6 Alarming Findings in House Panel’s Planned Parenthood Probe

Planned Parenthood affiliates profited by transferring parts of aborted babies to outside organizations in violation of the law, a special House panel has concluded after a yearlong investigation.

In a 418-page report released Wednesday, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives also found that other organizations involved in the transfer of fetal tissue broke federal or state law.

In one case, a national Planned Parenthood executive interviewed by staff investigators for the House panel said “it doesn’t bother me” that one vendor, StemExpress, paid Planned Parenthood $55 for an aborted baby’s intact brain and then sold it to a customer for more than $3,000.

“It’s none of my concern. It doesn’t bother me,” the Planned Parenthood executive said, according to the panel’s report.

Republican members of the House panel recommend that authorities pursue charges against Planned Parenthood affiliates, which receive taxpayer money, and other entities for violating the law and related regulations.

“It is my hope that our recommendations will result in some necessary changes within both the abortion and fetal tissue procurement industries,” the panel’s chairman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said in a press release. “Our hope is that these changes will both protect women and their unborn children, as well as the integrity of scientific research.”

But the panel’s ranking member, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., denounced the report Tuesday as “illegitimate.” She said the panel’s eight Republican members drafted the report in secret without input from the panel’s six Democrats, who issued their own report last month.

“They have repeatedly made false claims,” Schakowsky said of Blackburn and Republicans, “including a series of ‘criminal referrals’ to federal, state, and local law enforcement officials based on unsourced, unverified documents and information.”

Specifically, the panel’s eight Republicans recommended a criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast based on evidence it violated Texas and U.S. law in fetal tissue transactions.

They also made nine criminal and regulatory referrals in the cases of abortion providers and tissue procurement companies in Arkansas, California, and Ohio.

Finally, they recommended that Congress take steps to improve practices in biomedical research, such as by establishing ethical guidelines for using tissue from aborted babies.

Well before the House panel concluded its investigation of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, conservative groups had been calling for Congress to end use of federal taxpayers’ money to fund the organization.

With a new Republican administration beginning when Donald Trump is inaugurated as president Jan. 20, pro-life activists now see that as more than a possibility.

The GOP-led investigation began after the pro-life Center for Medical Progress published a series of undercover videos exploring the market for fetal tissue from aborted babies. The videos featured employees of StemExpress and Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of fetal tissue, sparking allegations that both organizations were profiting from such transactions.

StemExpress is a for-profit tissue procurement company based in Folsom, California.

Both the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and StemExpress denied illegal activity, although Planned Parenthood said it has stopped taking reimbursements for the cost of donating fetal tissue to companies such as StemExpress.

The new report details evidence that suggests Planned Parenthood and other entities crossed legal and ethical lines while in the fetal tissue market.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment on the report.

Below, The Daily Signal compiles six of the strongest findings, some featuring interviews between Planned Parenthood officials and the House panel’s top investigators:

1. Several Planned Parenthood affiliates made a profit from the transfer of aborted body parts and other fetal tissue, in violation of federal law prohibiting that.

The report says:

Accounting documents from middleman tissue organizations showed that several PPFA [Planned Parenthood Federation of America] affiliates made a profit from the transfer of fetal tissue.

The middleman investigation, and in particular the investigation of StemExpress, produced information about several PPFA affiliate clinics. In particular, it became clear that StemExpress was doing all the work to obtain consent for donation from individual patients, that StemExpress was doing the work of harvesting the fetal tissue after an abortion was complete, and that StemExpress was doing the work and passing on its costs of shipping to customers.

This raised a profound issue for the [House select] panel: Both the middleman and the PPFA affiliate clinic were claiming the same expenses against their revenue to show a loss on fetal tissue sales.

2. It didn’t “bother” a Planned Parenthood executive that one vendor, StemExpress, appeared to make a 2,800 percent profit on a baby’s brain harvested from a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Investigators questioned a Los Angeles abortion provider who also is a national Planned Parenthood executive, identified as PP Witness No. 1. These questions are about StemExpress making a profit in its contractual collaboration with Planned Parenthood affiliates after StemExpress sold aborted body parts and organs to customers.

The report says:

The questions were focused on the markup of an intact fetal brain from $55 paid to the Planned Parenthood affiliate versus the $3,340 charged to the customer:

Q: Now, here’s the scenario, and we’ll be done. Tissue tech learns who’s available for contributing. She goes and gets the consent. She gets paid a bonus. The Planned Parenthood clinic, I believe, gets $55, but it’s in the range of [$]30 to [$]100, and StemExpress resells that brain for over $3,000.

And you’ll notice—you may notice on there [the invoice] that the shipping and maybe some other things are paid for by the customer.

Now, does that bother you?

A: No.

Q: Well, if they—if it was a profit would it bother you?

A: It’s really none of my business, no.

