We originally published this article on September 11, 2018. In honor of Bre Payton’s memory, we’re republishing it today on what would have been her birthday. Congress still has not defunded Planned Parenthood, nor have there been any legal consequences for what undercover whistleblowers exposed back in 2015.
Warning: Graphic content.
A new report shows that an organization that harvests aborted baby organs for research has been charging more than what is legally reimbursable.
The 11-page report details how Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. (ABR), which is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ), charged universities a significantly marked-up price for the organs it harvested from aborted babies.
Federal law prohibits the sale or purchase of fetal tissue — that is, human body parts harvested from pre-born or aborted babies — for “valuable consideration.” The law does, however, allow reimbursing baby body part suppliers for costs “associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.”
This is the very workaround that undercover videos showed abortion giant Planned Parenthood using to make money from human remains. That got it hauled into Congress for investigations but as of yet has cost PP none of its half trillion in annual federal funding.
The Center for Medical Progress released a report on Monday showing ABR charged researchers up to hundreds of dollars per harvested human organ in addition to packing and shipping fees — prices that indicate the organization may have been marking up the cost of fetal tissue beyond what is legally reimbursable.
Invoices CMP obtained show that ABR charged the University of Wisconsin-Madison $680 for two eyeballs from a second-trimester baby in 2015. The going rate for a single eyeball was $340, according to an invoice from the University of Colorado, Denver. Charging per eyeball is questionable, as shipping costs for two eyeballs would be the same as for one, and the cost of harvesting two eyeballs from one skull would cost minimally more than obtaining one.
In one instance, ABR billed a University of Utah customer $12,000 for two unsuccessful attempts to harvest organs from babies that were aborted in January 2015. When the researcher objected to these huge charges, ABR replied that they were merely asking for reimbursement for their costs.
The clinic charges us for the time, space and utilities for the two day minimum that we are in the clinic for the RTA, for Phases 1 & 2, which on its own is a fee of $500…If there is no suitable tissue acquired, which is always an unfortunate possibility, the labor and time-intensive work on behalf of [Redacted] has still be done, and performed in good faith that ABR would be reimbursed for the work.
The researcher wrote back:
I calculated the costs for travel, hotel, time, food, personnel time, clinic fees and some overhead in the scenario of a non-useable product and I figured your costs to be around $3,000. Therefore, instead of charging the full $6,000 or $7,000, I would recommend $3,000.
ABR ended up agreeing with the researcher, writing: “We are willing to accept the decreased amount of $3500, to cover our costs.” Had the researcher not objected, it seems likely ABR would have pocketed an extra $8,500.
On July 25, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration signed a new contract with ABR to acquire “fresh” organs, primarily from elective abortions, to implant them into mice. The project part of an attempt by the FDA to create “humanized mice” — that is, mice with a human immune system for experimentation, CNS News reports.
The taxpayer-funded project includes paying nearly $16,000 for ABR-harvested organs, even though the organization remains under investigation by the DOJ. Contract details are available from the FDA here and from the Congressional Research Service,here.
As The Daily Signal reported, the FDA is taking ABR at its word that it will not break the law when procuring aborted baby organs, rather than checking for compliance.
In a statement, the FDA said that ABR has ‘provided assurances with all applicable legal requirements … relating to research involving human fetal tissue’ and that the FDA is not involved with how ABR sources the tissue. In other words, the FDA is simply taking ABR at its word, despite the troubling findings of congressional investigations.
So while it’s unclear if ABR is charging more than what is legally reimbursable, as it appears to have done in 2015, the FDA is taking a hands-off approach even though the organization is under federal investigation.