HomeoldStemExpress says it has cut ties with Planned Parenthood

StemExpress says it has cut ties with Planned Parenthood

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A week ago Sunday, Heather Saunders Estes, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood’s Northern California chapter, told Phil Matier of KPIX 5, “What we do is legal and ethical and we’re proud of it.”

Estes was, of course, referring to the tremendous backlash against PPFA stirred by the shocking remarks made by Planned Parenthood officials on recorded undercover videos taken by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).

In the first video, released July 14, StemExpress was mentioned, as it was in subsequent videos. Since that time the company has come under intense scrutiny.

On Saturday Stem Express ostensibly cut ties with Planned Parenthood.

“Due to the increased questions that have arisen over the past few weeks, we feel it prudent to terminate activities with Planned Parenthood,” a company statement said. “While we value our relationship with Planned Parenthood, that work represents a small percentage of our overall business activity and we must focus our limited resources on resolving these inquiries.”

StemExpress, a five-year-old company based in Placerville, California, notified Planned Parenthood and Congress on Friday of its decision to end the relationship, a source told POLITICO. The statement was released Saturday after POLITICO had reported the decision to sever the relationship [www.politico.com/story/2015/08/planned-parenthood-fetal-tissue-company-cuts-ties-videos-121371.html].

StemExpress recently described itself as “the largest provider of maternal blood and fetal tissue globally,” adding that it offers “special discounts to the academic community.” More recently it has portrayed itself as a much smaller player.

But in a July 28 New York Times article we read

Fetal tissue sales are not limited to cells in a vial. More than a dozen research papers published since 2012 acknowledge obtaining intact fetal eyes, hearts, livers and kidneys from StemExpress.

Noel Neuburger reporting for Sacramento Business, wrote today

The company has won a temporary court order preventing release of further videos involving the company. A hearing is scheduled on Wednesday to determine if that will continue.

Much of the furor has focused on Planned Parenthood, but StemExpress has caught national criticism as well. Last week Colorado State University said it has halted purchase of fetal tissue from the company. Protesters have targeted the company’s office and some in the local community have criticized it.

The Center for Medical Progress was skeptical. On its webpage they wrote

Earlier [last] week, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Northern California said they were “proud of” their baby parts program with StemExpress. Now, StemExpress claims it is terminating its “business relationship” with Planned Parenthood . Yet StemExpress leadership confirmed to CMP investigators in May they are struggling to meet demand for intact fetal livers. Was there a dispute about money with Planned Parenthood? Or is StemExpress following orders from Planned Parenthood National to save face? Does Planned Parenthood abortion doctor Ronald Berman continue to serve as Medical Director of StemExpress? Planned Parenthood and StemExpress should both answer questions about this shady move, and the full details of their “business relationship,” under oath before Congress and the American people.

In a significant development within the realm of reproductive health, StemExpress recently declared the termination of its association with Planned Parenthood. StemExpress, a biomedical research company specializing in the procurement of human tissue for scientific research, had long-standing ties with Planned Parenthood clinics across the United States. This decision carries profound implications for both organizations and the broader pro-life movement.

The collaboration between StemExpress and Planned Parenthood had been a subject of intense scrutiny and controversy. Critics of Planned Parenthood had raised concerns about the ethical implications of harvesting fetal tissue from abortions and the potential for financial gain. StemExpress, as a key intermediary in this process, found itself embroiled in debates about the moral and legal complexities surrounding the use of fetal tissue in scientific research.

StemExpress’s decision to sever ties with Planned Parenthood signals a significant shift in the landscape of biomedical research and reproductive health. While StemExpress has not provided detailed reasons for its decision, the announcement comes amidst mounting pressure from pro-life advocates and ongoing legal challenges to the procurement and use of fetal tissue.

For the pro-life movement, StemExpress’s dissociation from Planned Parenthood represents a significant victory and underscores the effectiveness of grassroots activism and public advocacy in shaping corporate behavior. Pro-life organizations and activists have long campaigned against the exploitation of fetal tissue and called for greater transparency and accountability in biomedical research.

However, it is essential to recognize that StemExpress’s decision does not signify the end of the ethical dilemmas surrounding fetal tissue research. The broader debate over the sanctity of human life and the ethical boundaries of scientific inquiry continues to unfold, with stakeholders on all sides grappling with complex moral and legal questions.

Moving forward, StemExpress’s decision may prompt further scrutiny of the practices and partnerships of organizations involved in biomedical research. It could also catalyze broader conversations about the ethics of abortion, the rights of the unborn, and the responsibilities of researchers and medical professionals.

In conclusion, StemExpress’s announcement of its separation from Planned Parenthood marks a significant moment in the ongoing discourse surrounding reproductive rights and biomedical ethics. While it represents a victory for the pro-life movement, it also raises important questions about the intersection of science, morality, and public policy. As society navigates these complex issues, it is essential to seek solutions that uphold the dignity and value of every human life.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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