Democrats in Congress have launched a vigorous defense of Planned Parenthood’s body-parts trade, issuing a report citing mostly Planned Parenthood sources that confirms the abortion provider is paid usually about $60 per specimen.
But the activists who prompted the congressional investigation point out that nowhere do Democrats or Planned Parenthood reveal the actual costs of providing the body parts.
The new report is from the Democrats on the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce.
It alleges there is no evidence of anything improper in Planned Parenthood’s practice of getting paid for body parts by outside organizations that then resell the parts to researchers, sometimes for hundreds of dollars each.
The controversy was prompted by a sting conducted by the Center for Medical Progress in which investigators posing as representatives of a fake biomedical organization obtained candid comments on camera.
Undercover videos show Planned Parenthood officials discussing payments and expressing their concerns about being “low-balled.” One Planned Parenthood executive even said, “I want a Lamborghini.”
In response, states have withheld funds, investigations have been launched and Congress has taken up the issue in several ways, including a hearing.
After the hearing, the Democrats issued their report as an “update on the committee’s ongoing investigation into claims regarding the alleged sale of fetal tissue by affiliates of Planned Parenthood.”
Although the document describes the issue as “alleged sale,” it confirms that various contracts obtained by Planned Parenthood paid the organization $45, $55 or $60 per specimen.
And the 18-page document sheds no light on the actual costs associated with processing the body parts.
Federal law allows abortionists to be reimbursed for the costs of processing body parts, but they are not allowed to profit on the transactions.
David Daleiden, founder of the CMP, pointed out the problem with the minority party’s report.
“It is telling that the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s minority memo, drafted by Planned Parenthood’s political cronies, can only cite multiple contracts between Planned Parenthood affiliates and tissue procurement organizations which explicitly confirm that Planned Parenthood charges per fetus and per fetal body part for only high-quality procured tissue specimens, but the memo cannot cite any evidence at all of actual costs incurred by Planned Parenthood.”
He continued: “The facts are clear that Planned Parenthood receives substantially scalable payments for harvested fetus body parts, but there is still no evidence that these payments correspond in any way to any actual costs. Planned Parenthood’s political cronies, paid for with Planned Parenthood’s abortion and baby parts money, continue to abuse … the credulity of the American people by shrilly insisting that Planned Parenthood’s admissions of payment for baby parts and alterations to abortion procedures are not evidence of criminal activity and barbaric atrocities against humanity that the American taxpayers should not be forced to pay for.”
Citing almost exclusively Planned Parenthood or related sources, the Democrats insisted there was “no evidence” of violations of the law, that Planned Parenthood knowingly gets “valuable consideration” and changed procedures to salvage body parts.
Instead, the unsigned reported, issued under the headline “Memorandum,” claimed the undercover videos were made illegally. One case over that issue already has been resolved in a California courtroom, where the judge ruled the activists have a First Amendment right to release their videos.
The Democrats’ report noted that a group hired by Planned Parenthood concluded the videos were faulty and unreliable.
WND reported the most recent video released shows a discussion about payments for “fetal cadaverous specimens.”
The video featured comments by Cate Dyer, now CEO of StemExpress, who worked for ABR, another company that obtains baby body parts, before she started her own company.
In the ninth video in the series, Dyer talks with CMP’s undercover investigators.
“This is the thing. Quite honestly, I used to go into this argument. So Linda (Tracy) ABR is a not for profit, and um, wasn’t paying any of the clinics, and uh, was funding places in Hawaii for themselves, and all sorts of things,” Dyer says.
“But I would go into clinics and they would say, ‘Oh you’re for profit? And you want to pay us?’
“And I’m like, ‘So I want to pay you, she doesn’t want to.’ And I’m thinking I’m like, ‘We’re trying to give money to you.'”
She continued: “And I said, ‘Right, and I pay tax, just to be clear, that actually donates, ends up funding programs back to you guys. No tax, no payment. Tax and payment.
“And they’d be like, ‘OK, that makes sense.'”
Planned Parenthood has argued that everything it does complies with the law, including a law barring profit from the sale of baby parts.
See the newest video:
In the first undercover video released by CMP, Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on crushing babies. “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.”
In the second video, Planned Parenthood’s Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini.”
A former StemExpress worker, Holly O’Donnell, said in No. 3 that she fainted in horror when she was asked to process an aborted baby.
In No. 4, Savita Ginde of Planned Parenthood’s Denver clinic said she didn’t want to do a flat fee. “A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”
In the fifth, Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood’s Houston clinic discusses “intact fetal cadavers.”
The sixth video returns to O’Donnell, who confirms fetal remains are taken for research without patient consent.
The seventh horrifying has the testimony of a Planned Parenthood worker who tapped an aborted infant’s heart and saw it start beating.
And No. 8 has Cate Dyer, CEO of Stem Express, admitting Planned Parenthood sells fully intact aborted babies.
An old story
WND also has reported that as horrific as the videos appear, they should surprise no one, since such practices have been documented for nearly two decades already.
A price list uncovered by a pro-life organization dated June 1998 shows that the price per specimen from a second trimester abortion is $90 fresh and $130 frozen.
Mark Crutcher, whose Life Dynamics organization was a ground-breaker in investigating the abortion behemoth that gets some $500 million annually from U.S. taxpayers, worked on that investigation.
His group reported back in February 2000 how the baby parts market works: “A baby parts ‘wholesaler’ enters into a financial agreement with an abortion clinic in which the wholesaler pays a monthly ‘site fee’ to the clinic. For this payment, the wholesaler is allowed to place a retrieval agent inside the clinic where he or she is given access to the corpses of children killed there and a workspace to harvest their parts.”
He continued: “The buyer – usually a researcher working for a medical school, pharmaceutical company, bio-tech company or government agency – supplies the wholesaler with a list of the baby parts wanted. … when such orders are received … they are faxed to the retrieval agent at the clinic who harvests the requested parts and ships them to the buyer.”
The documentation was provided at that time to Life Dynamics by a worker who left Comprehensive Health for Women, a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Overland Park, Kansas.
Among the documents was a “Fee-for-Services” Schedule A, effective June 1998, which outlined a charge of $220 per specimen for first-trimester aspiration abortions and $260 if the baby parts were frozen.
Crutcher’s report, citing Planned Parenthood’s own paperwork, found that one agent sold during February 1996 alone 47 livers, 11 liver fragments, seven brains, 21 eyes, eight thymuses, 23 legs, 14 pancreases, 14 lungs, six arms and one kidney-adrenal gland.
He also sold three orders of blood from the unborn child. The retrieval agent “harvested all of the parts,” the report said, explaining that “in order for the blood of an aborted child to be sold, the dead baby had to be brought to him intact.”
The “specimens,” the report said, would have generated up to about $25,000 in revenue for one month from one retrieval agent at one Planned Parenthood business.
Crutcher reported that the tissue logs reveal that one baby is often chopped up and sold to many buyers.
For example, babies taken from donors 113968 and 114189 were both killed late in their second trimester and cut into nine pieces. By applying the price list, buyers would have been invoiced between $3,510 and $5,070 for these parts, he said.