This summer, the Center for Medical Progress began releasing a series of 11 videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal organs. According to federal law, selling fetal organs for profit is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Once these videos became public, the U.S. Congress held a hearing to look into whether Planned Parenthood was breaking any federal laws. In preparation for this hearing, Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, sent a letter to Congress acknowledging that a number of Planned Parenthood affiliates have, in fact, received money for harvesting organs from aborted babies. One of those is a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Oregon. Although the details were vague, Ms. Richards indicated that Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette worked with Oregon Health & Sciences University to provide OHSU with tissue procured from abortions. In response to this disclosure, 19 Republican members of the Oregon House of Representatives sent a letter to the chairman of the Healthcare Committee of the Oregon House of Representatives demanding a hearing to investigate this relationship.
Committee Chairman Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) agreed to hold the hearing and scheduled it during September legislative days, when all of the representatives meet to prepare for the upcoming February session of the Oregon House. However, Planned Parenthood refused to attend the hearing and called Speaker of the House Tina Kotek to complain. Speaker Kotek then cancelled the hearing over the objections of pro-life members and told them to submit their questions in writing to Planned Parenthood and OHSU. Undeterred, eight pro-life Republicans sent letters to Planned Parenthood and OHSU demanding answers to their questions.
OHSU and Planned Parenthood responded, admitting that OHSU has a scientist who works on site at Planned Parenthood harvesting placental and fetal tissue from aborted babies. In addition, OHSU admitted to purchasing 123 livers and thymus harvested from second trimester developing babies. OHSU bought these organs from Advanced Bioscience Resources, the nation’s oldest fetal organ business, paying between $230 and $340 per organ. These disclosures have led to more questions. Pro-life members of Oregon’s legislature are particularly concerned about where the organs that OHSU purchased were harvested. If they were collected from late-term abortions in Oregon, it reveals a concerning relationship between late-term abortionists and OHSU. The pro-life members in Oregon’s legislature are pursuing their inquiry and are preparing bills to fight this horrific trafficking in the organs of aborted babies in Oregon.
Additionally, back in Washington, D.C., Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have announced that they are organizing special committees to investigate whether Planned Parenthood has violated federal law by selling fetal organs for profit.
Members of the Oregon Legislature who signed the letter to Representative Greenlick demanding a hearing to investigate the sale of organs were Cedric Hayden (R-Roseburg), Jodi Hack (R-Salem), John Davis (R-Wilsonville), Andy Olson (R-Albany), Carl Wilson (R-Grants Pass), Sal Esquivel (R-Medford), Bill Post (R-Keizer), Vic Gilliam (R-Silverton), Duane Stark (R-Central Point), Jim Weidner (R-Yamhill), Mike Nearman (R-Independence), Sherrie Sprenger (R-Scio), Gail Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls), Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte), Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario), John Huffman (R-The Dalles), Bill Kennemer (R-Oregon City), Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver), and Greg Barreto (R-Cove).