- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The latest undercover video on the abortion industry’s fetal-tissue trade shows a Planned Parenthood partner saying some fetal tissues are taken without the patient consent required by federal and/or state law.

Holly O’Donnell, a former blood and tissue procurement technician for StemExpress, a biotech company that partners with Planned Parenthood clinics to purchase their aborted fetal parts and resell them for scientific experimentation, said it was her job to identify pregnant patients matching the specifications of StemExpress customers and to harvest the body parts from their abortions.

Ms. O’Donnell said fetal parts were sometimes taken without obtaining consent from the patients: “If there was a higher gestation [fetus], and the technicians needed it, there were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”

Federal law requires expressed consent for donations of all human tissue, including fetal organs and parts.

The Center for Medical Progress, led by David Daleiden, is releasing videos as part of a “Human Capital” documentary web series. Mr. Daleiden is calling for an end to taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood and investigation into Planned Parenthood clinics — a goal shared by pro-life groups.

“We can now add harvesting baby organs without the consent of the mother to the list of ethical violations and criminal activities committed inside Planned Parenthood clinics,” said Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, which also has used undercover videos to expose the inner workings of abortion clinics.

The new video “blows” the Planned Parenthood story “wide open,” said Bob Vander Plaats, a traditional values leader in Iowa. He urged allies to attend an Aug. 15 rally at the Iowa state Capitol to ask Gov. Terry Branstad and state lawmakers to investigate, prosecute and defund Planned Parenthood.

At least 12 states are conducting investigations into Planned Parenthood operations. In Arizona, a state health official recently asked the state attorney general to require abortion clinics to report on how they handle fetal tissue, while in Wisconsin, lawmakers held an Aug. 12 hearing on a bill to ban the sale and use of fetal tissue in research in the state.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America officials have defended their actions as fully legal, beneficial for potentially life-saving research and not a for-profit activity.

A recent poll found that 65 percent or more of about 500 voters in each of three states — New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania — said they opposed defunding Planned Parenthood. This shows that voters are “not swayed” by the “deceptive, anti-abortion videos,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said Monday.

Also, some 56 religious groups, including Concerned Clergy for Choice, Catholics for Choice and National Council of Jewish Women, have written to U.S. senators, decrying the “underhanded, dishonest attempts to discredit Planned Parenthood” and urging them to continue to support federal support for it.

In Wednesday’s video, Ms. O’Donnell explained how Planned Parenthood workers gave her and other StemExpress procurement technicians access to patient records and schedules to plan their days.

“I would wait for certain girls to come in” to “consent” them, or have them sign a document consenting to tissue donation, Ms. O’Donnell said. She added that getting donor consent was more of “a demand” than an option, and she was once chided for not getting a woman’s consent. 

“That was an opportunity you just missed,” Ms. O’Donnell said she was told.

She further recalled an instance when a “high-gestated” pregnant patient came in for a two-day abortion procedure. Such advanced pregnancies are especially valuable for tissue harvesting, but when Ms. O’Donnell asked the woman for donor consent, the woman told her “no.”

However, Ms. O’Donnell said she later saw another technician holding tubes of blood specimens from that same patient. She said the technician brushed off concerns about not having the woman’s consent, and Ms. O’Donnell was left with the impression that the technician would also be collecting the woman’s fetal tissues too. 

It was like someone “stealing your baby’s parts,” Ms. O’Donnell said.


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