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Undercover VIdeo Sting Of Planned Parenthood Is Off-Base, As Usual

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Undercover video sting of Planned Parenthood is off-base, as usual

by Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times, 16 July 2016

Deborah_Nucatola.jpg

There appears to be no end to the creative deviousness of people looking to harm Planned Parenthood, America's most important reproductive healthcare provider.

A few years ago, a UCLA student named Lila Rose posed as a teenager impregnated by an adult partner at various Planning Parenthood clinics around the country. Her surreptitious videos attempted to prove that despite its own policies about protecting minors, Planned Parenthood refuses to report statutory rape, as required by law. A couple of clinic staffers suggested that Rose not tell the truth about her imaginary partner’s age, and at least one was fired, but as always, Planned Parenthood survived.

The latest attack features Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s senior director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola. She was secretly filmed in conversation with a pair posing as executives from an imaginary Irvine human biologics company seeking sources of fetal tissue for medical research. An anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress has taken credit for the operation. The center describes itself on its website as “a group of citizen journalists ... concerned about contemporary bioethical issues that impact human dignity.”

It was founded in 2013 by David Daleiden, “a citizen journalist with nearly a decade of experience in conducting investigative research on the abortion industry," the website says. According to his biography, Daleiden is a longtime associate of Rose, who collaborated with conservative activist James O’Keefe on earlier anti-abortion projects.

The meeting with Nucatola apparently took place some time last year over lunch in Orange County.

The nearly three-hour conversation was condensed into a lurid eight-minute video put out by the Center for Medical Progress. It was edited to make Nucatola, and Planned Parenthood, look like profit-mongering human-parts traffickers who could put Cruella de Vil to shame.

Leaving aside the potential violation of California law, which forbids recording a person without consent, the narrative pushed by the anti-abortion activists is a total crock.

I have read and reread the 60-page transcript (Link to transcript --> http://tinyurl.com/pk23r2z) of the meeting, and I urge you to do the same.

I find nothing in it that smacks of wrongdoing. The worst that can be said is that Nucatola appeared to speak about aborted fetuses in a manner that might be regarded as callous by some. Her offense, if such a thing can be be said to exist, is one of tone, not substance.


Nucatola repeatedly told her lunch companion phonies that Planned Parenthood collects fetal tissue for medical research because patients undergoing abortions have asked for the service.

“I think every one of them is happy to know that there’s a possibility for them to do this extra bit of good,” she said.

Again and again, despite their attempts to get her to say otherwise, she tells them that there is no profit motive involved and that any money paid by research companies for tissue samples offsets the extra staff time involved in providing informed consent to patients and collecting and storing the tissue itself.

“Every penny they save is just pennies they give to another patient,” she said. “To provide a service the patient wouldn’t get.”

Nucatola spoke about the care taken during some procedures to make sure that fetal organs remain intact.

Sometimes a fetus may be turned from a head-first position to a feet-first position to preserve its head. Is that gross and upsetting to imagine? Of course.

Today, PPFA President Cecile Richards acknowledged as much. “Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide,” she said. “In the video, one of our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion. This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements.”

But is it illegal or unethical? I cannot see how.

Nucatola said repeatedly that Planned Parenthood physicians do not change their procedures to accommodate the needs of medical researchers to whom they are providing fetal tissue.

“You should always do the procedure the same,” Nucatola said. “And that’s what the providers try to do. They’re not gonna treat these patients any differently than they would treat any other patients, just the disposition of the tissue at the end of the case is different.”

This story is tailor-made for the anti-abortion histrionics of conservative outlets like Fox News. And it’s a gift to anti-choice politicians, who have long sought to defund Planned Parenthood, which performs more than a quarter of all abortions in this country.

House Speaker John Boehner has vowed to investigate. And members of the crowded GOP presidential field have tripped over themselves to condemn Planned Parenthood, always a handy punching bag for them. Officials in Ohio, Indiana and Georgia have ordered investigations into whether Planned Parenthood sold organs from aborted fetuses.

Their misplaced fervor ignores the fact that fetal tissue has been critical to many medical advances -- perhaps even some from which they have benefitted.

In 2011, Samuel Cohen, a cancer researcher at the University of Nebraska Medical Center told a House committee that fetal cells were critical to the development of vaccines for German measles, chicken pox and polio.

“Surely,” Cohen told Congress, “obtaining cells from legally obtained abortions for potentially life-saving purposes is ethically permissible and indeed ethically necessary.”

