Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

While Planned Parenthood Admits Guilt, Government Spends Millions Funding Experiments on Human Fetuses


Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Planned Parenthood has been trying to legitimize its “baby-parts-for-money scheme,” but they have just admitted guilt.

In their newest attempt to feed the media misleading buzzwords about what really goes on at Planned Parenthood, President Cecile Richards has released a letter to the National Institutes of Health announcing that their affiliates will no longer be accepting legal reimbursement for the expenses involved in harvesting the baby parts.

However, the Center for Medical Progress—the organization that conducted the undercover research into Planned Parenthood’s activities—points out that “if the money Planned Parenthood has been receiving for baby body parts were truly legitimate ‘reimbursement,’ why cancel it?”

This new development in the case only confirms what the top Planned Parenthood executives told CMP journalists in what they thought were off-the-record conversations: Planned Parenthood doesn’t incur actual costs for harvesting the baby body parts, and payments have always been for profit.

In addition to a full-scale investigation into this highly illegal action, we should be asking why taxpayer money even funds “legal tissue donation” and medical experimentation on baby parts.

According to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) report, the government agency spent $76 million in Human Fetal Tissue-specific grants and nearly $1.4 billion in Stem Cell Research grants—just in 2014. The CMP also notes that these are minimal estimates, since projects under $500,000 may not be reported, as well as instances where research projects using fetal tissue are reported under another category.

The projects that taxpayers are funding with this money include:

  • 2013 and 2014 studies transplanting cells from 17-22 week aborted fetal brains into lab mice
  • Experiments in 2012 using still-beating fetal hearts purchased from StemExpress through NIH grants
  • A 2013 study using normal 24-week fetal eyes “harvested within minutes of death”

Planned Parenthood and their supporters argue that providing baby parts for medical research is a “humanitarian good” and should actually be applauded.  This line of thinking, however, has several very dangerous flaws.

As the argument goes, once a baby is aborted it “might as well” be used for medical research than be tossed in a dumpster.

The problem with this response is that both of these manners of treating the baby’s body deny the very premise that the pro-life argument lies on—that it is a person with inviolable human dignity. If we want respect for that person while it is still alive in the womb, we must demand respect for that child even after it has been aborted.

Furthermore, to divide up the aborted baby into parts and send it off somewhere to be experimented on promotes the view that the child is only as valuable as its parts—it is only valuable because it is of some use to us. Even if that use is medical research, we cannot deny that child’s inherent value after death.

If we want to stay consistent with our message about the value of life, we should be demanding that Congress defund not only Planned Parenthood, but also the millions of taxpayer dollars going to fund fetal tissue research.

Anna Pfaff works for American Principles in Action.

Anna Anderson

Anna Anderson is the Director of the Religious Freedom Program at American Principles Project.

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