Q: Is that a concern to you? … And here’s a more granular example. It looks like StemExpress, who for several years only did abortion clinics, now they do lots of stuff, lots of other stuff. But for several years of their life they only got tissue from [Planned Parenthood] Mar Monte, Shasta Pacific, and resold it at prices like this.

And I just want to know what’s sort of the global management perspective of a Planned Parenthood senior leader like you if that’s a 2,800 percent profit.

Would that bother you?

A: So just so that I’m clear on the question[;] you’re asking me if it bothers me that StemExpress makes money reselling the tissue?

Q: Yeah.

A: It’s none of my concern. It doesn’t bother me.

3. Planned Parenthood abortion doctors would huddle with a tissue procurement technician from Novogenix to learn what aborted body parts that outside person was searching for that day.

Investigators questioned a Los Angeles Planned Parenthood abortion provider (PP Witness No. 1) who also works for the Medical Directors’ Council. She answered questions about meetings she had with Novogenix, a tissue procurement company, prior to performing abortions to determine the type of tissue that its technicians wanted that day.

The report says:

Q: Now, do you think that doctors in your position should huddle in the morning? You say, ‘I like to do that.’ It’s sort of an ongoing tense. Do you think the doctors should huddle with a tissue tech to see what they’re procuring, [what] is on their list that day?

A: I don’t really have a feeling as to whether other doctors did. I like to be helpful.

Q: And so you found it helpful that at least on this one day to huddle with the tissue tech and learn what [the Novogenix employee] was searching for, what orders she had; is that right?

A: I would ask her what tissue she was looking for, yes.

Q: All right. Do you think that’s a good idea for the whole fetal tissue donation program, that doctors and the tissue techs huddle each morning to discuss what they’re going to try and procure that day?

A: I think it could be helpful.

4. Planned Parenthood doctors appear to have altered their techniques to increase the chances of success in harvesting tissue from abortions that day.

Investigators questioned the same Planned Parenthood abortion provider in Los Angeles about whether she changed procedures to increase the likelihood of a successful procurement of specific tissue.

From the report:

Q: ‘There are little things they can make in their technique to increase your success.’ What are those little things?

A: Again, as I mentioned, a change in instruments, a change in where they’re grasping the tissue. These are changes in technique that a provider can make for a variety of reasons. I—

Q: But it could be made to increase the success of fetal tissue donation.

A: Yes, that’s what I’m saying.

Q: OK. Now, so those little techniques that you just described, if there was no fetal tissue donation to increase the likelihood of success, they wouldn’t—they wouldn’t make those little changes, would they?

A: Well, providers make changes in technique for a variety of reasons.

Q: Now, the question is: If there was no fetal tissue donation, those little things, changes that would be made to increase their likelihood of success, those wouldn’t be made, would they?

A: Well, I can’t say across the board they wouldn’t be made because there’s probably other reasons that a provider during a procedure—

Q: They wouldn’t be made for the purpose of getting fetal tissue, would they?

A: No, they wouldn’t.

Q: So they would be made for other reasons.

A: Yes.

Q: So one set of little changes is chosen for other medical reasons, and one set of little changes could be chosen to increase the likelihood of success.

A: Yes.

5. Planned Parenthood’s consent form is “inadequate compared to other entities’ consent forms.”

Investigators concluded that Planned Parenthood’s one-page consent form contains “widely inaccurate claims about past results from fetal tissue research.” They also said the consent form “fails to provide basic information about the purpose for which the [tissue] donation is being sought and the precise nature of the ‘pregnancy tissue’ being donated.”

According to the report:

Numerous witnesses, including senior [Planned Parenthood Federation of America] officials, testified that the consent form is misleading and unethical due to its contention that fetal tissue has been used to find a cure for diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and AIDS.

The Los Angeles Planned Parenthood abortion provider, who is also in charge of the national organization’s Manual of Medical Standard and Guidelines, said:

If I’m evaluating the form now, you are correct. To my knowledge there is no cure for AIDS. So that is probably an inaccurate statement. … a consent form should not have an incorrect statement.

The report says another witness, a manager of research projects at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast identified as PP Witness No. 2, testified: “I would agree that that is insufficient for obtaining informed consent, correct.”

6. Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics “routinely” violated privacy regulations imposed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, seeking to ease the process of harvesting body parts and other fetal tissue.

From the House panel’s report:

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) privacy rule (Privacy Rule) protects all individually identifiable health information held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate and calls this information protected health information (PHI). PHI identifies an individual, or can reasonably be believed to be useful in identifying an individual, and includes demographic data relating to an individual’s health condition, provision of health care, or payment for the provision of health care to the individual.

The panel’s investigation indicates that StemExpress and Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM), Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific (PPSP), and Family Planning Specialists Medical Group (FPS) committed systematic violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule from about 2010 to 2015.

