Former Planned Parenthood Director: I Coerced Women Into Letting Us Sell Their Aborted Baby

National   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Aug 10, 2015   |   3:13PM   |   Washington, DC

Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson has exposed her old employer’s business model — their practice of enforcing abortion quotas to drive funding and use of coercive counseling tactics to get women to have abortions — and now she is opening up about her experience with selling aborted baby body parts at her old clinic in Bryan, Texas.

In an interview with The Daily Signal, she said she would ask women to participate in fetal tissue studies during counseling sessions prior to their abortion procedures. The studies did not come up until the women were filling out paperwork and she would explain that by participating they were contributing to “life-saving” research.

Johnson said, “We would tell the client that we are participating in a study and she has an opportunity today to donate the tissue that’s removed from her uterus to a research laboratory where they will be working on life-saving treatments for various diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other types of medical studies. We would tell her this is an opportunity for her to possibly save the life of someone else by donating this tissue. By creating this altruistic scenario, women would almost always consent and say, ‘Yes, absolutely.’”

The Planned Parenthood counselors would always refer to the baby’s body parts as “tissue” to avoid giving the child humanity. “We never discussed, ‘They may want just a leg, or an arm, or these specific organs.’ That would create a sense of humanity in their unborn child. And really, we would even shy away from calling it fetal tissue research because just calling it tissue sanitizes it—the women don’t necessarily think about the body of their baby, they’re just thinking about blood and tissue,” said Johnson.

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Johnson also said Planned Parenthood’s research team would instruct counselors on how to talk to clients about tissue donations but employees were not told what the tissue was used for. However, they were compensated for every client they got to agree to participate in the study. She explained, “At that time, and this was of course when I worked there until 2009, we as staff members were compensated for every patient that we were able to enroll in a study. It creates coercive tactics.”

Johnson’s old facility was a Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast affiliate and her old colleague, Melissa Ferrell, was featured in the fifth undercover video released by the Center for Medical Progress. Thankfully, in 2013, Johnson’s old clinic closed down after Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill requiring abortion facilities to adhere to higher safety standards and banned the procedure after 20-weeks.

As LifeNews previously reported, Johnson told The Christian Post that Planned Parenthood sometimes charged $100-$200 for each body part collected from aborted babies. Additionally, she said the money they received from it covered more than shipping and other fees. “Shipping only costs a clinic $4 to $10 but they are sometimes charging $100 to $200 for each baby. They are charging additional fees, but in reality there are no additional fees except for minimal shipping costs,” she concluded.

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Here are a few of the questions The Daily Signal asked Johnson:

After the abortion is performed, what happens next?

Once the abortion is complete, the jar or the tube where everything was suctioned would go into the products of conception lab. The product of conception technician, who works for Planned Parenthood, would empty everything that was suctioned out into a dish like what we saw in the fourth and fifth video.

Doctors aren’t allowed to change the way they perform an abortion to harvest tissue—how is this legal?

Planned Parenthood has done such a good job covering themselves because both of those procedures are considered acceptable standard of care. They can say, “We’re not doing the manual aspiration to get a more intact specimen; we’re doing it because this woman’s concerned about pain and this would be less painful than the vacuum aspiration procedure.”

Does Planned Parenthood have to hire an employee to sort through the body parts and put them in these containers?

It’s not like we hire someone just to separate these parts for research because after every single abortion, a product of conception technician reassembles the parts of the baby to make sure that everything was removed. If they don’t, that can be fatal for a woman. We had several instances where our product of conception technician failed the patient because they would come back in and there would be a leg still in their uterus and that causes very serious infection.

To send the body parts to a research laboratory, it’s just a matter of separating them into different bags.

Do you think Planned Parenthood is doing anything illegal?

The way that the law is written currently, it allows them to charge for these certain items as long as they are coded correctly on a line-item budget. And that’s the problem with the law, is that it’s so subjective as far as the cost. As long as they code it as, we need $100 for extra work in collecting the tissue—well, there is no extra work. And that’s what the videos are showing, with Dr. Mary Gatter, she said, “We don’t have to change anything.” That’s true: they don’t have to do anything.