The dismissal of the bogus, politically motivated charges against CMP project lead David Daleiden and investigator Sandra Merritt is a resounding vindication of the First Amendment rights of all citizen journalists, and also a clear warning to any of Planned Parenthood’s political cronies who would attack whistleblowers to protect Planned Parenthood from scrutiny. Planned Parenthood tried to collude with public officials to manipulate the legal process to their own benefit, and they failed. A year after the release of the undercover videos, the ongoing nationwide investigation of Planned Parenthood by the House Select Investigative Panel makes clear that Planned Parenthood is the guilty party in the harvesting and trafficking of baby body parts for profit.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PLANNED PARENTHOOD STILL #GUILTY OF SELLING BABY PARTS FOR PROFIT ONE YEAR AFTER VIDEOS #PPSELLSBABYPARTS
Undercover Videos of Senior-Level Planned Parenthood Leadership Negotiating Harvest of Fetal Organs Prompted Outrage and Ongoing Investigations, Further Serious Wrongdoing Uncovered
Contact: Kate Bryan, [email protected], 703.683.5004
LOS ANGELES, July 14–One year ago, The Center for Medical Progress released the first in its groundbreaking series of undercover videos catching senior-level Planned Parenthood leadership negotiating the sale and haggling over the price of aborted baby body parts. Today, Planned Parenthood remains under investigation by multiple states and the Select Investigative Panel in Congress, which has determined that Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of fetal body parts, exposed patients’ private medical records, and pressured patient consent with fraudulent paperwork.
Watch CMP’s new video overview of the past year of revelations from multiple sources about Planned Parenthood’s illicit baby body parts trafficking scheme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY1ReU8hLVI
CMP’s undercover videos featured multiple top-level executives and medical directors at Planned Parenthood, including:
Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, PPFA
Dr. Mary Gatter, Medical Directors’ Council President, PPFA
Dr. Savita Ginde, VP & Medical Director, Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains
Melissa Farrell, Director of Research, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
Dr. Katharine Sheehan, Medical Director emerita, Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest
Dr. Amna Dermish, Associate Medical Director, Planned Parenthood Greater Texas
Dr. Jennefer Russo, Medical Director, Planned Parenthood Orange & San Bernardino
Deborah VanDerhei, Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS) National Director, PPFA
At a business lunch meeting with CMP investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, Dr. Nucatola remarked over wine and salad: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.” Nucatola also said of Planned Parenthood affiliates’ payments for fetal organs: “If they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that, you know, seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.”
Dr. Gatter haggled over the price per fetal specimen with the undercover investigators, insisting, “You know in negotiations the person who throws out the figure first is at a loss, right?” and laughing, “I want a Lamborghini.”
Dr. Ginde suggested ways to maximize payments for fetal tissue: “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” Melissa Farrell in Texas promised, “If we alter our process, and we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers, 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 first video, with Dr. Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, received over 1 million views on YouTube in the 24 hours after it was posted. Two days later, PPFA president and CEO Cecile Richards posted her own video apologizing for Nucatola’s “tone and statements.” But to date, none of these representatives of Planned Parenthood have come forward to correct their remarks on the videos or disavow them. Planned Parenthood has not divulged whether or not these representatives continue to work in the same leadership capacities.
The CMP videos now have more than 12 million views on YouTube, including over 3.2 million views of the first video. The videos prompted several Congressional committees and state agencies to open preliminary inquiries, but the only dedicated, nationwide, and in-depth official investigation is the Energy & Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Less than a week after the Panel was chartered, Planned Parenthood announced a “policy” change to no longer receive payments for supplying fetal tissue–after 3 months of insisting that these payments were completely legal and acceptable.
In the first half of 2016, the Panel has documented the for-profit business model for fetal body parts harvesting at some of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country and the company StemExpress. Last month, the Panel filed formal complaints with the Department of Health and Human Services on account of “systematic” HIPAA violations at multiple Planned Parenthood affiliates in their relationship with StemExpress, as well as the use of invalid consent forms with false representations to pregnant women.
“As more details and evidence continue to emerge in the ongoing investigation of Planned Parenthood’s aborted baby parts business, it’s clear Planned Parenthood is guilty of far more wrongdoing in their fetal harvesting scheme than anyone initially realized,” notes David Daleiden, CMP project lead. “Planned Parenthood has claimed for one year that they made no money from baby body parts, but faced with an ever-growing body of evidence to the contrary, they have yet to produce anything other than press releases to back up their lies to the public.”
