Allegations that a US abortion group is selling body parts from aborted babies are to be investigated by Congress.
A secret video – recorded by The Center for Medical Progress – shows a senior Planned Parenthood doctor talking casually over lunch about the price of vital organs.
David Daleiden, who led the undercover investigation, said politicians should hold Planned Parenthood to account. The abortion group has denied the claims, saying it makes no financial gain from “tissue donation”.
Following the video’s release, Republican Congressman and House Speaker John Boehner said he would ask Congress to investigate.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee said it would look into whether foetal body parts were illegally sold for profit, while the House Judiciary Committee has also announced a probe.
The states of Louisiana and Texas are launching investigations following the video’s release.
The video shows Dr Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, discussing likely prices for the supply of organs.
At one point Dr Nucatola says the Planned Parenthood centres want to provide tissue in a way that is “not perceived as”, “this clinic is making money off of this”.
The footage also shows her talking about some people manipulating the position of the baby in the womb to more reliably get particular vital organs.
She says, “we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver”.
The video was recorded by investigators posing as representatives of a foetal tissue procurement company.
The sale or purchase of human foetal tissue is a federal crime which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000.
The Center for Medical Progress said: “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”.
Planned Parenthood responded to the video by saying there “is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood”.
John Boehner commented: “When an organization monetizes an unborn child – and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video – we must all act”.