Breaking: Planned Parenthood Stops Taking Money for Fetal Tissue Donation

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

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A handful of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country allow patients to donate their fetal tissue following an abortion, a practice that is legal in the United States and has contributed to medical research breakthroughs like the polio vaccine. And as part of their fetal tissue donations programs, Planned Parenthood typically gets reimbursed for the cost of getting the donation to researchers—about $60 per case.

But that will soon change: On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, announced that the organization will no longer accept reimbursement to cover the cost of fetal tissue donations and will instead pay out of pocket for all donations going forward.

The change, announced in a letter to the National Institutes of Health, comes after an onslaught of conservative attempts to completely defund and attack the women’s health care organization on the basis of its fetal tissue donation programs.

In the letter, Cecile Richards wrote that the policy change was intended to “completely debunk the disingenuous argument that our opponents have been using” against abortion and fetal tissue donation. She continued:

Planned Parenthood’s policies on fetal tissue donation already exceed the legal requirements. Now we’re going even further in order to take away any basis for attacking Planned Parenthood to advance an anti-abortion political agenda…Our decision not to take any reimbursement for expenses should not be interpreted as a suggestion that anyone else should not take reimbursement or that the law in this area isn’t strong. Our decision is first and foremost about preserving the ability of our patients to donate tissue, and to expose our opponents’ false charges about this limited but important work.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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