The following comes from a June 28 story by David Daleiden on The Hill.
The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives released a stunning set of documents this month from its investigation of the trade in baby body parts between abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood and biotech companies like StemExpress. In the first of two complaint letters filed with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Panel writes:
“the Panel’s investigation has uncovered information indicating that StemExpress and Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific and Family Planning Specialists Medical Group committed systematic violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 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” (emphasis in original).
Planned Parenthood has insisted from the beginning that they “broke no laws” and that every investigation of their fetal organ and tissue harvesting practices has “cleared” them of any “wrongdoing.” In reality, the only investigation capable of taking a comprehensive look at these complex multi-state, inter-state transactions (which are coordinated through Planned Parenthood-friendly jurisdictions like California) is the House Select Panel – and that Panel has just found that the wrongdoing is far deeper and more widespread than anyone ever imagined.
StemExpress, LLC is a privately-held, for-profit biotech company in Placerville, CA that harvests fetal organs at abortion clinics for resale to other biotech companies and research labs. On April 1, 2010, less than one month after its founding, StemExpress signed a contract with San Jose, CA-based Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the biggest and wealthiest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country. That contract permitted StemExpress technicians to come into Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s high-volume abortion clinics in San Jose, Sacramento, and Fresno every morning with order lists specifying the number, type, and gestational age of body parts required and set to work fulfilling customer demand.
Inside the clinics, StemExpress technicians did all of the work, from start to finish, of harvesting tiny body parts from abortions, including “consenting” pregnant women to “donate” their “fetal tissue.” Planned Parenthood provided StemExpress with access to patients’ private medical charts in order to identify patients whose pregnancies could fulfill StemExpress’ body parts orders. The panel concludes: “Each time that an abortion clinic employee shared a medical chart with a StemExpress employee, both violated the HIPAA privacy rule.” After successfully targeting and enrolling the patient using her confidential HIPAA information, StemExpress paid Planned Parenthood $55 per fetal body part “determined in the clinic to be usable” after the abortion.
The documents released by the Select Panel include the original contract between StemExpress and Planned Parenthood Mar Monte. The “terms of services” are chilling, and appear unlawful on their face:
“The term ‘product of conception’ (‘POC’) means any fetal organ or other fetal or placental material taken from the human uterus during an abortion.”
“The reasonable costs associated with the services specified in this Agreement shall be fifty-five dollars ($55.00) per POC determined in the clinic to be usable.”
“Planned Parenthood Mar Monte will invoice Stem-Ex [StemExpress] monthly for the number of POC’s…procured by Stem-Ex. Stem-Ex will pay Planned Parenthood Mar Monte within two weeks of receipt of the invoice.”
Amazingly, the contracts do not contemplate any invoicing between Planned Parenthood and StemExpress for “reimbursement” of specific costs: the only payments mentioned are for the number of “usable” fetal organs that StemExpress can procure. Planned Parenthood Mar Monte did 18,035 abortions last year – if each abortion yielded just one “usable” “product of conception” for StemExpress, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte stood to gain nearly $1 million every year from its sale of tiny baby hearts, lungs, and brains. StemExpress, for its part, would mark up the fetal organs 5 times from the $55 it paid Planned Parenthood to a final $595 price to its customers.
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte is not the only Planned Parenthood affiliate that sold to StemExpress–in fact, the Panel’s documents also include contracts with Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific (renamed Planned Parenthood Northern California) and Planned Parenthood Santa Barbara, Ventura, & San Luis Obispo. The contracts include the same terms as the first Mar Monte agreement. StemExpress also contracted with private National Abortion Federation member Family Planning Specialists. According to exhibits in the Panel’s April 20 hearing on “The Pricing of Fetal Tissue,” by 2015 StemExpress was working with nearly 100 abortion clinics nationwide – close to 1 in every 5.
Pro-abortion members on the Select Panel minority, bought and paid for with Planned Parenthood’s baby parts money, have reacted with studied cynicism to the release of these documents. Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky, who has received $13,365 in campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood (the equivalent of 243 baby livers under the StemExpress contract), called the Panel’s release a threat to “individual privacy and safety.” Where is her concern for the individual privacy and safety of pregnant women whose private medical information was actually sold by Planned Parenthood to StemExpress in order to target them for profit?
StemExpress paid Planned Parenthood to break the law, divulging confidential patient medical information in order to bring outside market forces to bear on pregnant women making life-altering decisions. It’s time for law enforcement at all levels to hold these barbaric businesses accountable for their crimes against vulnerable women and children. Every human being is worth more than the sum of his or her body parts.
David Daleiden is the founder of Center for Medical Progress and led the ground-breaking ‘Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts’ investigation that was first released last summer.