20/20 Baby Parts Investigation Shown in Court

LIBERTY ALERTS, LIBERTY COUNSEL

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – During the civil trial in the San Francisco Federal District Court yesterday, the judge finally allowed Liberty Counsel, after being denied for four weeks, to show the video of the ABC News 20/20 Report: Parts for Sale in court. Published in 2000, the video features Chris Wallace revealing that a “hidden camera investigation has found a thriving industry, in which aborted fetuses women donate to help medical research are being marketed for hundreds – even thousands of dollars.” The documentary reveals the so-called consent is filled with “legal mumbo jumbo” that the women sign without knowing their babies will be sold for research.

Investigators in the 20/20 Report used similar undercover video recording techniques used by Sandra Merritt and her colleague, David Daleiden, the founder of Center for Medical Research (CMP). The documentary revealed that abortion procedures were altered in order to harvest intact body parts that sell for higher prices, which the investigation states is illegal. In fact, after this report was released and Planned Parenthood was not further investigated for the unethical and illegal profiting from human baby body parts, Merritt and Daleiden reasonably believed additional investigation was needed.

The ABC News 20/20 correspondent ran several extended clips from hidden camera footage where two producers met with a pathologist, Dr. Miles Jones, who over lobster bisque and roast duck, explained the business of selling baby body parts. This footage is similar to CMP’s first video where former Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Dr. Deborah Nucatola sipped wine while eating a salad and casually talked openly for third parties to hear how she positions the baby in the womb and then crushes above and below the thorax to harvest intact hearts, lungs, and livers.

Dr. Jones revealed that an average fetal tissue sample or organ costs him just $50, plus overhead.  However, he charged an average of $250 and he could make $2,500 on one aborted baby. At one point in the footage, Jones also blatantly referred to his operation as a “golden goose,” adding that “you can certainly keep it well-fed, and it will lay lots of eggs for you.”

Jones also said, “We had projections of $50,000 a week. And you know, some weeks you can hit that, and some weeks you can’t. It’s just a matter of being able to match supply and demand…That one fetus – the cost of procuring it is the same – whether you get one kidney, or you get two kidneys; a lung; a brain; a heart. It’s the same cost that you’ve put into it.”

Wallace also interviewed bioethicist Arthur Caplan, who viewed the undercover footage and denounced Jones’ “trading in body parts.” Caplan underlined that “it’s flat-out buying and selling, It’s flat-out profiteering. It’s flat-out saying, ‘I’m going to charge you whatever you’re going to pay me.’“

Besides the hidden camera video, the report also featured two whistleblowers that used to work for firms that obtained tissue and organs from abortion centers. They revealed that “abortions were altered to get better tissue,” a fact that Planned Parenthood officials also admitted in the CMP videos. The whistleblowers also cited how an abortion facility “normally did early abortions with a suction machine. But when the fetus was being donated….a special syringe was used – which experts say puts women through longer, more uncomfortable abortions.”

One of the whistle blowers also said he helped put together a price list which included: $325 for a spinal cord; $550 for a reproductive organ; $999 for a brain. He said, “When I got the fetus, I’d already have a checklist telling me what specific organs they were looking for.” In fact, his company pressured him to get as much tissue as possible which meant he was even told to take it from aborted babies of women who had not donated for research.

He said, “This is purely for profit. Everything was about money.”

The network’s report also included a clip from the then-president of Planned Parenthood Gloria Feldt who stated, “Where there is wrongdoing, it should be prosecuted; and people who are doing that kind of thing should be brought to justice.”

These were the last words the jury heard yesterday before they were released for the rest of the day.

Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Sandra Merritt used the same lawful recording methods in public places as the journalists in the ABC News 20/20 investigation. She did nothing wrong. Planned Parenthood is using the courts to abuse and silence Sandra Merritt and David Daleiden. From the beginning we have been thwarted in our defense because the court has refused to allow the defense to show the videos that reveal the horrible trafficking in baby body parts. This one video from 2000 shows that this horrible practice of harvesting baby body parts has been ongoing for decades. It is time to end this horror,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is defending Sandra Merritt against Planned Parenthood’s civil lawsuit seeking millions of dollars. Learn more at www.LC.org/Sandra.


Used with the permission of Liberty Counsel.


Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.