A sixth video targeting Planned Parenthood was released Wednesday featuring a former employee of a company that provides tissue to biomedical researchers.
The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, released a video featuring Holly O’Donnell discussing her role in gathering blood and tissue from Planned Parenthood clinics. The group has released multiple edited and unedited videos accusing the abortion provider of breaking federal laws by profiting off the selling of organs and tissues of aborted fetuses.
Planned Parenthood denies that it has broken any laws and has repeatedly dismissed the Center for Medical Progress as extremist.
“The video released today shows someone who has never worked for Planned Parenthood making false and outrageous claims, without any evidence to back them up,” said Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communication, Planned Parenthood Federation of America in a statement out Wednesday. “Planned Parenthood follows all laws – period. This latest video is part of a fraud intended to deceive the public and advance an extreme political agenda, and nothing on this video substantiates false claims from anti-abortion activists.”
In the most recent video, O’Donnell is identified as an ex-procurement technician at StemExpress and said she worked with northern California Planned Parenthood locations. She describes herself as “pro-life” in the video.
A Los Angeles Superior Court previously issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the Center for Medical Progress from releasing videos featuring leaders of StemExpress, a company that provides blood, tissue and other specimen to biomedical researchers.
David Daleiden, head of the Center for Medical Progress, told CNN’s New Day last month that StemExpress leaders are “very scared” that he will release the videos.
“Stem Express is trying to suppress a specific video recording of a meeting with their top leadership where their leadership admitted that they sometimes get fully intact fetuses shipped to their laboratory from the abortion clinics that they work with and that could be prima facie evidence of born-alive infants,” he said.
StemExpress “unequivocally” denied the allegations, and said it doesn’t obtain blood or tissue samples from a patient without first getting consent.
“Ensuring that patients have provided consent for blood or tissue donation to support medical research, education, or treatments is a threshold issue that is non-negotiable for StemExpress,” the company said in a statement.
StemExpress said the video, as previous ones, was “deceptively edited and falsely worded to suggest impropriety or illegality where none exists.”
In the most recent video, O’Donnell said Planned Parenthood is breaking the law by selling tissue and organs from aborted fetuses for research. Federal law requires women to know that they are donating their aborted fetuses to scientific research.
“If there was a higher gestation, and the technicians needed it, there were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know,” she said.
O’Donnell also said the Planned Parenthood locations with which she worked performed late-term abortions, which has become an issue on the 2016 campaign trail with nearly all the GOP presidential hopefuls backing a national standard limiting abortion after 20 weeks.
Abortion is legal in California until viability, which varies case by case. Some experts define viability as between 22 and 24 weeks while others have argued that fetuses can feel pain as early as 20 weeks.
Daleiden said O’Donnell’s story is proof that the government needs to stop providing the more than $500 million in federal funding to Planned Parenthood.
“Taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood’s barbaric abortion business should be revoked immediately, and law enforcement and other elected officials must act decisively to determine the full extent of Planned Parenthood’s offensive practices and hold them accountable to the law,” he said in a statement.
Multiple Republican candidates have called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood following the release of the videos. Republican candidate Rand Paul introduced a bill that he hoped would lead to the organization’s defunding that did not pass.
Developer Donald Trump has waffled on defunding Planned Parenthood arguing that the group provides other helpful services to women.
While Democractic candidate Hillary Clinton has repeatedly defended the organization, she called the videos “disturbing.” Clinton has previously been honored by Planned Parenthood for her work protecting abortion rights.