plannedGroup’s medical director appears to discuss illegal abortion procedures, illegally selling parts for profit

Planned Parenthood could be in hot legal water after their medical director appears to discuss on undercover video two specific clinic practices that may be felonies.

Specifically, Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, appears to discuss performing partial-birth abortions, then pricing the baby body parts at a rate above operating costs.

Early in the video, Nucatola appears describes how the group performs illegal partial-birth abortions, which would be a felony under 18 U.S.C. 1531.

Nucatola, speaking to who she thinks are representatives of a medical research company, talks about how she performs abortions in a manner that insures the most valuable baby body parts, including the head, remain intact.

The undercover investigator asks Nucatola if they use specific abortion procedures “to bring the body cavity out intact and all that?”

“Exactly,” says Nucatola “So then you’re just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers.”

Nucatola then says, “So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last, you can evacuate an intact calvarium (head) at the end.”

What she describes may be legal, but it is also the same procedure used in partial-birth abortions, which are illegal.

Federal law (18 U.S.C. 1531) prohibits abortions in which, in “the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother.”

Performing a partial-birth abortion is punishable by two years in prison.

She also discusses how Planned Parenthood prices baby body parts so “if they (clinics) can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.”

Federal law (42 U.S.C. 289g-2) allows abortion clinics to charge for baby body parts, but only enough to cover the clinic’s “payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.

The idea is to encourage clinics to donate tissue by making it cost-neutral, but still make it illegal to sell baby body parts for profit.

In other words, it is a felony under 42 U.S.C. 289g-2 to do “a little better than break even.”

Having a baby body part operation that does “a little better than break even” is punishable by 10 years in federal prison and fines “not less than twice the amount of the valuable consideration received.”

Nucatola then says her clinics charge what appears to be beyond the legal mandates to cover losses incurred on other Planned Parenthood services, which is why the prices Planned Parenthood clinics charge for baby body parts varies based on region.

If what she says about her clinics is true, that appears to be illegal.

The matter is now in the hands of state attorneys general and the United States Justice Department to investigate the claims and bring any appropriate charges.