Here's why the Planned Parenthood baby body parts scandal could be a federal crime

Here's what federal law says about selling fetal tissue
42 U.S. Code § 289g–2 - Prohibitions regarding human fetal tissue
(a) Purchase of tissue: It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce. 
(e)(3) The term “valuable consideration” does not include reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.

Here's what California law says about selling fetal tissue
125320.  (a) A person may not knowingly, for valuable consideration, purchase or sell embryonic or cadaveric fetal tissue for research purposes pursuant to this chapter.
   (b) For purposes of this section, "valuable consideration" does
not include reasonable payment for the removal, processing, disposal, preservation, quality control, storage, transplantation, or
implantation of a part.

In other words, clinics can legally sell aborted fetal tissue at a legally-controlled rate.  The idea is to encourage tissue research without creating a profit incentive.

But it's a state crime to sell it for a price above what it costs a clinic to store, keep and ship it.

And it's a federal crime to do that when the tissue is sold across state line or "affects interstate commerce."

Here's what Planned Parenthood said.

On how Planned Parenthood clinics charge researchers for tissue:
Planned Parenthood: "And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that....Every penny they save is a just pennies they give to another patient. To provide a service the patient wouldn’t get."
Buyer: "Because of the losses in that area."
PP:  "Exactly."
On sourcing fetal issue across state lines:
PP: "So, I don’t know your, what you’re thinking as far as range. If you’re thinking about just California, if you’re thinking about just the West Coast, if you’re thinking about bigger regions...."
Buyer: "...for example, StemExpress, they cater to researchers across the country but they’re sourcing material from just Northern California."
Planned Parenthood: "Exactly."
Here's why Planned Parenthood should call their criminal defense attorney 

If Planned Parenthood is charging "beyond break even," to use their own words, that may be a state crime.

And if Planned Parenthood sells  "beyond break even," to use their own words, across "the West Coast," to use their own words, that may be a federal crime.