Abortion, for all the controversy around it, is still very much legal in this country. If we are going to have abortions -- and we are always going to have abortions -- we are going to have aborted fetal tissue.

With proper safeguards, why shouldn’t it be used in research that might one day find a cure for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer's, AIDS, dementia, diabetes or heart disease?

Link to article ---> http://tinyurl.com/q6qkqbe

Edited by zuluweta

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The simple reason why the right’s latest Planned Parenthood crusade is so outrageous

(In their zeal to take down reproductive rights, anti-abortion extremists have seized on a total non-issue)

by Elizabeth Yuko, Salon (originally B*tch Media)

There is significant societal stigma to ending a pregnancy. Whether a woman miscarries naturally and is constantly questioned about her behavior in an attempt to figure out what went “wrong” or opts to get an abortion, the onus is placed squarely on her to justify each of her gestational decisions. A video released on Tuesday has exacerbated that stigma, extending it to the decisions a woman makes following the end of her pregnancy.

Filmed undercover, heavily edited, and circulated by a group that calls itself the “Center for Medical Progress,” the viral clip claims to show a Planned Parenthood representative offering to “use partial-birth abortion to sell baby parts.” However, what the Planned Parenthood staffer is actually discussing in the video is the entirely legal practice of fetal tissue donation. The video and much of the media coverage depicts fetal tissue donation as ethically questionable, sinister, and immoral. In doing so, the video stigmatizes people who have sought abortions for a wide spectrum of reasons—and it’s not clear how serious the impact of this misleading video could be, as it has now been viewed more than two million times.

In case you’re not familiar with fetal tissue donation, here’s some background: The Office for Human Research Protections defines fetal tissue as “tissue or cells obtained from a dead human embryo or fetus after a spontaneous or induced abortion, or after a stillbirth.” Many medical facilities—including Planned Parenthood establishments—provide patients with the option of donating fetal material for research or transplantation purposes. Federal law, along with Planned Parenthood protocol, requires all fetal materials to be collected only after informed consent from the woman is obtained. Ultimately, fetal tissue donation is only one potential outcome for the materials resulting from the termination of a pregnancy—and one that has the potential for wide-reaching benefits resulting from research or therapeutic purposes. The use of fetal tissue in research is not new; it has occurred since the 1950s and has resulted in advancing immunology (for example, the polio and rubella vaccines) and transplantation technology, as well as increased understanding of the gestation process, and the development of amniocentesis as a diagnostic tool.

According to a statement released by Planned Parenthood addressing the video, there is “no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field.” If the fetal materials discussed in the video were, in fact, being sold for a profit, the transaction would likely involve significantly more than the $30-100 the staffer cites. Women should have the option to donate—not sell—fetal tissue that results from ending pregnancies without facing stigma for their decision. This beneficent act has the potential to improve or save lives—the knowledge of which may be comforting for those during what may be a difficult decision-making process.

Is it ethically acceptable to use fetal tissue for research and therapeutic purposes? Yes—if it is donated with the woman’s consent, not sold for profit, and not created solely for that purpose. The notion of a woman becoming pregnant solely to create fetal tissue to sell or donate for purposes is incredibly unlikely, and also illegal. U.S. Federal law stipulates that if the fetal tissue is used for transplantation purposes, the donation must be made without any restriction or information regarding the identity of individuals who may be the recipients of transplantations. This means that a fetus cannot be conceived and aborted in order to create fetal tissue for the purpose of treating ill family members, for example.

The financial transaction described in the video—which, regrettably, features the doctor speaking conspicuously casually about the process—is standard compensation for shipping and processing costs. No one is profiting financially. The women who donate fetal tissue shouldn’t be vilified for their decision.

Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is a bioethicist at the Center for Ethics Education at Fordham University, and the editor of Ethics & Society. You can follow her on Twitter at @elizabethics or visit her website elizabethyuko.com. An earlier version of this post was published on the blog of the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics.

Link to article ---> http://tinyurl.com/ppfvras

Edited by zuluweta

Check my timeline for K-1 visa & AOS details

Conditional Permanent Resident: 16 September 2014

Conditional GC Expires: 16 September 2016

ROC Journey (CA Service Center)

2016-Sep-14: I-751 form, check, supporting docs sent USPS Priority Express

2016-Sep-15: ROC application received & signed for by Lakelieh

2016-Sep-15: NOA receipt date

2016-Sep-19: $590 check cashed by USCIS

2016-Sep-20: NOA/ 1-year extension letter received in mail

2018-Feb-26: ROC case transferred to local office

2018-Mar-06: ROC approved via USCIS website (WAC status check)

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