Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards delivered a stern reply on Thursday to a controversial undercover video that purports to show the reproductive health organization profits from selling tissue from aborted fetuses.
In her video response posted to YouTube, Richards said the “heavily edited” footage was intended to make “outrageous claims” about the nonprofit’s programs to help women donate fetal tissue for medical research.
“The allegation that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true. Our donation programs, like any other high-quality health care providers, follows all laws and ethical guidelines,” Richards said. “[Women and families’] commitment to life-saving research, developing treatments for diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s is important and compassionate. And it should be respected, not attacked.”
Richards did apologize for the Planned Parenthood staff member who made remarks about fetal organs in the video, which several GOP presidential candidates have called “absolutely horrifying and disgusting.” The staff member had believed she was talking to buyers from a biological company, who were actually actors.
“Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide. In the video, one of our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion,” Richards said. “This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements.”
A congressional investigation of the allegations against Planned Parenthood is under way.