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Planned Parenthood staff admit to selling aborted baby body parts in sworn depositions

Planned Parenthood staff admit to selling aborted baby body parts in sworn depositions

Boston police officers stand in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, June 28, 2014. | REUTERS/Dominick Reuter

After years of denying that Planned Parenthood profits from selling aborted baby body parts to biotech companies, The Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life investigative group, released documents and videos showing the sworn depositions of clinic directors responding to questions about payments some affiliates received in exchange for fetal specimens.   

In a video compilation of depositions recorded last year at the U.S. Federal District Court of Northern California in the case of Planned Parenthood Federation of America et al v. The Center for Medical Progress et al, PPFA abortionists, department directors, and the founder of Advanced Bioscience Resources, a biotech company that once had a contract with Planned Parenthood to procure fetal specimens, were asked what they knew about the contracts and profits received by the clinics. 

Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services, said that, as an abortionist, she was aware that Planned Parenthood Los Angeles was “receiving payments for fetal tissue."

Nucatola said she didn't look into whether Planned Parenthood Los Angeles was in compliance with PPFA polices and federal law regarding the monthly payments the clinic was receiving, saying that responsibility was that of Dr. Mary Gatter, the former PPLA medical director. Gatter said in her deposition that she had obtained a waiver from PPFA to set up a contract with for-profit biotech company Novogenix for aborted fetal specimens. 

Despite federal law banning abortion clinics and biotech companies from profiting off aborted fetal tissue, organs and limbs, documents show that Planned Parenthood Mar Monte received monthly payments of $11,365 from StemExpress, which paid the clinic substantially more than Advanced Bioscience Resources, according to Planned Parenthood emails. 

CMP notes that "42 U.S. Code 289g-2 broadly forbids the exchange of valuable consideration for fetal tissue. After investigating Planned Parenthood and companies like StemExpress and ABR for over a year, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel made criminal referrals for Planned Parenthood and their business partners to the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice." 

"In late 2017, the DOJ announced it had opened a federal investigation, and two southern California companies admitted guilt to selling body parts from Planned Parenthood Orange and San Bernardino counties against the law in a $7.8 million settlement with the Orange County District Attorney," CMP added. 

Nucatola, who performs abortions up to 24 weeks, was seen in a 2014 undercover video detailing how clinics perform partial-birth abortions to get intact organs for biotech companies. In that video, which was released in 2015, Nucatola said "specimen" parts generally draw between $30 to $100 on the market. She also suggested that an abortion procedure can be tailored to secure specific body parts, explaining that she can get "heart, lung, liver."

Also released Tuesday was an undercover email contract sent to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast from CMP's fake biotech firm called Bio Max to set up payments of $750 per fetal liver and $1,600 for fetal liver and thymus pairs. Although the abortion provider told media that it had rejected the contract, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Center Director Tram Nguyen said in her sworn deposition on March 21, 2019, that she intended to move forward with the deal. 

Although former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and other officials maintained that the money received from harvesting fetal organs for biotech companies such as StemExpress was only for reimbursements for associated costs, documents and the sworn depositions reveal otherwise. 

"While the law allows for reimbursements of specific costs when donating fetal organs, those reimbursements must meet specific guidelines; they must be fees associated with transportation, processing, and other such costs. Planned Parenthood did none of these things, yet they collected money when they provided StemExpress with marketable body parts," pro-life group Live Action said Tuesday. 

CMP investigative journalist David Daleiden said in a statement that Planned Parenthood should face federal consequences.

“Planned Parenthood lied to the public and to Congress, but now there is no longer any reasonable doubt that Planned Parenthood sold fetal body parts, commodifying living children in the womb and treating pregnant women like a cash crop. The U.S. Department of Justice must escalate the enforcement of laws against fetal trafficking to the highest level of priority,” he said.

The videos and documents released this week come after Planned Parenthood sued Daleiden and his colleagues in Texas and California. While Planned Parenthood's suit was thrown out in Texas, in California a jury ordered Daleiden to pay $870,000 in punitive damages for releasing the undercover videos. Daleiden's attorneys with the Thomas More Society vowed to appeal the decision.

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