After Planned Parenthood was subjected to recent controversy involving fetal tissue procurement, the organization announced that it would no longer receive reimbursements for fetal tissue donations. Under its former policy, Planned Parenthood received reimbursements for expenses associated with the donation, including costs of procuring and transporting the tissue.
Planned Parenthood’s practice came under scrutiny after an anti-abortion group secretly videotaped a conversation with a Planned Parenthood doctor discussing the process of fetal tissue procurement. An edited video portrayed Planned Parenthood as selling fetal tissue, rather than donating the tissue. Federal law allows fetal tissue to be donated to research facilities, however, organizations cannot profit from such donations. The law only allows for reimbursement of reasonable expenses.
A special Congressional panel investigated Planned Parenthood’s activities. Although the panel did not find any wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood, the national uproar caused by the released video was enough to encourage the organization to review its policy. President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards explained the change in policy as an effort to protect the donation of fetal tissue at their facilities.