pp screenLetter to Congress attempting to explain away scandal may be evidence of widespread felonies

“In a letter to Congress intended to defend its practices and attack its hidden-video critics, Planned Parenthood wound up lending credence to accusations that it manipulates rules on selling fetal organs to maximize profit,” The Washington Times reports.

“Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, admitted in an 11-page letter Thursday that its affiliates have accepted payments ranging from $45 to $60 ‘per tissue specimen’ from abortions, but said that they were reimbursements to cover costs, which federal law allows,” the Times reports.

In her letter to Congress, Richards says “adjustments that facilitate fetal tissue donations rarely occur at our few clinics that offer women this service.”

“Rarely” also means it sometimes occurs.  Richards did not deny that Planned Parenthood sometimes prices fetal organs to make extra money off the transaction.

In the first video released by the Center for Medical Progess, Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, discusses how Planned Parenthood prices baby body parts so “if they (clinics) can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that.”

Federal law (42 U.S.C. 289g-2) allows abortion clinics to charge for baby body parts, but only enough to cover the clinic’s “payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.

The idea is to encourage clinics to donate tissue by making it cost-neutral, but still make it illegal to sell baby body parts for profit.

But it is expressly illegal to “adjust” the price to more than the costs of storing and shipping the tissue.

“Several of the videos showed Planned Parenthood representatives haggling over prices — and in one case joking about wanting a Lamborghini — with people they thought represented biotech firm purchasers,” the Times reports.

“Both of these admissions speak to Planned Parenthood’s financial benefit and profit motive for supplying fetal tissue, and both are the points CMP’s videos have documented and illustrated from the very beginning,” David Daleiden of the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, which released the series of undercover videos showing the practice, said in a statement.

Charging beyond the break-even price for fetal tissue or organs is punishable by 10 years in federal prison and fines “not less than twice the amount of the valuable consideration received.”

Even if it occurs “rarely.”