A new undercover video by the Center for Medical Progress reveals Planned Parenthood uses a “checkbox” to skirt federal laws banning partial-birth abortions.
18 U.S. Code § 1531 prohibits doctors from “knowingly” performing a partial-birth abortion, which is when a baby is partially delivered from the birth canal before it is killed.
According to a Planned Parenthood medical director filmed in the undercover sting, Planned Parenthood has provided its doctors a way to “comply” with the law while still doing partial-birth abortions.
As Dr. Suzie Prabhakaran, the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida explains, Planned Parenthood doctors only need indicate on a document before a procedure that they “intend” to perform a legal dismemberment abortion.
Even if the doctor were to go on to perform a partial-birth abortion, because the doctor didn’t “intend” to perform the abortion this way, they would not be in violation of the partial-birth abortion ban.
“So some people train to just document that like, you know to comply with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, you basically have to say, ‘I intend to utilize dismemberment techniques for this procedure,’” explains Prabhakaran. “So every time you do a procedure, that’s how you document. So, like, there’s like a checkbox.”
Prabharakan says some doctors don’t like to use digoxin, which is used to kill a fetus before it is aborted, so they use the “intent” method to get around the partial-birth abortion ban.
“I trained just to do the documentation and not do digoxin,” she says. “I trained with somebody who was just like, ‘I’m not doing digoxin,’ and we’re just going to document and there’s never been a problem.”
Prabhakaran’s comments square with those given by Senior Director of Medical Services Deborah Nucatola in the Center for Medical Progress’ first video, who asserted that “laws are up to interpretation”
“So there are some people who interpret it as it’s intent,” Nucatola said. “So if I say on Day 1 I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter.”