- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The takeaway moment from the latest fetal tissue video comes when a woman identified as Advanced BioScience Resources’s Perrin Larton recounts cases in which the fetus “just fell out” during an abortion procedure.

Depending on what happened next, that could be an unfortunate accident — or it could be a violation of the national Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.

Released Tuesday, the ninth undercover video from the pro-life Center for Medical Progress fuels the growing contention that those involved in the fetal tissue procurement business, including Planned Parenthood, may have broken as many as a half-dozen federal laws.

“In six separate areas, these videos reveal possible felonies,” said Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, in a Tuesday statement.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards has launched a fierce defense of her organization’s integrity, insisting in a letter Thursday to Congress that “Planned Parenthood adheres to the highest standards and follows all laws.”

A day later, however, AUL issued a 28-page legal analysis outlining areas where the “full, unedited video transcripts” point to evidence of lawbreaking, including “receiving valuable consideration for providing fetal tissue” and “altering abortion procedures to obtain fetal tissue.”

The more recent videos show scenes suggesting violations of laws on “obtaining informed consent for fetal tissue donation,” “performing partial-birth abortions” and “killing infants born alive after an attempted induced abortion.”

“Taken together, there is probable cause to investigate whether in their fetal organ harvesting scheme PPFA, its affiliates, and the tissue procurement companies they contract with have violated other federal laws,” including conspiracy and racketeering, said the analysis.

Ms. Yoest called Tuesday for Congress, where both the House and Senate already have begun investigations into the issues raised in the videos, to add criminal penalties to the federal law governing infants born alive during an attempted abortion.

“Americans are reacting in horror to the accumulated weight of unethical and callous behavior revealed by these videos,” said Ms. Yoest. “If what we are seeing isn’t illegal, it should be.”

The ninth video raises more questions about the how much Planned Parenthood is paid for providing fetal tissue from abortions, and whether those costs would be considered “reasonable payments” under federal law.

Planned Parenthood officials have insisted the affiliates only bill for expenses related to providing fetal tissue for medical research. Federal laws allow for reimbursements associated with the “implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.”

In the latest video, however, ABR’s Ms. Larton says that her company often takes possession of the tissue immediately after an abortion. CMP’s video describes the company, based in Alameda, California, as a longtime partner of Planned Parenthood affiliates and “the oldest baby parts company in the U.S.”

“We’re usually standing right outside the door where they’re doing the procedure in the OR [operating room], and we’re in the lab area,” Ms. Larton says on the video. “Yeah, and so we’re just kind of standing around waiting, and then we get the tissue, the doctor makes sure the termination’s complete, and then we — I mean, we have it immediately after.”

Ms. Richards said last week payments-per-specimen range from $45 to $60, although previous videos show undercover interviews with Planned Parenthood officials haggling over prices that range from $30 to $100.

David Daleiden, project lead for the center’s Human Capital investigation, said in a Monday letter to Congress that ABR “handles all dissection, packaging, and shipping of fetal organs and tissues, and so it is unclear for what [Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest] could be receiving ‘reimbursement.’”

He also said the price “per specimen” is the payment for each individual fetal organ, not per fetal cadaver.

“This is especially suspicious given that Ms. Richards says the $60 fee is paid ‘per tissue specimen.’ Thus, if ABR harvests a liver and a thymus, a common fetal tissue order, from an 18-week fetus aborted at the San Diego clinic, Planned Parenthood receives a total payment of $120 from that case,” he said.

“It stretches credulity to believe that ABR’s technician harvesting two organs from a fetus costs Planned Parenthood $120 — this is a new revenue stream off of fetal tissue with no real cost to Planned Parenthood, and thus a criminal profit,” said Mr. Daleiden.

The center’s latest video also shows a “fees for schedule service,” and an ABR letterhead dated Jan. 1 lists the fee for a “2nd trimester specimen” at $340 and a “1st trimester specimen” at $550 per specimen. Those would presumably be the costs for medical laboratories and others using fetal tissue for research.

Near the end of the video, however, StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer, whose company competes with ABR, questions whether ABR is paying abortion clinics at all. ABR is a nonprofit, while StemExpress is a for-profit company that ended its association with Planned Parenthood after the center began releasing the videos July 14.

Founded in 1989, ABR “wasn’t paying any of the clinics,” she said. ABR did not return immediately Tuesday a request for comment.

“But I would go into clinics, and they would say, ‘Oh, you’re for-profit? And you want to pay us?’” says Ms. Dyer. “But like, and I’m like, ‘So I want to pay you, and she doesn’t. And they would say, ‘Yeah, that is kind of strange.’”

Even so, Ms. Dyer — who worked for ABR before starting her own company, according to the center — says that she had trouble contracting with some clinics because they had staff “on the payroll with ABR.”

“For a long time, there were certain clinics that, because they had paid advisers that were sitting on boards for these clinics, that [also advised] ABR, you were just never going to go anywhere with them, you know what I mean?” she said.

StemExpress spokesman Beau Phillips denied that Ms. Dyer was accusing ABR of placing staff on clinic boards, saying in an email that “CMP continues to mislead the public with their heavily edited videos that take Ms. Dyer’s comments completely out of context to further their attacks.”

Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero issued a statement Tuesday blasting the center for what he described as “doctored video and falsified quotes.”

A Fusion GPS “forensic analysis” commissioned by Planned Parenthood concluded last week that the videos “do not present a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict,” but also said there was “no evidence that CMP inserted dialogue not spoken by Planned Parenthood staff.”

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