Washington D.C., Sep 15, 2015 / 16:24 pm
The tenth video from a pro-life group investigating whether abortion providers like Planned Parenthood are illegally selling fetal tissue shows the nation's largest abortion provider was conscious of the possible damage its affiliates' practices could cause if it became news.
David Daleiden, who is leading the investigation project for the Center for Medical Progress, charged that "the lengths to which Planned Parenthood leadership will go to cover-up their illegal sale of aborted baby parts are nothing less than the desperation of a guilty conscience."
"Planned Parenthood runs their abortion and baby parts business in open disregard for the law and should be prosecuted immediately," he said Sept. 15. He said the abortion provider's taxpayer funding should go to Federally Qualified Health Centers that do not perform abortions.
The Center for Medical Progress contends that its videos show the abortion provider violates federal laws against profiting from the sale of human fetal tissue.
The latest video, released on Tuesday, shows several discussions between an investigator posing as a prospective fetal tissue buyer and Deborah VanDerhei, national director of the Consortium of Abortion Providers at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The discussions focus on how Planned Parenthood affiliates and other abortion clinics receive compensation for fetal tissue sales.
VanDerhei, apparently speaking of Planned Parenthood affiliates, said "If they are going to do it, that's fine, but we want them to think about, really, the New York Times headline."
She indicated that Planned Parenthood affiliates are advised to consider "carefully" the topic of remuneration for fetal tissue. She said the national Planned Parenthood federation has no policy on the topic "and that's relatively intentional." She said the policy the national federation does have for affiliates "suggests that you just really think about what you're doing, vet your procurement service."
Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, the national Planned Parenthood federation's senior medical advisor, discussed how clinics have been working in fetal tissue procurement.
"We've just been working with people who want particular tissues, like, you know, they want cardiac, or they want eyes, or they want neural," she said to an undercover investigator. "Certainly, everything we provide–oh, gonads! Oh my God, gonads. Everything we provide is fresh."
She said the provision of tissue would have "the potential for a huge P.R. issue" if it became public.
VanDerhei said affiliates that decide to engage in remuneration "really need to think that through." She mentioned on two separate occasions that affiliates should consider how their actions would look in a New York Times headline when they create their policy.
Her comments indicated that fetal tissue procurement is a topic across the abortion industry.
"I have been talking to the executive director of the National Abortion Federation, we're trying to figure this out as an industry, about how we're going to manage remuneration, because the headlines would be a disaster," she said, as recorded in the video.
VanDerhei said Planned Parenthood is "not that comfortable" talking about the issue in email but prefers in-person conversations.
She added that she knows non-Planned Parenthood abortion clinics involved in fetal tissue provision who "generate a fair amount of income doing this."
Planned Parenthood has denied the charge that it profits from tissue donation. It has hired a high-powered public relations firm and has said the Center for Medical Progress
Other videos from the Center for Medical Progress suggest that babies whose organs and other tissues were harvested may have been delivered alive at a Planned Parenthood clinic before the abortion procedure was complete. Another Planned Parenthood official was recorded suggesting that the abortion procedure is modified in order to secure an "intact specimen."
Another video includes an account from a former technician at a California-based fetal tissue supplier StemExpress who said she harvested tissue from a baby whose heart was beating after an abortion. The killing of a child who is born alive during an abortion is illegal under federal law.
The Center for Medical Progress' videos have led the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as the House Judiciary Committee, to launch investigations into Planned Parenthood and its practices. Several members of Congress have called for an end to federal funding of the organization, which is the largest abortion provider in the United States.