Planned Parenthood Houston Admits Accounting Gimmicks Hide Baby Parts Sales, Invoices Charge Thousands of Dollars

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PLANNED PARENTHOOD HOUSTON ADMITS ACCOUNTING GIMMICKS HIDE BABY PARTS SALES, INVOICES TO UTMB CHARGE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Director of Research Melissa Farrell Explains Abortion Group “Worded” Fetal Specimen Line Item as “Patient Consent” to Skirt Law, Agrees to Financial Profit from Sales: “We Definitely Want to Do That”

Contact: Peter Robbio, [email protected], 703.683.5004

HOUSTON, Feb. 3–A new video at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and newly-released documents from a Texas Public Information Act request show how Planned Parenthood used accounting gimmicks to hide its illegal sale of fetal tissue.

The video highlights previously overlooked footage from the April 9, 2015 site visit of investigative journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt from The Center for Medical Progress to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s abortion center in Houston. The site visit took place with PPGC Director of Research Melissa Farrell, who has overseen the organization’s fetal tissue supply program since 2006.

“We had two levels of invoicing for them. We had it worded as ‘per consent,’” explains Farrell as she describes a previous fetal tissue deal that took place at PPGC. Farrell indicates that “per consent” is the phrase used in PPGC budgeting in place of “per specimen” for fetal tissue.

Farrell is aware that while a patient may consent to supply fetal tissue, the specimen itself may not be useable for experimentation: “There’s probably some situations where somebody would consent and then just not, we didn’t get a sample, or she changed her mind, or something happened to the specimen.”

Addressing this dilemma, Daleiden says: “Now obviously, we don’t want to end up paying for material that we can’t use,” and suggests that there be a line item fee of “something else that represents the specimens.” “Obviously,” Farrell agrees, “Yep. Yeah.”

“I just don’t want it to turn into a situation that is not financially beneficial for you,” says Merritt. “Yeah, yeah. And we’ll, I’ll take you up on that. I’ll take you up on that. I’ll take you up on that,” Farrell repeats three times, laughing, and continues, “We definitely want to do that, because that’s what staff and management need to see.”

The video also includes footage of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast CEO Melaney Linton advising that Farrell will “work on all of that with you” when it comes to “remuneration” and “compensation” for fetal tissue. Farrell told Daleiden and Merritt during lunch that her department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here.”

The system of accounting gimmicks and dual invoicing for “consent” payments in place of fetal specimens that Melissa Farrell describes in the video bears a striking resemblance to invoices submitted by Farrell on behalf of PPGC to the University of Texas Medical Branch in 2010 and 2011. In these documents, obtained through a Public Information Act request, two PPGC invoices for the exact same billing period charge $25 per “Consents obtained,” with a total quantity of 32, and in the same time period charges $150 per “Consent payment” for a smaller quantity of 25. This is consistent with a scheme where Planned Parenthood charged $25 to consent abortion patients to supply fetal tissue, and then charged another $150 for each usable fetal specimen that UTMB could procure.

The total billing from Planned Parenthood for this tissue procurement was over $8,000. The sale, offer to sell, or transfer of human fetal tissue for valuable consideration is a crime under Texas Penal Code 48.02. Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, the Texas Department of Health, and the U.S. Congress for violations relating to its treatment of aborted infants and aborted body parts sales.

“The evidence that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast charged exorbitant amounts of taxpayer money in exchange for fetal specimens that it provided at nearly zero cost is overwhelming,” notes David Daleiden, CMP Project Lead. “Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton need to send a strong message that Houston’s children are not for sale, and they must immediately appoint a special prosecutor to hold Planned Parenthood accountable to the law.”

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Watch the new video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U9mZyRCisM

To learn more about The Center for Medical Progress, visit CMP.org
The Center for Medical Progress is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances.

CMP Statement on Planned Parenthood Invoices for Aborted Fetal Specimens

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Director of Research, Melissa Farrell, has overseen their program selling aborted fetal parts over the past 10 years. Farrell admitted on camera to undercover investigators that PPGC “worded” the per-specimen charges for fetal specimens as “per consent” in order to “frame” the project budget in a way that will look legal “on paper.” Whether the “consent fee” for fetal tissue is $25 or $150, it is completely outside the letter and spirit of Texas Penal Code 48.02. Farrell even suggests that a “per consent” payment can accommodate situations where a fetal specimen is unusable so a buyer would not pay for low-quality fetal parts–a clear admission that the payments are based on market value of the fetal specimens, not on reimbursement of actual costs. Now, Texas taxpayers can see the illegal proxy payments for fetal specimens on PPGC’s own invoices to UT Medical Branch, which either inexplicably jumped from $25 per specimen to $150 per specimen over the course of one year, or demonstrate an illegal scheme to make extra money off of usable specimens. Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton must hold Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast accountable for their flagrant violation of the Texas Penal Code and their abuse of Texas taxpayers’ dollars.

