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EXCLUSIVE–Rep. Kevin Yoder: Close Planned Parenthood’s ‘Shipping and Handling’ Loophole

This week, the Center for Medical Progress released a fifth video showing Planned Parenthood executives openly discussing the process and utility of selling fetal organs. This time, Director for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Melissa Farrell boasts that selling fetal organs for research “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here.”

It’s hard to find an adjective to adequately condemn these videos. The callous discussion of methods to preserve intact “specimens” by carefully crushing unborn children to save their organs takes place over salad and a glass of wine. It shocks the conscience and makes your stomach turn.

But what’s been lost in the brutality of these videos is a stunning admission made by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Vice President and Medical Director, Savita Ginde, in CMP’s fourth video. Ginde is shown saying she is “very” confident that Planned Parenthood attorneys have created enough layers to make it difficult for the organization to get caught “selling fetal parts across states,” saying, “He’s got it figured out.”

Ginde is referring to Planned Parenthood’s legal defense of this heinous practice they’ve previewed in their crisis communications campaign: they’re just being paid for shipping and handling.

John McCormack of The Weekly Standard sums it up clearly:

The relevant law regarding the “donation” of such “tissue” for research was sponsored in the House of Representatives by left-wing Democrat Henry Waxman and signed into law by President Clinton in 1993. “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration,” the law reads. But it also states: “The term ‘valuable consideration’ does not include reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.” So what’s a “reasonable payment” and what’s not? The law doesn’t say.

The law indeed does not say. Here we have the loophole that allows abortion providers like Planned Parenthood to say they are selling fetal organs not for profit but for the low price of shipping and handling. It’s as if they are selling OxiClean on late-night infomercials.

I believe it’s time to close that loophole. And dozens of my House colleagues agree.

To truly stamp out this practice, we need to pass H.R. 3429 – the Pro-LIFE Act,which I introduced last week. Short for “Prohibiting the Life-Ending Industry of Fetal Organ Exchange,” my bill repeals this exception in federal law that allows for vague and undefined “reasonable payments” in exchange for fetal organs. Disguising the sale of fetal organs as a transaction that only covers costs doesn’t hide the fact that Planned Parenthood is enriching its bottom line by commodifying unborn human life.

As Americans — as humans — no matter who we are, where we are from, or even what political party we belong to, everyone deep down knows this is wrong. And we must declare with one voice as a nation that we will not tolerate or condone something so despicable.

Defenders of this barbaric practice will do everything they can to change the subject and call attempts to stop it an attack on women’s health services. They would rather not face the reality that Planned Parenthood is harvesting organs from unborn babies for sale.

Planned Parenthood alone performed about 327,000 of the more than one million abortions in America in the last year data is available, and ongoing investigations will eventually determine just how many times they were exploiting this loophole to sell aborted organs.

The fight to stop this gruesome practice has many prongs. Defunding Planned Parenthood and redirecting that money to state and local health centers providing women’s health services without abortions is one of them. The Senate taking up the House-passed Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions after an unborn child has reached five months in the womb, is yet another.

But my legislation is a critical component to ensuring that no organization ever does this again – because even if we defund Planned Parenthood, the shipping and handling loophole will give someone else the opportunity to pick up where they left off. My bill removes the incentive for any future organization to engage in selling unborn human life and the legal loophole it might use to erect its “many layers” of defense – to put it in Savita Ginde’s words.

These videos have shed light on a shadowy industry that has existed in this country for far too long. Now is the time to act.

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