Three heavily redacted, previously sealed invoices from July, August, and September of 2012 have just been unsealed, and one thing is clear: Planned Parenthood received payments directly related to the “usability” of specimens they provided to Stem Express, a fetal tissue procurement agency with which they had contracts. Ever since the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) videos were released in 2015, Planned Parenthood has insisted that it was simply reimbursed for reasonable costs like shipping and packaging of the tissue. These unsealed documents tell a different story.
After CMP released its first videos, Planned Parenthood even announced that it would no longer accept reimbursement costs for fetal specimens, in order to remove “beyond the shadow of a doubt the ludicrous idea that Planned Parenthood has any financial interest in fetal tissue donation,” according to then-president Cecile Richards. But in a statement provided to Live Action News, CMP pointed out, “Planned Parenthood’s contracts and invoices are proof positive that their payments were tied solely to the marketability of aborted baby body parts.”
Far from the altruism it claimed, Planned Parenthood had significant financial incentive to provide high volumes of usable fetal body parts to procurement agencies. Per the invoices, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (California) was paid nearly $25,000 for just three months’ worth of fetal body parts.
In fact, the unsealed invoices make no mention of shipping or packaging costs, and instead include line items like “21 POCs x $55= $1155” and “23 bloods x $10=$230,” according to an invoice dated August 2, 2012. For reference, “POCs” refers to products of conception, and according to the April 1, 2010, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte contract with Stem Express, this includes “any fetal organ or other fetal or placental material taken from the human uterus during an abortion.” “Fetal organs” are defined as “the human kidney, heart, lung, pancreas, bone marrow, cornea, eye, bone, and skin, or any subpart thereof and any other human organ or any subpart thereof as from a fetus” and “bloods” refers to maternal blood samples.
The Daily Caller notes that these invoices and contract were provided by David Daleiden as evidence at different times in the past, including to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel in 2016, as well as in a 2017 lawsuit. However, April of 2020 marked the first time that none of the documents were sealed or redacted in any way and all were presented together for public knowledge. Specifically, Judge William Orrick, the presiding judge in both Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against Daleiden and in Daleiden’s ongoing defamation lawsuit against a former Planned Parenthood employee, ordered that the invoices were to be made public without redactions.
In their statement, the Center for Medical Progress noted:
Tying payments to marketable body parts in a quid pro quo is exactly the kind of criminal “valuable consideration” that federal law forbids. The Department of Justice forcefully prosecutes parties who sell endangered animal body parts for far less than the amount of money reflected in these invoices. When abortion businesses can make $25,000 a quarter selling baby body parts, it is long past time for the Department of Justice to do its job and hold them accountable.
In the latest development, the Thomas More Society has asked the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals to look at the issue of forced redactions in government fetal tissue records. After a partial victory, Daleiden and his legal team are pushing for a total success.
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