(CNSNews.com) – The Thomas More Society, a public interest law firm based in Chicago, is seeking abortion records from the city’s publicly-funded John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital after a Planned Parenthood executive in California suggested the hospital as a possible source for harvested fetal organs.
It requests “any and all records which relate to the disposition of dead embryos or fetuses, fetal parts, fetal organs, and/or fetal tissue… after an abortion (whether elective or spontaneous) at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County including any information referring or relating to the disposal, sale, research upon, transfer, or shipment of fetal remains and any costs of reimbursements, whether monetary or otherwise, associated therewith for the last five years.”
Peter Breen, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, told CNSNews.com that the FOIA was filed after Illinois Review reported that the hospital was mentioned in a published transcript of a videotaped conversation between Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, and actors from the Center for Medical Progress posing as buyers of fetal parts for a human biologics company.
“She pointed them towards Stroger Hospital, which is a public hospital in Cook County, as a potential source of aborted baby parts,” Breen told CNSNews.com. “And this was news to all of us in Illinois, that there could be any link between Stroger Hospital and the trafficking in aborted fetal remains.”
Breen pointed out that while Planned Parenthood is a private organization that receives tax subsidies, “Stroger is an actual public facility. It’s a public hospital” that is tax-funded and therefore subject to FOIA requests.
“The most damning fact here is that a Planned Parenthood senior executive from another part of the country didn’t just identify Chicago, but identified a specific hospital in Chicago as a source of aborted baby parts,” he told CNSNews.com.
“So to me that’s a smoking gun, and now we need to fill in the details to determine what exactly is going on at this public hospital, what sorts of taxpayer resources are being used in this.
"And again, hopefully this will give us a more complete picture of baby part trafficking in the Midwest and across the country,” he noted.
On page 30 of the transcript, after recommending that the “buyers” attend an abortion training program in Miami put on by Planned Parenthood and the Society for Family Planning so that they could meet “people who want to partner with you to procure tissue for them,” Nucatola is quoted recommending Stroger as another possible source of aborted baby body parts:
PP: "What about Cook County? Have you connected with Cook County?"
Buyer: "Where is that? Chicago?"
PP: "Chicago. The largest family planning provider in the Mid-West. Cook County hospital. Stroger Hospital-"
Buyer: "And it’s a hospital, not an out patient clinic?"
PP: "Not an out patient, it’s a hospital."
Buyer: "And what is it called?"
PP: "Cook county, Ashlesha Patel is the family planning program director. I’ll put her on my list."
Buyer: "And, what’s their limit?"
PP: "24, 20, 24 [weeks gestation]."
Breen said that the aim of the FOIA is to obtain detailed information about how Stroger Hospital disposes of the bodies of aborted babies. The FOIA request asks for consent forms, guides, instructions and other documents provided to patients relating to the "transplant, research or donation" of fetal remains.
“What we are trying to do is focus on the disposition of remains, as well as also talk about the contracts, the amounts being paid for each type of remains.
“In these videos with Planned Parenthood, there is discussion of dollar amounts for specific baby parts,” Breen told CNSNews.com.
“Our hope is that this FOIA request will actually provide hard documentation of those sorts of arrangements, to be able to help us piece together and get a better picture about the trafficking and trade in baby parts that is plaguing our country.”