Congressional Hearing Reveals Planned Parenthood Likely Broke Laws to Sell Aborted Babies

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 9, 2015   |   2:18PM   |   Washington, DC

During a Congressional hearing today, a prominent pro-life attorney made it clear to members of Congress that Planned Parenthood likely broke multiple federal laws in its sale of aborted babies and their body parts for research.

James Bopp, the general counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, told the House Judiciary Committee that, “Recorded conversations, released by the Center for Medical Progress reveal many legal issues with Planned Parenthood’s procedures and practices regarding fetal tissue procurement.”

“These procedures and practices of Planned Parenthood, and their tissue procurement partners, show that federal laws when applicable, have been and are continuing to be violated during the procurement and sale of human fetal tissue,” Bopp explained.

As Bopp explained to the panel:

Federal law prohibits any person “to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.” Human fetal tissue includes all “tissue or cells obtained from a dead human embryo or fetus after a spontaneous or induced abortion, or after a stillbirth.”However, “valuable consideration does not include reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control or storage of human fetal tissue.”

However, the federal law authorizing the funding of such research went beyond the strict limits recommended by the Panel. The “reasonable pay ments” authorized by federal law are quite broad, going beyond Planned Parenthood’s actual costs and clearly providing financial incentives to abortion clinics. This promotes substantial abuse as evidenced by multiple conversations recorded by CMP. In fact, Planned Parenthood has chosen to accept prices that have no relationship to even the “reasonable payments” authorized by federal law, but are based on the market value per-specimen.

In a conversation with CMP, Dr. Mary Gatter, Planned Parenthood’s Medical Directors’ Council President and Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley, discussed compensation with a potential buyer. She treated the conversation like a negotiation and told the buyer, “Well, you know in negotiations the person who throws out the figure first is at a loss, right?” When a number was finally given, she stated that she would like “to find out what other affiliates in California are getting, and if they’re getting substantially more, then we can discuss it then.”

These clips from the conversation show that Planned Parenthood affiliates are not checking their costs of procurement and setting a number based on these costs, but are instead trying to make money off of human fetal tissue. While it is clear from these conversations that Planned Parenthood is charging based on the market value per-specimen, there is also evidence that they report their numbers in such a way as to not attract attention.

While Planned Parenthood is allowed, under federal law, to charge for certain statutorily specified costs, a per-specimen price based on what the market will bear and how much they can get out of it without attracting attention suggests a clear violation of the spirit and letter of the law.

Bopp also said that Planned Parenthood is illegally altering abortion procedures to get better body parts from aborted babies to sell:

One of the concerns, if abortion clinics “could profit financially from procuring fetal tissue,” was that they would change their practices to facilitate procurement. This would include performing an abortion “by an alternate method entailing greater risk to the pregnant women.” As a result, when federal law was amended to allow federal funding of transplantation research, it prohibited a physician from altering the timing, method or procedures used to terminate a pregnancy solely for the purpose of obtaining tissue.

Regardless of whether this federal law applies to procurement of fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood promises its patients that it will not alter the abortion procedure. However, comments made by Planned Parenthood’s employees suggest that Planned Parenthood affiliates are willing to alter their abortion procedures in order to get suitable fetal tissue.

The pro-life attorney concluded: “Comments made by employees of Planned Parenthood and tissue procurement employees raise credible concerns that infants are born alive after an induced abortion at Planned Parenthood . . . While it is not clear from the videos whether or not Planned Parenthood kills babies born alive after an induced abortion to harvest fetal tissue, this is an area that needs further investigation.”

“Not only is Planned Parenthood jeopardizing their patient’s health, it is also violating a commitment made to them,” Bopp said. “Is Planned Parenthood really protecting women or are they trying to protect their bottom line by ensuring they can get the most money they can out of each abortion?”

Bopp says Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider of abortions – at least one-third of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at Planned Parenthood-affiliated facilities. According to their most recent annual report, Planned Parenthood received at least $528 million annually from the federal government or other levels of government.  Based on data from their own annual report from 2013-2014, nearly one in eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic has an abortion.

Following the hearing and additional hearings on the issue, Congress is expected to vote on Planned Parenthood. The House of Representatives is planning a vote on legislation in a couple weeks that would de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business. The two votes would follow one the Senate had weeks ago, which saw Senate Democrats filibuster and block legislation to revoke $550 million in taxpayer funding. The Senate is expected to vote soon on a second attempt to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

The Center for Medical Progress recently released its most recent video — the 9th in its series of videos catching the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling aborted babies and their body parts. This latest video catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.

The Center for Medical Progress also released the full, uncut video of the conversation between undercover investigators form CMP and top officials with StemExpress, which buys aborted babies and their body parts from Planned Parenthood. The full footage is of a shorter video that summarized the meetings earlier this week.

In Congress, two committees in the House of Representatives have already launched investigations of Planned Parenthood. One committee is looking into whether or not the abortion business is breaking federal law by altering abortion procedures to better obtain aborted baby body parts for sale. Another committee, among other things, is investigating the Obama administration and whether there is any connection between it and the abortion giant.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wants to know if the Obama administration, via the Department of Health and Human Services, provided any federal grants to Planned Parenthood that ultimately went to pay for the sales of aborted baby body parts and if they were used by Planned Parenthood to “support transactions involving fetal tissue.”

The expose’ videos catching Planned Parenthood officials selling the body parts of aborted babies have shocked the nation. Here is a list of all nine:

  • In the first video: Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing: “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 Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
  • In the third video: Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
  • In the fourth video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
  • In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States.”
  • In the sixth video: Holly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”
  • In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video: Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘You want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
  • In the eighth video: StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of” fully intact aborted babies.
  • The ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must Investigate Planned Parenthood for Selling Aborted Baby Parts

So far, 12 states have responded to the Planned Parenthood videos and launched investigations into their abortion and organ harvesting business including South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Massachusetts, KansasMissouri, Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana. The district attorney in Houston Texas is also investigating after the Houston-based Planned Parenthood abortion facility was caught selling aborted babies.

Congress has expanded its investigation into the Planned Parenthood abortion business and five states have revoked taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood’s abortion business, including Utah, Arkansas, Alabama, New Hampshire and Louisiana and Iowa’s governor has ordered a review of Planned Parenthood funding.

The full, unedited videos have confirmed that revelations that some aborted baby remains sold by Planned Parenthood go to biotech companies for the purpose of creating “humanized” mice. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has been exposed as having sold body parts from aborted babies for as much as 15 years.

The federal law that technically prohibits the sale of aborted babies and their body parts was written by a pro-abortion Congressman decades ago and essentially spells out a process by which sellers of aborted baby body parts can meet certain criteria that allows the sales to be legal. That’s why a Colorado congressman has introduced legislation to totally ban the sales of aborted baby body parts.