Policy

Unsealed Court Docs Show Planned Parenthood Execs Knew of Fetal Tissue Sales

Activist: 'No longer any reasonable doubt that Planned Parenthood sold fetal body parts'

(Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Newly unsealed court documents show that top executives at Planned Parenthood were familiar with its organ-harvesting operations and privately discussed lucrative deals even as the abortion giant publicly denied profiting from the sale of body parts obtained from aborted babies.

A video from the Center for Medical Progress, founded by undercover pro-life journalist David Daleiden, compiles testimonies from Planned Parenthood representatives who admit to planning to sell fetal organs, alongside documents showing the organization profited from selling the tissue.

Selling fetal tissue for profit is illegal under federal law, although it is unclear how much companies can charge for shipping and handling the tissue. Planned Parenthood has denied having illegally sold fetal tissue, instead pointing to logistical costs as justification for money it received for fetal tissue.

In one deposition, an administrator at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast admitted to writing an email saying she would "move forward with" a sale of fetal organs. The unsealed documents also show an email exchange providing a price for fetal livers. The chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte confirmed the collaboration with a biospecimen lab that purchased fetal parts from Planned Parenthood. A third Planned Parenthood administrator, the senior director of medical services, said under oath she was aware that a Los Angeles Planned Parenthood was receiving payments for fetal tissue.

Additionally, the documents revealed that in 2012, the organization charged a biospecimen company almost $25,000 for fetal tissue. Daleiden, who published a series of undercover videos exposing the trade in 2015, said the previously sealed documents contradict Planned Parenthood's public statements.

"Planned Parenthood lied to the public and to Congress, but now there is no longer any reasonable doubt that Planned Parenthood sold fetal body parts, commodifying living children in the womb and treating pregnant women like a cash crop," he said in a statement.

Planned Parenthood has been successful in combating Daleiden in court. Last year, a California jury ruled that he must pay the abortion provider $2.2 million in damages because of harm done to the organization. Daleiden has begun fighting back in court. He is suing Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), a prospective vice presidential candidate, alleging that as California attorney general she targeted the Center for Medical Progress to protect political allies, including pro-abortion activists. The activist is also calling on federal investigators to more aggressively enforce existing federal law against organ harvesting.

"The U.S. Department of Justice must escalate the enforcement of laws against fetal trafficking to the highest level of priority," he said in a statement.

The new videos arrive as Planned Parenthood confronts controversy over its handling of the coronavirus. The billion-dollar abortion giant is facing criticism for applying for and accepting loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, which was designed to help small businesses affected by the pandemic. Planned Parenthood defended the loans by saying that its smaller affiliates, which did fall under the program's requirements, were the ones that applied for relief.

A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood called the video "baseless" and part of a "malicious campaign."

"These baseless claims from a discredited source are not new; this is nothing more than repackaged lies," she said in a statement. "The Center for Medical Progress intentionally broke the law in a multi-year, malicious campaign to advance their goals of banning safe, legal abortion in this country, and preventing Planned Parenthood from serving the patients who depend on us."

This post has been updated to include a response from Planned Parenthood.