These violations occurred when the abortion clinics disclosed patients’ individually identifiable health information to StemExpress to facilitate the [tissue procurement business’] efforts to procure human fetal tissue for resale.

(For more from the author of “6 Alarming Findings in House Panel’s Planned Parenthood Probe” please click HERE)

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The Christmas Story Retold in Light of the Ghoulish Practices of Planned Parenthood

At this time of the year, in churches around the world, the opening chapters of Matthew and Luke will be read afresh, describing the miraculous births of Jesus and His forerunner John. In light of a recent 500-page Senate report, detailing some of the barbaric practices of Planned Parenthood, I thought it good to retell the story, but with a striking new twist.

There was an old woman named Elizabeth, a godly, devoted woman, blessed by God in so many ways except one: She was unable to have a child. But now, a miracle had taken place, and this saintly woman found herself pregnant, to her delight and the delight of her husband Zechariah. It was even revealed to them that they were having a boy, a boy with a very special destiny. His name would be John.

But there’s more. Elizabeth had a young cousin named Miriam (Mary), just a young teenager and still a virgin, although she was betrothed to be married to a fine man named Joseph. To her absolute shock, she found herself pregnant out of wedlock but claimed — get this — that an angel appeared to her and told her that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit and was going to give birth to the Messiah. Either this was the most miraculous story in history or it was a tall tale worthy of legend.

About six months later, the two pregnant women met, so many years apart in age but so united by their shared experiences, and when Miriam walked into the room, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb seemed to jump, as if he realized that the other baby in the room was really the Messiah.

Could it be true?

Well, as incredible as the story sounds, reality soon set in, and when Zechariah and Elizabeth realized the very strong chance that their child would be born with Down syndrome (or some other debilitating condition) they did the compassionate thing, found a Planned Parenthood clinic, and aborted the one who was destined to be the forerunner of the Messiah, popularly known as John the Baptist.

And in a further act of compassion, rather than let John’s little body go to waste, it was meticulously divided up and sold off – in the name of science, Zechariah and Elizabeth were told – with detailed records of all the transactions carefully preserved: His brain was sold to one customer for $325 in today’s dollars; both of his eyes for $325 each ($650 total); a portion of his liver for $325; his thymus for $325, along with another portion of his liver; and his lung for $325, all to different customers, allowing John to touch so many more lives. (These figures are based on actual Planned Parenthood transactions, as detailed in the Senate report.)

Reality also set in for Miriam.

Although her husband claimed to believe her story, it was obvious that their marriage would be challenged in the days ahead. Worse still, their child would be tainted — they had given him a name too, Yeshua (Jesus) — always known as the kid born out of wedlock. Why bring someone into the world with a lifelong cloud hanging over his head?

So Miriam and Joseph also found a local Planned Parenthood (thank God there were so many available, especially in the poor neighborhoods) and aborted their little boy, sparing him from an uncertain future. And did I mention that Joseph was also concerned about Miriam’s physical and emotional health? After all, she was so young and the whole experience was so traumatic. Surely, this was best way to go.

The little body of Jesus was also cut up into little pieces — tiny eyes, ears, heart, liver, limbs — each one sold for a good purpose.

And that is the end of the Christmas story — no salvation for the lost, no joy to the world, no hope for the human race — or, I should say, that would have been the end of the story had Planned Parenthood been operating in first century Judea.

I, along with billions of other people, am everlastingly grateful that was not the case.

The Savior has come and hope reigns eternal.

Thanks be to God! (For more from the author of “The Christmas Story Retold in Light of the Ghoulish Practices of Planned Parenthood” please click HERE)

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Obama’s Last Gift to Planned Parenthood

President Barack Obama has given Planned Parenthood a parting gift in the final weeks of his administration.

As reported by The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule that would prohibit states from blocking Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X family planning services grant money for reasons “unrelated” to its ability to provide family planning services.

The rule has been finalized and will be published in the Federal Register on Dec. 19.

The rule was proposed in response to several states’ attempt to defund Planned Parenthood after the nation’s largest abortion provider was featured in a series of undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress last year.

The videos raised questions about whether Planned Parenthood illegally profits off the sale of tissue from aborted babies.

Just this week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, referred Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue procurement companies to the FBI and Department of Justice for investigation and possible prosecution.

States—including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin—redirected Title X funds to other entities, such as federally qualified health centers that offer comprehensive health care services to uninsured and low-income Americans.

After all, these federally qualified health centers are able to serve at least 8 times more individual patients than Planned Parenthood and they outnumber Planned Parenthood locations 13-to-1.

But the Obama administration is determined to block the states and give one last present to its political ally.

Thankfully, the next administration and Congress can ensure that this rule is short-lived.

