In an undercover video released on Tuesday, a Planned Parenthood executive spoke bluntly about preserving the organs of aborted fetuses.
"We've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I'm not gonna crush that part," Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical research, told two activists with the Center for Medical Progress, who were posing as scientists with a biotech firm.
The video, which was filmed last summer by the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, shows Nucatola drinking wine and eating a meal while speaking cavalierly about performing abortions and preserving the organs from fetuses. She also discussed prices for harvested organs: "I would say it's probably anywhere from $30-$100 [per specimen]."
She also makes it clear that the money is intended to cover the cost of preserving and transporting the material to research facilities.
"Affiliates are not looking to make money by doing this," she said in the video. "They're looking to serve their patients and just make it not impact their bottom line."
Planned Parenthood called the video misleading.
"A well funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood's mission and services has promoted a heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays Planned Parenthood's participation in tissue donation programs that support," the group said in a statement.
The conversation in the video covers the legal practice of donating fetal tissue, and the cost associated with transporting, and storing it, Planned Parenthood said.
"In healthcare, patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases," the group said in a statement. "There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field."
David Daleiden, one of the activists who recorded the video, accused Planned Parenthood of violating laws against the sale of body parts.
"Planned Parenthood's criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization," he said in a statement. "Elected officials must listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the law and for our tax dollars to stop underwriting this barbaric abortion business."
Following the video's release, Louisiana governor and presidential candidate Bobby Jindal announced an investigation into Planned Parenthood's practices in his state.
"Today's video of a Planned Parenthood official discussing the systematic harvesting and trafficking of human body parts is shocking and gruesome." he said in a statement. "I have instructed Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals to conduct an immediate investigation into this alleged evil and illegal activity and to not issue any licenses until this investigation is complete."