After they were eventually shamed into covering the Kermit Gosnell trial - many in the media admitted they should have covered it earlier and more vigorously. Some of the more honest journalists and outlets also admitted they had not reported on it because of their biases and reluctance to write about a story that shines a negative spotlight on abortion.
But that was then and this is now, they said. We will do better next time, they promised.
Well the next time has arrived and passed and the media has again completely ignored a truly shocking story about abortion. The Senate Judiciary committee last week published a 500-page report on the practice of abortion clinics profiteering from selling body parts of aborted fetuses.
The committee makes it very clear that although they were prompted to act by the CMP’s famous undercover Planned Parenthood videos, their investigation was completely separate. They relied almost exclusively on documents acquired under subpoena from Planned Parenthood and the businesses doing the actual buying and selling.
And they were doing a lot of buying and selling.
The law is very, very clear - it is illegal to make any profit from the body parts of fetuses or indeed any body parts of any human. But the documents subpoenaed from Planned Parenthood and related companies show how the law was completely and willfully ignored.
This was a huge and very, very profitable business.
The report is a window into a very strange and very chilling world of selling baby parts. And in this very creepy world nothing goes to waste.
Matching up documents and invoices the Committee found just how one $15 an hour “technician” spent an hour of his time in early summer 2014.
“For Example on one day in June 2014, the ABR technician obtained a 20 week old fetes at a [Planned Parenthood] clinic. From that one fetus, ABR sold its brain to one customer for $325; both of its eyes for $325 each ($650 total) to a second customer, a portion of its liver for $325 to a third customer; its thymus and for $325 and another portion of liver to a fourth customer; and its lung for $325 to a fifth customer. These fees are merely the service fees for the specimens themselves; ABR separately charged each customer for shipping, disease, screening, cleaning and freezing, as applicable. So from that single fetus for which ABR paid a mere $60, ABR charged its customers a total of $2,275 for tissue specimens, plus additional charges for shipping and disease screening.”
It might be a small comfort to some to know that in the selling of baby body parts - the disabled are treated equally. In fact they might be more valuable.
ABR invoices show the same prices were charged for the parts of a 21-week-old Down Syndrome fetus, except that a buyer was found to pay $325 for a leg and an extra $325 for the baby’s skin. Yes, you read that correctly. In America, in 2016, you can buy the skin of a Down Syndrome fetus for the very reasonable price of just $325 (plus shipping).
And the technicians are efficient. They can do several fetuses in a morning. According to the company's’ own documents one technician did four in a morning - harvesting body parts that they were able to sell for $6,825 and that does not include a hefty cost per part for “shipping, disease testing, cleaning and freezing…..which were subject to separate fees.”
The Senate report is an astonishing document. Once they get through the historical context it becomes a page-turning account of the highly profitable business of selling baby parts in the United States. And just like Kermit Gosnell, who was allowed to kill for years, everyone turned a blind eye to the baby selling even though hundreds, perhaps thousands, of professionals were part of the business transactions. These companies had contracts with Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics. These contracts were revised and altered by lawyers and accountants - all of whom presumably knew that the law explicitly forbids any profiteering from the sales of any body parts of anyone.
And the bills were all paid. If you want some shocking reading, go to the Senate Report and flick forward to the exhibits and there you can see just a sample of the thousands of invoices that were going back and forth in the baby parts business. They are normal invoices complete with the usual terms of payment. You’ve seen it before on every invoice you've ever seen - the company must be paid within 30 days of the invoice date and then the stern warning: “Accounts not paid within 30 days of invoice are subject to a 1.5 percent monthly finance charge.” It is all very normal - and boring - everyone has their account number and their invoice number and then you look at what is actually detailed in the invoices - the “liver 2nd trimester,” "brain 2nd trimester,” the “Eyes (2) 2nd trimester.” Did anyone in accounts payable register any objection to payment?
Incidentally, it costs $120 to send an aborted baby’s brain through FedEx Priority Overnight.
The report does not detail where the parts were going but presumably they went to universities across the nation. Did none of the highly paid ethics officers at these institutions raise any concern about the large sums of money being paid for the brains, legs, eyes and skin of babies?
Well they didn’t. They just kept paying the invoices for the body parts.
It says something about the quality of the Senate report that their part about Planned Parenthood’s involvement in a criminal conspiracy is the least shocking. In 2001, Planned Parenthood did have a policy stating that its clinics had to have an independent accountant verify it was not profiting from the sale of body parts. Those who did not follow these guidelines could be thrown out of the Planned Parenthood network, they were warned. In 2011, when they found out their clinics were ignoring these guidelines, Planned Parenthood quietly deleted the guidelines from its requirements. By doing so Planned Parenthood headquarters made it quite clear they would not stand in the way of their clinics profiting from the sale of baby parts.
Or as the Senate Committee put it, by behaving “in a manner that facilitated the continuation of those fetal tissue payments. Planned Parenthood and the affiliates actions may implicate the federal criminal conspiracy staute18 USC/ 371.”
The report is long and detailed - it is a journalist's dream - the committee have basically done all the investigative work, they have the contracts and the invoices, they have the internal documents. But it has basically gone unreported. As the media frets about fake news and a loss of authority, they might think about covering stories that challenge their beliefs and the beliefs of their friends.
Phelim McAleer is a filmmaker and an investigative journalist. He co-authored Gosnell - The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer (available for pre-order on Amazon) together with his wife Ann McElhinney. He also co-produced the crowdfunded movie Gosnell, starring Dean Cain (Lois & Clark).