How Planned Parenthood makes a profit on fetal tissue

Planned Parenthood

The Center for Medical Progress, which successfully infiltrated abortion organizations by posing as fetal tissue buyers, has published a detailed analysis of the primary models used by Planned Parenthood in the harvesting of aborted fetal body parts – and the profit numbers that go along with them.

via Operation Rescue

via Operation Rescue

1. Using a tissue procurement organization (TPO) to harvest organs:

When a TPO is used, there is no additional cost to the abortion center for retrieval of the part, and therefore any “fee” paid to the abortion center is pure profit.

In a video released by CMP, former StemExpress fetal tissue procurement technician Holly O’Donnell testified that she was told to cut through the face of a yet-living, aborted baby boy in order to obtain brain tissue at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in California. Procurement companies like StemExpress do the majority of the work to secure the “specimens.” CMP writes:

The TPO model virtually guarantees that the Planned Parenthood clinic will profit from supplying fetal tissue, because the TPO handles all of the costs of procurement while still paying the abortion clinic a fee per usable body part harvested.

The CMP report lists the following Planned Parenthood affiliates as having worked with procurement agencies: Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (Novogenix Laboratories, LLC), Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest in San Diego (Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc.), Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (StemExpress), Planned Parenthood Northern California (StemExpress).

(Note that these affiliates are all in California, where Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat, has stated she would prefer to investigate The Center for Medical Progress to see if they broke any laws while uncovering Planned Parenthood’s corrupt practices.)

The potential for thousands of dollars a year in extra profit is likely. StemExpress procurement logs show potential for “a quarter million in extra profit margin that Planned Parenthood could earn,” says CMP:

StemExpress procurement logs document the number of fetal parts harvested at Planned Parenthood clinics on given days. The log for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in Fresno shows 8 fetal parts harvested on December 12, 2012.[8] The log for Planned Parenthood in San Jose shows 9 fetal parts harvested on January 10, 2013.[9] The Mar Monte affiliate has a third large surgical site in Sacramento,[10] and a fourth in Stockton.[11] Assuming 3 abortion days per week at each abortion clinic, a baby parts yield of 8 per day would mean:

fetal parts/clinic x 4 clinics x $55/part x 3 days/week x 50 weeks/year = $264,000/year

Such an arrangement easily nets over a quarter million in extra profit margin for just this one Planned Parenthood affiliate each year.

StemExpress flyer (Photo via

StemExpress flyer (Photo via

2. Direct supply to biotech companies and laboratories

The second model basically cuts out the TPO middleman but enables Planned Parenthood to then charge more for each “specimen” by using a two-tiered billing system – a charge to “consent” each patient and a charge per fetal part:

The second model for baby parts harvesting at Planned Parenthood clinics is one of direct supply to local biotech companies or university laboratories. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston, TX has been using this model for decades. While it is possible in this model that the Planned Parenthood clinics may take on more of the work of harvesting baby parts, and thus may incur some actual costs, by cutting out the TPO middle-man the clinics can also charge much higher fees per fetal specimen, far in excess of any actual cost. In this context, Planned Parenthood has more line items to mask illicit baby parts profits, but its accounting gimmicks still cannot withstand close scrutiny.

Planned Parenthood uses the two-tiered system for billing for their “services” of “specimen retrieval.” They charge for staff to obtain consent from patients for donation, and then they charge a higher fee for the usable fetal tissue specimens themselves.

Deborah_Nucatola3_810_500_55_s_c1According to Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services for PPFA, the overall patient consent process typically only takes 10 minutes per patient – yet Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s invoices to the University of Texas Medical Branch for a 2010-2011 fetal tissue study show the clinic charged $25 per “Consent obtained” and an additional $150 “Consent fee” for a subset of abortion patients. In addition, news reports indicate that at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, fetal tissue specimens were billed at $160/consent.

Using the $150.00 “consent fee,” CMP projected a potential $300,000/year extra profit possible for PPGC:

Planned Parenthood’s capping consent time with patients at 10 minutes, the use of outside couriers or research staff at buyer expense, and the high per-specimen fees paid to Planned Parenthood—ensure that fetal tissue harvesting on a direct-supply model remains highly profitable for Planned Parenthood.

Sometimes, if a procurement company is not on-site, abortion facilities ship fetal body parts to them. However, the costs for this are incurred by the procurement company or research lab (via pick-up or use of a courier). There is no cost to the abortion facility. “The only extra work for Planned Parenthood is consenting the abortion patients to ‘donate’ fetal tissue,” CMP states.


While Planned Parenthood continues to receive over half-a-billion dollars in taxpayer money each year, the abortion giant maintains a “complete lack of transparency around its clinics’ apparent profiteering from aborted baby parts,” says CMP.

Last month, the U.S. House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, issued subpoenas to StemExpress and others in an effort to obtain documents regarding the possible sale of aborted baby body parts. Blackburn stated that “last summer’s [CMP] videos revealed that something very troubling is going on related to fetal tissue and research… and something that deserves investigating.”

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