At least one Colorado university was named as a fetal tissue recipient in a series of undercover videos on Planned Parenthood and the alleged selling of baby parts. The latest videos show a Denver abortionist, Dr. Savita Ginde, discussing Planned Parenthood’s methods of compensation for fetal donations.
Lynn Grandon, executive director of Lighthouse Women’s Center, said she wasn’t surprised when she heard about the alleged sale of baby parts, because she had heard rumors of it for more than 10 years. However, she said it was still hard to see a Denver clinic and a Colorado university in the videos.
“The reality is it’s happening right in our backyard. We can’t be complacent,” Grandon said.
A Denver abortionist
The video from the Center for Medical Progress stated that Ginde is the vice president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM). Her page on healthgrades.com says that she is a 45-year-old specializing in family medicine at PPRM, and that she graduated from medical school at American University of the Caribbean, a school which claims in its mission statement to foster “the highest standards in professional ethics and competence.” Ginde is also listed as a staff member at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver.
The fourth video in the series “Human Capital” has undercover journalists from the Center for Medical Progress posing as members of a group that wants to supply fetal tissue to research groups. They are shown discussing prices and Planned Parenthood policies with Ginde.
“I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it,” Ginde said.
Ginde also said that affiliates in “a really anti state that’s going to be doing this [tissue procurement] for you, they’re probably going to get caught.”
The footage at the end of the video shows Ginde looking through an aborted fetus’ remains in a pie dish, looking for usable parts. At one point, she says, “It’s a baby.” Towards the end, while searching for a leg, another person in the room is heard saying, “And another boy!”
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains was unavailable for comment, as all communication other than patient appointments and donations was removed from their website. The situation surrounding their website shutdown was unclear, as they at first claimed they had been hacked, then changed their statement to say they were doing “maintenance”.
The video also shows Ginde saying that at least one Colorado university has used tissue from PPRM.
“We do tissue collection for CU—CSU [Colorado State University] in Fort Collins collected some,” Ginde said. It appeared she was only referring to CSU.
In response to the video, U.S. Rep Doug Lamborn (R-CO) wrote to CSU’s president, Tony Frank, expressing concern over the videos. CSU sent Frank’s reply to Denver Catholic.
Frank says he does “not believe that Colorado State University has violated federal or Colorado state law.”
The state law he is referring to, Colorado Revised Statute 25-2-111.5, states that “No physician or institution that performs procedures for the induced termination of pregnancy shall transfer such tissue for valuable consideration to any organization or person that conducts research using fetal tissue or that transplants fetal tissue for therapeutic purposes.”
According to Frank’s letter, the law is “directed at physicians and institutions that perform procedures for the induced termination of pregnancy, which Colorado State University does not perform.”
According to the letter, CSU is currently using human fetal tissue in a project investigating a cure for HIV/AIDS. The project is backed by the National Institutes of Health, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Frank said that CSU did not acquire any fetal tissue directly from an institution that performs abortions, including Planned Parenthood. Instead, they use FDA regulated and approved providers.
One of these companies is a group called Stem Express. Frank also sent Denver Catholic invoices indicating that CSU gave Stem Express over $1,000 for fetal livers and a thymus. Stem Express changed their website after the first video, but the Center for Medical Progress published still shots of the old site, in which they promised financial gain to abortion facilities who partnered with them.
The head of the Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden, said in an interview with CNN that Stem Express is trying to stifle a particular meeting between investigative journalists and top Stem Express officials.
“Their leadership admitted that they sometimes get fully intact fetuses shipped to their laboratory from the abortion clinics that they work with, and that could be prima facie evidence of born-alive infants. And so that’s why they’re trying to suppress that videotape and they’re very scared of it,” Daleiden said.
Frank’s letter said that CSU has not received fetal tissue from Stem Express since 2013. However, the HIV/AIDS project, which uses fetal tissue, is still ongoing and has been for over 15 years. Frank said that CSU now procures tissue from a nonprofit group called ABR. According to the videos, some Planned Parenthoods have also used ABR.
CSU also send Denver Catholic a memorandum from the CSU Biotethics Advisory Committee to Frank. The memorandum states that CSU uses the tissue to create blood stem cells from the liver and thymus. These cells are used to create a “human-like immune system in an immune-deficient mouse to study HIV,” the memorandum said.
The memorandum also stated that “the procurement of fetal tissue is supported by NIH through research grants and execution of the research and is reimbursed as part of the sponsored research grants.”
However, in acquiring fetal tissues, none of the CSU faculty and researchers was given information regarding the source of the tissue, and whether it came from a forced abortion or a miscarriage, according to the memorandum.
In his letter to Lamborn, Frank said that the university will “seek alternatives to aborted fetal tissue sources” and that they will suspend “any further acquisition of fetal tissue from Stem Express or other venders implicated in the Planned Parenthood investigation pending the outcome of the Congressional inquiry.”
The Catholic response
Grandon encouraged fellow Catholics to seek a balance between their anger and the need to be compassionate.
“As Catholics, we need to be extra vigilant and attentive because there are going to be women in our pews who see these videos, and this exposure is going to reopen wounds of abortion that have been buried for many years, especially for those who were told to sign those waivers and that the “tissue” was going to be used in a positive manner. Now they’re going to have the realization that these were complete babies who were dismembered,” Grandon said.
Grandon encouraged people to become informed about the many services offered through Catholic Charities for women in crisis pregnancies, or who have had an abortion.
“This is the time for Christians and all Catholics of goodwill to get rid of the complacency about this issue. This isn’t somebody else’s issue. This is our sisters and brothers in our backyard who are going to be hurting from this, and we need to be there for them,” Grandon said.
Crisis pregnancy resources in Denver
Catholic Charities provides services from the moment a woman finds out she’s pregnant, to later daycare and even educational opportunities. Catholic Charities CEO Larry Smith encouraged Denver Catholics to go ccdenver.org to learn more about the services and how they can volunteer. Smith also said that all women are eligible for assistance, regardless of religious background.
“Nobody ever needs to be Catholic to be helped by Catholic charities. WE don’t help people because they’re catholic, we help them because we’re Catholic,” Smith said.
Lighthouse Women’s Center
Provides testing, counseling, and will connect mothers to resources, including shelter.
Provides young mothers with children with food, clothing, formula, diapers, and referrals to programs they need to make a life with their child, including education programs.
Little Flower Assistance Center
Provides food assistance, clothing assistance, job search assistance, help with money management and budgeting skills, and referrals to other support agencies for assistance.
Post-abortive men and women
Provides direct care to women, men and families who have been affected by abortion.
Provides counseling, shelter, food banks, education, day care, an adoption services.
CORRECTION: The site that claimed