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  • Planned Parenthood Abruptly Ends Cash For Baby Parts Program

    Planned Parenthood clinics will no longer accept payment for their work harvesting and distributing aborted fetuses, the non-profit said Tuesday.

    Clinics will continue filling the demand for fetuses, but will “immediately” stop accepting money for the service, the group’s president, Cecile Richards, wrote in a letter to the National Institutes of Health, reported The Wall Street Journal.

    Planned Parenthood is battling for continued funds from the federal government, after the Center for Medical Progress released a series of undercover videos revealing its dealings in fetal tissue. Top Planned Parenthood doctors talk frankly about some clinic’s practice of dismembering fetuses for the sake of medical research in the videos.

    CMP alleges Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from the practice, and that Planned Parenthood doctors are illegally changing how they perform abortions in order to obtain desirable tissue. The House is investigating, and congressional Republicans are expected to make another attempt to defund the group this week.

    Richards said the decision to stop accepting payment is not an admission of guilt or of a weak law against profiting from fetal tissue harvesting, and that the decision is not meant to encourage other organizations to stop the practice.

    The law in question bans profit from the exchange of fetal tissue, but allows organizations to receive broadly defined “reasonable payments” that apparently make the ban meaningless in practice.

    “Planned Parenthood’s policies on fetal tissue donation already exceed the legal requirements,” Richards wrote, according to The New York Times. “Now we’re going even further in order to take away any basis for attacking Planned Parenthood to advance an anti-abortion political agenda.”

    The move is unlikely to appease congressional Republicans, who are considering defunding the group with the budget tool of reconciliation, which allows some measures to pass with just a simple majority vote in the Senate. The House also voted recently to set up a special committee to investigate.

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