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Transcript of Melissa Farrell, PPGC from time count 09:54:52 to 10:01:08 in PPGC Site Visit:

Buyer: Yeah. Off the top of your do you happen to remember, or I don’t know if we can talk about this, the, like, per-specimen what compensation was like from Amphioxus, just so we have kind of a ballpark idea.

PP: I don’t. That one, would definitely be different.

Buyer: Right, because they are pretty different. I’m just thinking in terms of, like a paired liver-thymus from a single donor, what we might be looking at for that.

PP: Yeah. Because we had two levels of invoicing for them, we’ve had it worded as “per consent,” because the consent process was the administrative part that we had to do, and then we had an overall administrative fee for basically working it into the clinics themselves. And at the time, “per consent” was $25. And that also covered if a patient consented to be in the study and then for whatever reason, we didn’t get a sample, or she changed her mind, because I see, I didn’t do that budget. It was, existed when I got here. So there’s probably some situations where somebody would consent and then just not, we didn’t get a sample or she changed her mind or something happened to the specimen or I can’t think of it off the top of my head. But we technically can’t, ethically I don’t think they were, based on what I’m reading here, I think it’s paying for the specimen itself, that language that we–

Buyer: Right. On paper, it has to be massaged a little.

PP: Yes. Yeah. Yes. So, the consent process is what is unique to the visit, is consenting the patient.

Buyer: Right. Now obviously, we don’t want to end up paying for material that we can’t use

PP: Obviously.

Buyer: And that might be, so if there’s a certain, like, consent fee and then something else that represents the specimens–

PP: Mhm. Yep. Yeah. I think definitely a, a-la-carte approach would be the best. Because if there’s, say for instance your project with the sickle cell. If there’s a level of screening that has to happen so there’s not everyone that comes in needs to be approached, that involves time and so something for the screening. And then any paperwork that has to be done that’s unique to donating the tissue. And then anything that is unique in the processing. So anything that is standard of care, that’s going to be standard, stays the same and is not billable. Anything that is going to be specific to acquiring the specimens, then that would be–

Buyer: Yeah.

Buyer: And so then that’s what we would want to make sure is your compensation would be higher for that specimen, and then how we say that, how we–

PP: Yes. How we frame it, I think is important too. I think that we’re not altering anything, and that it’s clear that we’re not altering anything, even if the procedure itself there’s a modification in how they do it, it’s still the same procedure, but we’re doing it in a way that we preserve the integrity of the specimen, I think is, yeah. Something that we can definitely discuss that with Tram.

Buyer: It sounds like what can probably happen is we can kind of give you our needs–

PP: Mhm.

Buyer: And sort of how in our, according to our budgeting and our practical use kind of how we look at everything–

PP: Mhm.

Buyer: And then you guys can kind of translate that–

PP: Yes.

Buyer: You know, translate that into something that looks good on paper. [laughter]

PP: Yep. Yeah. And you know, again, knowing that I think the biggest thing is staff and management want to see that costs are covered.

Buyer: Mhm.

PP: You know? And obviously, from our model, and ideally, in my context of budgeting for crazy, budgeting for crazy also includes making sure we budget for some things that we just can’t predict for. Okay, we think that this thing is gonna take this time, and we’ll take the, go through the steps of starting to time it, but then maybe when we actually start implementing, then like you had suggested, “Hey, come back to me,” because we find that this particular step, when we’re using that actual product, or the actual instrument, we have to do this, this, and this to get it instead of it just being one step. And we definitely take that into consideration. We try to do everything we can on this end to role play it and time it and–

Buyer: Mhm, mhm. I just don’t want it to turn into a situation where it’s not financially beneficial for you.

PP: Yeah, yeah. And we’ll, I’ll take you up on that. I’ll take you up on that. We definitely want to do that. Because that’s what staff and management need to see. Is that we’re not underwriting anybody’s project. And I go to great efforts to demonstrate what the cost, actual cost is to us–to whomever asks–and then, this is what is budgeted. So they know, okay, you’re covering costs, there’s margin, that’s covering overhead, or whatever we need, just to make sure everything is covered.

Buyer: Right, and so then when we’re coming in and making it beneficial to you financially–

PP: Mhm.

Buyer: You can frame it so that that’s–

PP: Mhm. Yes.

Buyer: Okay.

PP: Yeah.

