Woman who had abortion speaks out about graphic undercover Planned Parenthood videos

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Graphic videos released by an anti-abortion rights group are bringing back painful memories for women who have had abortions.

Karen Perez has been married for 41 years and has three children -- four, if you ask her.

"And I say our oldest child is in Heaven," Perez said.

Perez had an abortion just after getting married.

"It was just a blob of tissue. And I believed that, I believed that it was just a blob of tissue," Perez said, "until five years later when we had a child -- we had three more children -- and I saw the ultrasound, and I saw the little hands and the little feet."

She said she went through a dark time in her life because of her abortion. She regrets her decision.

"I knew the minute we left the clinic that I had made a terrible mistake," Perez said.

Years later, she said she finally forgave herself and started helping other women do the same. Despite the number of years that have passed since her abortion, these last few weeks have been difficult for her.

Videos released by an anti-abortion group appear to show a Planned Parenthood official discussing the cost of intact fetuses. In the latest video, an actor poses as a medical researcher and gets access to a Planned Parenthood lab. The actor asks to see an example of intact fetal body parts.

Perez watched the whole video.

Click/tap to view the YouTube video released by the Center for Medical Progress. WARNING: SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND SOME IMAGES DISTURBING

"These videos are just opening up a lot of memories for a lot of women. For me, it's memories that I never imagined I'd see," Perez said. "But you know what, I'm happy, Kaitlin, I'm so happy that we're finally able to see what we knew all along that these are our babies. These are babies!"

Planned Parenthood declined our request for an on-camera interview but referred us to a statement they released:

    Regarding the release of highly-edited video footage taken inside a Houston Planned Parenthood building and clinical area.

    "Planned Parenthood is the most trusted women's health care provider in this country. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has provided birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, safe abortion, and other high-quality health care for nearly 80 years. One in five American women reports having been to Planned Parenthood for care. Planned Parenthood's medical providers and staff are the best in the country. We have the highest professional standards, and we take swift action if we are ever aware of an instance where those standards aren't being met.

    "Extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood's mission and services are making outrageous and completely false claims. They are engaged in a fraud, and other claims they've made have been discredited and disproven.

    "The footage released today doesn't show Planned Parenthood staff engaged in any wrongdoing or agreeing to violate any legal or medical standards. Instead, the latest tape shows an extremely offensive intrusion and lack of respect for women, with footage of medical tissue in a lab. These extremists show a total lack of compassion and dignity for women's most personal medical decisions.

    "The video released today will be difficult for many people to see. Medical procedures and medical research are often difficult to watch. The video shows a Planned Parenthood staff member with an actor posing as a medical researcher handling fetal tissue in a lab. It is standard medical practice to review tissue to ensure the health and safety of patients, and this tissue was being examined and handled under the false pretense of a standard laboratory site visit for people purportedly conducting qualified medical research.

    "The latest tape has at least 20 substantial and unexplained edits. Previous tapes released by this extremist group were heavily edited in order to distort what the people on the tapes actually said. These videos are intended to shock and deceive the public. For example, one video was edited to make it look like a doctor said she would "sell" fetal tissue for a profit -- when in fact she said the exact opposite, 10 separate times, and nearly all instances were edited out of the tape.

    "The group behind these videos has close ties with organizations and individuals who have firebombed abortion clinics and threatened the physical safety of doctors who provide abortion. The real agenda of these attacks has become totally clear: to ban abortion and limit women's access to reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood. The vast majority of the public rejects this extreme political agenda and rejects the fraudulent campaign behind it."

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.