The U. S. Department of Justice has announced that they are launching a formal investigation into the business practices of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates across the country. The focus of the probe will be substantial allegations that the organization and its partners have been engaged in the trafficking of the harvested body parts of aborted unborn children. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd has requested documents obtained by the Senate Judiciary Committee during their examination last year of the Planned Parenthood baby body parts racket. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley had forwarded the conclusions of their investigation to the Justice Department for further investigation and possible prosecution.
The scandal surrounding Planned Parenthood’s disposal of fetal tissue erupted in 2015 as a result of a continuing series of undercover videos released by a group called The Center for Medical Progress. The videos revealed Planned Parenthood employees and contractors marketing the sale of the vital organs and fetal tissue from the remains of preborn children who had been aborted.
The videos highlighted how abortionists for Planned Parenthood were conducting late-term abortions in a fashion which would leave intact major organs in order to gain maximum profit from the sale of these “specimens.” The videos were particularly repulsive in exposing the cruel and callous nature in which employees joked about their activities in bartering these baby body parts. In the very first video, the senior medical director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America bragged about how they had become “very good” at “crushing” the unborn child in a manner that would leave the heart, lung, liver and brains undamaged. In a different video, another medical official at Planned Parenthood haggled over the price to be paid for fetal organs and tissue, saying that she “wanted a Lamborghini someday.”
The final report issued by the Senate Judiciary Committee in December of last year concluded that three companies (StemExpress, Advanced Bioscience Resources, and Novogenix Laboratories) had paid Planned Parenthood affiliates to obtain “aborted fetuses,” and had subsequently sold the fetal tissue “at substantially higher prices than their documented costs.” The report’s executive summary stated that companies charged thousands of dollars for specimens recovered from a single aborted fetus. The report furthermore stated that the companies claimed the fees only recovered acceptable costs “when they had not conducted any analysis of their costs when setting the fees.” The U.S. Congress passed legislation in 1993 which made it illegal for any person “to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration…” The unlawful sale or purchase of fetal tissue is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000.
Senator Grassley’s committee determined that the federal government had failed to enforce the law’s safeguards since the passage of the fetal tissue trafficking legislation. The committee learned that the Department of Health and Human Services had failed to conduct a single audit of fetal tissue exchanges involved in federally funded research, as required by the law.
Lila Rose, President of the pro-life group Live Action, said attention by the U.S. Justice Department is long overdue. “It has been almost a year since two congressional investigations revealed substantial evidence suggesting Planned Parenthood profited from selling the body parts of aborted children.” “Despite that evidence and the fact that Planned Parenthood’s own lawyers admitted they could not legally justify the money they charged for the body parts, politics won over principle, and the Obama Administration buried any criminal investigation,” Rose said in a statement.
“Now justice may finally be done,” Rose added. “Planned Parenthood’s barbaric trading of baby body parts is one America’s greatest national shames, only outdone by our law’s permissiveness of the slaughter of those children in the first place.”
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, says that the Justice Department action should give additional impetus to congressional efforts to eliminate federal taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. “It is beyond comprehension that the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood continues. Congress should refuse to give another cent of its over $400 million in annual federal funding to this leader of the abortion industry.”