Buyer: Because that’s how we’re going to keep you happy, right?

PP: Yes. Yes.

Buyer: To make sure that financially–

PP: Yes.

Buyer: You’re growing your clinic–

PP: Mhm.

Buyer: And however you need to say that, framing that on the other end.

PP: Mhm. Yes.

CMP Statement on Harris County Announcement

The Center for Medical Progress uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and of the press, and follows all applicable laws. We respect the processes of the Harris County District Attorney, and note that buying fetal tissue requires a seller as well. Planned Parenthood still cannot deny the admissions from their leadership about fetal organ sales captured on video for all the world to see.

“COVER-UP” – 3rd Re-Cap Video on #PPSellsBabyParts Revelations

Planned Parenthood cannot deny that its own senior leadership is caught on camera participating in a widespread and organized violation of state and federal laws against fetal body parts trafficking. Instead, Planned Parenthood can only attempt to distract the public and cover up the evidence of its lawlessness.

Planned Parenthood is organized like a franchise, with over 50 local branches, or “affiliates,” sharing the Planned Parenthood brand name and receiving operations support from the national office. Planned Parenthood executives repeatedly told CMP investigators that the national office attempts to minimize its own liability for violations of fetal tissue laws by refusing to keep any written policy or guidelines around the payments and having local affiliates independently handle contracts and negotiations to sell body parts without any oversight. Planned Parenthood’s dubious new “policy” not to take any money for supplying fetal parts is exactly the sort of policy that top-level Planned Parenthood executives told CMP investigators could never be implemented.

Planned Parenthood’s feigned innocence about its affiliates’ baby parts sales is in reality nothing more than a coordinated cover-up to avoid prosecution. This should be a red flag for law enforcement and public officials, and they must listen to the broad public mandate for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable under the law and intensify their scrutiny of this lawless and unaccountable abortion business.

#PPSellsBabyParts

“HARVEST” – 2nd Re-Cap Video on #PPSellsBabyParts Scandal

Planned Parenthood senior executives and medical directors told CMP investigators that Planned Parenthood’s abortion providers would be happy to alter their abortion procedures in order to harvest higher-quality baby body parts. The representatives with the most experience harvesting fetal organs, Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola, and Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Director of Research Melissa Farrell, indicated this already happens at their sites as a routine matter. When Planned Parenthood makes decisions about a woman’s abortion procedure based on what will serve its own tissue procurement needs, it is not treating her like a patient with rights and dignity, but like a harvesting pod.

The harvest and sale of aborted fetal organs and tissues exists to meet the demand for fresh and undamaged body parts, typically from the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. These practical constraints, plus the financial benefits offered by tissue purchasers, create incentives for Planned Parenthood to change their abortion procedures and even use illegal methods like partial-birth abortion to get fresh and intact specimens. In tissue harvesting cases, the absence of feticidal chemicals combined with the active attempt to remove the fetus as intact as possible make it far more likely the fetus may be born alive, only to be vivisected to death for his or her body parts.

Planned Parenthood has never provided any justification or explanation for the admissions of their abortion providers in this footage, because it is simply too damning. State, local, and federal law enforcement must listen to the broad public mandate for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the law and continue their investigations to criminal prosecution.

#PPSellsBabyParts

CMP Statement on Congress Passing Planned Parenthood Defunding

Congress is listening to the will of the American people to hold Planned Parenthood accountable under the law for their barbaric abortion and baby parts business. Yesterday, President Obama wiped tears from his eyes saying: “Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad.” Mr. President, show the same outrage and compassion for the kids who are killed and harvested for body parts at Planned Parenthood, and parted out and sold across the country like used cars. The hypocrisy and callousness of this out-of-touch administration will be on full display if after today, President Obama refuses to listen to the will of the American people and reassign taxpayer money from Planned Parenthood’s barbaric abortion and baby parts business to mainstream, full-spectrum health care providers.

New Re-Cap Video on Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Scandal – “PROFIT”

The undercover footage released in the past half-year by The Center for Medical Progress shows medical directors and executives from the top leadership of Planned Parenthood admitting the abortion business trades baby body parts for money and indicating the profit motive undergirding these illicit sales. To date, Planned Parenthood has offered no convincing explanation for the money that has poured into its affiliates from fetal tissue procurement companies like StemExpress, which performs the work of fetal tissue collection yet still pays abortion clinics per harvested part.

Planned Parenthood’s recent assurances that it has ceased accepting payment for fetal tissue are an admission of guilt and a last-ditch effort to avoid scrutiny for these indefensible transactions. As Congress, the Health and Human Services Department, and numerous state and local law enforcement agencies continue to investigate Planned Parenthood’s barbaric abortion and baby body parts business, this footage is a clear reminder of why there is a broad public mandate for the investigations to continue and for public money to be reassigned from Planned Parenthood to ethical, mainstream medical organizations.

