trafficking? - An
Baby body-parts trafficking is the business of buying and
selling the body parts, organs, tissue, skin, and blood from aborted
babies whose gestational ages range from a few weeks to full term (up to
nine months). The transfer of baby body-parts takes place in a variety of
ways, and is accomplished in order to benefit researchers at universities,
pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies. Many public and private
universities contract directly with local abortion facilities to purchase
specific parts from aborted babies needed for their own research. In some
cases, hospitals and abortion clinics use national collection services as
middlemen to pick up undifferentiated baby remains. These collectors
create "fetal tissue banks" for the purpose of selling nationally and
globally baby remains which they have picked through for parts, organs,
and tissue that is in demand by researchers. In other cases,
tissue-suppliers place their own trained "harvesters" on-site at abortion
clinics, pursuant to direct contractual arrangements with abortion
providers. These providers often fill orders that are placed in advance by
researchers wanting specific baby parts on an ongoing basis. Some tissue
providers promote sales by means of unapologetic and undisguised
literature that markets their "product"-harvested baby parts-like any
other consumer product.
directly from order by researcher with tissue harvesting company:
"Whole intact leg, include entire hip joint. 22-
to 24-weeks gestation. Sterile. Age of fetus must be determined and noted.
Indicate foot pad measurement. 4-6 specimens per shipment. Preparation:
Wet ice. Procedure: To be removed from fetal cadaver within 10 minutes.
Shipping: Ship on wet ice. Next day. No abnormalities. Date: 3/95"-Order
placed by a medical school [name withheld].
SOURCE: Life Dynamics, Inc.
(See "Quick Links" Icon
for information on Life Dynamics, Inc.)
Quote taken directly from tissue harvesting
company's sales literature:
Cover page has
graphics of company's name [withheld] followed by tag-line:
"In The Beginning…"
"Thank you for choosing [company's
name withheld] for Fetal Tissue. We are very pleased to provide you with
our services. Our goal is to offer you and your staff the highest quality,
most affordable, and freshest tissue prepared to your specifications and
delivered in the quantities you need when you need it…We have over ten
years experience in tissue harvesting and preservation…We have simplified
the process for procuring fetal tissue."
Exact quote from "Fee for Services
"Brain (less than 8 weeks) $999 30%
Discount if significantly fragmented"
"Brain (greater than 8 weeks)
$150 30% Discount if significantly fragmented"
"Intact trunk (w/, w/o
"Prices in effect through December 31, 1999."
SOURCE: Life Dynamics,
The baby body-parts trafficking industry is flourishing in the
United States due to numerous factors. In 1993, President Clinton signed
an executive order that lifted the ban on the use of federal funds for
fetal tissue research. Lacking the restraining effect of this ban, the
marketplace in fetal tissue has exploded.
There is a wide range of
abortion methods which result in baby parts and tissue suitable for
resale. For a detailed listing and descriptions of current and evolving
abortion techniques, go to http://www.prolife.about.com/newsisssues/prolife/msubtechniques.htm.
At this address, click on "Carhart Testimony" to find a graphic
description given by abortionist Dr. Leroy Carhart of Omaha of his own
techniques of dismembering not-yet-born babies. This explanation by Dr.
Carhart was given in a sworn deposition, in response to inquiries by the
Attorney General of the State of Nebraska regarding Dr. Carhart's
activities as supplier of baby body-parts to researchers at the University
of Nebraska. The partial-birth abortion procedure, which results in an
intact corpse, is particularly suited to be a source of supply for the
growing demand for human tissue by researchers and universities. This
rogue procedure, which appeared on the medical scene in the 1980's, was
devised by abortionists who lacked a non-surgical, yet late-term abortion
method. Partial-birth abortion as a medical procedure made its way into
the mainstream medical establishment, not through medical schools, but by
means of presentations given to abortion providers at their annual
conventions. The partial-birth procedure, which can be used in both 2nd or
3rd trimester abortions, produces a "product" that is uniquely suited for
harvesting on behalf of researchers: It uses no chemicals and it results
in an intact corpse.
The baby body-parts trafficking business also
has grown because it provides abortion clinics a needed profit-center
which can offset declining earnings. The average price charged for an
abortion (about $300) has remained steady since 1973. In addition, demand
for abortion began to decline in the 1990's, and operating costs have
risen. Since 1996, the number of abortion clinics in the United States has
decreased by 40%. Consequently, many abortion providers are now augmenting
their income by the sale of babies' corpses. It is worth noting that, in
the past, disposal of aborted corpses was a cost of doing business
for abortion providers.
While it is unlawful in the United States
to sell human body parts, it is legal, under the NIH Revitalization Act of
1993, to use "donated" fetal tissue for research. Further, it is
legal to make "reasonable payments" associated with the
"transportation, processing, preservation, or storage of human fetal
tissue." Clearly, these provisions have been exploited in order to
circumvent the federal prohibition of the sale of human tissue. An
underworld of trafficking in baby body-parts has been recently exposed,
both through eyewitness reports by former harvesters, as well as through
leaked documents detailing arrangements for ordering and procurement. An
elaborate scheme is in operation that supports this grotesque industry.
Some abortion providers claim to "donate" baby body-parts to
harvesters and collectors, who act as middlemen, or to researchers
directly. Collectors and harvesters, in turn, claim that they demand
reimbursement from their customers solely for "services" for which they
may legally receive payment. In cases where an abortion clinic receives a
"site fee" from a harvester, in return for the harvester's on-site access
to the bodies of the aborted babies, the abortion clinic claims that the
harvested body-parts are "donated." Then, in turn, researchers claim to
pay the harvesters solely for the "costs" associated with the transfer of
the baby body-parts that they have ordered (often in advance and/or in
standing orders). In cases where abortion-providers contract directly with
researchers-often working for universities-it is unknowable what terms
have been mutually arranged.
Abortion providers whose clinics
traffic in baby body-parts-especially those with standing orders that
necessitate partial-birth abortion-have a clear conflict of interest
between their ethical duties toward one set of customers (the mothers) and
their commitment to supply body-parts to another set of customers (the
harvesters, researchers, etc.). Some mothers have attested to having
signed forms stating that they agree to donate the remains of their
babies, without having been notified by the abortionist of the
compensation he will receive due to her "donation."
Carefully crafted business arrangements and disingenuous language
are being utilized in order to circumvent existing federal law, whose
clear intent is to prohibit enterprise that profits from commerce in human
tissue. An example of the transparency of these schemes is a "Fees for
Services Schedule" published by one harvesting company. The quoted
price of "reimbursement" for the transfer of a brain is $999, while
"reimbursement" for the transfer of an intestine is $50. On what
reasonable grounds can this difference in prices be justified, when the
difference in costs associated with harvesting and handling is negligible?
The obvious explanation for the difference in prices is that this
difference reflects the market value (profit) of the body-parts
themselves, not the minor differences between costs of transfer. A
surprisingly open and unrestrained system of what is manifestly the buying
and selling of human bodies is in operation in our nation.