Fetal Body Parts

December 13, 1999

Last month I talked about the investigation by Life Dynamics into the traffic of fetal body parts. A good part of their investigation surfaced during the debate on partial-birth abortions. Senators have called for an investigation of the extent and nature of the business.

Essentially, scientists who need human body parts for research have found a loophole in the federal law that prohibits the sale of body parts. Abortion clinics provide these companies with whole or dismembered aborted fetuses for a "service" fee. This is listed as "a site fee" which is "rental on the space" that a body parts company employee occupies within the clinic. The company can, therefore, argue that they are donating the parts, but charging reasonable costs for retrieval which the federal law does allow. As long as the retrieval fees are higher than the site fee, they can make a profit.

Just one look at the "Fees for Services Schedule" can be chilling. Prices for every conceivable body part are listed. But it's important to notice that an intact embryonic cadaver costs $600. Why should there be a retrieval fee for that? Why not just list the cost of shipping? This discrepancy illustrates how the body parts companies are trying to circumvent the law.

Apparently women who come into an abortion clinic are asked to sign a document allowing the clinic to donate their aborted baby to research. No fetus may be used without permission. Then the clinic receives orders (usually from their fax machine) for parts that will be retrieved and shipped. Many of the protocols require that the specimens be obtained within minutes after the abortion and frozen or preserved.

This is a gruesome business, and I think it is time for Congress to investigate the traffic in human body parts.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.