Thursday, May 19, 2005

Fetal Profits...

Fetal profits promoting partial-birth abortions?

Former clinic insider cites need for intact baby parts

By Frank York

An abortion clinic routinely performed partial-birth abortions and even live births in order to maximize the profits from the subsequent sale of undamaged fetal tissue, claims a former technician for a business that markets fetal body parts.

"Kelly" -- the name is a pseudonym -- worked for Anatomic Gift Foundation (AGF), which sells fetal tissue to researchers, drug companies, hospitals and universities. Although marketing fetal tissue is a violation of federal law, a major loophole has allowed a burgeoning growth industry in the sale of baby body parts.

Working in AGF's rented space inside the abortion clinic, Kelly's job was to collect fetal tissue and body part "donations" from the clinic for AGF. After an abortion, Kelly would survey the various orders for body parts she had received from AGF's clients, and make sure these orders were filled in a timely manner.

Nearly two years ago, Kelly says, the doctor in charge entered her office holding twins at 24 weeks gestation -- both gasping for air -- and told her they were "good specimens." Expected to end the lives of the premature infants and harvest their organs, Kelly says she told the doctor, "I don't do this. That's not in my contract." The doctor subsequently placed the twins in a pan and poured sterile water over them, she says, adding that she left the room as they drowned.

From that point on, Kelly began gathering photocopies of the fetal tissue order forms from various universities and research facilities and offered them to Mark Crutcher, founder of the pro-life organization Life Dynamics in Denton, Texas.

Neither Kelly nor Crutcher will identify the abortion clinic. "We are still getting information out of that facility (from others)," said Crutcher, "and giving the location would jeopardize our ability to continue doing that." He is also concerned about Kelly's safety, he said. "If we told even what state the facility is in, they would know who Kelly was within an hour, and our other infiltrators, and we'd be out of the hunt."

"Since Kelly has come forward," added Crutcher, "we have had new people, other former employees of fetal harvesting businesses, coming forward and giving us information."

Recently, Kelly has appeared on a video documentary produced by Life Dynamics -- with her back to the camera and her voice electronically altered -- describing her experience of working in the abortion clinic. In it, she states that live births were routine, with the doctor frequently bringing in live infants from 16 weeks up to 30 weeks of gestation. "He would either break their necks or beat them with tongs until they died," she said. In addition, Kelly said:

• She harvested parts from 30 to 40 late-term fetuses each week, of up to 30 weeks in gestation. Partial-birth abortion was used in many instances to obtain undamaged fetal material.

• The order forms described what kind of parts the researchers wanted, and sometimes described how the surgery should be performed to provide intact specimens.

• The abortionists routinely altered their procedures, based on the order forms' specifications, in order to procure the best specimens. The researchers were typically seeking tissue from healthy fetuses. "We did not use specimens that had STDs or fetal abnormalities," said Kelly. "We only wanted the most perfect specimens that we could give to the researchers."
Live births and partial-birth abortions

Eric Harrah, a former abortion clinic worker, says that "live births" were the industry's "dirty little secret." In the industry for 11 years and owner or partner in 26 abortion clinics, Harrah said, "it was always very disturbing, so the doctor would try to conceal it from the rest of the staff."

Live births from partial-birth abortions recently made headlines in Ohio when a woman was being prepared for an abortion at the Women's Med Center in Dayton. The woman went into premature labor and was then admitted to a Dayton hospital where she gave birth to a 25-to-26-week-old infant. Women's Med Center is operated by Dr. Martin Haskell, the developer of partial-birth abortion. According to news reports, this was the second time in four months that a woman had given birth during preparations for a partial-birth abortion at the center.

The increasing demand for intact fetal body parts is the main reason the abortion industry wants to protect partial-birth abortion from any restrictions, Crutcher says. Partial-birth abortion "is about maximizing profits. First, you sell the woman an abortion. Then you turn around and sell the dead baby you take out of her. But you have to take it out whole, or you don't have anything to sell."

Anatomic Gift Foundation leader responds

Brenda Bardsley, co-founder of AGF, granted WND an exclusive interview to rebut the charges made against her organization and its practices. Bardsley says there is no "Kelly," and questioned her story's credibility. She noted that AGF once had a man working for her group, whom she characterized as a "loose cannon." She said he was fired and "has a bone to pick" with AGF. She also believes he's being used as a weapon for Crutcher's political purposes.

Bardsley also told WND she is seeking legal counsel because of what she considers libelous statements made against AGF by Life Dynamics. "It looks like they're taking little bits of information that may be accurate about our organization, but blending them with information about the other organization (Opening Lines), that we have no ties to whatsoever."

According to Bardsley, "It burns my toast to be lumped in with Opening Lines and to be guilty by association. ... I don't approve of their methods."

AGF currently works with only two abortion clinics to harvest fetal tissues, said Bardsley, who added that she has other sources for tissue from spontaneous abortions. When asked if Kelly's accusations were true about "live births," she responded, "I can't confirm or deny that. I wasn't under the impression that any of the clinics we've ever worked with did any procedures on late term fetuses."

She did say, however, that if she learned that abortionists were delivering live infants for fetal tissue, she would stop doing business with them. She said she has stopped doing business with other clinics when she "felt that the only reason that they were working with us was to try to make money from it (fetal tissue harvesting)."

Bardsley also told WND that she and her associates have been discussing the possibility of discontinuing their involvement in fetal tissue harvesting, "only because it's interfering with our other procurements of tissues." Bardsley says fetal tissue marketing makes up only 10 percent of AGF's overall business. She is also quick to point out that she does not condone abortion. "I can understand the fervor over the issue of abortion, but we don't make those laws. It is legal in this country. What we do is intercede in a situation that's already there," says Bardsley.

Frank York is a contributing reporter to WorldNetDaily.

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