Planned Parenthood at 100: Growing the abortion business and lawlessness

On Planned Parenthood’s 100-year anniversary, October 15, tens of millions of Americans have now seen the shocking undercover video footage of the biggest abortion provider’s top-level leadership–medical directors, national program directors, even the Senior Director of Medical Services–callously negotiating the harvesting and sale of aborted fetal body parts.

Even Planned Parenthood’s political allies recognize that there is nothing defensible about Planned Parenthood’s illicit trade in tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains.

The board of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation said it best when they observed that the videos of senior leadership’s participation in fetal trafficking have “upended” Planned Parenthood, and that “the long-term consequences involve the substantial eroding of Planned Parenthood’s credibility and reputation.”

Planned Parenthood has never been able to deny the identities or statements of its own leadership, now captured on camera for all of history to see, although it has tried strenuously to assert that its leadership’s statements on the tapes are somehow extra-contextual.

Yet Planned Parenthood has never been able to explain in what context it is appropriate to “crush below” and “crush above” on some parts of a late-term fetus, or employ “a less-crunchy technique” of abortion in order to ensure the most valuable body parts can be harvested intact, or how it can be legal to “do a little better than break even” or “generate a fair amount of income” through supplying fetal body parts. While it is legal to donate human fetal organs and tissues, state and federal law prohibits their sale for profit.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel is the only official investigation taking a comprehensive, nationwide look at Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and sale of aborted fetal organs and tissues.

The Panel has so far found probable cause that Planned Parenthood and its business partner StemExpress profited off the sale of fetal organs, used fraudulent and invalid consent forms to convince patients to give permission for harvesting, and engaged in “systematic violations” of HIPAA for five years in order to help StemExpress fulfill its order quotas for body parts.

StemExpress, a privately-held, for-profit biotech company in Placerville, Calif., harvests fetal organs at abortion clinics for resale to other research labs and publicly referred to its 5-year-long “business relationship” with Planned Parenthood. Less than a month after StemExpress was founded, it signed a contract with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the biggest and wealthiest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the entire country.

Inside Planned Parenthood’s clinics, StemExpress’ own technicians did all of the work of harvesting the body parts from abortions, from start to finish. StemExpress advertised this “plug-in solution” and “turn-key” business model as a “financially profitable” venture for the Planned Parenthood clinics. Planned Parenthood provided StemExpress with access to patients’ private medical charts in order to identify patients whose pregnancies could fulfill StemExpress’ customer demand for specific numbers, types, and gestational age of body parts.

The Planned Parenthood-StemExpress contract “terms of services” are chilling, and appear unlawful on their face:

“The term ‘product of conception’ (‘POC’) means any fetal organ or other fetal or placental material taken from the human uterus during an abortion.”

“The reasonable costs associated with the services specified in this Agreement shall be fifty-five dollars ($55.00) per POC determined in the clinic to be usable.”

“Planned Parenthood Mar Monte will invoice Stem-Ex [StemExpress] monthly for the number of POC’s…procured by Stem-Ex. Stem-Ex will pay Planned Parenthood Mar Monte within two weeks of receipt of the invoice.”

Amazingly, the contracts do not contemplate any invoicing between Planned Parenthood and StemExpress for “reimbursement” of specific costs: the only payments mentioned are for the number of “usable” fetal organs that StemExpress can procure.

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte did 18,035 abortions last year–if each abortion yielded just one “usable” “product of conception” for StemExpress, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte stood to gain nearly $1 million every year from its sale of tiny baby hearts, lungs, and brains. StemExpress, for its part, would mark up the fetal organs 5 times from the $55 it paid Planned Parenthood to a final $595 price to its customers.

Perhaps this is why StemExpress is now committing criminal contempt of Congress, rather than hand over key financial documents on its partnership with Planned Parenthood in response to Congressional subpoenas from the Panel. As the political fog from the initial media controversy begins to clear, it is becoming more and more evident that Planned Parenthood is not only guilty of the allegations that the videos document, but has been far more deeply and troublingly complicit in the criminal trafficking of fetal organs and tissues than anyone first imagined.

Planned Parenthood is not above the law, and as more incriminating details about its baby parts sales continue to surface from the Select Investigative Panel, it is time for law enforcement to bring Planned Parenthood’s 100 years of lawlessness to an end.

David Daleiden is the founder and Project Lead at The Center for Medical Progress.

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