Opinion

Planned Parenthood says it doesn’t sell organs; here’s why that’s hard to believe

Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards

Let’s try a thought experiment.

Imagine a friend brings you to the airport. When you arrive, he explains that he’s a little short on cash, so it’d be great if you could pay for the gas he used to drive you there. You happily agree and ask him what the total comes to. He looks at you for a moment and then says, “Well, that depends. How much are you used to paying?”

For most people, this approach to covering expenses would raise eyebrows. For Planned Parenthood, it’s business as usual.

Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion chain, performing over three hundred thousand every year. Of course, that leaves them with plenty of eyes, hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys and other severed body parts to dispose of. Now, they could, like abortion advocate Rebecca Watson suggests, just dismiss these these human remains as “garbage” and throw them in a dumpster.

But why do that? After all, companies like StemExpress make money furnishing tissue to researchers, so they’ll be happy to take those little bodies away.

For cash.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards claims the group doesn’t “profit in any way” from the sale of human organs. According to her, Planned Parenthood is only reimbursed for the expenses associated with providing them. If that’s the case, then Richards should really speak to her executives–they seem to have other ideas.

One of them is Dr. Mary Gatter, president of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Directors Council. In the second video released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), Gatter is shown meeting with people she believed were fetal tissue buyers.

At two minutes and twenty four seconds, one of them asks how much compensation Gatter wants for supplying “intact tissue.” If what Cecile Richards said is true, then you’d expect Dr. Gatter to respond with something like, “That would depend solely on our expenses.” Instead, she says, “Well, why don’t you start by telling me what you’re used to paying.”

After haggling for a while, Gatter eventually settles on a figure of “seventy five dollars per specimen,” but doesn’t object when the buyer offers a hundred. This was after she complained about “low ball” figures but before stating that she wants enough money for “a Lamborghini.”

Obviously, Gatter isn’t just just looking for a reimbursement; she wants the best price the market will bear. However, I can understand why she didn’t provide specifics on the costs associated with supplying fetal tissue: apparently there aren’t many.

Live Action’s Susan Michelle recently highlighted testimony from former Planned Parenthood Clinic director Abby Johnson. Appearing before a Texas Senate committee, Johnson explained,

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.

According to Johnson, the “compensation” amounted to “pure profit.”

And that’s if there’s any shipping to be done. Nineteen minutes and four seconds into the unedited version of CMP’s fifth video, Melissa Ferrall, Director of Research for Planned Parenthood’s Gulf Coast affiliate, says that her in-state customers get the “specimens” in person. “There’s nothing in-state that we ship.”

While this arrangement might be profitable, it’s also criminal: federal law makes it a felony “for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration.” Not that selling organs is Planned Parenthood’s only crime.

Multiple officials have admitted to illegally altering how abortions are performed to make harvesting organs easier. And in the first video CMP released, Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describes performing what sounds like a partial-birth abortion. That they’ve been outlawed since 2003 doesn’t seem to be a problem for her. “The Federal (Partial-Birth) Abortion Ban is a law,” she explains, “and laws are up to interpretation.”

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And all of this is on top of Planned Parenthood’s other scandals. Those include committing gendercidefraud, and helping sexual predators cover up abuse.

Given how much Planned Parenthood can make from dead babies, you might feel like they don’t need a check from you. Well, they’re getting one anyway: every year, Planned Parenthood receives over half a billion dollars in federal funding. If you’re not happy about that arrangement, then sign Live Action’s petition asking Congress to change it.

There are plenty of great ways your tax dollars can provide care to people in need; compensating Planned Parenthood just isn’t one of them.

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