Investigative

“It’s all lingo” – Planned Parenthood isn’t ‘reimbursed’ for fetal body parts

ABR Perrin Larton

The most recent video from The Center for Medical Progress continues to contradict Planned Parenthood’s claims that the money they receive for harvested fetal body parts is nothing more than reasonably allowed ‘compensation’ for things like storage and shipping.

In the full footage, Perrin Larton, head of procurement services for Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), admits to the prospective buyer that while ABR does not consent patients, their own technicians do the rest of the work…

(ABR) “We are totally not involved in the clinical work at all. The clinic does all the consenting. The only thing we do is after procedure we will draw blood from the donating mother if you need serology testing, that’s all we do with the patient… We’re usually standing right outside the door… and we’re in the lab area… then we get the tissue, doctor makes sure the termination is complete… we have it immediately after….” (Full footage, 16:10)

Statements from former StemExpress employee Holly O’Donnell also support the fact that trained procurement technicians do the “dirty work” of harvesting fetal organs at abortion clinics.

Larton later reiterates that ABR has someone on site when abortion procedures are done – therefore, any ‘shipping,’ ‘transportation’ or staffing costs to the clinic would be nonexistent:

(ABR) “Every Saturday we have somebody there…There is one doctor that works there that doesn’t ‘dig’ [use digoxin] until 22 [weeks], so you’d be able to get a little bit larger tissue….” (Full footage, 19:00)

Later, when discussing how soon after an abortion the fetal body parts are ready to ship to researchers, Larton notes that because ABR technicians are on-site, it only takes five minutes to get them out the door:

Buyer: “How long from cessation of circulation?”

ABR: “That we send the tissue to you?”

Buyer: “Yeah.”

ABR: “Immediate- like I said, we’re in the lab, so they bring it out, within five minutes, where we have the media and it’s ready to go out the door. Yeah.” (Full footage, 20:09)

So to recap: A fetal procurement technician, not employed by the abortion clinic, retrieves fetal body parts and “within five minutes” is able to ship them to researchers who contract with them. The clinic does nothing – so why are they receiving, as Planned Parenthood claims, from $30 to 100 per specimen?

Deborah_Nucatola3_810_500_55_s_c1As I noted in a previous post, Planned Parenthood attorney Roger Evans sent a letter to Congress in July, attempting to explain the statements of Dr. Deborah Nucatola, PP’s Medical Director, which were heard in CMP’s first video:

At one point, Dr. Nucatola stated that the reimbursement of costs for a tissue specimen could be between $30 and $100. This statement by Dr. Nucatola was immediately followed by an explanation that the amount had to be based on the clinic’s costs, which is what the law allows.

As Dr. Nucatola explained, “It just has to do with space issues, are you sending someone there who’s going to be doing everything, is there shipping involved, is somebody going to have to take it out. … [I]t’s really just about if anyone were ever to ask them, well what do you do for this $60, how can you justify that? … So it just needs to be justifiable.”

To address these points:

  1. “Space issues” – This doesn’t appear to be discussed much in CMP’s undercover videos, except in the case of Dr. Savita Ginde from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, who is more than willing to accommodate prospective fetal body parts harvesters in her lab. There is even some discussion of “refrigeration” for fetal parts for research – but Ginde says they already have freezers and refrigerators, so it’s no problem at all:

Ginde: It would great if we could collect the stuff and put it in, we have freezers, we have refrigerators, where we could get-

Buyer: Ok, that seems like a hassle, again, not wanting you to bear any of that. So, obviously compensation for that would be higher. We would bear the cost of that, even if it’s just a little area that we own for that- not that we own.

Ginde: Yea. Yea.

Ginde: So, if we had a refrigerator, we would probably keep it in your [J.R.’s] office with the other refrigerators that we have for studies. That way it’s all in one place. (Transcript, p. 11)

ginde2. “Is there shipping involved” – Dr. Ginde’s clinic is different; it’s not local to the procurement company. It’s in Colorado, so what about the shipping? Again, not a problem, according to Dr. Ginde, who says any space for “packaging [or] boxes” would be “easily figure[d] out” and would not present a problem. And Melissa Farrell from Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast admitted on tape that “sponsors set up a FedEx account for us,” so all the clinic must do is “put everything in” and “print up the air bill” and “slap it on.” In arrangements like this, the “sponsors” would be the ones paying for the shipping.

3. “… Sending someone who’s going to be doing everything…”

The clear answer to this is yes. Both ABR and StemExpress have, in their own words, stated that their own technicians are the ones who enter the abortion clinics and perform all tasks aside from patient consenting. (Another procurement company, Novogenix, has actually been mentioned as being involved in the consenting of patients as well.) These technicians are working at the expense of the procurement company:

Buyer: … So what we would need is we would need a technician, whether one of our people that we’ve sent out or someone that we’ve trained, you know, 1099 or whatever. We need a trained technician who is in the pathlab to receive the specimen. They can do, probably I think, most of your typical processing with it anyway, to strain it out, float it in the dish, make sure everything is there, whoever is around can swing by and take a quick look for arms, legs, cal, all of that. And then our tech would have a little pick, not like an ice pick haha. Just like a little rod to poke around with plus some tweezers. (Transcript, p. 9)

 

So even in this case, where the procurement company is not local to the abortion clinic, they will foot the bill to either train someone or send someone in (“1099” forms are for independent contractors). The abortion clinic is not expected to pay for this, so again – exactly what is being compensated?

4. “Is somebody going to have to take it out” – If Nucatola meant  “take it out” as in shipping a FedEx box (which more than one PP employee has stated would be easily dropped off on their way home from work), then $30-100 in compensation would not be considered “reasonable compensation” for mileage or time. If she meant “taking out” the actual organs themselves, it is clear by now that outside technicians do this work.

Again, taking all of Nucatola’s points into consideration, we see that $30-100 dollars is indeed, as CMP’s David Daleiden stated, “criminal profit” for Planned Parenthood:

ABR [Advanced Bioscience Resources] handles all dissection, packaging, and shipping of fetal organs and tissues, and so it is unclear for what PPPS could be receiving “reimbursement.” This is especially suspicious given that Ms. [Cecile] Richards [PP’s president and CEO] 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.

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.

Planned Parenthood, in typical fashion, distorts language to its own benefit. ‘Specimen procurement’ is called ‘stem cell research.’ ‘Selling organs’ is called ‘research.’ And ‘criminal profit’ is called ‘reimbursement’ and ‘compensation.’

Princeton bioethics professor Robert George agrees:

A lot of people have become concerned that people have found end runs around the ‘no sale of fetal tissue and body parts’ aspect of the law….They charge or overcharge for producing body parts, shipping and handling, managing the body parts, and so forth.

This has become selling while pretending not to sell.

As abortionist Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “It’s all lingo, right?”

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