Will Planned Parenthood be Prosecuted for Selling the Body Parts of Aborted Babies?
Two Congressional panels have forwarded to federal prosecutors alleged criminal charges against Planned Parenthood affiliates and medical laboratories doing business with Planned Parenthood. The referrals maintain that Planned Parenthood and its business agents have been engaged in the illegal sale of the body parts of aborted preborn children.
Earlier this month the U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives issued a report of their investigation into charges that Planned Parenthood clinics and their contractors have been marketing baby body parts for sale. Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee announced the conclusions of their investigation into the fetal disposal practices of Planned Parenthood’s nationwide abortion industry.
The investigations followed the release in the summer of 2015 of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood employees and business associates discussing the sale of organs and tissue from aborted unborn children. The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue for profit is a felony under federal law which carries a penalty of up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
The videos, which were recorded by a group called The Center for Medical Progress, revealed that abortionists for Planned Parenthood performed their procedures in such a fashion so as to preserve vital organs for trafficking purposes. Senior medical officials for Planned Parenthood shared how doctors conduct late-term abortions to preserve “intact specimens,” so that the heart, lungs, liver, and brains of the child would be available for sale to research firms and medical laboratories.
The thoroughly repulsive nature of the videos included conversations in which leading medical officials of Planned Parenthood discussed how to conceal and maximize their profit margins from the sale of fetal remains. In one revolting video, a Planned Parenthood officer dickered over lunch over the the price for vital organs, chuckling that she wanted to buy a Lamborghini someday.
The House Select Committee referred nine cases to the Attorney General of Texas and to other state and federal prosecutors. The Committee alleges that baby body parts were sold by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and abortion clinics in Arkansas and California. The Committee report also alleges that various universities and bioscience firms participated in the purchase of the body parts of aborted children. Most notable was the StemExpress research company of Folsom, California, which was prominently featured in the undercover videos.
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who chaired the House Select Panel, says the “bioethics surrounding fetal tissue use” deserves further investigation. “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…Our hearings revealed the sobering reality of how some bad actors profit from the sale of fetal tissue in violation of federal law.”
Last week, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee referred cases for potential prosecution to the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department involving alleged trafficking in baby body parts. The cases involved the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and three biotech firms, including Stem Express.
The Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, expressed dismay at the lack of enforcement by federal officials of laws banning the for-profit sale of the remains of aborted children. “The seeming disregard for the law by these entities has been fueled by decades of utter failure by the Justice Department to enforce it.”
“With no executive branch oversight and no meaningful risk of prosecution, the companies involved in transferring fetal tissue have been free to receive substantial payments with impunity. Unless there is a renewed commitment by everyone involved against commercializing the trade in aborted fetal body parts for profit, then the problem is likely to continue,” Grassley noted.
Senator Grassley says his committee discovered that companies had charged thousands of dollars for specimens received from a single aborted child. The committee report states that these companies claimed fees they charged only recovered their costs when they had not in fact conducted any analysis of their costs when setting their fees.
David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, says that the latest revelations should provide new impetus to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood. “Law enforcement and elected officials at all levels must now act quickly to bring Planned Parenthood to justice under the law and prevent any more taxpayer subsidies from flowing to Planned Parenthood’s barbaric criminal enterprise.”
LifeNews.com Note: Joe Ortwerth writes for the Missouri Family Policy Council.