David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress is in the news for his undercover work providing a window into Planned Parenthood — unveiling not just the harvesting of organs that is discussed on videos he’s released but also the dehumanization within the abortion industry. In politics, media, and common conversation, his work has bludgeoned the euphemistic rhetoric that has been used to anesthetize us. Daleiden talks about the videos and Planned Parenthood.
Kathryn Jean Lopez: Planned Parenthood says your video is misleading. There was some dishonesty in the undercover nature of it, the video is edited, and you obviously have a particular point of view. What would you say to those who believe that what you claim Planned Parenthood is doing is abhorrent but who aren’t sure whether they should completely believe your claim?
David Daleiden: I encourage everyone to look at the evidence itself and draw your own conclusions. The full conversation footage has been available on the CMP YouTube channel since Day One, along with a full transcript. Good undercover work is not dishonest — it’s always oriented toward communicating truths that otherwise would be buried, and so most people don’t have a problem with that unless they have something to hide. So we’ve attempted to do a service to the skeptical: We’ve completed a nearly three-year-long, in-depth study documenting and illustrating how Planned Parenthood sells aborted-baby parts, and we’re placing the information before the public where all can see and judge for themselves.
Lopez: If there is an abortion, couldn’t some good come from fetal-tissue donation, as Planned Parenthood argues?
Daleiden: Nothing good can come from a system that makes it a requirement for bad things to happen. When it comes to using baby parts from abortion, buyers and end-users are haggling over the price of living children and negotiating the ways they will be killed in order to do the experiments that they want. In the real world, fetal-tissue use is about making certain abortions happen, not about salvaging those already done.
Lopez: Why are you so certain that what they are doing is illegal?
Daleiden: The law as written says that it’s illegal to make money by selling fetal body parts. Planned Parenthood incurs no significant costs in making fetuses available for harvesting by outside biotechnicians, and yet they still collect specimen fees — when the product is of sufficient quality to fulfill orders. No specimen, no specimen fee.
There are also serious problems with the way they obtain consent from the woman having an abortion. Patients are not being told that Planned Parenthood receives remuneration for fetal tissue, and so the consent to “donate” tissue is invalid — patients are consenting to donations, but in reality sales are occurring. Similarly, when Planned Parenthood receives consent from a patient for a standard vacuum aspiration or a D&E [dilation and extraction] but then does a manual aspiration or a partial-birth abortion, they are subjecting the woman to a procedure that she did not consent to and that is in Planned Parenthood’s interest, not in hers.
Finally, it is well known that partial-birth abortions, and the killing of born-alive infants after a spontaneous (or induced) delivery in the abortion process, are both completely illegal.
All of this can be found in state and federal law, and it was confirmed to CMP’s investigators by Planned Parenthood leadership over the past two and a half years.
Lopez: Why are you picking on Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood, who is featured in the videos?
Daleiden: I’m not. My friend Deb Nucatola is a smart and funny lady who will become an incredible doctor and healer on the day she chooses to lay down her forceps for the last time and never pick them up again. If you watch the full conversation, she says toward the end, “I really like babies, believe it or not.” Who was she trying to convince? Purported fetus-purchasers, or herself? I believe that moment and many others show hera pathway out of the abortion industry.
As far as late-term abortions and baby-parts harvesting are concerned, the senior director of medical services is the highest authority on the subject within Planned Parenthood, and that role is a product of Planned Parenthood’s ideology and business model. The real story here is about Planned Parenthood and what it wants its abortion providers to do.
Lopez: The first released video featuring Nucatola is from a year ago. What took so long?
Daleiden: CMP’s “Human Capital” investigative journalism study was a 30-month-long endeavor. The opportunity to do a business lunch with Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services happened to arrive in the middle of that time period. We have some evidence, video and otherwise, that is older than a year, and a lot that is much, much more recent. The new videos with Dr. Mary Gatter, president of the Planned Parenthood Medical Directors’ Council, and Dr. Savita Ginde, vice president and medical director of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, are two examples.