Daleiden concludes, “The rule of law means that there cannot be one special set of rules for Planned Parenthood, and another for everybody else. Planned Parenthood is not above the law and must be held accountable for their callous and careless treatment of vulnerable patients and their barbaric profiteering on baby body parts.”
Watch the new video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY1ReU8hLVI
To learn more about The Center for Medical Progress, visit cmp.org
Today’s nearly incoherent abortion ruling at the Supreme Court is little more than a naked power grab that calls into question the Court’s continued adherence to the rule of law. So long as the people of the United States must live and litigate under one set of rules, while abortion doctors receive preferential treatment and may freely break them under another, corrupt and unaccountable organizations like Planned Parenthood will continue to put their profit margins ahead of women’s lives, safety, and that of unborn children. The Center for Medical Progress maintains undercover footage that could shed significant light on the issues in today’s Supreme Court case, yet we are prevented from releasing any of it by a gag-order from the federal court in San Francisco.
Judge Diane Bull’s swift dismissal of the bogus charge against CMP founder David Daleiden of trafficking human organs is the latest confirmation that the indictments from a runaway grand jury in Houston were a politically-motivated sham all along. In finding that the indictment was void on its face, Judge Bull’s ruling directly contradicts the District Attorney’s argument that the indictment was valid despite the DA’s collusion with Planned Parenthood. The dismissal of the first indictment today sends a strong message to Planned Parenthood and their political cronies that colluding to suppress the First Amendment rights of citizen journalists will never work. The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of its investigative journalism work and as more details about Planned Parenthood’s contracts for aborted baby parts come to light, it’s clear that Planned Parenthood and their business partners like StemExpress are the ones who are guilty of trafficking in human body parts.
Today, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives released a huge set of documents on the illicit aborted baby body parts harvesting scheme between StemExpress and three large Planned Parenthood affiliates in California (and Family Planning Specialists in Oakland).
The Panel finds evidence of severe HIPAA and patient consent violations and outright fraud committed in the 5-year course of this scheme to profit off aborted body parts. They are alerting both the HIPAA office and the Human Research Subjects Protection office in HHS to begin enforcement action:
“The Panel’s investigation has uncovered information indicating that stemExpress and Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (“PPMM”), Planned Parenthood Shasta pacific (“PPSP”), and Family Planning Specialists Medical Group (“FPS”) (hereinafter “the abortion clinics”) committed systematic violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) privacy rule from about 2010 to 2015. These violations occurred when the abortion clinics disclosed patients’ individually identifiable health information to StemExpress to facilitate the TPB’s efforts to procure human fetal tissue for resale.” (pg. 2, Letter to HIPAA Case Management Operations)
Six key takeaways from the documents attached to the HIPAA letter:
1) Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (Attachment L), Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific, and Planned Parenthood Santa Barbara, Ventura, & San Luis Obispo (Attachment J) all signed contracts with StemExpress to sell aborted fetal organs and provide private patient health information to StemExpress in order to facilitate harvesting of organs.
2) Planned Parenthood Mar Monte is the biggest PP affiliate in the entire country, and the very first affiliate StemExpress began business with in April 2010.
3) The StemExpress contracts pay Planned Parenthood per “product of conception” (“POC”), defined as “any fetal organ” taken during an abortion. The contracts only pay Planned Parenthood if the fetal organ is “determined in the clinic to be usable.” The PPMM and PPSP contracts pay $55 per body part, while the SB/Ventura/SLO contract pays $75 per body part.
4) The StemExpress contracts indicate that Planned Parenthood is not expected to incur or bill for costs, but rather is being paid specifically for market-value fetal organs. The contracts make reference to payment for “removal” of fetal organs, which is not an allowable cost under the federal statute. The contracts say PP will invoice StemExpress specifically for fetal organs: “invoice StemExpress monthly for the number of POC’s and number of maternal bloods procured”–there is no invoicing for actual costs to Planned Parenthood.
5) The StemExpress contracts specify that Planned Parenthood will provide private patient information to StemExpress “as necessary to obtain patients’ consent for use of POCs,” indicating that StemExpress is handling patient consent, not Planned Parenthood. It also shows that PP is being paid to provide HIPAA information–they are literally being paid multiples of $55 for each HIPAA violation.
