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The facility for medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, taped undercover video clip of Dr. Mary Gatter, to plan Parenthood Federation that America’s medical Directors’ council president, mentioning fetal organization donations.


Controversial videos exit by one anti-abortion group have highlighted the murky guidelines for making use of fetal organization for research purposes.

The group, referred to as the facility for medical Progress, has accused to plan Parenthood of selling aborted fetuses for a profit, a fee Planned Parenthood has actually denied. Among its videos, tape-recorded in secret and exit July 14, 2015, reflects members that the anti-abortion team posing as tissue brokers discussing terms for procuring fetal tissue.

To some, it appeared that to plan Parenthood was proposing come illegally sell tissue, prompting lawmakers in several says to launch investigations and also Republicans in conference to effort cutting off more than $500 million in federal money. But Planned Parenthood maintains the its process is legit and minimal to a grasp of states.

Confused around what’s going on? We’re here to help. Here’s our overview of eight points we know — and don’t understand — around fetal tissue donation and also Planned Parenthood.

1. It is illegal to market fetal tissue. Yet donations room legal.

The national Institutes of health and wellness Revitalization act of 1993 permits a mrs to consent come donating fetal tissue after one abortion. The federal legislation sets constraints that stop the woman from knowing or having actually a say in how the tissue is used, or profiting native it.

Fetuses likewise can’t be aborted because that the details purpose of utilizing tissue, especially to offer it. The alternative can’t be questioned with the woman till after she has decided to have an abortion.

Researchers have actually used fetal tissue due to the fact that the 1930s; experimentation on the organization was crucial in eventually developing the polio vaccine. Present studies are using the tissue to research conditions like AIDS, muscular dystrophy and also Parkinson’s disease.

2. The law enables for "reasonable" fees come cover the group’s expenses of donating the tissue.

Part that the video clip shows Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services in ~ the plan Parenthood Federation that America, informing undercover activists the tissues deserve to be obtained for fees in the $30 to $100 range. Activists against abortion rights point to this as proof the Planned Parenthood is "selling the body components of aborted children."

But the 1993 law likewise makes allowances for "reasonable payments linked with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue."

The fees Nucatola discusses in the video likely autumn under that definition, professionals told

3. Nothing specifies exactly how much appropriate fees must be.

What counts together a "reasonable payment" is not explicitly outlined in the law. Organizations don’t have to publicly report just how much they space charging buyers that process the tissue and also isolate particular cells prior to selling them to researchers. Activists in the videos were posing as brokers and also went earlier and forth through Nucatola to gain her come disclose plan Parenthood’s fees.

"The quantities she cites do not show up to be out of the ordinary, however no one knows since there is no it is registered or compendium of fees charged by establishments (or) institutions supplying fetal tissue," stated Arthur Caplan, manager of the division of Medical principles at new York University’s Langone clinical Center. "When she haggles about fees, that does not appear to me to be trying to profit."

4. There are no regulations for what brokers fee researchers, either.

While abortion clinics or hospitals sometimes carry out tissue straight to researchers, institutions or exclusive companies favor the organization brokers mentioned over often act together middlemen. Profiteering may be arising on this level, Caplan said.

Caplan said brokers can resell organization to researchers at what it seems to be ~ like reasonably high markups, yet "regulations don't exist top top fees, for this reason what they charge is collection by market."

California-based StemExpress is one such broker and also is cited in one of the facility for medical Progress videos as contracting v Planned Parenthood for fetal tissue. The firm charges fees for countless kinds of person cells, from $100 for a vial of peripheral blood come $24,000 because that a vial of highly focused fetal liver cells. The agency reported $2.2 million in revenue in 2013, follow to a profile in Inc. Magazine.

Prue Talbot, the manager of the Stem Cell facility at the college of California, Riverside, agreed v a StemExpress statement that said research methods and also expensive medical tools are expensive. Talbot said experienced technicians that deserve to isolate and preserve certain kinds that cells also command high salaries, driving up costs.

5. Political push is driving the worry in part states.

Since the videos to be released, at least 12 states, consisting of Florida, Texas, Georgia and South Carolina, have dubbed for investigations into the organization’s tissue program.

States monitor the federal law, but Wisconsin legislators have actually vowed to half fetal tissue donation in the fall. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a presidential candidate, canceled his state’s contract through Planned Parenthood even though the two facilities in that state don’t sell abortion services.

"It is against the regulation for any kind of organization to market body parts," Florida Gov. Rick Scott claimed on July 29. "If a to plan Parenthood office is not adhering to the law, we will move easily to take legal and regulatory activity against them."

Florida's health and wellness services agencyannounced Aug. 5 thatthree infrastructure would be cited for performing second-trimester abortions there is no a proper license and also a 4th will it is in citedfor improper recordkeeping adhering to its investigation.

6. To plan Parenthood says it only has donation program in a couple of states. However we don’t know which ones.

Planned Parenthood chairman Cecile Richards has said her company conducts organization donations in "less 보다 five" states.

But no one — no from planned Parenthood, the state affiliates or providers that procure the stem cell — will certainly disclose the claims where this happens.

A spokeswoman because that the plan Parenthood Federation of America, the organization’s national wing, cited protection concerns. So far, affiliates in Maine, Vermont, brand-new Hampshire, Indiana and Florida have denied having any kind of a tissue donation program.

7. Federal law does not require Planned Parenthood come disclose this info on their taxes forms.

You may think that because Planned Parenthood receives federal money, it needs to disclose more information about its business, including the fetal organization donation locations.

But that’s no the case.

Planned Parenthood is a network the affiliated organizations that cooperate through each other, led by the planned Parenthood Federation of America. Together a registered 501(c)(4) nonprofit, each affiliate only needs to release a yearly taxation report referred to as a type 990. On the 990, those affiliates have to list their five largest contractors, yet don’t have to administer any other details around their operations.

8. Abortions carry out not comprise the majority of plan Parenthood’s services. Yet neither perform mammograms.

The tissue donation controversy has reignited the country’s abortion wars, through advocates and critics alike slinging statistics around what planned Parenthood really does.

In a recent interview through GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Fox organization reporter Smith stated "almost 95 percent that all your pregnancy solutions were abortions."

That rates False. The cherry-picked statistic traces ago to a political action committee the opposes abortion. By the group’s measure, which thought about only plan Parenthood’s report abortions, prenatal treatment services and fostering referrals, abortions comprised 94 percent of planned Parenthood’s "pregnancy services." but the bulk of planned Parenthood’s work does not emphasis on prenatal care, and the group does not keep records on how many pregnant females it ad to external health treatment providers.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland Gov. Young name O’Malley go the opposite direction, telling reporters "97 percent the the job-related that to plan Parenthood does is about mammograms and also preventative health."

That rates fifty percent True. The 97 percent number accounts because that services other than abortion, including contraception, STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings, and also more. Preventive care comprises around 85 come 90 percent of all their services. Mammograms are component of the group, yet Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer mammograms. They perform breast exams and also give referrals to outside clinics that provide mammograms.

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Editor's note:Hours after ~ this story was published, Florida announced the results of the investigation into Planned Parenthood. The piece has actually been updated.