The undercover videos released by Center For Medical Progress (CMP) earlier in the year have finally generated a government response. Today the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel for Infant Lives announced it has referred Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for criminal prosecution for its role in selling the baby parts of aborted babies.
The committee’s work began with the Center For Medical Progress undercover videos. The Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast referral was spurred by the 5th of those videos. The video of this chapter of Planned Parenthood selling baby parts, which was taken at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s office (it’s embedded at the bottom of this post). Along with some documents garnered from Texas Public Information Act request (the state equivalent of a FIOA request ) the video demonstrates that Planned Parenthood was using accounting gimmicks to hide its illegal sale of parts, and also that the doctors were changing the way they conducted abortions in order to have better intact human baby remains to harvest for profit.
On April 9, 2015 CMPs David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt from made an undercover visit to the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s (PPGC) abortion center in Houston. The CMP personnel met with PPGC Director of Research Melissa Farrell, who has overseen the organization’s sale of baby parts since 2006 (they don’t call them aborted babies, they prefer the more sterile “products of conception.”
“We had two levels of invoicing for them. We had it worded as ‘per consent,’” explains Farrell as she describes a previous fetal tissue deal that took place at PPGC. Farrell indicates that “per consent” is the phrase used in PPGC budgeting in place of “per specimen” for fetal tissue.
Farrell is aware that while a patient may consent to supply fetal tissue, the specimen itself may not be useable for experimentation: “There’s probably some situations where somebody would consent and then just not, we didn’t get a sample, or she changed her mind, or something happened to the specimen.”
Addressing this dilemma, Daleiden says: “Now obviously, we don’t want to end up paying for material that we can’t use,” and suggests that there be a line item fee of “something else that represents the specimens.” “Obviously,” Farrell agrees, “Yep. Yeah.”
“I just don’t want it to turn into a situation that is not financially beneficial for you,” says Merritt. “Yeah, yeah. And we’ll, I’ll take you up on that. I’ll take you up on that. I’ll take you up on that,” Farrell repeats three times, laughing, and continues, “We definitely want to do that, because that’s what staff and management need to see.”
As Texas Right to Life notes, instead of pursuing an investigation of Planned Parenthood, the former Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson “mismanaged the case to the benefit of her friends at Planned Parenthood,” indicting “citizen journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the heroes who documented the shocking misconduct of Planned Parenthood” instead of prosecuting Planned Parenthood “after they were caught red-handed in blatant wrong-doing.” Charges against the CMP investigators were later dropped, and Anderson was not re-elected.
The Texas and Louisiana Planned Parenthood affiliate is one of nine nine criminal and regulatory referrals from the Select Panel.According to a fact sheet released by the Select Panel, the nine referrals include:
1. The University of New Mexico was found to have violated their state’s Anatomical Gift Act by receiving tissue from a late-term abortion facility, Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, NM. The matter was referred to the New Mexico Attorney General for further investigation and prosecution.
2. After conducting a forensic analysis of the limited financial data submitted by StemExpress, the Select Panel found that it was violating federal law by profiting from the sale of aborted baby remains. Referrals were sent to the El Dorado, CA District Attorney and the U.S. Department of Justice.
3. The Panel’s investigation revealed that StemExpress and “certain abortion clinics” were violating patient privacy rights under HIPAA for financial gain. A referral was made to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
4. It was discovered that an abortion facility in Arkansas violated the law by selling aborted baby remains to StemExpress for profit. A referral was made to the Arkansas District Attorney.
5. The Panel uncovered evidence that a university in Ohio was violating state law by trafficking in aborted baby remains. An oral referral was made to the Ohio Attorney General.
6. DV Biologics, a tissue procurement company, was found to have been illegally trafficking aborted baby remains for profit and had failed to collect California sales taxes. The Orange County District Attorney has sued and the Select Panel made a supplemental referral. (Operation Rescue uncovered a quid pro quo relationship between the owners of DV Biologics and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who granted special favors to them.)
7. It was discovered that Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast broke the law when it sold aborted baby remains for profit to the University of Texas. Operation Rescue’s Texas attorney, Briscoe Cain, received evidence of this illegal conduct through a FOIA request and referred the evidence on to investigators. The Select Panel referred the case to the Texas Attorney General.
8. Advanced Bioscience Resources was found to have profited from the sale of aborted baby remains to “various universities.” A referral was made to the Riverside, CA District Attorney.
9. The Panel’s investigation discovered that Presidential Women’s Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, violated the federal and state law though their relationship with StemExpress, which allowed it to illegally profit from the sale of aborted baby remains. The matter was referred to the Florida Attorney General.
The good news is that the committee’s not done with its work:
Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) issued the following statement on House passage of H. Res. 933, to authorize funding necessary to allow the Select Investigative Panel to complete its inquiry into America’s abortion industry and fetal tissue procurement entities:
“Our Panel was tasked with investigating areas that, prior to the revelations of undercover journalists, received too little attention. For most of us, it is nothing short of an outrage that Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics supplement their budgets by selling human fetal tissue from aborted babies. The House charged members of this Panel with investigating fetal tissue trafficking, second- and third-trimester abortion practices, the standard of care for infants who survive abortions, and the role played by our taxpayer dollars in this sector of society. Over the last year, we have held hearings that explored the bioethics surrounding fetal tissue use and that revealed the sobering reality of how some bad actors seek to profit from the sale of fetal tissue in violation of federal law.
“The work of our Panel is specifically focused on protecting the integrity of research, scientific advancements, and voluntary organ donation in America. Evidence we have uncovered reveals that the unethical and potentially unlawful practices of some bad actors may be putting important research at risk. Considering all that our Panel has identified, despite having barely a year to conduct this investigation, it is now up to us to build on this work, to hold our government accountable, and to stop these affronts to human dignity.”
As are all the CMP videos, this particular one is hard to handle, but this time it’s not for graphic images of baby parts. This time tis because of the though of someone funky accounting practices to hide the disgusting practice of selling pieces of freshly killed babies. Think about it for a moment. If a veterinarian killed puppy fetuses, and carefully picked which part of their bodies to crush so she could save the others for scientific research, and then hid it via book keeping tricks there would be a progressive demonstration at the National Mall about five minutes after the news was leaked.
But these aren’t puppies, these are human beings. The fact they are trying to hide the practice with accounting tricks demonstrates they know they are doing something illegal. They don’t see them as human fetuses they see them as a lump of goo instead of unborn babies.
I hope they go to jail!
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