In one interview, a regional Planned Parenthood doctor said that babies were sometimes delivered at clinics before an abortion procedure could be performed, leaving open the question of whether the babies were left to die.
In a video released in September by CMP, senior Planned Parenthood officials were recorded warning that affiliates should approach the fetal tissue trade for compensation with caution.
Planned Parenthood’s senior medical advisor, Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, said it had “the potential for a huge P.R. issue,” in a conversation with an actor posing as a prospective fetal tissue buyer.
Deborah VanDerhei, national director of the Consortium of Abortion Providers at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said that “If they [affiliates] are going to do it, that’s fine, but we want them to think about, really, the New York Times headline.”
Richards has repeatedly responded to the allegations by claiming the organization had broken no laws in accepting compensation for fetal tissue.
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Currently two House committees are investigating the organization and its practices. The House Judiciary Committee last week held a hearing on the “medical ethics” at Planned Parenthood clinics.
Susan Thayer, a former center manager at a clinic in Storm Lake, Iowa, testified that her clinic routinely overbilled Medicaid for birth control – $35 a cycle for contraceptives that cost less than $3 – and would even send the full bill to Medicaid for certain services they already partially billed patients for. Those profits from clients they described as voluntary donations.
Thayer also said that when a baby was discovered in a dumpster in her town and the local authorities requested the clinic’s medical records, the clinic used the opportunity to fundraise, claiming that the personal health information of female clients was threatened.