SANTA ANA, Calif. — Two former partners of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood that had been sued by the district attorney of Orange County, California over allegations that they profited from the remains of aborted babies have agreed to a $7.8 million legal settlement, and will now shut down all business operations in admitting liability.
“This settlement seized all profits from DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences, which they acquired by viewing body parts as a commodity and illegally selling fetal tissues for valuable consideration,” District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in a statement on Friday. “These companies will never be able to operate again in Orange County or the State of California.”
As previously reported, Rackauckas filed suit against the two sister companies last October after conducting an investigation in their business practices. His office had been tipped by the Center for Medical Progress, which filed a complaint about the companies in light of its undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood and its business partners.
While Planned Parenthood was not part of this particular investigation as it was believed that the company did not personally profit in this case, it was found that partners DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences generated hundreds of thousands in revenue from the tissues and cells it collected from baby body parts.
“From 2009 to 2015, the defendants obtained aborted fetus donations from Planned Parenthood and turned those donations into a profit-driven business,” Rackauckas declared in a statement after filing suit last year. “They did so by selling tissues and cells from the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, intestines, skeletal muscle and bones of the aborted fetus donations.”
“The companies advertised and sold these, what they called ‘prenatal products’ from 2009 to 2015 to companies all around the world, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue,” Rackauckus explained.
He reiterated in Friday’s press release that DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences sold these tissues and cells to locations in Japan, China, Singapore, Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom. The companies hired a marketing firm to help develop a “catalog” of products for sale, and advertised them on their website.
“The two companies advertised prices in a range as low as $40 a vial for the ‘total RNA’ cells from several fetal tissue sources to as high as $1,100 a vial for specific cells derived from fetal brain tissue,” it was found. “They priced the products in a middle range from $300 to $375 a vial for fetal lung derived products, $300 to $450 a vial for fetal kidney derived products, $500 to $700 a vial for fetal heart derived products, and $250 to $700 a vial for fetal liver derived products.”
“By 2012, the defendants had over 500 products in inventory ‘with some 13,900 units available,’ for sale—an inventory the defendants ‘valued at much greater than $4.4 million dollars,'” Rackauckus’ office outlined.
The companies also created special promotions, such as a “25% off” sale, and watched their earnings double before being caught by the district attorney’s office. Rackauckus reports that DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences generated over $550,000 in gross revenue between August 2012 and October 2015.
The companies initially denied any wrongdoing, but according to the agreed upon settlement, DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences must admit liability, cease all operations within 60 and 120 days respectively, forfeit $7.7 million through the donation of its assets to a non-profit educational institution affiliated with a U.S. medical school, and pay $195,000 in penalties.
The Center for Medical Progress expressed satisfaction upon learning the results of the civil suit.
“The DaVinci companies’ admission of guilt for selling baby parts from Planned Parenthood is a ringing vindication of CMP’s citizen journalism methods and accuracy,” David Daleiden remarked in a statement.
“In light of the news that Planned Parenthood is now under federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for the sale of fetal body parts, the next step is for Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties to be held accountable under the law for their 7-year-long aiding, abetting, and profiting in DaVinci’s criminal scheme to sell baby parts for profit,” he said.
Michael Tein, the attorney for DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences, downplayed the matter.
“This was a hotly contested case, to say the least. In the end, the parties forged a settlement that benefits medical research. DV’s donation is the largest of its kind in history,” he said in a statement. “It allows physicians and scientists to continue to use these precious cells to find cures for the deadliest childhood and adult diseases. From the beginning, this has always been DV’s mission.”
It is a violation of both federal and California law to sell “fetal tissue” for profit.