TESTIMONY OF MISSOURI RIGHT TO LIFE
BEFORE THE SENATE SENIORS, FAMILIES AND CHILDREN COMMITTEE
IN SUPPORT OF HCS HB’s 2069 & 2371 April 26, 2016
RE: Illegal Selling and Buying of Baby Body Parts Current practices employed by Planned Parenthood and other tissue procurement companies, aside from being ethically and morally repugnant, appear to be illegal.
The content of the videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress is disturbing, to say the least, and they certainly suggest violations of the law on the part of Planned Parenthood and their baby body-part buyers. The fact that Planned Parenthood in these videos admitted to the following atrocious acts suggests illegal activity.
1. They are engaged in negotiating market value pricing for the baby body parts or the whole intact body where the law allows only the recovery of costs. Costs are set so the only purpose of negotiated pricing would be to increase profit on the sale which is illegal under federal statute and Section 188.036(5) RSMo.
2. Abortion procedures are altered from the norm in order to procure the requested organs intact which results in greater risk to the woman having the abortion and this is often done without the knowledge or consent of the woman in violation of Missouri’s informed consent statute Section 188.027 RSMo.
3. Planned Parenthood’s efforts to meet the research industries desire for intact whole baby bodies suggests that Planned Parenthood is engaged in performing illegal partial-birth abortions and is possibly engaged in infanticide which is murder in the second degree under Missouri law Section 188.035 RSMo.
With the pressure to obtain suitable fetal tissue for researchers, comes the pressure to deliver an intact and potentially living child. There is ample evidence that researchers support harvesting tissue from live born infants. Recorded comments made by employees of Planned Parenthood and tissue procurement employees raises justifiable concerns that infants are born alive after an induced abortion at Planned Parenthood and then killed to harvest their tissue.
Based on the testimony by the Pathology Lab Director (in the House Committee investigations) that receives some of the body parts of an aborted baby from Planned Parenthood it is still unknown if any of these things are happening in Missouri at this time. The oversight of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is abysmal as it has failed to conduct consistent and regular physical inspections of the clinics over the years. Further, former Director of the Department Gail Vasterling, admitted to the Senate Sanctity of Life Committee and most recently the interim Acting Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, Peter Lyskowski, admitted that the department does not know what is done with the baby bodies or body parts from abortions done by Planned Parenthood in Missouri even though the Department is supposed to receive a pathology report on each aborted baby. There is no accounting of the bodies of babies killed by abortion in Missouri. And, there are questions about the final disposal of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood baby body parts from abortions with the recent fines of a medical waste facility, MedAssure, located in Indianapolis, IN.
When you consider what transpired with the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia, Missouri, which we will address in a moment, you have to question the Departments motives, or its competence, as it relates to the oversight of the abortion industry. Abortion itself is repugnant to our society which is dedicated to “equal justice under the law.” When you add the selling and buying of these baby bodies and body parts for research it is even more unfathomable. We cannot have “equal justice” if some human individuals have the right to their lives and others do not. We cannot have a just society if some humans are violated and used for the benefit of others more powerful than they.
As a humane society, we cannot divorce the killing of innocent human lives for scientific research from moral principles. Many advocates of fetal tissue research argue that the use of human fetal tissue is good for society as a whole and has the potential to help eliminate diseases; therefore, it is justified. However, this goes against an important principle of our society, that a person may not kill one for the benefit of another.
If a woman is conflicted about whether or not to have an abortion, knowledge of the potential utility of the dead baby has the potential to tip the balance. Further, studies have shown that women consider outside needs and desires when considering whether or not to abort their child. This research would add another level of pressure to an already vulnerable woman. The only way to avoid encouragement of abortions is to eliminate research using human fetal tissue from induced abortions. Missouri saw fit to prohibit fetal experimentation by any person in Section 188.037 RSMo.
We fear the use of human fetal tissue for research and the increased pressure to harvest and even create more fetal tissue would be an incentive for more abortions. The research industries appetite for suitable fetal tissue and their willingness to pay top dollar for tissue, organs and whole bodies of unborn babies has created a seller’s market where Planned Parenthood is demanding top dollar from procurement companies for specimens collected from abortion.
The idea that this would never happen in Missouri is preposterous given the testimonies given to the Senate Sanctity of Life Committee, the House Children and Families Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee and the video evidence of Planned Parenthood’s actions. This evidence demands that we pass legislation to ensure that selling and buying baby bodies and body parts from abortions is not done in Missouri or anywhere around the United States. We urge the Senate to take up and pass HCS HB’s 2069 & 2371.