Kyle Wingfield

Political commentary and opinion from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's conservative blogger

Second Planned Parenthood video: 'I don't want to low-ball' UPDATED


When a video was released last week depicting a top Planned Parenthood official discussing compensation for organs from aborted babies, and techniques for keeping the organs intact, the organization behind the video promised more was on the way. This week, the Center for Medical Progress released a second undercover video that, on the topic of money for tissue, leaves little to the imagination.

(NOTE: I've updated the post by posting the full-length video at the end.)

This second video -- of a Feb. 6 lunch discussion between actors and Dr. Mary Gatter, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Medical Directors' Council, along with one other unnamed person who, I infer, is also affiliated with Planned Parenthood -- shows a back-and-forth between the two parties about compensation. In the conversation, Gatter sounds mostly interested in making sure she's not getting ripped off, rather than linking the price to any cost the clinic might have incurred.

In fact, at one point in the conversation she states flatly that in her past experience at a Planned Parenthood clinic working with a bioinformatics company called Novogenix, there was virtually no work involved for the clinic:

"(T)he mechanics of it was that Heather, a Novogenix person, would come to the site, and our staff would sign the patients up and get consent. And then Heather would look at the tissue and take what she required. So it was logistically very easy for us, we didn't do anything. So there was compensation for this. And there was a discussion as I was leaving, they have been doing it by the case, and there was some discussion about doing it in a different way, or -- I don't know what you're used to doing, how you're used to doing compensation. Patients don't get anything, of course ..."

About eight minutes later, according to a clock visible on the screen through most of the video, Gatter and one of the actors have an extended exchange about compensation that includes an apparently obligatory reference by Gatter to "not (being) in it for the money" but is otherwise divorced from the concept of reimbursing the clinic solely for costs incurred -- and seems very much in the realm of "valuable consideration" for the tissue, which is prohibited by law.

 

BUYER: "OK. So I'd like -- what would you expect for intact tissue, what sort of compensation, what sort of --"

GATTER: "Well, why don't you start by telling me what you're used to paying." (rolls her eyes and glances over at the unnamed woman, with a smile)

BUYER: "OK, I don't think so. I'd like to hear -- I would like to know, what would make you happy. What would work for you.

GATTER (after sitting silently a couple of seconds and looking over at the unnamed woman): "Well, you know, in negotiations the person who throws out the figure first is at a loss, right? So (laughs)."

BUYER: "No. I don't look at it that way. I know, you want to play that game, I get it."

GATTER: "I don't want to play games. I just don't want to low-ball, because I'm used to low things from --"

BUYER: "You know what? If you low-ball, I'll act pleasantly surprised and you'll know it's a low-ball."

GATTER: "OK."

BUYER: "What I want to know is what would, what would work for you. Don't low-ball it, tell me what you really --"

GATTER: "OK. Seventy-five dollars a specimen."

BUYER: "Oh, that's way too low."

GATTER: "OK."

BUYER: "Really, that's way too low. I don't -- I want to keep you happy."

GATTER: "I was going to say 50 (dollars). I've been in places that did 50 (dollars), too. But see, we don't -- we're not in it for the money, and we don't want to be in the position of being accused of selling tissue and stuff like that. On the other hand, there are costs associated with the use of our space, and all that kind of stuff."

BUYER: "Exactly. Yes, right."

GATTER: "So, what were you thinking about?"

BUYER: "Way higher than that."

GATTER: "Mm hmm."

BUYER: "So, I'd like to start at around a hundred (dollars)."

GATTER: "OK. Now this is for tissue that you actually take? Not just tissue that the person volunteers but you can't find anything, right?"

BUYER: "Exactly. Right. What is -- what we can use, what is intact. So that's why I'm saying, no, don't low-ball, I want you to be happy."

Unlike with the first video, there is (not yet, anyway) a full-length video available. On the other hand, it is hard to watch the nearly two minutes of continuous footage transcribed above and imagine what unseen context could possibly justify the way Gatter talks about being compensated for handing over the tissue. In fact, by the end of the video she is heard saying, "Let me just figure out what others are getting, and if this ($100 per specimen) is in the ballpark, then it's fine; if it's still low, then we can bump it up." Then, turning to the unnamed woman sitting next to her, she jokes, "I want a Lamborghini!"

Also on the video is a discussion between Gatter and the actors about techniques the abortionist might use to preserve the tissue. Gatter seems aware that changing the technique used in an abortion just to procure tissue is not allowed -- in fact, it's prohibited by federal law -- but she dismisses the notion there's a real difference: "To me, that's kind of a specious little argument."

That's two videos in one week showing high-level Planned Parenthood officials suggest fetal tissue is available at the right price, and that the right price may include quite a mark-up. Georgia's Nathan Deal is one of several governors to order a review of Planned Parenthood clinics in their states. Congress, which continues to appropriate money to Planned Parenthood under the ruse that it doesn't necessarily fund abortions (because, you know, money isn't fungible or anything), should use its subpoena power to get these officials and others to testify about exactly what's going on in their clinics.

(Here's the video released today. If a full-length version comes out, I will add it.)

UPDATE: The full-length video is available. Here it is:


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About the Author

Kyle Wingfield joined the AJC in 2009. He is a native of Dalton and a graduate of the University of Georgia.