(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) expressed outrage Wednesday at an “absolutely repulsive” industry that allowed abortion clinics to profit from the sale of aborted baby body parts to fetal tissue procurement businesses.
“For crying out loud, this is the Amazon.com of baby body parts. There is a market for baby body parts, and you get what you pay for. This is absolutely repulsive, and we must not forget as was testified here, each of these little baby brains or tongues represent a baby. How can anyone defend this practice?” Pitts asked during the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives of the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.
Pitts pointed out that former Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the author of the statute that allowed for fetal tissue to be donated for transplant and research did not intend for that tissue to be sold. Pitts was referring to the Statute on Fetal Tissue Transplantation Research of the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1933.
“This issue has caused me considerable concern because one of the underpinnings and safeguards of the statute that allowed for the donation of fetal tissue for transplant and research was that this tissue would not be sold,” Pitts said.
“The author of the statute, Rep. Waxman, stated during the floor debate in 1993, ‘It would be abhorrent to allow for the sale of fetal tissue in a market to be created for that sale.’ And yet, this is what is happening as one of the witnesses said in the back alleys today,” Pitts said.
Pitts pointed to a brochure provided to the subcommittee, which promotes the financial benefits of selling fetal tissue to what Pitts called “the middle men” – procurement businesses.
“As seen on Exhibit B2 and B3, the procurement business markets itself on its brochure as a way for clinics to make additional income by allowing the procurement business, procurement technicians to take fetal tissues and organs from aborted babies immediately after the abortion was completed using the words financially profitable, fiscally rewards, financial benefit, on its brochure,” Pitts said.
“The Select Panel investigation reveals that every conceivable harvesting task is performed by the technician employed by the procurement business, and so procurement businesses - essentially the middle men – are paying fees to abortion clinics, but the abortion clinics are incurring no costs,” he noted.
“Exhibit D shows payments from the procurement business to abortion clinics for aborted babies and baby blood. Exhibit D1- The abortion clinic charged the middle man with a bill for $11,365 in August of 2010 for baby parts and blood that the middle man’s technicians harvested,” Pitts said.
In another invoice, $9,060 is charged for harvested baby body parts and blood, Pitts noted. He walked through how the baby body parts are ordered, giving a range of options including organ type, gestational range, number of specimens, and shipping options.
“The middle man even makes it easy for the researcher to purchase baby body parts. Exhibit C3 – the procurement business order form or the drop down menu for baby organ shows just how easy this is. First it asks on the left side, ‘What type of tissue would you like to order?’ And I suppose you could respond, anyone could respond to this, ‘I would like to order brains,’” Pitts said.
“And then it says number of specimens. Well, six, let’s say – baby brains. Gestational range start and end - 16 to 18 weeks. And then here’s another question: ‘Add another tissue type?’ You could say yes. Another tissue type listed, female reproductive system and ovaries. You could say I take five of those at 15 weeks. You could add five baby tongues. Shipping options. You could respond yes I want it rush ordered,” he said.
“So for crying out loud, this is the Amazon.com of baby body parts. There is a market for baby body parts, and you get what you pay for. This is absolutely repulsive, and we must not forget as was testified here, each of these little baby brains or tongues represent a baby. How can anyone defend this practice?” Pitts asked.
“All this shows that in both intent and in practice, these organizations were making money well above the actual costs. So going back to Exhibit B2 and B3, the company brochure, the websites show intent - their publicity, marketing materials,” he said.