December 21, 2016
Republicans on the special House committee investigating the supply chain of aborted fetal tissue have asked authorities to investigate a total of 15 cases in which the law may have been broken.
The panel’s chairwoman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., released a list late Wednesday of findings over the past year she believes warrants further investigation. The list includes human tissue companies, research institutions and abortion clinics that Republicans allege may have illegally profited from aborted fetuses, violated patient privacy laws or broken other statutes.
“Speaking as a woman, I am deeply troubled by what we have learned about the mistreatment of patients at a particularly difficult and vulnerable time in their lives,” Blackburn said in a statement. “They are being treated with a disregard for their best interests and their rights as patients.”
StemExpress, Advanced Bioscience Resources, the University of New Mexico and Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast are among the groups named in the criminal and regulatory referrals.
The committee, which is nearing the end of its year-long investigation, was created by House Republicans in response to undercover videos from abortion foe David Daleiden showing how some Planned Parenthood clinics supplied aborted fetuses for medical research. Democrats have asked for the panel to be disbanded, calling it a “witch hunt.”
The committee said it has sent referral letters to federal, state and local authorities with the evidence it found of possible illegal activity. The panel outlined the following incidents:
1) The Panel learned that StemExpress and certain abortion clinics may have violated the HIPAA privacy rights of vulnerable women for the sole purpose of increasing the harvesting of fetal tissue to make money. Referred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
2) The Panel uncovered evidence showing that StemExpress may have violated federal regulations governing Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). Referred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
3) The Panel discovered that the University of New Mexico may have been violating its state’s Anatomical Gift Act by receiving tissue from a late-term abortion clinic (Southwestern Women’s Options). Referred to the Attorney General of New Mexico.
4 & 5) The Panel conducted a forensic accounting analysis of StemExpress’ limited production and determined that it may have been profiting from the sale of baby body parts. Referral sent to El Dorado, California, District Attorney, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
6) The Panel discovered that an abortion clinic in Arkansas may have violated the law when it sent tissue to StemExpress. Referred to the Attorney General of Arkansas.
7) The Panel discovered that DV Biologics, another tissue procurement company, may have been profiting from the sale of fetal tissue, and was not collecting California sales tax from purchasers of the baby body parts. The Orange County District Attorney has filed a lawsuit and the Panel sent a supplemental referral.
8) The Panel learned that Advanced Bioscience Resources appeared to have made a profit when it sold tissue to various universities. Referred to the District Attorney for Riverside County, California.
9) The Panel discovered that an abortion clinic in Florida, at least in part through its relationship with StemExpress, may have violated various provisions of federal and state law by profiting from the sale of fetal tissue. Referred to the Attorney General of Florida.
10) The Panel learned that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast may have violated both Texas Law and U.S. Law when it sold fetal tissue to the University of Texas. Referred to the Texas Attorney General.
11 & 12) The Panel has uncovered evidence from former employees and a patient of a late-term abortionist in Texas alleging numerous violations of federal and state law at one or more of the practitioner’s clinics. The allegations include eyewitness accounts of the doctor killing infants who show signs of life both when partially outside the birth canal, in violation of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, and after they are completely outside the birth canal, in violation of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act and Texas murder statutes. Referred to the Texas Attorney General, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
13) The Panel has discovered information that StemExpress may have destroyed documents that were the subject of congressional inquiries, document request letters, and subpoenas, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519. Referred to the U.S. Department of Justice.
14) The Panel made a supplemental referral to the Attorney General of New Mexico based on information produced in document productions by the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Southwestern Women’s Options (SWWO), and a complaint and affidavit with supporting documents submitted by a former patient at SWWO. It details the alleged failure of SWWO and UNM to provide informed consent to women prior to using tissue from abortions for research at the university.
15) Over the course of its investigation, the Panel has uncovered documents and received testimony from confidential informants indicating that several entities, including four Planned Parenthood clinics and Novogenix, may have violated federal law, specifically Title 42 U.S.C. § 289g-2, which forbids the transfer of fetal tissue for valuable consideration. Referred to the U.S. Department of Justice.