Secret Obama Deal to fund Planned Parenthood*
By Bob Unruh
There’s a new push at the U.S. Supreme Court right now to open up the records, planning and documentation behind what so far has been a secret Obama administration strategy to give federal taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, the biggest abortion industry player in the nation, after a state cut off funding.
The fight has been going on since long before a recent series of videos emerged – undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress that reveal numerous Planned Parenthood executives coldly discussing the cash they would expect for various body parts of unborn babies – or even whole “cadavers.”
That’s apparently in conflict with federal law that says it is illegal to sell those parts.
Now a brief has been filed at the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the federal government needs to open up about its dealings in New Hampshire, where a sudden Title X “Family Planning” grant was delivered by the Department of Health and Human Services to Planned Parenthood just after the state decided to withhold funding for the abortionists.
“HHS has continued to refuse to provide certain grant documents on the grounds that they might affect Planned Parenthood’s ‘competitive position’ if it faces a commercial grant competitor in the future,” explains a statement from Alliance Defending Freedom, which has worked on the case on behalf of New Hampshire Right to Life for several years.
WND reported in 2011 that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Planned Parenthood of New Hampshire $1 million just after the state legislature voted to cut off the stream of taxpayer money to the largest operator in the nation’s abortion industry.
She described the executive action through the Department of Health and Human Services nothing less than a fiat.
Even though the state itself cut funding,
“Obama and Planned Parenthood together have said, uh-uh, no way. You step aside will of the people. We are going to move in there because we know better than you do about how you ought to run your own state.”
The American Life League’s Rita Diller said then the action by the administration violates New Hampshire’s sovereignty.
“It is an outrage to learn that the Obama administration has awarded a contract worth more than $1 million directly to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England – in direct circumvention of the wishes of the executive council of the state of New Hampshire,” Diller said then.
“The direct administration of family planning funds by the federal government is a dramatic departure from the way these funds are normally administered,” she said.
Dannelfelser said that Planned Parenthood argued that its abortionists had a right to taxpayer funding because of the abortion group’s mentality.
“Planned Parenthood has always had an entitlement approach to public policy, as if they’re the only folks who can take care of women, even though they’re the largest abortion provider in the nation,” Dannenfelser said.
“But if states awaken to the reality of how they operate, they have defunded them. So … Planned Parenthood’s stronghold is either through the courts or through HHS and ultimately through President Obama,” she said.
In the developing case in New Hampshire, the state’s Right to Life group is seeking information under the Freedom of Information Act about the Title X “Family Planning” grant that was awarded.
In February, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled HHS could “shield” information about the grant and the department’s procedures from the public.
But ADF allied attorney Michael Tierney and others are fighting back.
“Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funnelled to groups that are misusing it,” said Tierney, one of more than 2,600 private attorneys allied with ADF, which in April asked the Supreme Court to weigh in on the case.
“The government is withholding documents that are critical in evaluating this apparently illegal funding, which the Obama administration granted despite New Hampshire’s grave concerns and without following standard protocols. The administration’s ongoing defence of Planned Parenthood and the secrecy surrounding its funding is completely unacceptable.”
The filing Monday provided additional information in support of the request to review the case and change its outcome.
The state decision in 2011 came “in part because of concerns that [Planned Parenthood of Northern New England] was improperly using the funds to subsidize its abortion business and was not being transparent about its activities,” the ADF reported.
“HHS responded by providing Planned Parenthood a controversial sole source non-competitive replacement grant,” ADF reported.
But when New Hampshire Right to Life sought documents concerning the grant, HHS stonewalled until a federal court order required it to produce some, but not all, requested information about the grant.
Now, it is even arguing, ironically, that because of some potential for competition in the future, it cannot provide details about the non-competitive grant.
But ADF noted that the FOIA “requires ‘full agency disclosure unless information is exempted under clearly delineated statutory language.’”
“Americans are already being forced to fund Planned Parenthood, which has become the subject of numerous state investigations in recent days, with more than $500 million in taxpayer dollars annually,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox.
“At the very least, the government must be transparent about this money. Since Planned Parenthood is already the subject of repeated state and federal audits and whistleblower lawsuits for waste, abuse, and potential fraud of taxpayer dollars, not to mention ongoing federal and state investigations over possible baby parts trafficking, the government should comply with the law and come clean about the funding.”
New Hampshire again, in just the past few days, voted against state funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Louisiana also recently took similar action.
The ADF, in arguing to the Supreme Court that it should take the case and reverse the outcome, noted there is a conflict among the courts on the issue.
Further, the ADF said,
“No government agency should be allowed to cherry pick what information it will disclose in order to most effectively sell the agency’s chosen policy choices. Such a conclusion runs directly contrary to the express purpose of FOIA.”
WND has reported in recent weeks on the videos being released by the CMP, including an expert opinion that judges’ rulings that several of the undercover videos that cannot be released, at least now, because of the “privacy concerns” of those caught on video, easily could be overcome by someone in Congress obtaining those select videos and posting them on a congressional website.
