Analysis

How much does Planned Parenthood pay to ship baby parts? Not much.

StemExpress flyer (Photo via Breitbart.com)

The argument from Planned Parenthood about the money it receives for fetal body parts is always the “legal” argument—that it costs them to store, transport and ship fetal parts. The abortion giant reminds everyone those costs are “legal” and are legitimate costs to them which must be recouped.

But is this true?

When the Texas Senate held its hearings in Austin, prior to the release of the fifth video, former Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast clinic director Abby Johnson testified:

Generally, in our studies that we did, we received $200 in compensation per baby that was sent. I can assure you that there is no additional charge for collection, or storage of fetal tissue. The only additional expense would be shipping and that’s between five to ten dollars per specimen, not $200.

And the star of the fifth video, Director of Research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, admits as much. She says: “We have not shipped any fetal specimens… everyone that has come in and collected specimens has been local.”

When the buyer asks for the specific costs of shipping a fetal part that might have a higher cost because of the type of the type of shipping it needs, Farrell says:

Typically, our sponsors set up a FedEx account for us, and we just use that account. We go online, we have it set up in our FedEx world account, put everything in, print up the air bill, slap it on, put it on dry ice, put it in the freezer, bricks, whatever we need to do and either drop it off-whatever we need to do-we have FedEx pick up here about three or four pm. Then anything that is late, something that was collected late, we drop it off at FedEx. (Transcript, page 10)

In fact, Farrell adds, the FedEx office is “literally on the way home for me,” so she can’t even justify adding reimbursable miles to stop by the office to drop it off. And by printing labels from a set up account, the fetal tissue procurement agency has actually set up the account and is paying for that part. All that Planned Parenthood does is print it. Put plainly, there are no real shipping costs. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards keeps arguing that this is where the seeming profit is, but this doesn’t hold water based on the testimony and videos presented.

As Abby Johnson notes, even if there is some shipping cost, it’s not pricey; it certainly would not justify the sorts of figures she gives as examples. In her testimony before the Texas Senate committee, Johnson said that the money they received was “sheer profit” for Planned Parenthood, and gave this example of how much the Houston affiliate could realistically make from its fetal tissue donation program.

That [the $200] is sheer profit for Planned Parenthood, and let’s just be a little generous here, the Planned Parenthood in Houston off of the Gulf Freeway, their abortion quota is to perform 75 abortions every day, 6 days per week. Let’s be conservative and say they only charged $100 per specimen, and let’s say that only 50 of the 75 women consented to harvesting this fetal tissue. That would be $100 per specimen, 50 specimens per day would be $5,000 per day, multiply that 6 days a week, we’re talking about $30,000 per week that Planned Parenthood was collecting from fetal tissue. Extrapolate that $120,000 per month.

That is certainly not recouping cost from the abortion procedure or anything relating to fetal tissue research.

So, in short, the abortion provider isn’t even allowed to ask for fetal donations until after a client has agreed to and signed for the abortion. And the fetal tissue procurement company makes arrangements—as we’ve seen in these videos, and in advertisements from StemExpress—to remove the tissue, even setting up shop on site to be there the moment the abortion is complete. So what, exactly, are the legitimate costs to Planned Parenthood for this program?

So far, the only answer that seems obvious is what Johnson herself testified before the Texas Senate: that there are no legitimate costs –  it’s “sheer profit.” The government loophole allowing reimbursement is Planned Parenthood’s loophole, which translates to profit that looks legal.

Even though it’s not.

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