The Center for Medical Progress video that StemExpress tried to stop with a court order went up on YouTube overnight — or perhaps more accurately, one of the videos. The undercover investigation catches StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer describing their now-former partner, Planned Parenthood, as “a volume institution,” but insufficient for their needs. They need “another 50 livers a week” to meet their demand for fetal tissue.
Dyer also discusses how StemExpress had to intervene in the “procurement” process in order to get usable specimens, suggesting that abortionists have to change their methods to get them — which would violate federal law:
“So many physicians are like, ‘Oh I can totally procure tissue,’ and they can’t,” expresses Dyer, seeming to indicate that abortion doctors must do the procedure in a special way to obtain useable fetal parts. Federal law requires that no alteration in the timing or method of abortion be done for the purposes of fetal tissue collection (42 U.S.C. 289g-1).
“What about intact specimens?” asks one of the actors. “Oh yeah, I mean if you have intact cases, which we’ve done a lot, we sometimes ship those back to our lab in its entirety,” replies Dyer. “Case” is the clinical term for an abortion procedure. An “intact case” refers to an intact abortion with a whole fetus. “The entire case?” asks an actor. “Yeah, yeah,” says Dyer. “The procurement for us, I mean it can go really sideways, depending on the facility, and then our samples are destroyed,” she explains past botched fetal dissections, “so we started bringing them back even to manage it from a procurement expert standpoint.”
StemExpress works with almost 100 clinics, Dyer tells CMP’s undercover investigators, but it’s not enough. Dyer also says that she believes that the arrangements carry a financial benefit back to the clinics, although the point is made a little indirectly:
Dyer also agrees that payments to abortion clinics for fetal body parts should be financially beneficial to them. “Do you feel like there are clinics out there that have been burned, that feel like they’re doing all this work for research and it hasn’t been profitable for them?” she asks. “I haven’t seen that.” StemExpress publishes a flyer for Planned Parenthood clinics that promises “Financial Profits” and “fiscal rewards” for clinics that supply aborted fetal tissue. It is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Mar Monte Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dorothy Furgerson:http://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/StemExpress-flyer.pdf
The promotional material makes the financial benefit claim much more directly. Planned Parenthood claims that they only get reimbursed for their own costs, but they negotiate per-organ and per-cadaver prices, which suggests something different than reimbursement.
StemExpress and Planned Parenthood claim this is all for women’s health and medical progress, but one exchange belies that claim. Around the 4:20 mark, Dyer discusses issues with contamination of specimens, which she says is a common problem in abortion clinics. There are “rampant problems with bacteria in certain clinics,” Dyer says, “some where you’re kind of like in question of really, should they, you know … I’ve seen staph come out of clinics.” The main concern for Dyer in these cases seems to be contamination of the samples rather than the health of the women who get abortions in contaminated settings.
Dyer makes it clear during the course of the later conversation that this is not just a business for her. She derides academic labs for not embracing the nature of fetal tissue in their research, accusing them of being weak-willed. She extols Planned Parenthood execs Cecile Richards and Deborah Nucatola for being true to “the cause,” which Dyer then emphasizes. “I just think you’re either in the cause or you’re not,” she says. “And if you’re not in the cause, like, they don’t need you around. … They need champions, and if you’re not a champion, you should go.” That’s rather ironic now, since StemExpress has cut its ties with Planned Parenthood, Richards, and Nucatola over the public attention on this process that has resulted from CMP’s videos.
In their court filing, StemExpress claimed that Dyer got pushed into these kinds of revelations by CMP’s investigators, and tried to keep this conversation quiet and private in the restaurant. That is important for their upcoming lawsuit against CMP, but at least in this cut, there’s no evidence that this claim is true. Dyer seems to be speaking rather loudly, in fact, and without care when the server arrives with the bill. At one point the table behind Dyer is occupied, and there is no hint that she’s modulating her voice. That may or may not impact the lawsuit over the violation of California’s all-parties recording law, but it does tend to discredit the claim in their brief in defense of the temporary restraining order, which the court dissolved last Friday.