Is partial-birth abortion an economic cash cow for the abortion industry?
The question sounds too grotesque to consider. However, The Center for Medical Progress [CMP] announced completion of a 3-year investigative journalism study that found this practice taking place at Planned Parenthood Federation of America [PPFA]. According to CMP, Senior Director of Medical Services Deborah Nucatola and other PPFA leadership have been implicated in a baby parts selling operation made possible by harvesting marketable tissue from aborted babies.
The investigation was anchored by CMP undercover video that recorded Nucatola discussing the baby parts operation with actors posing as baby parts buyers. In the video, Nucatola details the process by which PPFA alters its abortion procedures in order to extract marketable baby parts. At one point in the meeting, Nucatola goes into considerable detail about PPFA’s ability to fill market demand:
I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps. The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium—the head—is basically the biggest part… 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.
The video also shows PFA President and CEO Cecile Richards’ seeming approval of Nucatola for securing baby parts for commercial sale. However, according to a CMP press release such practices are prohibited by federal law:
Using ultrasound guidance to manipulate the fetus from vertex to breech orientation before intact extraction is the hallmark of the illegal partial-birth abortion procedure (18 U.S.C. 1531)…
The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2).
In response to CMP’s undercover investigation, Planned Parenthood Vice President of Communications Eric Ferrero published a statement that claims the PPFA practice involves voluntary donations for purposes of medical research:
In health care, patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases. Women at Planned Parenthood who have abortions are no different. At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards. There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field. – July 14, 2015
Ferrero thus admits to PPFA’s harvesting of baby parts. CMP contends, however, that the PPFA statement is misleading in three areas: “They also tell several lies: 1) That proper consent is obtained from patients, 2) That Planned Parenthood does not make money off the body parts, and 3) that everything is legal.” CMP’s investigation yielded an advertisement circulated by StemExpress, LLC to Planned Parenthood clinics that inserts the potential for “financial profits”, “financial benefits”, and “contributing to the fiscal growth” from selling baby parts; a circular that contains an endorsement from Dr. Dorothy Furgerson of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.
Arthur Caplan, director of New York University’s Division of Medical Ethics, notes that embryonic stem cells is invaluable to anatomical understanding of unborn babies. However, Caplan cautions, “…the only relevant goal of an abortion clinic is to provide a safe and least risky abortion to a woman. If you’re starting to play with how it’s done, and when it’s done, other things than women’s health are coming into play. You’re making a huge mountain of conflict of interest around a period for many people is morally difficult.”
David Daleiden, CMP founder and lead investigator, revealed that the PPFA investigation required three years of constructing a biotech front company in order to gain confidence of PPFA and access to its principals.
PPFA’s response to the CMP investigation amounts to nothing short of conflicting statements and efforts to discredit Daleiden. A press release circulated by PPFA’s contracted public relations firm, Camino Public Relations, suggests that providers receive “reimbursement cost” for selling harvested parts. However, that appears to conflict with aforementioned CMP advertisements that clearly sell the practice as a profitable enterprise. Another press release cites Daleiden for having written anti-abortion articles in conservative publications, the Weekly Standard and Human Life Review. Camino included a profile of what it called Daleiden’s “fake” company (Biomax Procurement Services LLC); something that Daleiden readily acknowledges was a part of the undercover work. Neither of these details has direct bearing on the revelations that surfaced from the investigation.
According to Daleiden, CMP plans to release related videos over the next few months.
Beyond the legal questions raised by these revelations, the CMP effort could resurface heated discussions on Capitol Hill on issues such as harvesting parts from aborted babies and potentially banning abortions beyond the 20 weeks of pregnancy.
[important]kennethdprice.com will be tracking developments on this unfolding story[/important]
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The full unedited Center For Medical Progress undercover video…
Full Transcript of lunch meeting with Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, Planned Parenthood Federation of America[embeddoc url=”http://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/PPFAtranscript072514_final.pdf” height=”800px” viewer=”google”]
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