Pro-life Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina bashed Planned Parenthood for allegedly harvesting and selling body parts of fetuses during the GOP second tier debate on Jan. 28 (video below).
Planned Parenthood has not been charged with harvesting and selling body parts, but Fiorina brushed that off by saying that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had not been indicted, either.
Al Jazeera America reports this week that Fiorina earned at least $83,000 as a board member of a major drug company while it was manufacturing vaccines made, in part, from fetal stem cell lines that came from aborted fetuses.
The news site notes that Merck & Co.'s SEC filings show Fiorina was on their board of directors from April 1999 to December 2000. In addition to the board member pay, Fiorina was supposed to be paid an extra $1,200 for every board meeting that she went to.
Al Jazeera America adds that Debi Vinnedge, head of the pro-life group Children of God for Life, recently told the TV program “Inside Story” that her organization called on Merck to stop making these vaccines during the time period that Fiorina was on the board.
Vinnedge presented a November 2000 letter from Merck to her group that defended those vaccines: “[H]uman diploid cell lines, which are approved and maintained by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under strict federal guidelines, originated from two legal abortions in the United Kingdom and Sweden in the 1960s. These abortions were not undertaken with the intent of producing vaccines.”
Vinnedge suggested that Fiorina might not have known about Merck’s vaccines at the time, but added, “[I]f she’s stridently pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, she would not be in favor. She would not want to be on the board of a company that was doing that.”
Fiorina told the Los Angeles Times in 2010 when she was running for a U.S. Senate seat in California: "It is when embryos are produced for the purposes of destruction, for the purposes of stem cell research that I have a great deal of difficulty."
Merck confirmed to Al Jazeera America that Fiorina was on its board during the reported time, but Fiorina's campaign would not comment to the news site regarding the story.
Fiorina has repeatedly insisted that undercover videos from 2015 showed Planned Parenthood clinic workers removed tissue from a fetus that still had a beating heart, which was debunked by FactCheck.org.