Last month, some of Oregon’s pro-life legislators requested a public hearing about Planned Parenthood affiliates in Oregon and the fetal tissue procurement industry. Speaker Tina Kotek, who was endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, ordered the hearing be cancelled days before it was scheduled to take place. She told the legislators to write letters to Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (PPCW) and Oregon Health and Science University, who is receiving placental tissue from PPCW.
On September 29, the legislators sent a letter on Sept. 29 with their main questions to the two organizations. This week they received responses from PPCW and OHSU. There are two studies for which OHSU receives placental tissue from PPCW. Study 1 focuses on earlier detection of ectopic pregnancies. Study 2 is trying to predict risks like stillbirth, preterm birth and growth restrictions. The responses are summarized below:
For study 1, OHSU receives placentas from pregnancies aborted no further than seven weeks along. The tissue is about one centimeter across. PPCW says they send no fetal tissue to OHSU but OHSU’s letter acknowledges that babies at that age are so small their tissue can be indistinguishable from the placental tissue. For study 2, PPCW sends OHSU one centimeter of uterine lining and one centimeter of placental tissue from abortions performed between six and 14 weeks gestation.
Both groups heavily emphasize that it is “only” placental tissue being used. To pro-lifers, the outcome is the same: an innocent child was killed and her life support, the placenta, was harvested by researchers. OHSU said their lead scientist is responsible for the separation of the baby from the placenta, post-abortion at PPCW’s facility.
OHSU also paid Advanced Bioscience Resources “service fees” for 123 fetal livers or thymuses from second-trimester abortions. As documented last week, Lovejoy Surgicenter in Portland partners with ABR so it is possible the babies’ organs are harvested then experimented on in the same city. Lovejoy Surgicenter is not a Planned Parenthood affiliate. They are one of the latest abortion providers in the state.
OHSU and PPCW both loudly protest they do not exchange money for the placentas themselves. However, money does change hands for “services.”
- Study 1: OHSU worked with two Planned Parenthood affiliate groups for this study, PPCW and Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernadino Counties(PPOSBC). From the letter, it seems clear that the tissue comes from PPCW but OHSU receives medical chart data from both affiliate groups. For this, OHSU paid PPOSBC $7,000 for IT coordinator salary support and $3,000 for admin costs for collecting the data. To PPCW, OHSU paid $5,000 for “use of space” (including an exam room, ostensibly for the lead researcher to separate the “specimens”) and reimbursement for a study coordinator, paid hourly, up to $5,000, plus ancillary medical supplies up to $2,500.
- Study 2: OHSU gave PPCW $5,000 for use of an exam room plus storage of an OHSU ultrasound (one wonders what that was used for…), plus maximum reimbursements of $5,000 for a coordinator and $2,500 for medical supplies. PPCW claims the final total was $6,500.
- ABR: OHSU paid ABR “service fees” ranging from $230-340 per specimen for 123 fetal livers or thymuses. The total amount paid ranges from $28,290-41,820.
Both organizations emphasize the good deeds they do. PPCW makes sure to list the health services they provide and OHSU says they are working to make everyone, everywhere, healthier.
LifeNews Note: Liberty Pike is the communications director for Oregon Right to Life, as well as a LifeNews staff writer.