Today, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued a video in response to a heavily edited and secretly recorded videotape falsely portraying Planned Parenthood's participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research.
Hello. I'm Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Planned Parenthood provides a full range of health care services to millions of women, men, and young people every year, including cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and abortion. And we provide much more than health services – we support millions of people as they build their futures and pursue their goals.
Recently, an organization that opposes safe and legal abortion used secretly recorded, heavily edited videos to make outrageous claims about programs that help women donate fetal tissue for medical research.
I want to be really clear: The allegation that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true. Our donation programs – like any other high-quality health care providers – follow all laws and ethical guidelines. Over our 100-year history, we have continually engaged leading medical experts to shape our practices, policies, and high standards – and always will.
Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide. 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.
As always, if there is any aspect of our work that can be strengthened, we want to know about it, and we take swift action to address it.
Planned Parenthood stands behind our work to help women and families donate tissue for medical research when they wish to. It is always their decision.
I thank those women and families who have chosen tissue donation at some point in their lives. Your commitment to lifesaving research, developing treatments for diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, is important and compassionate, and it should be respected – not attacked.
We know the real agenda of organizations behind videos like this, and they have never been concerned with protecting the health and safety of women. Their mission is to ban abortion completely and cut women off from care at Planned Parenthood and other health centers.
We will never let that happen.