- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 30 September 2015
- Written by VICTORIA BORGES | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
An undercover video from The Center for Medical Progress, surfaced recently, raising questions about the biggest women’s healthcare provider, Planned Parenthood. This has caused tensions to rise between different party members stance on the organization.
In the video, Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services of Planned Parenthood, had a conversation with a co-worker about selling and donating organ tissue to be used for research.
Within four minutes of the video, Dr. Nucatola begins to discuss issues dealing with donating and selling organ tissue.
“I don’t think it is a reservation issue so as much as a perception issue because I think every provider who want to donate their tissue, they just want to do it in a way that is not perceived as ‘this clinic is selling tissue, this clinic is making money off of this’. They need to [...] .they want to come to a number that is a reasonable number.”
Later on in the video she admits that organizations are having these conversations behind closed doors, in order to promote stem cell research.
Although the video with Dr. Nucatola is what started the outrage, there are several other videos that The Center for Medical Progress have submitted on to their website. Most of their videos have several different directors who were associated with Planned Parenthood discussing prices of organs.
In order to preserve the organs the unborn child provides, what most clinics do is perform a partial birth abortion.
A partial birth abortion unlike other abortions are illegal under federal law. This specific method of abortion is done during the third trimester of a woman’s pregnancy.
What the doctor would do is pull the unborn child out by its feet using a tool and stop at its neck. Once the unborn child is out from the neck down, the doctor will insert a tube into the child’s skull and suction out the brain so that the skull can collapse killing the child while simultaneously preserving its organs.
In 2003, The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was introduced by Senator Rick Santorum, and was later passed, preventing late-term abortions. Santorum believed that the organization should be prosecuted for practicing these methods.
However, Democrats argue the videos do not confirm whether or not the organization was illegally selling organ tissue; especially when, in defense of the release of these videos, Planned Parenthood claimed that the organs that were mentioned in the video were donations.
Democratic Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton said during an interview with The Des Moines Register, “The Republicans have made it clear in recent years that they are not only opposed to abortion, which they have been for quite some time. They’re increasingly opposed to family planning and contraception.”
She continues, “This is a direct assault on a woman’s right to choose health care. Forget about abortion, which is something that a limited number of Planned Parenthood facilities perform, with not a penny of federal money.”
Although there is plenty negative opinions regarding Planned Parenthood, National Public Radio states that defunding Planned Parenthood is easier said than done because of the federal laws mentioning how Planned Parenthood is a part of Medicaid.
Carly Fiorina, Republican Presidential Nominee, said, “We should shut down the government rather than allow further funding of the organization.”
National Public Radio also discusses that the government completely defunding Planned Parenthood would be detrimental because that is where they get a majority of their funding from.
But why exactly would the defunding of one organization lead to a government shutdown? In order to better understand this issue Dr. Joseph Patten, the Chair of Political Science, explains, “The way it would shut down is the way Government would shut down 1980s disagreement over Democrats and Republicans, if no budget is made then government would shut down, the government would stop working momentarily”.
Dr. Sanjana Ragudaran, specialist professor in the School of Social Work, who concentrates in maternal health policy, mentions that low-income populations who do not have access to these services will be affected the most. She explains that although many republicans claim there are other places individuals can get these essential services, many republicans fail to provide examples that are available to low-income communities.
Kali Maguire, a junior, said, “It’s ridiculous because we need this type of care for women’s and men’s health. They offer screenings for testicular cancer”.
Regardless of whether or not Planned Parenthood committed several illegal offenses whether it be partial birth abortion or selling of organs, according to their annual report they are one of the biggest providers for STD testing, sex education, birth control, and other forms of medical attention and education.
However, it is heavily debated on whether or not a majority of planned parenthoods services are abortions. According to the Planned Parenthood’s 2013-2014 annual report, the organization has engaged in more than 70 research projects to shape women’s health. The report mentions that the research was dedicated on national level topics ranging from HPV vaccinations to long-acting reversible contraception.
IMAGE TAKEN from Planned Parenthood 2013-2014 Annual Report
IMAGE COURTESY of South California Public Radio