In a new video released Tuesday by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, a former StemExpress employee said she witnessed her colleagues working inside Planned Parenthood clinics collect fetal body parts following an abortion without obtaining consent from the patient who underwent the procedure.
What did the whistleblower say?
In the latest installment in a series of videos featuring Holly O’Donnell, a former StemExpress procurement technician, O’Donnell said that patients looking to donate tissue from their procedures have to sign a consent form — but sometimes that didn’t happen.
“If there was like a high-gestated fetus, I mean, I have witnessed there was no consent signed, and these women didn’t know that it was getting taken,” O’Donnell said. “It’s stealing, it’s stealing baby parts.”
O’Donnell said some women gave consent to make the donation, but others didn’t want to or were “creeped out” by the question.
She added that sometimes the procurement technician performed actions in the clinic that they were not permitted or licensed to do, such as drawing blood or starting an IV.
Is there an investigation into the allegations?
The Center for Medical Progress’ undercover videos raised allegations that Planned Parenthood was profiting from the sale of aborted fetal body parts to researchers. Selling human body parts for profit — including those of the unborn — is illegal in the United States. Planned Parenthood denied illegal conduct and said it donated tissue to researchers.
After a congressional investigation into the videos’ allegations last year, the House Select Panel on Infant Lives referred StemExpress to the Department of Health and Human Services for possibly violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 – or HIPAA — a law that protects patient privacy.
“This betrayal of a young woman’s trust should disgust us all," the panel's chairman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), said at the time.
In previous videos for the pro-life group, O’Donnell alleged that procurement technicians were given access to private patient information in order to facilitate collecting “specimens.”
After conducting its own investigation, the Senate Judiciary Committee also referred several Planned Parenthood affiliates and StemExpress — among others — to the FBI and the Department of Justice for a criminal investigation. At the time, the committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), said the organizations demonstrated “disregard for the law.”
The Hill reported last week that the FBI has requested unredacted documents the Senate Judiciary Committee obtained from abortion providers. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last week during Congressional testimony that if the Senate Judiciary Committee’s findings are verified, they “could provide a basis for charges.”
What did the Center for Medical Progress say?
In a statement, David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, said, “Planned Parenthood and their business partners like StemExpress preyed on pregnant women to harvest and sell aborted baby body parts in an illegal profit-driven scheme.”
“Public officials should shut down Planned Parenthood’s barbaric abortion empire so Planned Parenthood can never defraud the public, hurt patients, or sell aborted baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains again,” Daleiden said.