Lopez: Why is the affiliates’ negotiating over the sale of body parts so important?
Daleiden: From what Dr. Nucatola told our investigators, the head of Planned Parenthood’s litigation and law department, Roger Evans, seems to think that PPFA can avoid a certain amount of liability for fetal-tissue sales if, on paper, everything takes place at the local-affiliate level. Presumably this is because each regional Planned Parenthood affiliate is organized as a distinct corporate entity and so is responsible for its own decisions, good or bad. But ultimately, Planned Parenthood’s national organization is aware of the affiliates’ activities and sets expectations for them, and consciously chooses whether or not to enforce compliance with those expectations. When it comes to making money from aborted-baby parts, there is complicity from the top levels of Planned Parenthood on down, they know it, and they are trying to avoid responsibility for it.
Lopez: What is the Center for Medical Progress exactly?
Daleiden: CMP is a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances. We have a special interest in bioethical issues and especially those that have an impact on human dignity. I started CMP in early 2013 as a vehicle through which to pursue long-term, sophisticated investigative-journalism projects within this broad area.
Lopez: What do you want to see happen in response to your video?
Daleiden: I want the whole world, but especially the American people, to know the whole story of what Planned Parenthood is doing to the babies that they abort. I hope that elected officials listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the laws they break during their barbaric abortion practice and baby-parts trade. There should be an immediate moratorium on taxpayer dollars going to Planned Parenthood while elected officials determine the full extent of Planned Parenthood’s atrocities against humanity.
Lopez: Who are you, and how did you get involved with this work?
Daleiden: I’m a proud Millennial with about eight years’ experience in investigative-journalism study of the abortion industry, with a focus on industry leader Planned Parenthood. I’m the child of a crisis-pregnancy situation with all the twists and turns that might bring, but I’m very happy to be here and grateful for the presence of other people in my life who were conceived and born in less than perfect circumstances.
Lopez: What’s your beef against Planned Parenthood?
Daleiden: Planned Parenthood is the biggest abortion business in America and the engine behind industrial-scale, state-subsidized child-killing in our country. Every day in the nearly 1,000 abortions they do, they brutally rip apart about 300 black babies, 100 gay babies, and a dozen disabled babies. They do this while thumbing their nose at the laws that do exist, and they do it all halfway subsidized with your and my tax dollars — subsidies amounting to over $500 million every year.
Lopez: Why do you bring former Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt into this, showing footage of her in your first video?
Daleiden: The last time Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby parts was in the news, the previous president of Planned Parenthood was able to go on national television and say it was horrible and whoever was doing it should be prosecuted, conveniently ignoring that the perpetrator was a Planned Parenthood clinic. And Planned Parenthood was excused from the conversation. The clip we used in the first video is a challenge to Planned Parenthood leadership today to own up to their fetal-tissue sales, and a reminder for everyone else not to let them get away from it.
Lopez: If there was one question you could ask current Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, what would it be?
Daleiden: I would ask her if she knows abortion the way Planned Parenthood providers know abortion. Some of them cry when looking at the body parts of the babies they just aborted, or choke up describing the manipulations they do to a late-term fetus. In their own words, they carry “a burden of suffering” with them from the violence they do to unborn infants. I want to know if the president of Planned Parenthood shares that with them, or if she is distant enough from the killing that it’s all just business and political slogans to her.
Lopez: Have you been at all surprised by the reaction to the videos? What’s the primary feedback you’re getting?
Daleiden: The public’s reaction is overwhelmingly shock and horror at Planned Parenthood’s body-parts trade, and a motivation to hold it accountable. The primary feedback I’ve received has been very supportive and encouraging.
Lopez: Are people nervous about how you went about this?
Daleiden: No — only Planned Parenthood is nervous, and it is nervous about what information is going to come to light next. That’s why it has engaged its political cronies to use state power to try to attack the citizen press, suppress dissenting speech, and keep this information buried.