Members of Congress have already warned federal agencies “against finalizing pending rules or regulations in the administration’s last days” and that should agencies refuse to heed the warning, members would work to “ensure that Congress scrutinizes your actions—and, if appropriate, overturns them—pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.”

According to the Congressional Review Act, Congress and a new president can overturn rules issued in the waning days of a previous administration.

The Congressional Research Service has estimated that anything submitted to Congress after the end of May 2016 can be undone in this manner, meaning there are many rules and regulations that the incoming Congress could and should vote to rescind.

The House Freedom Caucus has just issued a special report outlining more than 220 items across federal agencies that can be addressed next year, including the Department of Education transgender mandate, paid sick leave for federal contractors, and the Paris climate agreement on greenhouse gas emissions.

Incoming members should put Planned Parenthood’s parting gift on the list of items to address using the Congressional Review Act when Congress returns in the new year. (For more from the author of “Obama’s Last Gift to Planned Parenthood” please click HERE)

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Planned Parenthood Takes Neighboring Pregnancy Center to Court — for Thriving

An Idaho Planned Parenthood (PP) facility has filed a lawsuit against its pro-life pregnancy center neighbor, Stanton Healthcare — for providing women’s health services.

PP’s complaint hinge on the allegations that Stanton is misusing the common areas of the business subdivision they are located in and that Stanton invited people to protest outside the abortion provider’s facility. The lawsuit claims that

[Stanton Healthcare] regularly parks a van/mobile home on the parking area of the Business Center Common Area. … To the best of [PP]’s knowledge, information and belief, the van/mobile home is used for a number of purposes, including ultrasounds, consultations and other activities. The [subdivision’s] Declaration does not permit such activity in the Common Area.

Over the past several months, certain individuals, believed to be invitees of [Stanton Healthcare], have been present on Common Area, not within the limited purposes related to the operation of the Business Center, but rather to protest, harass [PP]’s staff and patients, or to promote services offered by [Stanton Healthcare]’s parked van/mobile home.

Stanton told LifeSiteNews that her lawyers “are reviewing the complaint,” though she also noted that PP has “made false accusations” of harassment. Red State reports Swindell is “confident PP does not have appropriate grounds for the law suit.”

‘A Whole New Level’

Despite the lawsuit’s claims, Stanton’s founder and director Brandi Swindell noted that the timing of PP’s most recent complaints line up remarkably with Stanton’s own plans to build a new “mega-clinic.”

Red State reports, “This — [Swindell] maintains — is the real reason PP suddenly brought suit. The abortion giant feels threatened.” Swindell told Red State, “Planned Parenthood is always fighting for access issues; they’re always accusing the pro-life community of trying to block access and here they are trying to block access!”

After the abortion giant’s many legal advances, such as fighting for taxpayer funding and pursuing lawsuits against pro-life agencies, Swindell says this lawsuit “goes to a whole other level,” saying PP is “now trying to prevent us from doing good.”

It’s a very serious lawsuit…people of faith [and] people of goodwill need to wake up to and say, “does Planned Parenthood really think they have the authority to bully us and prevent us from doing good?” It’s a despicable thing.

Replacing Planned Parenthood

The “Stanton Revolution,” a privately funded women’s healthcare system, has previously made a name for itself with it’s effort to “Replace Planned Parenthood.” Cosmopolitan even featured Swindell in a piece titled, “Meet the Woman Who Wants to Take Down Planned Parenthood.”

Swindell has previously told The Stream, “Part of our idea with Stanton Healthcare is to go where the women are that are facing an unexpected pregnancy and that are trying to determine what they should do in that situation.”

That’s why Stanton’s strategy “is to set up shop and open clinics right next door to Planned Parenthood.” As she explained to The Stream, “We’ve trialed this in Idaho, and then our other affiliate locations, and it works. We have walk-ins every week who are on their way to Planned Parenthood to get an abortion or to have a consultation from Planned Parenthood.”

Women see our signs that say, “Walk-ins Welcome,” “Unexpected Pregnancy Solutions At No Charge,” “Pregnancy Verification At No Cost To Our Clients,” they come in. Because they’re looking for hope, and they’re looking for a professional, confidential setting that will provide them true alternatives. We see walk-ins every week, of women who have said, “‘I’m so glad I found this place, I’m so glad that there’s resources, I’m so glad I’m not alone.”

“God is doing something truly amazing in and through the work of Stanton Healthcare,” Swindell says on the company’s website.

I’m in awe of His goodness and guidance, and humbled that He uses us to accomplish His purposes. His love is fierce and unstoppable, and what an honor it is to share the truth with every woman who comes through our doors: the truth that she is deeply loved…and there is hope.”

(For more from the author of “Planned Parenthood Takes Neighboring Pregnancy Center to Court — for Thriving” please click HERE)

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Congress Just Missed Its Chance to Starve the Planned Parenthood Beast

I’m a military guy. I joined because of 9/11 and served two deployments. America is worth fighting for and there are many reasons why.

