Methods Planned Parenthood uses to profit from selling aborted baby parts, CMP

A pro-life group which successfully infiltrated abortion organizations has published detailed methods they say were used by Planned Parenthood to violate a federal law prohibiting the selling of aborted baby body parts. The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which released a series of shocking video evidence this summer, claims that the largest provider of abortions profits off the babies they abort by selling their parts for research. In an analysis just published online, CMP breaks down two primary models used by Planned Parenthood in their grisly baby parts operations.

    1). The use of a Fetal Tissue Procurement Organization (TPO), like StemExpress, to manage fetal organ harvesting at their surgical abortion clinics.

    2). Direct supply to local biotech companies or university laboratories.

USING A Tissue Procurement Organization (TPO):

According to the CMP, in the first model a procurement tech, like Stem Express employee Holly O’Donnell, who was interviewed by CMP, does the majority of work to secure the “specimen.” They arrive at the clinic, consent the patient, and retrieve the desired “parts” from the aborted child. In videos released by CMP, O’Donnell testified that she was told to cut through the face of a live child after the baby was aborted in order to obtain brain tissue. CMP points out that when a TPO is used there is no additional cost to the abortion clinic for retrieval of the part, and therefore any “fee” that is paid is all profit:

    The TPO model virtually guarantees that the Planned Parenthood clinic will profit from supplying fetal tissue, because the TPO handles all of the costs of procurement while still paying the abortion clinic a fee per usable body part harvested.

The CMP report lists the following Planned Parenthood affiliates as having worked with a TPO:

    • Planned Parenthood Los Angeles partnered with Novogenix Laboratories, LLC;
    • Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest in San Diego worked with Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc.;
    • Planned Parenthood Mar Monte worked with StemExpress
    • Planned Parenthood Northern California worked with StemExpress

In their analysis, CMP points out that the potential for thousands of dollars a year in extra profit is likely. In fact, StemExpress procurement logs obtained by CMP show potential for “a quarter million in extra profit margin that Planned Parenthood could earn,” according to the investigative journalists. CMP has based this estimate on information from fetal parts harvesting involving two Planned Parenthood locations:

    Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in Fresno – 8 fetal parts harvested on December 12, 2012.
    Planned Parenthood in San Jose shows – 9 fetal parts harvested on January 10, 2013.

The math is basic and as CMP states in their report, “Assuming 3 abortion days per week at each abortion clinic, a baby parts yield of 8 per day would mean:”

8 fetal parts/clinic x 4 clinics x $55/part x 3 days/week x 50 weeks/year = $264,000/year

Such an arrangement easily nets over a quarter million in extra profit margin for just this one Planned Parenthood affiliate each year.


The second model, which CMP calls “direct supply” basically cuts out the TPO middleman but enables Planned Parenthood to then charge more for each “specimen” CMP says.

    The second model for baby parts harvesting at Planned Parenthood clinics is one of direct supply to local biotech companies or university laboratories. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in Houston, TX has been using this model for decades. While it is possible in this model that the Planned Parenthood clinics may take on more of the work of harvesting baby parts, and thus may incur some actual costs, by cutting out the TPO middle-man the clinics can also charge much higher fees per fetal specimen, far in excess of any actual cost. In this context, Planned Parenthood has more line items to mask illicit baby parts profits, but its accounting gimmicks still cannot withstand close scrutiny.

In the “direct supply model”, CMP discovered that Planned Parenthood uses a two-tired system for billing for their “services” of “specimen retrieval.”

    1). First for its staff to consent all the eligible abortion patients.

    2). Second, higher fee for the fetal tissue specimens that were usable.

According to a conversation CMP had with Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services for PPFA, the overall patient consent process typically only takes 10 minutes per patient. Yet, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) invoices to University of Texas Medical Branch for a 2010-2011 fetal tissue study show the clinic charged $25 per “Consent obtained” from abortion patients, and an additional $150 “Consent fee” for a subset of abortion patients. In addition, news reports indicate that at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, fetal tissue specimens were billed at $160/consent.

Using the extra $150.00 “consent fee,” CMP projected a potential $300,000/year extra profit possible for PPGC.

    Planned Parenthood’s capping consent time with patients at 10 minutes, the use of outside couriers or research staff at buyer expense, and the high per-specimen fees paid to Planned Parenthood—ensure that fetal tissue harvesting on a direct-supply model remains highly profitable for Planned Parenthood.


Another way CMP found that Planned Parenthood avoids “costs” in “donating” their fetal “specimens” for research is when they are shipped. According to CMP, when shipping costs for fetal specimens are handled by the procurement company or research lad (via pick-up or use of a courier) there is no cost to Planned Parenthood, “the only extra work for Planned Parenthood is consenting the abortion patients to “donate” fetal tissue,” CMP states.

Last month, a U.S. House investigative panel issued subpoenas to StemExpress and others in an effort to obtain documents regarding the possible sale of aborted baby body parts. The Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives held their first hearing on “Ethics” Wednesday following the CMP investigation. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who chairs the committee told the panel that “last summer’s [CMP] videos revealed that something very troubling is going on related to fetal tissue and research..and something that deserves investigating.”

As for ongoing questions into wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood, CMP said that while Planned Parenthood continues to receive over half-a-billion dollars in taxpayer money each year they maintain a, “complete lack of transparency around its clinics’ apparent profiteering from aborted baby parts,” and called for them to answer the hard questions:

    “Planned Parenthood should now be on notice to stop covering up for its affiliates’ criminal baby parts sales and start answering the hard questions, if it can afford to tell the truth.”

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