9th Planned Parenthood video fuels accusations of lawbreaking
The takeaway moment from the latest fetal tissue video comes when a woman identified as Advanced BioScience Resources’s Perrin Larton recounts cases in which the fetus “just fell out” during an abortion procedure.
Depending on what happened next, that could be an unfortunate accident — or it could be a violation of the national BornAlive Infants Protection Act.
Released Tuesday, the ninth undercover video from the pro-life Center for Medical Progress fuels the growing contention that those involved in the fetal tissue procurement business, including Planned Parenthood, may have broken as many as a half-dozen federal laws.
“In six separate areas, these videos reveal possible felonies,” said Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, in a Tuesday statement.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards has launched a fierce defense of her organization’s integrity, insisting in a letter Thursday to Congress that “Planned Parenthood adheres to the highest standards and follows all laws.”
A day later, however, AUL issued a 28page legal analysis outlining areas where the “full, unedited video transcripts” point to evidence of lawbreaking, including “receiving valuable consideration for providing fetal tissue” and “altering abortion procedures to obtain fetal tissue.”
The more recent videos show scenes suggesting violations of laws on “obtaining informed consent for fetal tissue donation,” “performing partial-birth abortions” and “killing infants born alive after an attempted induced abortion.”
“Taken together, there is probable cause to investigate whether in their fetal organ harvesting scheme PPFA, its affiliates, and the tissue procurement companies they contract with have violated other federal laws,” including conspiracy and racketeering, said the analysis.
Ms. Yoest called Tuesday for Congress, where both the House and Senate already have begun investigations into the issues raised in the videos, to add criminal penalties to the federal law governing infants born alive during an attempted abortion.
“Americans are reacting in horror to the accumulated weight of unethical and callous behavior revealed by these videos,” said Ms. Yoest. “If what we are seeing isn’t illegal, it should be.”
The ninth video raises more questions about the how much Planned Parenthood is paid for providing fetal tissue from abortions, and whether those costs would be considered “reasonable payments” under federal law.
Planned Parenthood officials have insisted the affiliates only bill for expenses related to providing fetal tissue for medical research. Federal laws allow for reimbursements associated with the “implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.”
In the latest video, however, ABR’s Ms. Larton says that her company often takes possession of the tissue immediately after an abortion. CMP’s video describes the company, based in Alameda, California, as a longtime partner of Planned Parenthood affiliates and “the oldest baby parts company in the U.S.”
“We’re usually standing right outside the door where they’re doing the procedure in the OR [operating room], and we’re in the lab area,” Ms. Larton says on the video. “Yeah, and so we’re just kind of standing around waiting, and then we get the tissue, the doctor makes sure the termination’s complete, and then we — I mean, we have it immediately after.”
week payments-per-specimen range from $45 to $60, although previous videos show undercover interviews with Planned Parenthood officials haggling over prices that range from $30 to $100.
David Daleiden, project lead for the center’s Human Capital investigation, said in a Monday letter to Congress that ABR “handles all dissection, packaging, and shipping of fetal organs and tissues, and so it is unclear for what [Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest] could be receiving ‘reimbursement.’”
He also said the price “per specimen” is the payment for each individual fetal organ, not per fetal cadaver.
“This is especially suspicious given that Ms. Richards says the $60 fee is paid ‘per tissue specimen.’ Thus, if ABR harvests a liver and a thymus, a common fetal tissue order, from an 18-week fetus aborted at the San Diego clinic, Planned Parenthood receives a total payment of $120 from that case,” he said.
“It stretches credulity to believe that ABR’s technician harvesting two organs from a fetus costs Planned Parenthood $120 — this is a new revenue stream off of fetal tissue with no real cost to Planned Parenthood, and thus a criminal profit,” said Mr. Daleiden.