Group calls Planned Parenthood’s defense unfounded

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Planned Parenthood is claiming that the video showing a discussion of the procurement and transportation of fetal parts to research labs was a “gross mischaracterization.” The nonprofit medical watchdog group that conducted the undercover investigation says PP is not telling the truth.

Planned Parenthood is saying that it “donates” fetal tissue for scientific research “with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards,” and that “there is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood.”

Planned Parenthood’s claims of gaining patient consent, not receiving monetary profit and following the law in its dispensation of aborted fetal tissue are all false, Center for Medical Progress said within hours of Planned Parenthood’s statement.

“Planned Parenthood makes two key admissions in their statement today: 1) aborted fetal parts are harvested at their clinics, and 2) money is exchanged in connection with this. They also tell several lies: 1) That proper consent is obtained from patients, 2) That Planned Parenthood does not make money off the body parts, and 3) That everything is legal,” CMP said in a press release posted at centerformedicalprogress.org.

“None of this is standard across the mainstream medical field,” CMP said, “but it is standard across Planned Parenthood’s insular and unaccountable abortion field.”

But Planned Parenthood, in an official statement today (July 15), maintained its propriety in the face of growing allegations from political leaders and others.

“These outrageous claims are flat-out untrue, but that doesn’t matter to politicians with a longstanding political agenda to ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood,” Planned Parenthood Vice President of Communications Eric Ferrero said. “Women and families who make the decision to donate fetal tissue for lifesaving scientific research should be honored, not attacked and demeaned.

“Our medical practices and guidelines in this area are clear, and we do this important work just like other high-quality health care providers,” Ferrero said, “with full, appropriate consent from patients, under the highest ethical and legal standards, and with no financial benefit for the patient or Planned Parenthood.”

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said Planned Parenthood’s practice is indefensible.

“The horror of this story should be shocking to the consciences of all Americans. And Planned Parenthood’s response to this video is as chilling as it is unconvincing,” Moore said in a July 15 press release. “Let’s be clear about what is going on. It is not only that infants, in their mother’s wombs, are deprived of their lives, but also that their corpses are desecrated for profit. This is not only murderous; it is murderous in the most ghoulish way imaginable.

“Is it not clear at this point that these are not health care providers but pirates and grave-robbers of those who have no graves?” Moore said. “The Department of Justice and the United States Congress should undertake a thorough investigation of this.”

CMP posted on its website a link to an advertisement from StemExpress, LLC, that promotes doing business with the California-based biomedical company as financially profitable. StemExpress supplies human cells, fluids, blood and tissue parts to research laboratories.

“[StemExpress] advertises four different times the financial benefit that Planned Parenthood clinics can receive from supplying fetal tissue, with the words: ‘financially profitable,’ ‘financial profits,’ ‘financial benefit to your clinic,’ [and] ‘fiscal growth of your own clinic,'” CMP said. “The advertisement carries an endorsement from [Mar Monte] Planned Parenthood Medical Director Dr. Dorothy Furgerson.”

The advertisement quotes Furgerson, who directs clinics in middle California and northern Nevada, as saying, “Our partnership with StemExpress is beneficial in a number of ways. First, it allows us to contribute to life-saving research that is advancing diagnostic and medical care. Second, StemExpress has a Plug-in Solution that allows us to add additional clinics quickly. Lastly, I feel confident that our patients’ anonymity is secure through their strict protocols and practices.”

Planned Parenthood in a July 14 press release described CMP as “a well-funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and service.”

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner released a statement July 15 calling for an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices.

“I have asked our relevant committees to look into this matter. I am also calling on President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to denounce, and stop, these gruesome practices,” Boehner said. “When an organization monetizes an unborn child — and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video — we must all act.”

“If we have learned anything from the Kermit Gosnell horrors of years past,” Moore wrote, “surely we have learned that vulnerable women and children should be protected from this sort of abusive profiteering.”

— by Diana Chandler | BP

CNJ staff contributed to this report.

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