One of the lessons reinforced by my military service is that life is our first freedom. Without it, no other right has value.
The protection of life — regardless of its circumstance — is therefore a moral and righteous cause, and America’s birth gave us a built-in solution.

Remember, life gives value to all other rights. Before we understand free speech and prosperity from free markets, we must have life. Life gives everything context and meaning. This is the frame all conservatives must adopt. And they must (courageously) adopt it now.

Congress missed the opportunity to value life when it passed the Continuing Resolution (HR 2028) yesterday.

Let facts be submitted to a candid world …

American tax dollars go to Planned Parenthood. The group provides abortions-on-demand on an industrial scale. Abortion — if done as intended — ends life in the womb. Abortion doesn’t just take life, it kills the context of life.

Politicians hide this truth with gamesmanship, legalism, fake statesmanship, and false equivalencies. They use well-developed tactics to obfuscate the truth: that all taxpaying Americans give money to kill babies.

When you hear, “we’ll pass this so we can get other things done,” that’s nothing more than gamesmanship.

And when politicians try this, “the CR specifically says no money for abortions,” that’s legalism.

My favorite is, “this bill has some good and some bad things, but I’m satisfied we have a good deal.” That’s fake statesmanship.

And lastly, “we have to avoid a government shutdown.” That’s a false equivalent.

The power of the purse is America’s built-in solution for defending life. All revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives, as only Congress has the power to tax. The federal government can only spend money when Congress authorizes it.

Congress is the first and last body responsible for your taxes paying for abortions. Imagine an abortionist cutting the tiny limbs of a recoiling baby in the womb. Congress could do that to money for Planned Parenthood.

Congress can abort Planned Parenthood.

The Constitution is a weapon for defending life. We must wield it without apology. When Congress funds all of the government in a mega-spend-fund-everything bill — like continuing resolutions — it does not protect life as long as your money funds abortions.

Every politician swears the exact same oath as every military officer. Google it. There are some powerful ideas in it. The reason is that the men and women who represent us in Congress should be held to the same standard as the men and women who fight and die on the battlefield, because they both are in the business of defending life and giving context to all other rights.

The difference is that the military doesn’t make excuses when it comes to matters of life and death.

Politicians do. (For more from the author of “Congress Just Missed Its Chance to Starve the Planned Parenthood Beast” please click HERE)

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Christmas Miracle? Macy’s No Longer Funds Planned Parenthood

Retail giant Macy’s is no longer providing financial support to Planned Parenthood, according to corporate watchdog 2ndVote.

“We’re constantly updating our research to portray companies in the fairest possible light,” said 2ndVote Executive Director Lance Wray in a statement sent to reporters on Thursday. “Last week, Macy’s confirmed with us that the company no longer gives Retail giant Macy’s is no longer providing financial support to Planned Parenthood, according to corporate watchdog 2ndVote.and no longer matches gifts to Planned Parenthood.”

Last year, Macy’s was one of 41 companies that supported Planned Parenthood, which conducts over 300,000 abortions per year. Corporate donors now number 36, according to the 2ndVote tracker, with AT&T, Coca-Cola, Ford and Xerox also refusing to back the abortion giant.

2ndVote Communications Director Robert Kuykendall told The Stream that “corporate contributions and issue advocacy are only possible because of the dollars spent by customers in the first place. We want companies to move back to neutral because that’s how conservatives can know their dollars won’t be funding causes and advocacy organizations they wouldn’t normally support on their own.”

In 2015, Macy’s told The Daily Signal that the company funded Planned Parenthood through an employee matching program. “Our company makes no direct donations to Planned Parenthood. In our Matching Gift program, we will match our employees’ donations to any 501c3 organization. We are a company of 160,000 people, and we do match a small handful of gifts each year to Planned Parenthood organizations given that they are 501c3.”

A Macy’s spokesperson did not respond to multiple efforts by The Stream to clarify why the company is no longer matching employee donations to Planned Parenthood. The company’s official 2ndVote ranking notes that Macy’s donates to The Salvation Army, which according to its official statement on abortion “accepts the moment of fertilisation as the start of human life.” The international aid organization opposes abortion in almost all circumstances. (For more from the author of “Christmas Miracle? Macy’s No Longer Funds Planned Parenthood” please click HERE)

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Congress Isn’t Finished Investigating Planned Parenthood, Others in 2015 Videos

Congress took significant steps forward last week in its continued efforts to hold Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue procurement companies accountable for the sale and trafficking of aborted fetal tissue.

The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives has recommended a criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast for potentially violating Texas and U.S. law in its sale of fetal tissue.

The panel also issued nine criminal and regulatory referrals for various abortion providers and tissue procurement companies located in Arkansas, California, Florida, and Ohio.

