Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards insisted Sunday that her organization has broken no laws and does not — “at all” — profit from the transfer of fetal tissue, a response to a scandal that enveloped the group after undercover videos showed officials discussing the surgical process and its costs in a nonchalant manner.
The videos caused an uproar among pro-life groups and Capitol Hill Republicans, who are questioning the legality of the tissue transfers and have insisted on stripping the group of federal funding.
David Daleiden, who released the videos through the Center for Medical Progress, said several more videos are to come.
In a televised rebuttal, Ms. Richard said the videos amount to a “political smear campaign” that would cut off funding for women’s basic health care.
She said the group has been attacked by the “most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement” through videos that were sensationalized and highly edited.
“It’s completely taken out of context,” Ms. Richard said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a GOP presidential candidate, swiftly condemned Ms. Richards after the interview aired.
“It is illegal, indefensible, and unimaginably immoral to destroy innocent life and harvest human organs, and I’m shocked that an American like Ms. Richards could justify such evil,” Mr. Huckabee said.
Pro-life groups said the women in the videos appeared to be haggling over the price of the fetal tissue, bolstering their claims that Planned Parenthood sells the tissue as a type of gross business venture.
Ms. Richards said that certain persons in the videos goaded Deborah Nucatola and other Planned Parenthood officials into making some of their comments.
The officials, though, have been chided for how they spoke.
“They’ve been reprimanded for their tone, absolutely,” Ms. Richards said.