Planned Parenthood To Stop Accepting Reimbursements For Fetal Tissue

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, has announced that the organization will no longer be accepting reimbursements for fetal tissue donation. The 100 percent legal practice came under scrutiny this year after anti-choice advocates produced a series of videos that were highly edited in order to make it appear as though the organization was “selling” fetal parts rather than donating them to research. Naturally, a bunch of idiots who believe everything they see on YouTube — including all of the GOP Presidential contenders — were aghast.

Many on the Right have since demanded that the government defund Planned Parenthood entirely, despite the fact that no federal funding goes toward abortion anyway, due to the noxious Hyde Amendment. Again, we are not talking about the brightest bulbs in the tree, here.

Now, given that the purpose of these videos had much, much less to do with any sincere upset with the concept of accepting reimbursements for fetal tissue donations and a lot more with making abortion illegal and birth control harder to obtain, Richards is now calling these people on their bluff.

She explains her reasoning in a letter to the NIH.

“Today, we’re taking their smokescreen away and pushing forward with our important work on behalf of millions of women, men, and young people.

“The participation by a handful of our affiliates in supporting women who choose to make fetal tissue donation has always been about nothing other than honoring the desire of those women and contributing to life-saving research and cures. In order to completely debunk the disingenuous argument that our opponents have been using — and to reveal the true political purpose of these attacks — our Federation has decided, going forward, that any Planned Parenthood health center that is involved in donating tissue after an abortion for medical research will follow the model already in place at one of our two affiliates currently facilitating donations for fetal tissue research. That affiliate accepts no reimbursement for its reasonable expenses — even though reimbursement is fully permitted under the 1993 law.”

As much as I think it sucks that PP can no longer accept completely legal reimbursements for fetal tissue, I think Richards is doing the right thing here in taking the Right’s ammo away. Now what are they gonna say? The conspiracy theorists got what they claimed they were looking for! By allowing them to “win,” Richards has ensured that they will lose. Smart move.

[NPR]