In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress released a series of undercover investigative videos revealing the disturbing practice of trafficking in aborted fetal body parts for profit.

Planned Parenthood and its various affiliates were exposed participating in the sale of aborted fetal remains to biologic companies—most notably, StemExpress.

The videos, which have been validated as authentic and free of manipulation by an independent forensic analysis, feature conversations in which representatives from Planned Parenthood and its affiliates discuss the type of fetal organs to be harvested and negotiate the price of selling them.

Lawmakers and the American public were justifiably shocked and disgusted by both the practice of selling human remains for profit and the graphic and often flippant nature of the conversations.

After publication of the videos and the ensuing public outcry, Congress established the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives to investigate the sale and trafficking of fetal organs and tissue by abortion providers. The House of Representatives recently voted to extend the work of this panel, which is chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, receives over $500 million in federal tax money each year, despite reporting over $700 million in nongovernmental revenue in its 2014-2015 annual report and being vastly outnumbered (20 to 1) by free or low-cost community health centers.

Since the fetal tissue scandal in 2015, efforts to channel taxpayer dollars away from Planned Parenthood to comprehensive health care facilities that do not perform abortions have gained considerable momentum—though the legislative goal has not yet been achieved.

Section 289g-2 of the U.S. Code was enacted to prevent people or organizations from profiting from the sale of fetal remains.

This law prohibits the sale of any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if it affects interstate commerce. While reimbursements for costs associated with the donation of fetal tissue are permissible, profiting from such a sale is not.

When addressing the purpose of the fetal tissue law, the lead sponsor, Democrat Henry Waxman, commented, “It would be abhorrent to allow for the sale of fetal tissue and a market to be created for that sale.”

The Center for Medical Progress videos reveal multiple conversations regarding payments and other considerations to be received in exchange for fetal tissue. This included a revealing exchange with Melissa Farrell, director of research at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast—the facility for which the select panel requested a criminal investigation.

In the video released in August 2015, Farrell discusses the fact that because the Houston-based abortion agency is such a “high-volume” abortion facility, it provides a significant amount of fetal tissue to various biologic companies.

Farrell went on to express concern about current fetal tissue laws and explained that the books could be altered to hide the financial benefit to Planned Parenthood. Additionally, Farrell discusses the willingness of abortion providers to “alter the process” to “obtain intact cadavers.”

The creation of a for-profit market for human remains is unethical and unconscionable. The American public has been rightly outraged by the pervasiveness of this practice, and is opposed to taxpayer dollars funding organizations that participate in such a market.

A survey conducted in August 2015 by The Heritage Foundation found that 78 percent of Americans believe that government should not fund organizations that harvest and sell fetal tissue from abortions.

Planned Parenthood’s 2014-2015 report noted an increase in the percentage of services associated with abortion, while the percentage of other medical services provided by the agency decreased.

Though the Hyde Amendment technically prohibits Planned Parenthood from using federal funds to pay for abortion, there exists no method of independent accountability ensuring federal funds are kept separate.

Planned Parenthood is left to police itself, an entirely ineffective safeguard. The disbursement of taxpayer dollars to abortion providers, no matter where spent, frees up other funds to be used for abortion-related services.

The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives is performing a valuable service to Americans in initiating criminal investigations into the practice of profiting from the sale of fetal remains. The American public has every right to know whether its hard-earned tax dollars are being spent on organizations involved in illegal and unethical behavior.

Considering Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the sale of fetal tissue, the decline of the provision of medical services outside abortion, and the inexcusable lack of accountability of federal funds received, a renewed push to stop federal funding of Planned Parenthood is in order.

The funds currently being received by the lucrative nonprofit would, no doubt, be better spent supporting community health centers that provide comprehensive care to families without offering abortion services. (For more from the author of “Congress Isn’t Finished Investigating Planned Parenthood, Others in 2015 Videos” please click HERE)

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House Panel Recommends Criminal Investigation of Planned Parenthood Affiliate

The House of Representatives’ Select Panel on Infant Lives has recommended the Texas Attorney General prosecute a Planned Parenthood affiliate that allegedly, and illegally, sold fetal parts to the University of Texas. The House also approved continued funding for its investigative panel, by a party-line vote of 235 to 176, with just two Democrats voting with the majority.

The Referral

The referral, made earlier today, was formally announced by Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) on the House floor (starting at 3:24 of the video). According to Love, “the Panel learned that Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast violated both Texas and U.S. law when it sold baby parts to the University of Texas.”

A panel spokesperson confirmed the referral to The Stream. It is the ninth from the Select Panel, which has determined that fetal harvesting company StemExpress, the University of New Mexico and other for-profit and non-profit organizations violated various state and/or federal laws in Ohio, California, New Mexico, Florida and other states.