The CMP sent undercover operatives to Planned Parenthood and other locations to find out about the industry’s trade in the body parts of unborn infants.
Five videos already made public have revealed Planned Parenthood executives callously talking about what they would get – one infamously stated “I want a Lamborghini” – for allowing a company to collect and sell body parts.
But two interests – the commercial StemExpress which operates in the industry and the National Abortion Federation which represents abortion businesses – both went to court to ask that any videos including their own statements be suppressed.
In a commentary published by the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, legal experts say that may not make any difference.
Hans von Spakovsky, an authority on a wide range of issues including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform, and Elizabeth Slattery, who writes about the rule of law, the role of courts, civil rights and equal protection, both are in the foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.
“[An] action that one or both of these congressional committees [investigating Planned Parenthood] should consider taking is immediately to request or subpoena all of the remaining videos from CMP that have not yet been released.
“The actions of StemExpress and NAF, who are allies of Planned Parenthood, reveal the tactics that these abortion providers and organ buyers intend to use to prevent or delay the release of these videos: seeking out sympathetic judges who will prevent the further release of videos that severely damage the image of the abortion industry and reveal in gory detail their inner workings.”
The commentary continued,
“No federal or state judge has the authority to prevent a congressional committee from holding a hearing at which witnesses – like representatives of CMP – testify about their experiences or where the committee presents evidence it has obtained such as the undercover videos, which could also be posted on the committee’s website.”
There already are multiple states, several congressional committees and others investigating Planned Parenthood’s operations now.
When CMP released its fifth video, WND reported another Planned Parenthood executive was caught discussing the prices for the bodies of unborn babies. The executive noticed that “it’s all just a matter of line items” for “intact foetal cadavers” or dissections from them.
That statement was from Melissa Farrell, of the Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast, one of the biggest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country, who said,
“If we alter our process, and we are able to obtain intact foetal cadavers, we can make it part of the budget that any dissections are this, and splitting the specimens into different shipments is this. It’s all just a matter of line items.”
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said the videos were just too much.
“I am very troubled by the callous behaviour of Planned Parenthood staff in (the) recently released videos,” he explained,
“which casually discuss the sale, possibly for profit, of foetal tissue after an abortion. Until these allegations have been answered and resolved, I do not believe that taxpayer money should be used to fund this organization.”
From statements by Planned Parenthood officials that ranged from
“I want a Lamborghini” to discussion about how to salvage certain saleable parts by crushing surrounding parts, the videos are self-explanatory.
An old story
WND also has reported that as horrific as the videos appear, they should surprise no one, since such practices have been documented for nearly two decades already.
One price list uncovered by a pro-life organization dated June 1998 shows that the price per specimen from a second trimester abortion is $90 fresh and $130 frozen.
Mark Crutcher, whose Life Dynamics organization was a ground-breaker in investigating the abortion behemoth that gets some $500 million annually from U.S. taxpayers, worked on that investigation.
“A baby parts ‘wholesaler’ enters into a financial agreement with an abortion clinic in which the wholesaler pays a monthly ‘site fee’ to the clinic. For this payment, the wholesaler is allowed to place a retrieval agent inside the clinic where he or she is given access to the corpses of children killed there and a workspace to harvest their parts.”
He continued: “The buyer – usually a researcher working for a medical school, pharmaceutical company, bio-tech company or government agency – supplies the wholesaler with a list of the baby parts wanted. … when such orders are received … they are faxed to the retrieval agent at the clinic who harvests the requested parts and ships them to the buyer.”
The documentation was provided at that time to Life Dynamics by a worker who left Comprehensive Health for Women, a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Overland Park, Kansas.
Among the documents was a “Fee-for-Services” Schedule A, effective June 1998, which outlined a charge of $220 per specimen for first-trimester aspiration abortions and $260 if the baby parts were frozen.
Crutcher’s report, citing Planned Parenthood’s own paperwork, found that one agent sold during February 1996 alone 47 livers, 11 liver fragments, seven brains, 21 eyes, eight thymuses, 23 legs, 14 pancreases, 14 lungs, six arms and one kidney-adrenal gland.
He also sold three orders of blood from the unborn child. The retrieval agent “harvested all of the parts,” the report said, explaining that “in order for the blood of an aborted child to be sold, the dead baby had to be brought to him intact.”
The “specimens,” the report said, would have generated up to about $25,000 in revenue for one month from one retrieval agent at one Planned Parenthood business.
Crutcher reported that the tissue logs reveal that one baby is often chopped up and sold to many buyers.
For example, babies taken from donors 113968 and 114189 were both killed late in their second trimester and cut into nine pieces. By applying the price list, buyers would have been invoiced between $3,510 and $5,070 for these parts, he said.
They’re Not Baby Parts, They’re ‘Products of Conception’*