Well, there’s another bogus, heavily edited James O’Keefe-style propaganda video being frantically circulated all over the right wing media and blogs, attacking Planned Parenthood. Yes, again.
I’m not going to embed this deceptive video, but here’s a link to it at YouTube if you really think you need to see it. But the picture above shows the single most relevant and important part of it — this Planned Parenthood director was talking about standard tissue donations, the kind that are done every day throughout the medical profession. The “pro-life” groups circulating this bogus story are doing their best to portray this as something it’s not: selling body parts. They’re not selling body parts or “harvesting organs;” this is a flat out lie.
Planned Parenthood has now issued a statement about this latest attack piece from the dishonest, fanatical anti-choice movement: Statement From Planned Parenthood on New Undercover Video.
Statement from Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communications, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“In health care, patients sometimes want to donate tissue to scientific research that can help lead to medical breakthroughs, such as treatments and cures for serious diseases. Women at Planned Parenthood who have abortions are no different. At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does — with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards. There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field.
“A well funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services has promoted a heavily edited, secretly recorded videotape that falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research. Similar false accusations have been put forth by opponents of abortion services for decades. These groups have been widely discredited and their claims fall apart on closer examination, just as they do in this case.”
The sentence I put in bold explains the section of the video where they do talk about money, specifically “$30 to $100 per specimen.” This is not a “purchase price” for the specimens — it’s for transportation and other incidental fees. Anyone who thinks human body parts would be sold for the ridiculously low price of $30 to $100 is (not to put too fine a point on it) a gullible idiot.
Another highly dishonest section of the video shows a web order form for medical tissues (labeled “ACTUAL ORDER FORM” in big red letters), strongly implying that this is a Planned Parenthood ordering system.
But in fact, this is from a website that’s unconnected to Planned Parenthood called “Stem Express.” The website is currently offline for maintenance as I write this, but here’s a Google cache link to the page in question: webcache.googleusercontent.com
This is from their “About Us” page:
StemExpress is a multi-million dollar company that supplies human blood, tissue products, primary cells and other clinical specimens to biomedical researchers around the world to fuel regenerative medicine and translational research. Founded in 2010, we offer the largest variety of raw material in the industry, as well as fresh, fixed and cryopreserved human primary cells.
Our Products and Services StemExpress is the only company of its kind to both procure tissues and isolate cells for researchers’ individual needs in its own labs. Our human tissue products range from fetal to adult and healthy to diseased, and we also collect bone marrow and leukapheresis for isolation. In our state-of-the-art laboratory, we isolate and culture primary human somatic, progenitor and stem cells. Using the most up-to-date technology, we guarantee every sample delivers the purity, viability and quality your investigators need. StemExpress is also a Contract Research Organization (CRO) and provides biopharmaceutical development, biologic assay development, commercialization, preclinical research, clinical research, and clinical trials management.
Our Promise Working with hospitals and clinics across the United States, all human tissue and blood procurement is performed in accordance with IRB-approved protocols and consents. Protecting the privacy of our researchers and donors is always the highest priority at StemExpress. Our team is driven by the knowledge that our products and services are helping researchers develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating disease. Our goal is to build strong, responsive and long-lasting relationships with our clients and we take pride in our researcher-oriented approach. By partnering with StemExpress, you’ll get the high quality samples you need so that you can focus on the research.
The video tries to picture this as some kind of sinister on-demand ordering system for fetal organs, connected to Planned Parenthood — and this is totally false. In fact, it’s a highly reputable company that performs a vitally necessary service for medical research.
According to Snopes.com, the leader of the anti-choice group responsible for this video, the Center for Medical Progress, is a friend and associate of none other than James O’Keefe — and a former classmate of none other than cyberstalker Chuck C. Johnson.
An individual named David Daleiden has been widely credited as the “leader” of the Center for Medical Progress. While Daleiden’s online footprint is minimal, a 2009 Claremont University article (penned by fellow conservative activist Chuck Johnson) reported:
James O’Keefe is a friend of David Daleiden’s. O’Keefe and Hannah Giles have been going coast to coast documenting instances of ACORN employees willingly giving advice on how to avoid paying taxes and shielding a would be pimp (running for congress) and a prostitutent from the watchful eye of the law. They’ve brought their investigation to New York City, Washington D.C., and Baltimore.
O’Keefe came to prominence in 2009 after he published deceptively edited videos targeting agencies such as ACORN.
(h/t: Beach Dem.)