New Planned Parenthood policy changes nothing

cecile richards

Planned Parenthood has been knocked back on its heels after a damning series of videos were released by the Center for Medical Progress showing Planned Parenthood engaged in haggling over the price for parts of murdered babies. A half-hearted effort was made by the GOP to defund Planned Parenthood, depriving it of some $500 million in federal money which it uses to underwrite and promote abortion, particularly in low-income and minority communities. The pressure caused the head harpy at Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, to send a letter to the head of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, outlining a new regime for supplying baby parts:

The participation by a handful of our affiliates in supporting women who choose to make fetal tissue donation has always been about nothing other than honoring the desire of those women and contributing to life-saving research and cures. In order to completely debunk the disingenuous argument that our opponents have been using – and to reveal the true political purpose of these attacks – our Federation has decided, going forward, that any Planned Parenthood health center that is involved in donating tissue after an abortion for medical research will follow the model already in place at one of our two affiliates currently facilitating donations for fetal tissue research. That affiliate accepts no reimbursement for its reasonable expenses – even though reimbursement is fully permitted under the 1993 law. Going forward, all of our health centers will follow the same policy, even if it means they will not recover reimbursements permitted by the 1993 law.

I want to be completely clear about two things: First, Planned Parenthood’s policies on fetal tissue donation already exceed the legal requirements. Now we’re going even further in order to take away any basis for attacking Planned Parenthood to advance an anti-abortion political agenda. And, second, our decision not to take any reimbursement for expenses should not be interpreted as a suggestion that anyone else should not take reimbursement or that the law in this area isn’t strong. Our decision is first and foremost about preserving the ability of our patients to donate tissue, and to expose our opponents’ false charges about this limited but important work.

This is gobbeldy-gook calculated to obfuscate the situation and does nothing to correct the underlying issues. The last paragraph should be read as a response to the decision by a federal judge to lift a temporary restraining order on CMP to the extent that it is allowed to comply with a House committee subpoena. The video covered was from a meeting of the National Abortion Federation and we can probably assume it will show the equivalent of a Turkish whoremongers’s bazaar in the trade of baby parts.

While Richards’s letter ostensibly stops the traffic in baby parts for cash, in fact, it really has little impact.

Planned Parenthood will still provide baby parts

This letter only stops the reimbursement of clinics directly for baby parts. Under the new policy, those parts will still be available.

Modification of abortion procedure

One of the issues the undercover videos exposed was a violation of federal law that prohibits the modification on abortion procedures in order to harvest organs. We know that there was a premium placed on intact cadavers of later term babies, something that is difficult to accomplish. We have abortionists on video acknowledging they modify the abortion procedure if they know there is a desire for the organs. This letter does not address this abuse.

Donation of services

Richards and Planned Parenthood have focused on the subject of direct payment for baby parts because they know they can cloud the issue with the law that permits them to be reimbursed at cost. We know that often the cost approached zero but they still required a hefty payment. The baby parts brokerages, like Stem Express, routinely donated services to Planned Parenthood or paid for costs associated with harvesting baby parts. For instance, we know from the videos that some of the brokerage companies paid rent to Planned Parenthood for space in the facility that they used to hold their equipment. We know that some of the companies provided staff to Planned Parenthood to obtain ‘informed consent’ forms from women. This relieved Planned Parenthood of the duty and is a donation-in-kind. We know that some of the companies assumed responsibility for collecting and disposing of the infant remains, removing a substantial fee from Planned Parenthood chop shops. These donations-in-kind remain.

This letter is just a shell game used by Planned Parenthood and a willing NIH to give Planned Parenthood political cover. The trade in baby parts will continue. Planned Parenthood will continue to profit from the trade. Women will continue to be put in danger by illegal modification of the abortion procedure. And [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] will still cower in the corner under his blanky at the thought of fighting Planned Parenthood.