The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), whose undercover videos first began exposing Planned Parenthood’s human body parts trafficking a couple years ago, released a third new video this week. This video, like the first and second in the current series, further exposes Planned Parenthood’s shady relationship with StemExpress, a contractor that worked with Planned Parenthood to procure and sell aborted baby parts.
David Daleiden, CMP’s project lead, interviews Holly O’Donnell, who worked as a procurement technician for StemExpress inside some of the biggest Planned Parenthood surgical centers in northern California. She drew blood and dissected human organs from aborted fetuses, which the company then sold to research customers across the country. The sale and purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony.
In this third video, O’Donnell debunks Planned Parenthood’s favorite excuse for selling baby parts—that the money exchanged was just to offset “shipping costs.” Planned Parenthood never shipped anything. In fact, O’Donnell and her fellow StemExpress colleagues handled all aspects of the fetal organ harvesting process—getting patients to sign consent forms, dissecting fetuses, packaging organs, and shipping them off via FedEx.
While this all produces a shrug from the mainstream news, when CMP released their first explosive round of investigative videos, Planned Parenthood was caught deep in illegal fetal tissue sales. They defended accepting money for aborted fetal organs and tissue, claiming it was to cover shipping costs rather than for the body parts themselves.
“There are shipping costs,” Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. “It’s not a fee. It’s actually just the cost of transmitting this material to research institutions,” Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
CMP has obtained invoices that show the opposite. Customers paid StemExpress, not Planned Parenthood, for the FedEx shipping. The StemExpress-Planned Parenthood contract, meanwhile, specifies that the only payments to Planned Parenthood will be per fetal organ “determined in the clinic to be useable.” Planned Parenthood could make up to five-figure sums per month from StemExpress, depending on the number of “useable” fetal organs StemExpress employees could collect inside Planned Parenthood.
Last week CMP released their second video, which also explores the extensive “coordination” between Planned Parenthood and StemExpress. In their efforts to procure just the right baby parts, this video shows Planned Parenthood clinics revealed the names and medical information of patients to StemExpress contractors like O’Donnell, violating federal medical privacy laws. According to CMP’s press release, “StemExpress contractors were given print-outs with patients’ names and medical information, access to patient medical charts, and even access to Planned Parenthood’s internal computer database of patient information.”
In the video, O’Donnell explains StemExpress had an online Task Page, which outlined what the company hoped to procure from women getting abortions each day. “We’d open up the Task Page, which, it shows you what the researchers want, how many specimens they want for that day or that week. […] It was like a grocery list of what to get for that day,” she said.
One such “task assignment procurement schedule” lists everything the technicians needed to harvest that particular day as “brain” at “16-18 weeks” of an unborn child’s gestation, which could be “complete but can be in pieces.” Another mentions “pancreas” at “14 weeks.”
During the first round of videos CMP released, in the eighth, to be specific, it’s obvious StemExpress and Planned Parenthood had a ghoulishly symbiotic relationship. That undercover video showed the CEO of StemExpress admitting the company gets “a lot” of intact fetuses, suggesting “another 50 livers a week” would not be enough, and agreeing abortion clinics should profit from the sale.
Doctors in this video, and O’Donnell’s eyewitness testimony as a procurement technician in this week’s video, demonstrated entities had to use great care to extract certain body parts from tiny babies so the parts could be sold for profit. Federal law requires that no alteration in the timing or method of abortion be done for the purposes of fetal tissue collection (42 U.S.C. 289g-1). Still, at least at that time, StemExpress published a flyer for Planned Parenthood clinics that promised “Financial Profits” and “fiscal rewards” for clinics that supplied aborted fetal tissue.