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September/October, 1999 Volume XIII Number 8
Babies bring in bucks on the organ and tissue market
by CM of The Alberta Report
and Cathy Ramey
A full-color, glossy brochure invites abortionists to “find out how you can turn your patient’s decision into something wonderful.” It’s printed by Opening Lines, A Division of Consultative and Diagnostic Pathology, Inc., an Organ and Tissue Procurement Organization (OPO). Opening Lines specializes in wholesale trafficking of aborted baby parts from American abortion facilities.
Out of an office in West Frankfort, IL, the company’s director, Dr. Miles Jones, profits from what appears to be a lucrative trade. His current “Fee for Services Schedule” offers eyes and ears for $75. A brain from a baby gestationally younger than eight weeks and a day nets $999.
Opening Lines was founded in 1989 to, according to their own publicity, “maximize the utilization of fresh fetal tissue we process.” It offer researchers “the highest quality, most affordable, and freshest tissue prepared to your specifications and delivered in the quantities you need when you need it.”
Sale of human tissue and organs, including fetal tissue, has been banned by federal law since the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act. But Opening Lines advises clients that the law is “simple” to circumvent. To potential clients they offer “lease space from your facility to perform the harvesting to offset your clinic’s overhead.” The corporation also offers to train clinic staff in harvesting and then, “based on volume, reimburse part or all of your employee’s salary, thereby reducing your overhead.”
Dr. Jones is adept at getting around inconvenient regulations. In bold letters his literature states, “We DO NOT require a copy of your IRB approval or summary of your research.” In writing, he advises prospective clientele that, “you ARE NOT required to site Opening Lines as the source of tissue when you publish your work (we believe in word of mouth advertising; if you like our service you will tell your colleagues.)”
Opening Lines is one of two known wholesale organ and tissue traffickers uncovered by Mark Crutcher at Life Dynamics Inc. (LDI), a pro-life organization based in Denton Texas. The other wholesaler Crutcher’s group has dealt with is the Anatomic Gift Foundation (AGF).
AGF, founded in 1994 by Jim and Brenda Bardsley, originally operated out of a double-wide trailer at the end of a dirt road on the Satilla River in Georgia where the couple also ran a catfish farm. It has since moved its headquarters to Laurel, MD and now has operations in Phoenix, AZ and Aurora, CO.
Life Dynamics’ sources inside abortion clinics acquired “fee schedules” for both organizations. Opening Lines’ is the more detailed of the two, listing prices for organs from fetuses under eight weeks gestation and over. The schedule breaks down all generally marketed body parts and, for example, includes such information as, [an] “intact trunk (with/without limbs)” costs $500 a liver, $150, (“30% discount if significantly fragmented”).
The prices, “in effect until December 31, 1999,” may seem low, observes Crutcher. But add up all the parts and a single aborted baby is worth thousands. His estimate accords with the documentation. Placed alongside Opening Lines’ own statement that “Our daily average case volume exceeds 1500 and we serve clinics across the United States,” the business nets a tidy profit despite federal law.
Crutcher, who has spoken directly to the wholesalers while doing his undercover investigation, says that Dr. Jones is an aggressive salesman. He was eager to offer him reduced rates for bulk orders. He promoted his business as having good access to fetal organs and tissues in the United States but, in a recent taped interview, he also noted that he is actively pursuing fetal tissue sources in Mexico and in Canada. Even without foreign resources, Opening Lines promised to deliver up to forty aborted babies every week to LDI should they contract with the company. Crutcher maintains employees—spies—in the abortion industry. One such employee is referred to as “Kelley” who worked for an OPO to procure organs for a client list that included universities, pharmaceutical agencies, as well as individual and government researchers.
At one time she worked with a commitment to abortion. Her job included separating delicate tissues and organs—thymus, liver, pancreas, core blood, etc.—from the remains of freshly aborted babies.
An experience in which twins were brought back for dissection shattered her reasoning for advocating killing unborn babies. She asserts that the abortionist on duty brought the twins into her lab area and announced, “Gotcha some good specimens. Twins!”
The babies were both “gasping” for air and moving despite the procedure intended to kill them. She has worked with Crutcher in undercover work since.
Her experience, including information about shipping the tissues and organs—sometimes even the entire baby—has brought Life Dynamics into a market that has existed for decades, but which has defied public scrutiny.
Orders from the OPO to the procurer at the abortion facility may vary from one day to the next as well, thus the need for a variety of abortion methods. Some methods are better suited to salvaging one type of tissue or organ over another.
Crutcher echoes other prominent anti-abortionists like Dr. Joel Brind, speculating that the demands of the research industry created a need for a “partial-birth” abortion procedure. Babies are delivered (all but the head) alive, intact, and then killed by a lethal wound to the brain stem at a point when it is possible to treat organs and tissues with preservatives in order to “salvage” them for clients bent on specific types of research.
Most researchers express an interesting paradox according to Life Dynamics operative, “Kelley.” They deal only in parts; the spine of a seven-week baby, eyes—either singly or paired, kidneys, even limbs, but “They don’t want to see the dead baby.” She interprets this as an effort to maintain a sense that they are involved in a noble cause, motivated by a certain degree of rationalistic altruism.
See the Alberta Report website at http://www.albertareport.com/
Whose body is it anyway?
Language of the transplant industry
Attitudes about donation
The age of "Already Dead"