2nd Undercover Video of Planned Parenthood Points Even More Strongly To Illegal Activity
The Center for Medical Progress has released a second undercover video showing a Planned Parenthood abortionist discussing the cost of selling aborted fetuses. Perhaps even more so than in the first video, it appears that Planned Parenthood is committing federal felonies, selling body parts for profit. The release of the second video may have been timed strategically to goad Planned Parenthood into issuing a denial after the first video, which they did. The denial looks pretty bad after viewing the second video, which contains haggling over the cost of fetal “tissue.”
The exposé begins with a statement by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards that the organization is not selling the fetuses for profit. “I want to be really clear,” she declares, “the allegation that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true.”
Then it moves to the undercover footage. The undercover buyers sit down for a business lunch with Dr. Mary Gatter, president of the Planned Parenthood Medical Directors’ Council, and another unidentified woman. When the undercover buyers ask what the cost is for intact tissue, Gatter responds, “Well why don’t you start by telling me what you’re used to paying?” They haggle over who is going to throw out a number, and the buyers instruct her not to lowball it. Gatter finally says $75 per specimen. She admits she’s sold them for $50 in the past at a different location, and — in a clear attempt to cover her tracks about negotiating the profits — explains that Planned Parenthood is not in it for the profit and doesn’t want to be accused of selling tissue. She asserts there are costs associated with “the use of space and such.” The buyers then offer $100, and Gatter doesn’t object but seems pleasantly surprised.
If it’s not about profitability, why does Gatter accept the significantly higher price? She then says she will find out what other affiliates in California are getting, and if it’s substantially more, then they can discuss possibly increasing the price. She claims the money is not important, “but it has to be big enough that it makes it worthwhile for me.” She then adds with a laugh, “I want a Lamborghini.” The last bit is a joke, but the polite haggling in the scene, and the interest in profit, is obvious. This is not a woman simply passing along the standard costs for shipping.
Planned Parenthood claimed otherwise after the first video. But why would the shipping cost vary so widely, why was it so high and, again, why wouldn’t Gatter simply state the set shipping cost? Clearly she was angling for more money — for profit. Finally, why did she say the cost was for “space and such,” not shipping?
Buying and selling the body parts of babies slain in the womb is morally repugnant. But is it illegal? Happily for the cause of justice, the law is pretty clear on a couple of relevant fronts in this case.
First, it is a federal felony “to knowingly acquire, receive or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.” (42 U.S. Code 289g) In this context, the law clarifies that the term “valuable consideration” means significant profits; it does not include “reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.”
The organization’s defenders contend that the cost of body parts is much higher. Were they speaking of the cost of shipping the body parts, the legally relevant cost since the law allows them to be compensated for the extra cost taken on by agreeing to preserve and transfer the aborted body parts to customers? Apparently not, since that isn’t the higher cost they pointed to. Rather, they pointed to the sticker cost of the body parts in the retail market, not to the wholesale price Planned Parenthood charges. That the retail price is higher tells us nothing. Wholesale prices are almost always lower than retail prices, but that doesn’t stop the wholesalers from making a handsome profit.
The profits in the retail market, by the way, are striking. Miles Jones, the owner of Opening Lines, which sold fetuses to researchers, was investigated in the early 2000s for the activity. According to National Right to Life, the TV show 20/20 reported that Jones told them he could make as much as $2500 on a single fetus by selling the various body organs separately. He charged “$999 for the brain of a fetal child between 22-23 weeks, $150 for skin, $325 for a spinal cord, $550 for reproductive organs and $75 apiece for eyes.”
Planned Parenthood also appears to violate the law after the undercover buyers tell Gatter they are interested in second trimester 10-to-12 week old specimens. Gatter explains that to obtain them intact at that stage, they have to change the suction method used, which means a change in their protocols. She says she can ask their surgeon to change the suction method to “a less crunchy” technique, but admits that it contradicts the patient consent form, which says they are not changing any of their procedures with them. The consent form states, “I understand there will be no changes to how or when my abortion is done in order to get my blood or the tissue.”
When the buyers in the video ask Gatter if she’s comfortable with having the doctor change the procedure despite the consent form’s stipulation not to do so, she says she’s fine with that since, as she asserts, it doesn’t increase the pain and the patients surely wouldn’t care if they knew. Congress passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993 prohibiting abortion doctors from altering procedures or timing in cases where a fetus is to be used later for medical research.
Planned Parenthood’s approach all along here is to violate the law, then with a wink wink, nod nod, declare they are not violating the law. Planned Parenthood’s defenders are already rushing to dismiss the second video, but the denials are only credible if you haven’t actually watched the second video. Plus, there are reportedly more undercover videos to be released. How many more videos have to come out before they stop pretending Planned Parenthood isn’t selling the body parts of human fetuses for profit?