Money, Consent and Dishonesty on “Fetal Tissue Research”: The New York Times editorial “The Campaign of Deception Against Planned Parenthood”

In this editorial, the New York Times defends the Planned Parenthood practice of “donating” fetal body parts in abortion by  arguing that the mothers make “voluntary and potentially lifesaving tissue donations” and that Planned Parenthood “only accept money — between $30 and $100 per specimen, according to Dr. Nucatola — to cover costs associated with collecting and transporting the tissue”.

Not surprisingly, the NYT doesn’t-or most likely won’t-discuss how these baby “donations” are done or other ethical/legal issues.

However, the NYT does reveal that “Last year, the National Institutes of Health gave $76 million in grants for fetal tissue research. Planned Parenthood is certainly not the only collector of fetal tissue — clinics associated with universities also supply tissue for research.” (emphasis added)

Obviously, there is a lot of money to be made obtaining fetal tissue, including from taxpayers. The media should be following the money involved.

For example, note this quote from a May, 2015 USA Today article “Fetal stem cells and the sports heroes they revitalized-A special report by USA TODAY Sports reveals how a stem-cell manufacturer averted controversy in the treatments of Gordie Howe and John Brodie”: “”We don’t use the word fetal too much,” said Maynard Howe, Stemedica’s CEO, who is no relation to Gordie Howe. “We just don’t want to get people confused about what it is. They’re really considered legally adult stem cells even if they’re fetal-derived.“’ (emphasis added) Besides the deceptive terminology, have or are fetal tissues being set up for commercialized medical use?

As a former reporter, I am constantly amazed by the lack of investigative reporting on the issue of harvesting fetal body parts in abortion.

In just a few minutes of research, I found this on the website of StemExpress, one of the companies mentioned in articles about the controversy:

Partnerships-Easy to Implement Program + Financial Profits
StemExpress promotes global biomedical research while also providing a financial benefit to your clinic. By partnering with StemExpress, not only are you offering a way for your clients to participate in the unique opportunity to facilitate life-saving research, but you will also be contributing to the fiscal growth of your own clinic. The stem cell rich blood and raw materials that are usually discarded during procedures can, instead, be expedited through StemExpress to research laboratories with complete professionalism and source anonymity.” (emphasis added)

StemExpress also includes a convenient site  for purchasing “fetal liver” cells, including the incentive of “Become a StemExpress Customer Today to Receive 10% off Your First Order up to $1000”

Regarding consent, StemExpress has a “Statement of StemExpress Concerning Recent Media Stories”  that states “Written donor consent is required for any donation, including bone marrow, tissue of all types or blood.” If so, what does the form say? When and are the risks and benefits of abortion/donation written or explained to the women ready to abort so that their consent can be informed? As a nurse, I am very familiar with the standards for written consent before any surgery or procedure and few people “volunteer” to sign consent forms instead of being asked.

Planned Parenthood needs to be challenged on its defense as well as the politics, ethics or legality of harvesting body parts in abortions.