Hidden camera footage shot by a pro-life group and leaked online despite a court order purportedly shows a Michigan abortion provider talking about dumping fetuses in a garbage disposal, giving them back to patients in a “gift bag” and even burning them for heat.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued a restraining order in August barring the Center for Medical Progress from releasing a host of undercover videos shot at National Abortion Federation conferences in 2013, 2014 and 2015. But on Oct. 6 Orrick allowed CMP to send the footage to a House committee investigating Planned Parenthood, and that footage was leaked to blog GotNews.com later in the month. CMP officials deny being the source of the leak.
The 11 new videos comprise more than four-and-a-half hours of footage covertly shot during seminars and one-on-one conversations with individuals in the abortion industry.
“We thought, ‘We’ll give it to everybody in a gift bag, they can take it home and figure out what to do with it.'"
- Renee Chelian
Some of the most ghastly moments come from a woman identified as Renee Chelian by non-profit Right to Life Michigan. In footage shot in April 2014, Chelian, who owns a chain of abortion clinics in Michigan and is not affiliated with Planned Parenthood, addresses an audience and discusses her frustrations trying to dispose of five months of backlogged fetal remains.
“The garbage disposal was the completely legal option,” Chelian says. “Which made me sick to my stomach because there were about 45 clinics in the Detroit metropolitan area and many of them were using garbage disposals, so I was busy contacting everyone that we have to stop, [saying], 'We can’t be on the front page of The New York Times. You shouldn’t be doing this, any of you.'
"They consistently showed me, like, a 40-year-old law in the state of Michigan that said medical waste was fine to go in the sewer system," she added. "I couldn’t really argue with them.”
Her efforts to find a solution took her to various funeral homes and pet crematoriums, and she also investigated using “green technology” that functioned “like a dishwasher,” in which the operator adds a chemical and the fetal remains are then drained into the sewer system. Eventually, she says in the footage, Chelian paid someone to dispose of 20 bottles of fetal remains “into my garbage disposal.”
“We were really tempted to give the fetus back, but of course we couldn’t do that,” Chelian said. “We thought, ‘We’ll give it to everybody in a gift bag, they can take it home and figure out what to do with it. It’s their pregnancy and why is this our problem?’”
She drew roars of laughter for her “gift bag” idea from the crowd listening and also elicited howls for a sarcastic plot to burn the aborted babies in a “bonfire” in the woods.
During a question-and-answer session, a woman from Vancouver, Canada mentions that her abortion facility ships its fetal remains to “a waste energy facility” in Oregon where the tissue is burned to provide energy.
“It seems like a really good solution!” Chelian interjects.
Chelian regretfully opines that abortion providers are “afraid to tell the truth” and “everything is a secret” when it comes to disposing of dead baby parts.
The Marion County Waste-to-Energy Facility in Oregon alluded to by the questioner denied in April 2014 that the plant was using fetal remains in its garbage burning operation.
“We’re not burning babies,” Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jill Stueck told the Portland Tribune at the time.
But whether that specific example is true or not, the concept is rooted in reality. The Oregon allegations came just a month after multiple British news outlets reported that 10 National Health Service hospital trusts admitted to burning aborted and miscarried fetuses alongside trash to generate power for heating.
Ed Rivet, the Legislative Director for Right to Life Michigan, said Chelian’s story is indicative of practices prevalent in the abortion industry.
“They’ve been cutting corners for decades,” Rivet told FoxNews.com. “And they’re trying to keep the prices artificially cheap, and the only way to do that it is to lower your standards and not do things the way the rest of the medical world does.”
Previous videos shot by CMP have appeared to show Planned Parenthood officials admitting the organization alters abortion procedures to procure fetal tissue, delivers intact fetuses and sells fetal tissue for profit. Each of those practices is against federal law.
Planned Parenthood has denied breaking any laws and has said payments discussed in the videos relate to reimbursement costs for procuring the tissue – which is legal. Earlier this month, Planned Parenthood announced it would stop taking money from researchers for aborted baby parts.
The videos have spurred investigations of Planned Parenthood's policies on aborted fetuses by several Republican-led congressional committees including a newly announced select committee.