Rattay: Del. Planned Parenthood not selling fetal tissue

DOVER — Planned Parenthood of Delaware does not harvest or sell aborted fetal tissue at any of its Delaware facilities, according to state Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay in response to a series of questions from state Republican legislative leaders.

“It is our understanding that Planned Parenthood of Delaware does not have a tissue donation program,” Dr. Rattay said in an email received Thursday by Senate Republican Leader Gary Simpson, R-Milford and House Republican Leader Danny Short, R-Seaford.

Dr. Karyl Rattay

Dr. Karyl Rattay

Planned Parenthood has come under fire nationally in recent weeks after a series of graphic undercover videos revealed high-ranking executives negotiating the sale of aborted tissue and baby parts.

In one video released by the Center for Medical Progress, a Planned Parenthood official laughs as she haggles over prices, saying, “I want a Lamborghini.”

Selling aborted fetal tissue for profit is illegal. The Center for Medical Progress also alleges that Planned Parenthood alters abortion procedures to better recover usable fetal tissue.

In the letter sent Aug. 5 to Dr. Rattay and state Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, the lawmakers requested answers to several questions regarding Planned Parenthood of Delaware: If it harvests or sells body parts or tissue from abortions performed at any of its facilities in Delaware; state and federal laws regarding fetal tissue extraction, sales and research and the enforcement of those laws; federal and state sources of funding; and if any investigation is pending.

Sen. Gary Simpson

Sen. Gary Simpson

They asked the health officials to respond within one week.

“In light of these very serious allegations we, as elected officials, needed to make sure that Planned Parenthood of Delaware, an organization that receives state funding, is complying with all applicable law,” Sen. Simpson said.

“Based on Dr. Rattay’s responses, it appears that they are. We only ask that our state’s top health leaders continually monitor Planned Parenthood of Delaware to ensure they are following all state and federal laws.”

In her response, Dr. Rattay said that Planned Parenthood of Delaware, like all abortion providers, is regulated by the Division of Public Health.

Although Planned Parenthood of Delaware does not have a tissue donation program, tissue donation is regulated by state law, Dr. Rattay wrote. Under federal law, there are a variety of statutes and regulations, and the Department of Health and Human Services is the overall regulatory body.

It receives $185,225 from the state through reproductive health service contracts, to provide services including counseling and contraception, education regarding and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, cancer screenings and other basic gynecological care.

With respect to federal funds, Planned Parenthood of Delaware receives $98,367 under Medicaid and $160,000 in Title X funding for the same purpose.

The Delaware General Assembly also awarded Planned Parenthood of Delaware $30,000 in grant-in-aid dollars to supplement the above dollars for the same uses.

The state contracts specify what services they fund and none include abortion funding, Dr. Rattay said. The Department of Health and Social Services requires regular reports from its contractors and has the ability to examine their records should any concerns be raised about the use of funding.

The Division of Public Health has the authority to investigate facilities that perform invasive medical procedure, including providers of abortion, in the event of an employee or patient complaint, or an adverse event.

The Division of Professional Regulation has the authority to investigate medical personnel based upon allegations of professional misconduct against a specific individual, Dr. Rattay said. There are no active investigations.

State law also requires that facilities that perform invasive medical procedures acquire accreditation from one of five approved organizations, which includes both on-site and off-site inspections.

Planned Parenthood of Delaware must also meet federal requirements in reporting and recording keeping, he noted.

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