Sunday, September 6, 2015

StemExpress Website Drops References to 'Financial Profits' for Tissue Harvesting

     Stem Express is the bio-medical company featured in a number of the undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress in connection with its Planned Parenthood exposé on fetal organ and tissue harvesting. StemExpress made several changes to its website last week, some cosmetic but others more substantial. One significant change was to remove references to "financial profits" available to clinics who provide "raw materials", the term StemExpress uses for blood and tissue "usually discarded during procedures," including abortions. The change came during the same week the Center for Medical Progress released a new video showing the CEO of StemExpress acknowledging that a clinic's relationship with StemExpress can be "financially beneficial.
     Until recently, StemExpress's page on "Partnerships" appears as followed (via the Internet Archive):

     The page contained several references to financial benefits available to clinics: "Financial Profits", "providing a financial benefit to your clinic", "contributing to the fiscal growth of your clinic", "Financially Profitable", and "StemExpress partner program that fiscally rewards clinics." Stem Express also promised "complete professionalism and source anonymity."
     Recently, however, the page was revised and now appears as follows with all references to finances removed:
     In the undercover video released last week, StemExpress CEO has the following exchange with one of the actors in the video (via Daily Caller):
“We’re going into it knowing that it has to be financially beneficial for you,” an undercover actor posing as a fetal tissue buyer tells StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer in the video. 
“Yeah,” Dyer agrees. “Yeah, and both of us for sure.”
    Dyer goes on to say:
“Do you feel like there are clinics out there that have been burned, that feel like they’re doing all this work for research and it hasn’t been profitable for them?” she asks. “I haven’t seen that.” 
     Planned Parenthood has largely defended its practices regarding fetal tissue harvesting, only briefly acknowledging some inappropriate remarks by some Planned Parenthood staff. Stem Express announced earlier this month that the company was cutting ties with the Planned Parenthood clinics with which it had previously partnered.

Note: A version of this post first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

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