Comment: The New York Times defends this Planned Parenthood practice of “donating” fetal body parts in abortion by basically arguing that the mothers make “voluntary and potentially lifesaving tissue donations” and that Planned Parenthood “only accept money — between $30 and $100 per specimen, according to Dr. Nucatola — to cover costs associated with collecting and transporting the tissue”.
Not surprisingly, the NYT doesn’t-or most likely won’t-discuss how these baby “donations” are done or other ethical/legal issues.
However, the NYT does reveal that “Last year, the National Institutes of Health gave $76 million in grants for fetal tissue research. Planned Parenthood is certainly not the only collector of fetal tissue — clinics associated with universities also supply tissue for research.”
Obviously, there is a lot of money to be made obtaining fetal tissue, including from taxpayers. The media should be following the money involved.
For example, note this quote from a May, 2015 USA Today article “Fetal stem cells and the sports heroes they revitalized-A special report by USA TODAY Sports reveals how a stem-cell manufacturer averted controversy in the treatments of Gordie Howe and John Brodie” online at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2015/05/18/fetal-stem-cells-gordie-howe-john-brodie-tijuana-stroke-stemedica/27501717/ : “”We don’t use the word fetal too much,” said Maynard Howe, Stemedica’s CEO, who is no relation to Gordie Howe.
“We just don’t want to get people confused about what it is. They’re really considered legally adult stem cells even if they’re fetal-derived.”’ (emphasis added)
Besides the deceptive terminology, have or are fetal tissues being set up for commercialized medical use?
As a former reporter, I am constantly amazed by the lack of investigative reporting on the issue of harvesting fetal body parts in abortion.
In just a few minutes of research, I found this on the website of StemExpress, one of the companies mentioned in articles about the controversy.
At http://stemexpress.com/partnerships/ , the company has this:
“Partnerships-Easy to Implement Program + Financial Profits
“StemExpress promotes global biomedical research while also providing a financial benefit to your clinic. By partnering with StemExpress, not only are you offering a way for your clients to participate in the unique opportunity to facilitate life-saving research, but you will also be contributing to the fiscal growth of your own clinic. The stem cell rich blood and raw materials that are usually discarded during procedures can, instead, be expedited through StemExpress to research laboratories with complete professionalism and source anonymity.” (emphasis added)
StemExpress also includes a convenient site ( http://stemexpress.com/products/product-information-sheets/fetal-liver-product-information-sheets/ ) for purchasing “fetal liver” cells, including the incentive of “Become a StemExpress Customer Today to Receive 10% off Your First Order up to $1000”
Regarding consent, StemExpress has a “Statement of StemExpress Concerning Recent Media Stories” at ”: http://stemexpress.com/statement-of-stemexpress-concerning-recent-media-stories/ that states “Written donor consent is required for any donation, including bone marrow, tissue of all types or blood.”
If so, what does the form say?
When and are the risks and benefits of abortion/donation written or explained to the women ready to abort so that their consent can be informed? As a nurse, I am very familiar with the standards for consent before any surgery or procedure and few people “volunteer” to sign consent forms instead of being asked..
Planned Parenthood needs to be challenged on its defense as well as the politics, ethics or legality of harvesting body parts in abortions. N. Valko RN]
Editorial [ed. This is obviously pro-Planned Parenthood.]
The Campaign of Deception Against Planned Parenthood
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD JULY 22, 2015
A hidden-camera video released last week purported to show that Planned Parenthood illegally sells tissue from aborted fetuses. It shows nothing of the sort. But it is the latest in a series of unrelenting attacks on Planned Parenthood, which offers health care services to millions of people every year. The politicians howling to defund Planned Parenthood care nothing about the truth here, being perfectly willing to undermine women’s reproductive rights any way they can.
With Planned Parenthood Videos, Activist Ignites Abortion Issue JULY 21, 2015
The nine-minute video clip released by the Center for Medical Progress, an outfit apparently created in 2013, invites viewers to “Hold Planned Parenthood accountable for their illegal sale of baby parts.” In it, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, is seen discussing the collection of fetal tissue in a lunch meeting with two people posing as potential tissue buyers. A second video, released on Tuesday, shows another Planned Parenthood staff member discussing fetal tissue.
After the first video’s release, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky pledged to “introduce an amendment to pending Senate legislation to immediately strip every dollar of Planned Parenthood funding.” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas called for defunding and for “an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s activities regarding the sale and transfer of aborted body parts.” The House Energy and Commerce Committee is undertaking an investigation, and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana have ordered investigations in their states.
The full video of the lunch meeting, over two hours long and released by the Center for Medical Progress after complaints by Planned Parenthood, shows something very different from what these critics claim. Clearly, the shorter version was edited to eliminate statements by Dr. Nucatola explaining that Planned Parenthood does not profit from tissue donation, which requires the clear consent of the patient. Planned Parenthood affiliates only accept money — between $30 and $100 per specimen, according to Dr. Nucatola — to cover costs associated with collecting and transporting the tissue. “This is not something with any revenue stream that affiliates are looking at,” she said. Under federal law, facilities may be reimbursed for costs associated with fetal tissue donation, like transportation and storage.
According to a letter sent by Roger Evans, a lawyer for Planned Parenthood, to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the video is a result of a years long campaign of deception. The head of the Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden, created a fake company called Biomax Procurement Services almost three years ago for the purpose of tricking Planned Parenthood employees, the letter alleges, even setting up exhibits at Planned Parenthood’s national conferences. The letter also says Biomax offered a Planned Parenthood affiliate $1,600 for a fetal liver and thymus, presumably to trap the affiliate in the act of accepting a high payment for fetal tissue. The affiliate declined.
In a statement on its website, the Center for Medical Progress says it “follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work.”
Anti-abortion groups have long pushed to defund Planned Parenthood, even though no federal money is used to provide abortions. But that hasn’t stopped their efforts to shut down the clinics, which provide services like contraception, cancer screening and other tests.
The Center for Medical Progress — which managed to get tax-exempt status in 2013 as a biomedicine charity, according to a report by The Huffington Post — appears to have done little beyond producing the undercover video. According to its registration form with the California attorney general, it has three officers: Mr. Daleiden; Albin Rhomberg, who has participated in anti-abortion protests; and Troy Newman, the president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue.
In a statement last week, Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said that “our donation programs — like any other high-quality health care providers — follow all laws and ethical guidelines” and that “Planned Parenthood stands behind our work to help women and families donate tissue for medical research when they wish to.”
Researchers use fetal tissue to study and develop treatments for diseases and conditions like H.I.V., hepatitis, congenital heart defects, retinal degeneration and Parkinson’s. Last year, the National Institutes of Health gave $76 million in grants for fetal tissue research. Planned Parenthood is certainly not the only collector of fetal tissue — clinics associated with universities also supply tissue for research. Planned Parenthood is certainly not the only collector of fetal tissue — clinics associated with universities also supply tissue for research.”
The Center for Medical Progress video campaign is a dishonest attempt to make legal, voluntary and potentially lifesaving tissue donations appear nefarious and illegal. Lawmakers responding by promoting their own anti-choice agenda are rewarding deception and putting women’s health and their constitutionally protected rights at risk.
A version of this editorial appears in print on July 22, 2015, on page A26 of the New York edition with the headline: An Ugly Campaign of Deception