to protect the sanctity of life and ensure that Planned Parenthood is not encouraging women to have abortions for the grotesque purpose of profiting from selling body parts," he said in statement Tuesday.

Patrick wants a hearing as soon as possible in front of the Texas Senate Committee on Human Services to try to find out if Planned Parenthood is doing anything illegal.

In 2011, Rick Perry signed legislation stripping state funding from Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas. Texas House Bill 2, signed by Perry in 2013, will close all but eight or nine abortion providers in the state if it is allowed to go into full effect by the U.S. Supreme Court, which has temporarily blocked the full implementation of the legislation.

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