The Marketing of Aborted Baby Parts
AGF vs. Opening Lines
Since we began releasing information about the trafficking of baby parts, a common perception held by those who viewed this material has been that AGF is more ethical than Opening Lines. While it may be true that AGF is less flamboyant than Opening Lines, it is a mistake to assume that this makes AGF more principled. The issue is whether someone is profiting from the sale of baby parts, not whether they are crass about it.
A good barometer to use in comparing AGF to Opening Lines is pricing. There is certainly no reason that the retrieval costs of one company should exceed the retrieval costs of the other. Bluntly speaking, whatever the actual costs are to pluck the eyes out of a baby or chop off its leg, there is no legitimate reason for it to vary significantly between AGF and Opening Lines. Since the law stipulates that they are not allowed to recover from buyers any more than their actual retrieval costs, and since those costs should be virtually identical for both, it would logically follow that their fees should be virtually identical.
As you examine the Opening Lines price list, notice that, unlike AGF’s “per specimen” pricing scheme, Opening Lines bases its prices on the type of body part being ordered.
Opening Lines Price List:
Earlier in this document, we used AGF’s “Fees for Services” list to price out tissue logs generated at Comp Health during February of 1996. This allowed us to determine how much AGF billed for parts they harvested at Comp Health during that month. The chart below applies Opening Lines prices to those same logs.
|40 livers > 8 weeks||
|7 livers > 8 weeks||
|10 liver fragments > 8 weeks||
|1 liver fragment > 8 weeks||
|7 brains > 8 weeks||
|4 eyes (pair) > 8 weeks||
|13 eyes (single) > 8 weeks||
|8 thymuses > 8 weeks||
|14 pancreases > 8 weeks||
|14 lungs > 8 weeks||
|1 kidney > 8 weeks||
Recall that when we applied AGF’s price list to these same orders, we found that they sold these baby parts for between $18,750 and $24,830, depending on whether they were shipped fresh or frozen. Opening Lines would have sold the same parts for $14,695.
In other words, AGF charged a minimum of $4,055 more than Opening Lines would have, and possibly as much as $10,135 more. Given the logical assumption that Opening Lines’ operating expenses are roughly the same as AGF’s ($6,656.66 per month), Opening Lines would have cleared $8,038.34 profit from the sale of these baby parts. And while that would represent an astonishing 120% return on investment in just one month, it is still between $4,000 and $10,000 less profit than AGF would have made on those same parts.
To help the reader of this report have a more complete understanding of the “mechanical” aspects of the baby parts business, we are providing documents that describe the recommended methods for procuring parts. These instructions came from Comp Health and were given to retrieval agents employed at that facility. Also included in this section are a few pages of hand-written instructions. These are notes made by Dean Alberty from oral directions he was given when he first began harvesting parts at Comp Health.
Another aspect of the baby parts business is the question of whether women are ever coerced to donate their baby’s body. According to people we talked to during our investigation, coercion is not a problem because it is not necessary. The consent document is usually just “thrown-in” with the other papers the patient is told she must sign before the abortion can be done. In most cases, the woman never knows that she gave permission.
Beyond that, people in the baby parts business recognized long ago that even if they harvested aborted babies without the mother’s permission, the possibility of being caught is virtually zero. When a woman leaves an abortion clinic, she has no idea what happens to her dead baby and almost no incentive to find out. Furthermore, if she decided to pursue the issue it would be impossible for her to ever determine for certain whether her baby’s corpse was thrown in a dumpster, flushed down the sewer system, incinerated, carried off by a medical waste company, or sold for parts. In fact, it would be impossible for even a trained law enforcement investigator to make such a determination. The reality is, regardless of what the clinic says happened to the dead body, there is no way for an outside entity or individual to prove otherwise.
Despite that, however, some clinics do request consent. In those cases, fetal tissue donation is inevitably sold to the patient as “something good” that can come from her decision. Although patients are not supposed to be approached about tissue donation until after they have given written consent for the abortion, we were constantly told by industry insiders that the subject is often brought up during the initial counseling session. Obviously, for women who are hesitant about going ahead with the abortion, this could be a compelling emotional inducement to proceed.
In clinics where this “something good” approach is used, it is generally reinforced with a consent document that is, in reality, little more than a subtle sales pitch designed only to secure the patient’s permission. This is evident in the consent form used at the Mayfair Women’s Center, an abortion clinic in Aurora, Colorado. During our investigation, we were not able to obtain any other consent documents but we were assured that this one is typical of those used around the country. In fact, among the people we dealt with in the baby parts business, it is almost universally accepted that the wording for these documents was actually produced by one of the wholesalers.
Mayfair Consent Form:
This particular consent form is for an 18-year-old girl named Christina Stile who had her abortion at Mayfair on June 29, 1993. Tragically, the signature on this paper turned out to be the last time this young woman ever wrote her name. The abortionist, Ron Kuseski, botched the procedure and within a few minutes Ms. Stile was in a permanent vegetative state. Since her abortion, she has required around-the-clock care and will do so for the rest of her life. We were never able to document whether her baby was chopped-up and sold for parts. Also, we were never able to determine whether Kuseski altered the procedure to obtain the parts and, if so, whether this played a role in the injuries she suffered.