- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A fifth undercover video released Tuesday captures a Planned Parenthood official saying her colleagues know how to alter abortion procedures to provide “intact” human bodies to companies, as well as get more money for higher-quality fetal body parts.

“Where we probably have an edge over other organizations [is] our organization has been doing research for many, many years,” Melissa Farrell, director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Texas, said in the latest video from The Center for Medical Progress, led by David Daleiden.

Asked about supplying intact fetal bodies to human biologics companies, Ms. Farrell said it was doable. “Some of our doctors in the past have projects and they’re collecting the specimens, so they do it in a way that they get the best specimens. So I know it can happen.”

Elsewhere in the video, regarding costs, Ms. Farrell talked about how to cite “additional time, cost, administrative burden” to justify maximum reimbursements for specimens.

She added: “If we alter our process, and we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers, then we can make it part of the budget that any dissections are ‘this,’ and splitting the specimens into different shipments is ‘this.’ It’s all just a matter of line items.

The fifth video includes footage of people picking through the remains of an 18-week-old unborn child, whose body parts were rinsed in a colander and laid in a glass container. Technicians used tweezers to lift up a leg, an arm, intestines and other recognizable organs.

The sale or purchase of human tissue is prohibited; it is also illegal to alter the abortion process to procure human fetal tissue.

The five videos have galvanized pro-life groups; they are planning Aug. 22 protests at Planned Parenthood clinics around the nation to raise awareness of the issue.

But Planned Parenthood officials have denounced the videos as “heavily edited,” and defended the organization’s actions as legal, with no profits derived from providing researchers with donated post-abortive fetal tissue.

The abortion giant’s political allies in the Senate scored a big win Monday night, when they blocked a Republican bill to defund Planned Parenthood and reallocate its millions to 9,000 non-abortion-performing community health centers and hospitals.

On Wednesday, a New Hampshire state panel is set to decide whether to approve a $1 million contract, of which some $639,000 is intended for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England facilities.

WMUR-TV reported Tuesday that New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, refused a request by a member of the state Executive Council for a review of Planned Parenthood’s actions in the state. She also refused a request to pull the contract vote from Wednesday’s agenda.

William Hinkle, Ms. Hassan’s spokesman, told WMUR-TV that the state attorney general has not seen evidence that Planned Parenthood has broken any state laws.

Other states, including Texas, are moving quickly to investigate Planned Parenthood, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott condemned the actions in Tuesday’s video as “repulsive and unconscionable.”

“Selling baby body parts is the furthest thing imaginable from providing women’s health care, and this organization’s repeated and systematic disrespect for human life is appalling,” Mr. Abbott said. “The State of Texas is aggressively investigating this matter and must use all available legal remedies to address this depraved conduct.”

On Monday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said the state was canceling its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood, due to beliefs by state health officials that the organization is breaking laws.

Separately, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, said Tuesday his committee is continuing its inquiry into Planned Parenthood, and has asked StemExpress, Advanced Bioscience Resources and Novogenix — the companies in the videos that acquire fetal tissue — to provide the committee with their contracts, revenues and costs and communications with Planned Parenthood clinics.

The Center for Medical Progress got abortion participants to freely talk with actors posing as officials from a human biologics company. At least two of the center’s videos are temporarily blocked for release in courts.

• Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at cwetzstein@washingtontimes.com.

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