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Planned Parenthood harvested baby parts without patient consent; whistleblower says they just "took what they wanted"

Planned Parenthood

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(NaturalNews) An anti-abortion organization that has released a slew of undercover videos showing a seedy side of Planned Parenthood, including officials who were caught allegedly negotiating the for-profit sale of aborted baby body parts, continues to make headlines with new revelations and allegations against the nation's largest abortion provider.

In one of those videos, a young woman who was an eyewitness to the daily practice of harvesting fetal body parts in PP clinics recounted what she saw. A press release from the Center for Medical Progress – the group that conducted the undercover sting that resulted in several videos – said that the woman described the coordination tissue procurement workers had with the abortion providers, the pressure put upon patients and PP's disregard for patient consent.

The center notes:

The "Human Capital" documentary web series, produced by The Center for Medical Progress, integrates expert interviews, eyewitness accounts, and real-life undercover interactions to explore various themes connected to Planned Parenthood's sale of aborted fetal tissue.

Holly O'Donnell is a former Blood and Tissue Procurement Technician for the firm StemExpress, a start-up biotech company based in northern California that partners with Planned Parenthood clinics to buy aborted body parts for resale to scientific researchers. In the video, she provides a disturbing narrative of what she saw daily.

"It's not an option"

As a procurement tech, the center noted, her function was to identify pregnant patients who matched the specifications provided to StemExpress by its customers and then harvest the fetal body parts after the babies were aborted.

"It's not an option, it's a demand," StemExpress supervisors told O'Donnell regarding approaching pregnant women at Planned Parenthood for fetal tissue "donations."

She went onto say that the company technicians working in PP clinics often harvested fetal parts without even obtaining consent from patients.

"If there was a higher gestation, and the technicians needed it, there were times when they would just take what they wanted," she said. "And these mothers don't know. And there's no way they would know."

Federal laws regarding the procurement and use of human fetal tissue require that patients consent to the tissue donation subsequent to consenting to the abortion procedure (42 U.S.C. 289g-1).

The former technician also said Planned Parenthood gave StemExpress techs access to patient records and schedules so that the biotech company could plan around days when patient "supply" would be greatest.

Violations of patient privacy rights?

"They give you a sheet, and it's everybody for that day, who's coming in for an ultrasound, who's coming in for an abortion, medical or a late-term abortion," O'Donnell said.

Even patients who were at PP clinics merely seeking a pregnancy test were considered part of the supply.

"Pregnancy tests are potential pregnancies, therefore potential specimens. So it's just taking advantage of the opportunities," she said.

Providing patient information could be a violation of federal HIPAA privacy rules. According to the Department of Health and Human Services website, there are a number of ways patient information is required to be protected:

The Office for Civil Rights enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information; the HIPAA Security Rule, which sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information; the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule, which requires covered entities and business associates to provide notification following a breach of unsecured protected health information; and the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Rule, which protect identifiable information being used to analyze patient safety events and improve patient safety.

"Experiences like Holly O'Donnell's show that Planned Parenthood's abortion and baby parts business is not a safe place where vulnerable women can be cared for, but a harvesting ground for saleable human 'product,'" said the center's project lead, David Daleiden.

"Taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood's barbaric abortion business should be revoked immediately, and law enforcement and other elected officials must act decisively to determine the full extent of Planned Parenthood's offensive practices and hold them accountable to the law," he added.

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