The mastermind behind undercover videos which has resulted in Planned Parenthood being defunded in several states, claims that the sale of fetal tissue was the business model for most Planned Parenthood affiliates and shares behind the scenes information about the investigation.
The allegations came in a recent interview the Washington Examiner conducted with Center for Medical Progress (CMP) founder, David Daleiden. CMP’s series of undercover footage documented Planned Parenthood officials negotiating for the body parts of babies they aborted. Daleiden, who described his expertise as “hands-on immersion” in “regenerative medicine and stem cell science,” told the news outlet:
“It’s definitely a little bit of a difficult toss-up between profiteering off of fetal tissue versus doing illegal abortion methods. I think it is easier to prove, and the evidence is best, for Planned Parenthood’s illegal profiteering. In order to prove partial-birth abortion, you kind of need to have the body or someone in the procedure room. But in terms of the for-profit sale of fetal tissue, it’s very clearly the business model Planned Parenthood was using at most of their affiliates.
“In that model, where you have an outside procurement company sending harvesting technicians into the clinics to do all the work of fetal tissue collection, for Planned Parenthood it’s free. There’s no cost to Planned Parenthood to do that, and yet they’re still getting paid per fetal organ by these companies. There’s no way that model is legally defensible.”
Daleiden is referring to Planned Parenthood’s procurement company Stem Express whose former employee went on record with CMP to tell how she was instructed to cut an aborted baby’s face in half to get brain tissue. As Live Action News previously reported, Holly O’Donnell, shared grisly details about cutting the chin of the baby upward on the child’s face to obtain an intact brain. O’Donnell, who quit shortly after this experience, testified in the CMP video that when her supervisor tapped the baby’s heart, it started beating again.
Daleiden told the Examiner that at the time CMP put out the first video, it had been 15 years since the last time the trafficking of aborted fetal tissue had been in the news. He was referring to a shocking investigation conducted by Life Dynamics in 1997. In his analysis of that investigation, Life Dynamics president, Mark Crutcher noted that the process of selling aborted babies is not illegal.
“On the surface, this is not illegal. In fact, this process is used in all sorts of medical clinics across the country for medical research. The loophole is that site fees and retrieval reimbursement amounts are unregulated. The law requires that such payments be reasonable and reflect the actual cost of securing the parts; but there are no state or federal laws which establish guidelines or set limits regarding these payments, and no one is appointed to oversee the system.”
In 1999, after Crutcher’s investigation, the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report on the sale of aborted baby body parts and estimated that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had awarded approximately $17.0 million for 103 research grants using human fetal tissue that year. The GAO report stated that principal investigators who responded to the GAO survey acquired 12,116 human fetal tissue samples in fiscal years 1997 through 1999 for use in NIH- sponsored research.
Unlike what we see in the CMP videos where high ranking officials haggled over the costs of baby parts, with one Planned Parenthood medical director joking that she wants “a Lamborghini” before negotiating for $150.00 a “specimen,” the GAO had found that the costs of acquiring human fetal tissue were “generally low.”
The GAO noted in their report that more than four-fifths of the researchers who received tissue from health clinics i.e. abortion clinics paid no fee. “The fees per sample of human fetal tissue from health clinics ranged from $2 to $75, with an average of $22,” they wrote.
“In fiscal year 1999, 49 percent of the principal investigators in our survey received human fetal tissue without paying an acquisition fee. Among those who did pay an acquisition fee, the average fee per sample was $80 in fiscal year 1999. The median number of tissue samples received by principal investigators in fiscal year 1999 was 26.”
Daleiden, who described his role in the undercover sting as “the nerdy science geek persona to portray,” spoke about his interaction with abortionist Mary Gatter as one which gave him some concern as an undercover operative:
“For a long period of that lunch she was very tense and was quite aggressive in her questioning of myself. After that meeting I was concerned for a couple of days as to what Dr. Gatter’s suspicion level might have been, but then we saw her again at the Planned Parenthood medical directors meeting and she was perfectly friendly and congenial, so I came to learn that was her personality. She has that ornery personality when she first meets you and then warms up to you later.”
He then opened up a little about his friendship with Planned Parenthood Federation Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola. She was featured in CMP’s first video where she shockingly explains how she would, “crush below” and “crush above” to “see if I can get it all intact.”
“Deb [Nucatola] was our best friend the whole time. I still consider her a friend. I don’t know how she feels about me,” the CMP founder stated.
Daleiden was recently indicted by a Houston grand jury for, of all things, allegedly offering to purchase fetal organs. But he defends his actions by pointing out that undercover stings are commonly used by investigative journalists.
“For the public at large, undercover work, I think most people realize, is a key part of both journalism and law enforcement and most people really don’t find that controversial.”
When the Examiner asked Daleiden about the fact that no one has proven Planned Parenthood broke the law, he responded by explaining that, “even the contractors themselves, Stem Express and other companies, make it clear the payments are on a per specimen basis and Planned Parenthood only gets the payments if the specimen is a high enough quality so it meets the specifications.” He later points out that Planned Parenthood has never accused him of saying anything that was not true:
“It’s interesting that the lawsuit Planned Parenthood filed kind of threw everything but the kitchen sink at me, but the one thing they did not sue for is defamation. They are upset by the way we went about doing it, but they are not claiming in a legal sense that we said anything that was untrue.”
The CMP founder said that his work has made him a target and admitted receiving death threats and other threats of bodily harm. But, He reiterated that his focus and that of CMP remains “on investigative journalism with a focus on bioethical issues that impact human dignity in a significant way.” Of the upcoming Congressional hearings into the use of baby parts, Daleiden said that he was pleased, “I was hoping for maybe just one congressional investigation after we released the videos … it turns out there were five,” he said.
Earlier this month, the chair of a U.S. House investigative panel announced that they issued subpoenas to Stem Express and two other agencies in order to obtain documents regarding the possible sale of aborted baby body parts. According to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) who chairs the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives the first hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.
Although Daleiden hinted that CMP may have other investigations in the works, he said that right now he remains focused on exposing Planned Parenthood grisly baby parts operation and noted that, “there’s still plenty of unreleased footage” to be released.