In California, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas filed lawsuits against two companies after the panel’s referral. Two other abortion centers have been referred for prosecution in addition to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.

The referral is not the first federal controversy for the Planned Parenthood affiliate. In 2013, it settled with the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations that it overcharged Texas and the federal government for various products and services. The $4.3 settlement did not require Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to admit guilt in the case, which was brought by a former employee-turned-whistleblower.

The Funding

Approximately an hour after Love spoke, the House voted to fund the Panel with up to $800,000 above and beyond the $790,000 already slated for investigations of the fetal harvesting industry. The money comes from taxpayer-funded House reserve funds that have already been appropriated for use by the House, and will fund the Panel until its statutorily-limited existence ends with the start of the 115th Congress.

Democrats have condemned the Panel, calling the money spent on its investigations a waste of taxpayer resources and the investigations themselves “a witch hunt.” The Panel’s Ranking Member, Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky, responded after Love’s speech that “bogus referrals do not a conviction make.”

Panel Chair Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), however, said that the investigation has “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.”

Pro-Life Groups React

The Center for Medical Progress, which provided undercover videos in 2015 that led to the Panel’s creation, said in a statement that the Panel’s findings and Texas referral “confirm the criminal activity at Planned Parenthood that CMP’s videos documented and show that the wrongdoing goes even deeper than anyone first suspected.”

“Law enforcement and elected representatives 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,” concluded the pro-life group.

In a press release, Texas Right to Life praised the prosecution referral. “The diligent work of the federal House Select Panel under the leadership of Pro-Life stalwart Representative Marsha Blackburn has renewed hopes in Texas that the shocking evidence revealed by the Center for Medical Progress will be thoroughly investigated and those at fault held accountable to the full extent of the law,” said the group.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that the Texas referral “is the appropriate next step in bringing justice to bear on a group that clearly sees itself as above the law.” He urged Congress to “once again use the reconciliation process to redirect taxpayer dollars away from Planned Parenthood,” as the legislative body did less than a year ago. (For more from the author of “House Panel Recommends Criminal Investigation of Planned Parenthood Affiliate” please click HERE)

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No One Is More Horrified by the Election Results Than Planned Parenthood

As the election results poured in Tuesday evening, panic began to set in for government-subsidized abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

The nation’s number-one abortion mill arguably ran one of the strongest campaigns in support of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But, in the end, all of the PSA videos, emails, tweets, and costly door-to-door campaigning weren’t enough to quash the astonishing momentum of the Trump Train.

A Donald Trump victory represents a likely end to Planned Parenthood’s crony love affair with Hillary Clinton. But the murderous “women’s rights” lobby made it clear Wednesday that they’re not going down without a fight.

Things were looking up for Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards and her cult of baby-killing progressives after the Republican-led Congress agreed in September to keep them on the federal dole through the end of the year. This, combined with Clinton’s unmistakable pledge to defend Roe v. Wade and appoint a Supreme Court justice who would defend women’s “right to choose” (to kill the unborn) afforded Planned Parenthood a sense of optimism about a future full of unfettered action and expansion.

Now, Planned Parenthood will have to kiss that goodbye. This may be one of the most shocking breakups of 2016. (For more from the author of “No One Is More Horrified by the Election Results Than Planned Parenthood” please click HERE)

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Planned Parenthood Arms Spend Over $38 Million to Elect Democrats

In the past three election cycles, Planned Parenthood’s advocacy and political arms, employees, and their families have spent over $38 million to elect or defeat candidates for federal office who decide how much taxpayers subsidize the nation’s largest abortion provider.

From the 2012 election cycle through the 2016 cycle so far, the political action entities, employees, and families of employees of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates devoted $33.9 million to outside spending mostly related to electing Democrats, according to data compiled by the OpenSecrets project of the Center for Responsive Politics.

Because Planned Parenthood is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, it cannot endorse or donate to a candidate in its own right.

In addition, individuals and entities associated with Planned Parenthood contributed a total of $4.7 million over the same four years to candidates, party committees, other political action committees, and outside spending groups or nonprofit “527” groups created to influence elections.

In the 2016 cycle, Planned Parenthood’s affiliated organizations, political and advocacy arms, employees, and their family members gave $5.5 million to Democrats, but nothing to Republicans. They spent $10.4 million against Republicans, according to the most current data, compared with less than $7,000 against Democrats.

OpenSecrets ranks Planned Parenthood at 307 among 18,081 organizations profiled whose political arms, employees, and their families contributed money to candidates, party committees, PACs, or other groups in the 2016 cycle.

The Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization, tracks the influence of money in politics.

About the distinction between Planned Parenthood Federation of America (a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit) and its lobbying arm Planned Parenthood Action Fund (a 501(c)4 tax-exempt nonprofit), Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, said in an email to The Daily Signal:

Our practice is to use the name of the organization when presenting their political financial activity, whether it’s lobbying expenditures, or PAC or individual (employees and non-wage earning family members’) contributions to candidates, other PACs, super PACs or parties.

