Judicial Watch Files Suit against HHS for Planned Parenthood Records
OCTOBER 28, 2015
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking records related to contracts between the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Population Affairs and Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director, Medical Services at Planned Parenthood, for Dr. Nucatola’s paid work on the 2014 government report “Providing Quality Family Planning Services.” (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (No. 1:15-cv-01697)).
Undercover videos by investigators with the Center with Medical Progress (CMP) feature Nucatola discussing the sale of tissue from aborted human beings and how abortion techniques can be altered to preserve intact human organs and limbs for sale.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after HHS failed to comply with two August 10, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking, among other records:
- Records related to contracts and/or consultancy agreement between the CDC and Dr. Deborah Nucatola regarding her work on the report “Providing Quality Family Planning Services,” released April 25, 2014;
- Records concerning contracts and/or consultancy agreement between the CDC and Dr. Deborah Nucatola regarding her work on the report “Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines,” released June 5, 2015;
- Records regarding contracts and/or consultancy agreement between the CDC and Dr. Deborah Nucatola regarding her work on the “U.S. Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use,” released in 2013.
The controversial 2014 report for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Office of Population Affairs recommends that providers provide abortion options and referrals to pregnant women and teenagers (without parental consent). The report also promotes providing, without parental consent, “adolescents” contraception (which includes potentially abortion-inducing drugs).
According to CMP, its undercover investigators, posing as buyers for a company seeking fetal tissue, ask Nucatola:
“How much of a difference can that actually make, if you know kind of what’s expected, or what we need?”
“It makes a huge difference,” Nucatola replies. “I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps. The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium—the head—is basically the biggest part.”
Nucatola explains, “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
“And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it’s not vertex,” she continues. “So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end.”
The undercover videos raised questions about whether Planned Parenthood was illegally profiting from the sale of the fetal tissue and violating other laws, such as the federal ban on partial birth abortions.
“The Obama administration is in cover-up mode on how it uses tax dollars to fund and promote Planned Parenthood’s anti-human ideology,” stated Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president. “The Obama HHS won’t even respond to our simple Freedom of Information Act request for taxpayer-funded contracts with one of the nation’s leading abortionists caught red-handed discussing how to preserve the body parts of human beings killed by abortions so that those parts can be sold for higher prices. The Obama administration would rather violate the federal transparency law in order to protect taxpayer funding for activists and groups that traffic in body parts.”