Pro-life supporters cheered Planned Parenthood's decision Tuesday to no longer accept payments for fetal body parts, with the Center for Medical Progress calling the reversal "an admission of guilt" in response to its undercover videos.
"For three months, Planned Parenthood has tried to pass off its baby-parts-for-money scheme as totally legitimate," said David Daleiden, the center's founder. "Today, Planned Parenthood's latest PR stunt of so-called 'policy' change is an admission of guilt."
"If the money Planned Parenthood has been receiving for baby body parts were truly legitimate 'reimbursement,' why cancel it?" he asked. "This proves what CMP has been saying all along: Planned Parenthood incurs no actual costs, and the payments for harvested fetal parts have always been an extra profit margin."
The center released 10 undercover videos beginning in July showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of body parts — sometimes in graphic detail.
Daleiden raised further doubts about the organization's decision.
"Without releasing the text of the alleged new 'policy' and the exact model from their Washington affiliate, Planned Parenthood's stunt today tells us nothing," he said. "This only raises more serious questions about what Planned Parenthood's leadership has been allowing its clinics to do with money and baby parts — and intensifies the need for Congress to pursue full auditing and oversight of Planned Parenthood's unaccountable criminal enterprise of baby-parts trafficking."
Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, told Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, that the organization would keep programs at some of its clinics that make fetal tissue available for research but would not accept payment
for the parts.
"Planned Parenthood's policies on fetal tissue donation already exceed the legal requirements," Richards said. "Now we're going even further in order to take away any basis for attacking Planned Parenthood to advance an anti-abortion political agenda."
The center's videos have prompted four congressional investigations — and House Republicans voted last week to create a special committee to investigate Planned Parenthood's practices.
Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that his panel would continue its probe into Planned Parenthood's federal funding.
"This is a good, tangible result of the collective efforts of the House in investigating Planned Parenthood," Chaffetz said. "It is helpful in taking away some questions surrounding their transactions involving fetal tissue. Significant questions still remain about Planned Parenthood's finances."
"This decision does not answer the question as to why a non-profit, tax-exempt organization reporting approximately $125 million in revenue over expenses annually needs a subsidy from the American taxpayer," he added. "The committee will continue its investigation into Planned Parenthood's use of federal taxpayer dollars."
Tennessee Rep. Diane Black, a registered nurse for more than 40 years, reiterated her call for defunding the organization.
"It is curious that, while Planned Parenthood officials maintain there has been no wrongdoing, they still find it necessary to change their policy," Black said. "Clearly, this was a decision motivated by optics rather than the organization's conscience."
Her Volunteer State colleague, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, said that "it's about time" the organization ended "this disgusting practice."
"However, there are still many questions yet to be answered surrounding Planned Parenthood's business practices and relationships with the procurement organizations," she said. "This is exactly why the House is investigating abortion practices and how we can better protect life."
Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League in Chicago, also urged legislators to not end their inquiries into Planned Parenthood for "crimes committed in the course of their fetal-tissue-selling scheme."
"Planned Parenthood is clearly worried they may lose their massive taxpayer subsidy," he added. "Nothing else would prompt them to give up the profits from selling aborted baby body parts. Cecile Richards just doesn't get it."
"What has horrified people, and prompted nationwide protests, isn't that Planned Parenthood might profit from the sale of fetal tissue," Scheidler continued, "but that they are harvesting body parts from human beings they've killed — and joking about it."
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