WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice has taken steps to investigate the abortion giant Planned Parenthood and its business partners, requesting unredacted documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee in light of Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley’s letter and report submitted last year.
“The Department of Justice appreciates the offer of assistance in obtaining these materials, and would like to request the Committee provide unredacted copies of records contained in the report, in order to further the Department’s ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of that report based on the full range of information available,” wrote Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd in the letter, obtained by Fox News and The Hill.
“At this point, the records are intended for investigative use only—we understand that a resolution from the Senate may be required if the department were to use any of the unredacted materials in a formal legal proceeding, such as a grand jury,” he outlined.
As previously reported, Sen. Grassley submitted a letter to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice last December to request an investigation into Planned Parenthood and its business partners after discovering significant resale price hikes by three Planned Parenthood buyers.
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, Planned Parenthood Northern California and Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest were all named in the referral, as well as StemExpress, Advanced Bioscience Resources and Novogenics Laboratories.
Grassley outlined that not only does he believe the entities are culpable, but that when the national Planned Parenthood Federation of America learned that its affiliates were not in compliance with federal law, “instead of exercising its oversight procedures to bring them into compliance, it contacted the affiliates involved and then altered those oversight procedures in a manner that allowed the affiliates’ conduct to continue.”
Specifically, the Committee noted in its report that StemExpress, Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) and Novogenics Laboratories purchased the bodily organs of aborted babies from the Planned Parenthood locations, and then resold them at substantially higher prices. The organizations are also accused of hiking the prices above costs for “transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control or storage of” the body parts.
“[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 addition to making over $2,200 from just one baby, ABR also charged shipping and disease screening fees, making over $6,000 from a single child. A technician from ABR would go to Planned Parenthood and personally collect the aborted baby body parts on site the day of the procedures.
StemExpress is accused of similar actions, paying Planned Parenthood $55 for a baby and then selling his or her body parts for $250 each, making $1000 from just one child.
The Committee also noted that despite Planned Parenthood’s “constant statements to the media that [its] affiliates had merely been recovering their costs” in receiving payment from ABR, StemExpress and other companies, its attorneys told the investigative Congressional panel that the Planned Parenthood offices only sought to determine their costs after-the-fact in light of national scrutiny.
“Around that time, Planned Parenthood announced it would no longer accept any payments in connection with its fetal tissue transfer programs,” Grassley wrote.
The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), whose undercover videos prompted the congressional investigation, applauded the news that the U.S. Department of Justice had decided to likewise probe the abortion provider and its business partners.
“Over two years ago, citizen journalists at The Center for Medical Progress first caught Planned Parenthood’s top abortion doctors in a series of undercover videos callously and flippantly negotiating the sale of tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains. Since then, two Congressional investigations found even deeper wrongdoing and confirmed that Planned Parenthood Federation of America, several of their biggest affiliates, and multiple business partners broke the law in a profit-driven scheme to commodify dismembered baby body parts,” David Daleiden said in a statement.
“It is time for public officials to finally hold Planned Parenthood and their criminal abortion enterprise accountable under the law,” he remarked.
Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing and has claimed that CMP’s video highlights of its undercover investigation were “heavily edited” and misleading, but CMP also publicly released the hours-long recorded footage for each video in its entirety.