“You can’t divide it up,” Casey Mattox, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit Christian legal organization, told The Daily Signal. “Ultimately, Planned Parenthood itself is bringing in well over half a billion dollars a year from taxpayers and they want to make sure that the politicians stay in office who will keep that money coming. So, they spend money to elect those politicians.”

Planned Parenthood receives approximately $500 million from federal taxpayers each year for Medicaid and Title X Family Planning, both programs intended for low-income Americans.

“Planned Parenthood stands alone as a major recipient of taxpayer funding that is also a major participant in elections,” Mattox said.

Among other findings by OpenSecrets:

In the 2016 election cycle, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the super PAC Planned Parenthood Votes each contributed over $350,000 combined.

Also contributing were political arms of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood Votes NW, Planned Parenthood/North Texas, and Planned Parenthood/Rocky Mountains.

Also for the 2016 election cycle, individuals and entities connected with Planned Parenthood poured over $15.9 million into outside spending, defined by the Center for Responsive Politics as “independent expenditures or electioneering communications.”

Of that, $14.02 million went to Planned Parenthood Votes, the super PAC. Other outside spending went to Planned Parenthood Action Fund, a Planned Parenthood/Michigan super PAC, Planned Parenthood/Los Angeles, Planned Parenthood of San Diego, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, Planned Parenthood/Minnesota, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific Action Fund, Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood of Nassau County Action Fund, Protecting Choice in California, and Planned Parenthood/Santa Barbara.

As a result, OpenSecrets ranks Planned Parenthood at No. 21 among 180 organizations the center said did such outside spending.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America did not respond to an email from The Daily Signal requesting comment on the accuracy of the spending figures and other details.

In the 2012 election cycle, President Barack Obama was one of the top recipients of related contributions, at around $71,000, according to OpenSecrets.

The four top recipients so far this election cycle are Priorities USA Action, a Democratic super PAC that supports Hillary Clinton ($133,034); Planned Parenthood/ Michigan ($100,000); Clinton herself ($97,268); and Planned Parenthood Votes ($88,496).

In January, Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsed Clinton in the organization’s first-ever endorsement during the primary season.

Planned Parenthood is “becoming even more political than they have in the past,” Mattox said. “That should be deeply troubling to a lot of people.”

In November 2015, Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced a $20 million campaign against pro-life candidates and a $30 million door-to-door field campaign targeted at millennial voters across six states.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a written statement at the time:

Today we have a clear message for every politician who has threatened access to reproductive health care, who has said having to drive hundreds of miles to safely access a legal abortion wasn’t a ‘burden,’ and who has made offhand comments about eliminating basic health care for millions across the country: You’re about to be in for a very rude awakening.

And in a related video, Cecile Richards, who heads up Planned Parenthood Action Fund as well as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said:

Extremists made the 2016 election about attacking reproductive rights. Enough is enough. With our supporters, we’re launching ‘I Vote Planned Parenthood Action.’ We will organize and mobilize to elect lawmakers who are in our corner.

Conservative lawmakers repeatedly have called for ending U.S. taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood.

“I think there’s really a lot of reasons why Planned Parenthood should not be funded, but the fact that they are so politically active and spending so much money on elections should be at the top of the list,” Mattox said.

Individuals and entities connected with Planned Parenthood contributed over $700,000 to Democratic congressional candidates so far this election cycle and less than $15,000 to Republican congressional candidates, according to OpenSecrets.

“They have pledged over $20 million in this election cycle alone,” Mattox said. “This is an organization that held up funding for Zika, for example, demanding their share of the money. All the while, they’re managing to find $20 million to spend to support politicians that they want to keep in office.”

Individuals and entities connected with Planned Parenthood also spent $2.2 million on lobbying during the 2016 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets, ranking it at 372 among 3,619 organizations in 2016. Eight out of 14 lobbyists in 2015-2016 previously held government jobs.

In its 2014-2015 annual report, Planned Parenthood Federation of America said it provided 1.2 million pregnancy tests; 3.5 million tests for sexually transmitted infections for women and men; 363,803 breast exams and care; 271,539 Pap tests; 24,063 vaccinations for human papillomavirus infection; and 17,419 prenatal services.

Planned Parenthood said affiliates spent $782.3 million on medical services, and a similar amount the previous year.

The government gave Planned Parenthood $553.7 million in health services grants and reimbursements for the organization’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2015.

“If Planned Parenthood wants to provide Zika services or mammograms or anything else, they are awash in cash. They don’t need taxpayer dollars to do it,” Mattox said. (For more from the author of “Planned Parenthood Arms Spend Over $38 Million to Elect Democrats” please click HERE)

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