Deborah Nucatola, MD, Senior Director of Medical Services, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, had plenty of disturbing things to say that didn’t even make it into the 8-minute video that shocked America’s conscience two weeks ago. See the full transcript from the Center for Medical Progress here.
While Planned Parenthood’s defenders argue that the quotes in the edited video were pulled out of context, the full transcript actually provides even more shocking context. If you have the time, read and watch the entire interview.
Here are ten quotes, with our commentary, that show that there was no context that could have made any of what Dr. Nucatola said any less horrific. All bold and italics were added for emphasis.
Planned Parenthood is a Business-Minded Organization Looking to Make a Profit
“And before an affiliate is gonna do that, they need to, obviously, they’re not—some might do it for free—but they want to come to a number that doesn’t look like they’re making money. They want to come to a number that looks like it is a reasonable number for the effort that is allotted on their part. I think with private providers, private clinics, they’ll have much less of a problem with that.” (p.3)
Planned Parenthood is more concerned with looks above anything else, a pattern that becomes more clear through the rest of the transcript.
“I think for affiliates, at the end of the day, they’re a non-profit, 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.” (p.4)
While Planned Parenthood denies they are making a profit, doing “a little better than break even” is the definition of a profit margin.
“No and they have a fairly new medical director also, but their CEO is very business savvy and like I said, I can’t imagine he wouldn’t be interested.” (p.16)
Dr. Nucatola was referring to two affiliates in Arizona. Clearly she believed this was a profitable business opportunity that a business savvy CEO would desire.
“So I guess my question is, are you guys planning on exhibiting at a Planned Parenthood meeting? … That would be a good opportunity, all the medical providers are going to be there, some of the CEO’s are going to be there. I mean, you want to talk to the surgical services medical director. ...But there is not a provider out there, who doesn’t want this.” (p.18)
This is something every affiliate is interested in, not just a couple of outliers. These practices infiltrate the entire organization.
“If anything, you can make it even better to their bottom line by giving them services in kind instead of money. I think a lot of them will take you up on that. That would definitely get people. Say, ‘I’ll give it to you for the same price, AND I’ll do that.’” (p.22)
Dividing a payment between an in-kind donation and a cash payment to hide the profit margin does not negate that a profit is being made. The goal in the conversation is to find a process that helps the bottom line but doesn’t “look” bad.
The Quality of Patient Care is Determined By Whether the Patient is Making a Donation
“What we did for a while, and I think it worked pretty well if there’s a trainee, I’d say, any research case, I’ll do. And as you get better, I’ll let you do more, but we really need to do this, intact.” (p.13)
If a patient is going to make a “donation” the patient gets a better doctor. You would think patient care would be determined by the needs of the patient and not the needs of the clinic.
Buyer: Right, because I was imagining we would be doing consent as well.
Dr. Nucatola: That’s probably the biggest inconvenience, ugh that’s one more thing my staff has to talk about. They only have so many minutes to talk to the patient. If you said you’re going to do all the consenting, you’re going to collect the tissue, I don’t know who would really say no. I really don’t.
Buyer: How long, right now, is the average amount of time they spend with a patient?
Dr. Nucatola: I would say about ten minutes. (p.13/14)
At Planned Parenthood, the focus is on moving a patient through the system, not thoroughly going through all the options, and covering what should be a very detailed medical consent process.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates Are Encouraged to Push the Law
“There’s a lot of conversation about who goes to the legal limit in their state, if they don’t go to the legal limit in their state why don’t they, is there another provider that does? So we’re about to start doing some mapping work to say, you know, are there states where nobody’s going to the legal limit? And if not, why not, and what can we do about that?” (p.43)
Planned Parenthood is pushing clinics to perform abortions as late as possible. This is where the most developed and valuable organs are found. The edge of legality seems to be Planned Parenthood’s “sweet spot.”
Planned Parenthood is Being Careful About Profiting to Avoid Scrutiny
“But, because of that, we’re the target. And because we’re the target, we’re not looking to make money from this. Our goal is to keep access available. And if we do something that makes a target, that just removes access for everybody.” (p.25)
When Planned Parenthood officials talk about not making a profit, it is with mitigating language. Here we see another example where an organization that pushes the edge of the law is concerned primarily with appearances. Remember, a corrupt government official is going to say “I don’t take bribes” at the very moment that he has his hand extended out to you under the table.
Does Planned Parenthood Love and Support Doctors Like Convicted Killer Kermit Gosnell?
“The Society for Family Planning, is essentially every training program that trains abortion providers in the country, is at that meeting. So this means you’re going to have people who are going on and doing this in their private practice, or they’re going to come and do it for Planned Parenthood. So with the exception of some of the more cowboyish independent providers, who we love and we’re trying to support. This is where everybody is, this is a win-win. So, you will be meeting a lot of academics, who really believe in what you do and good contacts, I mean, you’ve got Matt. He’s got the independent provider side. You’ve got me who’s got the PP side, and hopefully you can make some strong academic contacts.” (p.30)
Here Dr. Nucatola is talking about the categories of abortion providers. The rogue independent abortion doctors who don’t attend the national conferences, a category Kermit Gosnell would fall under, are doctors Planned Parenthood loves and tries to support. The next time Planned Parenthood tries to paint Gosnell as an outlier, they should be questioned about this quote.
As more videos come out, don’t be afraid when Planned Parenthood argues the videos were “heavily edited.” Remember every news story on the evening news is edited down to a short clip by a producer and content is left on the editing table. The question is not whether things were edited, but whether what was said is true. The Center for Medical Progress is being transparent by releasing full transcripts. Take the time to read through them for yourself and insist on similar transparency from Planned Parenthood.