This could be either a good thing or it could be another Obama Administration cover-up in the making.
For good or ill, the Department of Justice has announced that it will open an investigation following the release of two videos that have embarrassed Planned Parenthood by showing a doctor and another official discussing prices for delivering fetal tissue to researchers.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, “I’m aware of those matters generally from the media, and from some inquiries that have been made to the Department of Justice, and again at this point we’re going to review all the information and determine what steps, if any, to take at the appropriate time.”
The announcement comes after a week in which Planned Parenthood and its allies worked to spin the revelations in the two videos and complained to Congress that the organization was being targeted by the pro-life group that produced the videos, the Center for Medical Progress.
The first video that was released shows Dr. Deborah Nucatola describing how Planned Parenthood sells tissue and organs from aborted babies, as well as discussing procedures for preserving the most in-demand parts.
The second video shows Dr. Mary Gatter apparently negotiating the prices of fetal organs. At one point, she jokes that she would like to buy a Lamborghini with the profits. She also says she will check with other clinics to see what the going rate is.
Both videos used actors posing as representatives of a company that sells tissue and organs for profit, and they were apparently filmed using some sort of concealed camera.
Planned Parenthood did issue an “apology” for Nucatola’s comments, but now are pushing the story line that their organization is being “harassed” by the pro-life group.
Planned Parenthood denies that it is breaking any laws by selling the fetal tissue and organs because the money it receives is only “reimbursement” for its costs.
Maybe I missed something, but isn’t “reimbursement” just another word for being paid?
For the past week, pro-abortion liberals have been sputtering that Planned Parenthood is just being reimbursed for its costs, but that’s not really true if you think about it.
If Planned Parenthood wasn’t selling the tissue and organs, it would have to pay to dispose of them. There are probably a lot of requirements for proper disposal of medical waste, and I doubt very much that it’s inexpensive.
So at the very least, Planned Parenthood is profiting from the hidden “reimbursement” of normal costs, plus any additional costs associated with delivering the goods. Dr. Nucatola said, “A lot of waste is just steam sterilized and then dumped. If it’s biological waste it has to be incinerated, it has to be tagged for incineration, that adds cost.”
Also, in both videos, it seems clear that the other “costs” are fluid and subject to negotiation. Dr. Nucatola points out, “I think for affiliates, at the end of the day, they’re a nonprofit, they just don’t want to — they want to break even. And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.”
Several Republican senators and representatives have asked the DOJ to conduct an investigation of Planned Parenthood, but the Democrats are demanding an investigation of the Center for Medical Progress.
Given the DOJ’s history under the current Administration and the fact that it has labeled many conservative groups as potential domestic terrorists for no discernible reason, skeptics understandably may expect a witch hunt of pro-life groups to follow.