CMP Statement on Planned Parenthood-allied National Abortion Federation’s Attack on Free Speech

The First Amendment liberties of freedom of speech and of the citizen press are under attack in the censorial lawsuit brought against CMP by the National Abortion Federation, Planned Parenthood’s allies and proxy group. The National Abortion Federation is a criminal enterprise and a key partner in Planned Parenthood’s late-term abortion and baby body parts business. NAF seeks a Preliminary Injunction gag-order to silence CMP from publishing the evidence of criminal activity between NAF and Planned Parenthood and to censor the video evidence already released. CMP’s recently-filed opposition to NAF is available (with court-mandated redactions) here and includes:

  • The factual background of CMP investigators’ interactions with the National Abortion Federation, revealing NAF invited CMP investigators to attend its meetings precisely because it was so interested in its members receiving payment for fetal tissue and organs (page 5)
  • 5 pages of examples of criminal and unethical admissions from NAF and Planned Parenthood abortion providers documented at NAF meetings, redacted from the public filing and prevented from release by court order (pages 10-15)
  • The invalidity and unenforceability of NAF’s poorly-constructed and contradictory conference Exhibitor and Confidentiality Agreements, which NAF has admitted in court to have a primary non-disparagement purpose nowhere stated in the agreements themselves (pages 18-28)
  • The blatantly unconstitutional character of prior restraints on speech (pages 32-38)

From CMP’s Opposition filing:

In September 2013, the National Abortion Federation (“NAF”) became aware of a start-up company called BioMax Procurement Services, LLC, which offered to pay abortion clinics for fetal tissue. NAF representatives encouraged BioMax to attend and exhibit at NAF’s Annual Meeting in April 2014 in San Francisco. In response to a tentative e-mail inquiry from BioMax about pricing and availability of exhibit space at the next meeting, NAF responded by sending a prospectus containing what NAF now claims is its most secret information: the exact date, time, and location of its next Annual Meeting.

BioMax representatives attended the 2014 NAF Annual Meeting and told dozens of members and staff that its business plan was to pay abortion clinics for fetal tissue—and pay more than its competitors. From 2014 to 2015, it made the same proposal to abortion providers and clinic owners in several other venues. Consequently, BioMax became popular and respected in the abortion community.

[…]

CMP’s investigation uncovered extensive evidence in the abortion industry of willingness to engage in criminal practices, including the sale of fetal body parts for profit and the alteration of abortion methods to procure fetal body parts for research, as well as evidence of de-sensitization toward the highly developed human fetus by practitioners of late-term abortion.

NAF has spun this investigative journalistic endeavor into an eleven-count complaint containing allegations ranging from racketeering and fraud to trespass. Despite months of rhetoric about CMP’s putative “fraud” and “crime spree,” however, for its preliminary injunction motion, NAF relies on only two claims: breach of contract and violation of California Penal Code § 632.

Plaintiff cannot show a likelihood of success on these claims, nor can it show a threat of irreparable injury on the basis of the actions of third parties unrelated to Defendants who are strangers to this lawsuit. Moreover, NAF’s requested relief is both unsupported by the evidence and contrary to the public policy against restraining publication of matters of enormous public interest.

The National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood continue to trample on the First Amendment freedoms of the American people even as these two halves of the abortion industry are under state and federal investigation for their criminal sale of baby body parts. The arguments on NAF’s Preliminary Injunction gag order will be heard in the San Francisco Northern Federal District Court of California on December 18. The public filings can be found below:

CMP Statement on Senate Vote to Freeze Planned Parenthood Taxpayer Subisides

Democracy has returned to the Congress as the Senate votes by majority to end taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood’s scandal-ridden abortion and baby parts business. There is no justification for Planned Parenthood to continue to build their criminal enterprise and abortion empire on over half-a-billion taxpayer dollars each year. Now, President Obama must listen to the will of the people through their elected representatives by ending taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood and ordering an immediate investigation by the Justice Department of Planned Parenthood’s interstate commerce in fetal tissue and organs with StemExpress, Advanced Bioscience Resources, Novogenix Laboratories, Da Vinci Biosciences, and many others.

CMP Statement on Violence in Colorado Springs

The Center for Medical Progress condemns the barbaric killing spree in Colorado Springs by a violent madman. We applaud the heroic efforts of law enforcement to stop the violence quickly and rescue the victims, and our thoughts and prayers are with the wounded, the lost, and their families.