Congressional Panel Calls for Federal Defunding of Planned Parenthood

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WASHINGTON — A special House panel that was formed two years ago to investigate the practices of the abortion industry, specifically its business partnerships in transferring the remains of baby body parts, has called for federal defunding of the organization.

The Select Panel on Infant Lives issued its 471-page final report on Wednesday, concluding that there indeed is profit being made from aborted children at some abortion facilities nationwide, as well as with their business partners.

“During the Panel’s investigation, staff reviewed tissue procurement notes, email exchanges among researchers, TPBs and abortion clinics, invoices, and more—all indicating that researchers want fetal tissue from late-gestation infants that has not been tainted by feticidal agents,” it wrote. “The Panel also learned that abortion providers may modify abortion procedures, in apparent violation of the law, to increase the odds of getting an intact infant cadaver.”

“During the Panel’s April 20, 2016, hearing, ‘The Pricing of Fetal Tissue,’ Panel members asked witnesses to examine evidence that payments paid by customers to a TPB for fetal tissue exceeded costs incurred by the business by a factor of 300 to 700 percent,” the report outlined. “Further, the evidence did not demonstrate that in many instances the ‘compensated’ abortion clinics incurred any actual costs.”

As previously reported, last month, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, submitted a letter to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, requesting an investigation into Planned Parenthood and its business partners after discovering significant resale price hikes by three Planned Parenthood buyers.

“[I]n June of 2014, an ABR technician obtained a 20-week-old fetus at a Planned Parenthood clinic, for which it paid $60,” the Committee outlined. “From that one fetus, ABR sold its brain to one customer for $325, both of its eyes for $325 each ($650 total) to a second customer, a portion of its liver for $325 to a third customer, its thymus for $325 and another portion of its liver for $325 to a fourth customer, and its lung for $325 to a fifth customer.”

In light of these matters and others, the Panel recommended on Wednesday that Planned Parenthood be stripped of federal funding.

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“Planned Parenthood affiliates and clinics have repeatedly neglected their fiduciary duty requiring good stewardship of federal taxpayer dollars through the following: careless management and failed compliance with Medicaid billing procedures; violating federal laws and regulations pertaining to patient consent and the privacy rights of their patients; changing the method of abortion to increase procurement of fetal tissue for which they received a per tissue payment; and a general disinterest in clinical integrity,” the report read.

It proposed that the grants be instead “awarded to healthcare providers that provide comprehensive preventive healthcare for their patients, and that do not perform abortions” with the exception of rape, incest of the life of the mother.

The Panel also suggested that Congress pass a law allowing states to exclude abortion providers from their Medicaid programs, counteracting the Obama administration’s recently released notice that it intends to amend the Code of Federal Regulations to ban such exclusions. The rule is set to take effect on Jan. 18.

“Taxpayer funding indirectly supports the practice of abortion when it funds institutions that provide or fund abortions, or when it funds research on tissue derived from aborted infants. Consistent with this principle, Congress should prohibit federal funding of research involving tissue derived from induced abortions,” the Panel similarly concluded.

The Panel was comprised of eight U.S. Congress members: Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black of Tennessee, Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania, Larry Bucshon of Indiana, Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, Andy Harris of Maryland, Vicky Hartzler of Missouri and Mia Love of Utah.

“The Select Investigative Panel has worked hard to uncover the illegal and highly repulsive activities of the organizations involved in the sale and trafficking of baby body parts. Now it is up to the judicial system to hold the perpetrators accountable and up to Congress and the new Administration to see that these heinous acts are continued no longer,” Rep. Pitts said in a statement.

“The way we treat our young, our weak, and our voiceless does matter. History will hold us accountable for these atrocities,” he warned.

The Panel has made all of its obtained exhibits available here.

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