The undercover videos released by Center For Medical Progress (CMP) earlier in the year have finally generated a government response. Today the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel for Infant Lives announced it has referred Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for criminal prosecution for its role in selling the baby parts of aborted babies.
The committee’s work began with the Center For Medical Progress undercover videos. The Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast referral was spurred by the 5th of those videos. The video of this chapter of Planned Parenthood selling baby parts, which was taken at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s office (it’s embedded at the bottom of this post). Along with some documents garnered from Texas Public Information Act request (the state equivalent of a FIOA request ) the video demonstrates that Planned Parenthood was using accounting gimmicks to hide its illegal sale of parts, and also that the doctors were changing the way they conducted abortions in order to have better intact human baby remains to harvest for profit.
On April 9, 2015 CMPs David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt from made an undercover visit to the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s (PPGC) abortion center in Houston. The CMP personnel met with PPGC Director of Research Melissa Farrell, who has overseen the organization’s sale of baby parts since 2006 (they don’t call them aborted babies, they prefer the more sterile “products of conception.”
“We had two levels of invoicing for them. We had it worded as ‘per consent,’” explains Farrell as she describes a previous fetal tissue deal that took place at PPGC. Farrell indicates that “per consent” is the phrase used in PPGC budgeting in place of “per specimen” for fetal tissue.
Farrell is aware that while a patient may consent to supply fetal tissue, the specimen itself may not be useable for experimentation: “There’s probably some situations where somebody would consent and then just not, we didn’t get a sample, or she changed her mind, or something happened to the specimen.”
Addressing this dilemma, Daleiden says: “Now obviously, we don’t want to end up paying for material that we can’t use,” and suggests that there be a line item fee of “something else that represents the specimens.” “Obviously,” Farrell agrees, “Yep. Yeah.”
“I just don’t want it to turn into a situation that is not financially beneficial for you,” says Merritt. “Yeah, yeah. And we’ll, I’ll take you up on that. I’ll take you up on that. I’ll take you up on that,” Farrell repeats three times, laughing, and continues, “We definitely want to do that, because that’s what staff and management need to see.”
As Texas Right to Life notes, instead of pursuing an investigation of Planned Parenthood, the former Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson “mismanaged the case to the benefit of her friends at Planned Parenthood,” indicting “citizen journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the heroes who documented the shocking misconduct of Planned Parenthood” instead of prosecuting Planned Parenthood “after they were caught red-handed in blatant wrong-doing.” Charges against the CMP investigators were later dropped, and Anderson was not re-elected…