Last month, by terminating a grotesque contract for “fresh” aborted baby parts from Planned Parenthood partners Advanced Bioscience Resources, and by launching a comprehensive review of taxpayer-funded baby-parts experimentation, the Department of Health and Human Services took a small first step to stop the epidemic of trafficking tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains from late-term abortion clinics into government-sponsored laboratories for taxpayer-funded experimentation.

It was the least HHS Secretary Alex Azar could do to terminate the most recent known contract HHS signed in July with a notorious Planned Parenthood-linked company to purchase $16,000 of “fresh” aborted baby organs and tissues for implantation into so-called “humanized mice.” HHS signed the contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc., or ABR, a nearly 30-year-old California Bay Area business that has been partnered with Planned Parenthood for almost two decades to harvest and sell fresh aborted baby body parts, often for taxpayer-funded experimentation.

But terminating just this one contract is not enough. So long as the federal government trades taxpayer dollars for freshly-aborted baby body parts, it is setting its own abortion quotas. It is sending the message that these children are worth more dead than alive.

Through its National Institutes of Health division, HHS spends $100 million in taxpayer money annually on projects using fetal organs and tissues from abortions. Last year, $20 million of that was spent on “intramural” research projects—fetal experimentation being conducted in government facilities owned and operated by HHS.

In fact, the news just broke last week that NIH has an active multi-year $13.8 million contract with the late-term abortion training school run by the University of California San Francisco. NIH is paying out $2 million in taxpayer funds per year for livers, thymuses, and intestines from at least two late-term abortions of healthy fetuses each month, to be implanted into lab mice. This is consistent with what Planned Parenthood and UCSF abortion doctors told CMP investigators during our undercover journalism work about UCSF’s abortion practice.

The ABR and UCSF contracts and others like them should never have been signed in the first place. The U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s FY 2018-2022 Strategic Plan states, “A core component of the HHS mission is the dedication to serve all Americans from conception to natural death.” It is inconceivable how this explicit HHS mission of “serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, from conception” has now somehow been interpreted — and especially under the historically pro-life Trump administration — as authorizing the taxpayer-funded trafficking of “fresh” aborted baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains, to be stitched into lab rats inside of government-run HHS facilities.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that ABR and its business partners Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest and Planned Parenthood Federation of America were under federal investigation for the illegal sale of baby body parts for profit, based on DOJ’s review of the criminal referrals made by two congressional committees. The congressional investigations uncovered contracts for “products of conception” between ABR and Planned Parenthood where ABR agreed to pay Planned Parenthood $60 per fetal specimen that ABR could harvest inside the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. If ABR could get just one specimen from each abortion done at Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest, that would add up to nearly $1 million in baby parts revenue each year for that one Planned Parenthood affiliate.

ABR charges research customers like HHS from $340 to up to $6,000 for “fresh” fetal tissue specimens. ABR harvests these inside late-term abortion clinics throughout the country. Now that HHS has found cause for termination of ABR’s recent baby body parts sales, DOJ must do its job and follow through on the criminal referrals for ABR, Planned Parenthood, and similar entities with vigorous prosecution.

HHS’s newly announced review of fetal tissue procurement and experimentation must be exacting, and it must terminate all other agreements for baby body parts with ABR, StemExpress, and similar business partners of Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry. HHS should provide complete transparency about the extent of taxpayer-funded harvesting from and experimentation on unborn children. For this reason, the Center for Medical Progress has filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request to hold HHS bureaucrats accountable to their mission and to surface all the relevant facts and details about the $100 million in taxpayer money spent on HHS’s most recent round of baby body parts contracts and projects.

The HHS Strategic Plan says it best. Strategic Goal 4 is to “Foster Sound, Sustained Advances in the Sciences.” “These scientific investments are to be conducted consistent with the understanding that all human life is valuable and that the human subjects protection regulations apply to all human beings from conception to natural death.”

Sadly, in the current instance, it seems likely that the lab rats have more protections than do the human babies who now have government-sponsored orders placed on their body parts while they are still alive and kicking in the womb, before they are dismembered by an abortionist. HHS should stop helping companies like ABR and Planned Parenthood put a price tag on human life.

David Daleiden is the founder and project lead at The Center for Medical Progress, responsible for the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood and organizations like ABR discussing the harvesting and sale of aborted baby body parts.