The temporary restraining order preventing the release of footage with StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer was lifted Friday. The Center for Medical Progress will release some footage with Dyer. The organization that embarked on a year’s long investigative journalism project focused on Planned Parenthood released some preview quotes ahead of releasing the video footage.
Dyer admits that StemExpress receives intact fetuses shipped to their laboratory from the abortion clinics they work with. Dyer during a lunch meeting discusses receiving an “intact case.” Center for Medical Progress referencing their video with Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, says “case” refers to an individual abortion. “Intact case” means “intact abortion.
Cate Dyer: Realistically, if we were to do an agreement with you, what do we think you could get?
Cate Dyer: On specifically liver tissue, because that’s such an area of demand for us.
Buyer: So liver, and what about intact specimens, just—?
Cate Dyer: Oh, yeah, I mean if you had intact cases, which we’ve done a lot, we sometimes ship those back to our lab in its entirety.
Cate Dyer: So that would also be great if you guys have those.
Buyer: The entire case.
Cate Dyer: Yeah, yeah. Because it’s just, and the procurement for us, I mean it can go really sideways, depending on the facility, and then our samples are destroyed, and we’re like, “Really?” This was all so much work, and then just to have them be destroyed is awful. I mean we have researchers wait forever, and they want certain things, you know, perfectly done, so we started bringing them back even to manage it from a procurement expert standpoint.
Dyer also admits that unsanitary conditions exist in some of the abortion clinics StemExpress works with.
Cate Dyer: We’ll do testing on our side, so we’ll be able to see, you know. And sometimes we’ll find that it can be clinic-specific. I’ve seen really rampant, rampant problems with bacteria in certain clinics. [laughter] Some where you’re kind of in question of should they really, you know, [laughing]
Cate Dyer: I’ve seen staph come out of clinics.
Cate Dyer: So, I mean, I’ve seen all sorts of things come out of clinics, so.
Cate Dyer estimates StemExpress is working with nearly 100 abortion clinics nationwide, and still can’t get enough fetal liver.
Buyer: What would make your lab happy? What would make your lab happy?
Cate Dyer: Another fifty livers a week.
Buyer: Ok, so you can handle that?
Cate Dyer: Yea. Just so you guys know, on the collection side for us, we’re also- as you see Megan out there in the clinic, we’re working with almost triple digit number clinics. So, it’s a lot on volume a little more than what we do. It’s a lot. So, I don’t think you’ll hit a capacity with us anytime in the next ten years. I think you’ll feel solid with that standpoint. So, I think, with that you’ll feel like doing an agreement with us. It will be consistant growth and our growth has been consistent, and it’s going to continue to grow from that standpoint.
Cate Dyer laughs and jokes about researchers being squeamish about receiving baby parts in the mail:
Cate Dyer: As you probably know, one of the issues with neural tissue, it’s so fragile. It’s insanely fragile. And I don’t even know—I was gonna say, I know we get requests for neural, it’s the hardest thing in the world to ship.
Buyer: You do it as the whole calvarium.
Cate Dyer: Yeah, that’s the easiest way. And we’ve actually had good success with that.
Buyer: Make sure the eyes are closed!
Cate Dyer: Yeah! [laughter] Tell the lab it’s coming!
Cate Dyer: They’ll open the box, go, ”Oh God!” [laughter] So yeah, so many of the academic labs cannot fly like that, they’re not capable.
Buyer: Why is that? I don’t understand that.
Cate Dyer: It’s almost like they don’t want to know where it comes from. I can see that. Where they’re like, “We need limbs, but no hands and feet need to be attached.” And you’re like, ? Or they want long bones, and they want you to take it all off, like, make it so that we don’t know what it is.
Buyer: Bone the chicken for me and then we’ll—
Cate Dyer: That’s it.
Buyer: And then I’ll eat it, but.
Cate Dyer: But we know what it is. I mean, [laughter], but their lab.
Buyer: But then it goes to that whole stigma.
Cate Dyer: Oh yeah. And their lab techs freak out, and have meltdowns, and so it’s just like, yeah. I think, quite frankly, that’s why a lot of researchers ultimately, some of them want to get into other things. They want to look at bone marrow, they want to look at adipose- sort of adult human, kind of adult based sampling. They want to avoid publishing a paper that says it was derived from fetal tissue.
According to Cate Dyer, Stem Express has a good working relationship with the leadership of Planned Parenthood.
Buyer: Do you feel that support from Cecile [Richards] and from Deborah [Nucatola]?
Cate Dyer: Yea, oh yea. You know, everyone at PPFA. I just think that you’re in the cause or you’re not. If you’re not in the cause, they don’t need you around. They need champions and if you’re not a champion, then you should go. That’s just- I don’t know, the clinics are very guarded, as they should be. Who do they let in their house, they let champions in their house. Right? I think it’s that same concept and ABR has just never understood that.
Dyer states that about half of the abortion clinics they work with are Planned Parenthood clinics
Buyer: Are you seeing any trends between the independents versus Planned Parenthoods? Your breakdown right now, are things split pretty fifty-fifty?
Cate Dyer: I think it probably is. I don’t know- it is different. I don’t think that one has more pro’s or con’s than the other. I mean, Planned Parenthood has volume, because they are a volume institution.