Skip to content

Planned Parenthood, Univ. of Wis. lied about baby parts, public records reveal

ADF records request shows UW researchers obtained baby hearts, brains from Planned Parenthood’s Wisconsin affiliate contrary to public denials

MADISON, Wis. – An Alliance Defending Freedom public records request has revealed that Planned Parenthood’s Wisconsin affiliate provided researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with the hearts and brains of unborn babies up to 18 weeks old and within five minutes of being aborted despite the fact that both UW and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin have denied any such exchange.

The revelation comes on the heels of the state Senate’s passage Wednesday of a bill that will significantly restrict tax funding for Planned Parenthood if the governor signs the measure, and comes in the midst of discussion in the Assembly on a bill that would ban research at UW on recently aborted babies.

“Planned Parenthood has once again demonstrated its willingness to cover up its role in the gruesome baby parts trade,” said ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman. “Both Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and UW-Madison publicly denied they had any arrangement to supply baby parts from women undergoing abortion to researchers conducting gruesome experiments, but the documents we obtained prove they were not telling the truth.”

News of the baby parts exchange between Planned Parenthood and UW first broke on the ADF “Freedom Matters” podcast Friday. The documents ADF obtained through its state records request include forms and letters from the university and its researchers clearly indicating their arrangement with Planned Parenthood to obtain the baby parts, which were used in medical research that resulted in published studies on fetal hearts and fetal brains in 2014.

In a Jan. 14 news release, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin claimed, “Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin does not offer fetal tissue donation for patients…,” confirming what The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in October of last year: “The group has said only a handful of its clinics, and none in Wisconsin, are involved in the donations.” Likewise, Marsha Mailick, vice chancellor for research and graduate education at UW-Madison, said in August of last year that Planned Parenthood is not among the organizations that supply aborted babies to the university.

According to one of the published studies, UW researchers obtained hearts and brains from babies aborted “between 10 and 18 weeks of gestational age” within five minutes of the procedure. “After the procedure, the heart was grasped with sterilized surgical instruments and carefully isolated from the rest of the thoracic content to be placed in RNAse-free plastic tubes. Fetal brain was also collected in the same fashion.” The documents ADF obtained prove the university obtained the hearts and brains from Planned Parenthood.

“Wisconsin legislators have as much reason to be concerned about the scandal-ridden nature of Planned Parenthood as lawmakers in other states and in Congress have,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “Just as the state is right to end its funding relationship with an organization undeserving of taxpayer money and unworthy of anyone’s trust, it is likewise on firm legal ground to discontinue funding for research that both Planned Parenthood and the University of Wisconsin have felt the need to keep secret.” (#DefundPP)

  • Pronunciation guide: Bowman (BOH’-min), Mattox (MAT’-ucks)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

# # # | Ref. 52474