6) Select Panel Chair Marsha Blackburn sums this all up very well: “The key to understanding the HIPAA and consent violations that we’ve referred to HHS is that there’s a business contract between StemExpress and the abortion clinics under which both sides make a profit from the baby body parts inside the young woman’s womb. The contract changes the way both entities view the young woman: her baby is now a profit-center. This betrayal of a young woman’s trust should disgust us all. It takes financial advantage, obtains consent through coercion, and deceives the woman, all in violation of federal privacy laws.”
StemExpress paid Planned Parenthood to break the law. The documents released today by the Select Investigative Panel show StemExpress and the biggest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country engaged in a five-year-long scheme to profit off aborted baby body parts using unprotected confidential patient information and disregarding normal patient protections, in direct violation of HIPAA and other federal laws. Now we know why Planned Parenthood and their allies have fought so hard to oppose any scrutiny of their barbaric aborted baby body parts business: the violations in Planned Parenthood and StemExpress’ illegal baby body parts trade goes far deeper than anyone ever realized. CMP’s videos only scratched the surface of the systematic profiteering off the private health information and baby body parts from pregnant women that Planned Parenthood and their business partners like StemExpress relentlessly pursued. Elected officials at all levels must now act immediately to hold lawless entities like StemExpress and Planned Parenthood accountable for their atrocities against humanity.
In recent court filings by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s attorney Josh Schaffer admitted in a sworn declaration that the Harris County DA’s office shared evidence with Planned Parenthood, even after the Texas Attorney General’s office had forbidden them from doing so. The declaration was included as part of the DA office’s response to David Daleiden’s motion to quash the indictment against him, alleging prosecutorial misconduct.
Under oath, Schaffer admitted that he and Assistant District Attorney Sunni Mitchell attempted to do an end-run around the Texas Attorney General’s directive to Mitchell not to share raw video footage with Planned Parenthood: “I was told that the Attorney General’s Office agreed to give it to the HCDAO on the condition that the HCDAO not give it to PPGC. Mitchell told me that she would try to obtain the footage by other means.” ADA Sunni Mitchell was responsible in 2013 for a Grand Jury that no-billed Houston’s late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen, after photographs and eyewitness testimony implicated him in illegal late-term abortions and homicide of born-alive infants, similar to Philadelphia’s notoriously convicted Kermit Gosnell.
“The recent filings by the Harris County District Attorney confirm that the DA shared confidential documents and information with abortion provider Planned Parenthood, colluding with it in the prosecution of David Daleiden,” said Thomas More Society Special Counsel, Peter Breen, attorney for David Daleiden. “These filings also include evidence that appears to show that the DA’s office worked with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to undermine the Texas Attorney General’s independent investigation of that abortion provider. The conduct of Harris County prosecutors in this case is outrageous and illegal. We look forward to pressing our motion to quash this indictment in court.”
The exhibits and testimony provided at the last hearing of the Select Investigative Panel make it clear that StemExpress and Planned Parenthood illegally profited off the sale of baby body parts. StemExpress’ accounting records could easily exonerate them if they did nothing wrong, so their refusal to voluntarily produce these documents speaks volumes. The raw banking and accounting records will tell the full story of whether—and how much—StemExpress and their “business partners” like Planned Parenthood profited off of aborted baby parts.
What we learned from today’s hearing is that Planned Parenthood and their business partners like StemExpress are engaged in a rampant, illegal, and horrific enterprise that harvests, trafficks, and sells aborted babies’ hearts, lungs, and brains for profit. The undercover video admissions by senior level Planned Parenthood officials only scratch the surface of this barbaric trade—the financial documents uncovered by the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives prove that Planned Parenthood profited from trafficking fetal organs and tissues. We now know the criminal trade in body parts is spread nationwide throughout the abortion industry, with nearly 1 in 5 abortion clinics selling baby parts to StemExpress. Even the pro-Planned Parenthood witnesses called by the Panel minority agreed that a robust investigation should seek testimony and accounting documents from Planned Parenthood. We applaud the Select Investigative Panel for their excellent work on this important issue and encourage all levels of government and law enforcement to move forward quickly and decisively to ensure that those who sell aborted baby parts for profit are brought to justice under the law.
The financial documents uncovered by the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives prove that Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of aborted baby parts to their long-time business partner StemExpress. The facts are now undeniable that Planned Parenthood had no “costs” to “reimburse” and every dollar they received for little baby hearts, brains, and livers netted illegal profit. Planned Parenthood lied to the media, to Congress, and to the American people for 9 months falsely asserting they had no financial benefit from supplying baby parts. Now, Planned Parenthood and their partners in crime must face justice under the law for their barbaric criminal profiteering from aborted baby parts.