Scientists Who Use Aborted Baby Parts in Their Research Sue to Hide Their Identities

Bioethics   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 5, 2016   |   7:08PM   |   Washington, DC

Researchers who use aborted babies’ body parts filed a lawsuit this week in Washington state to keep their names from being released in several public records requests, the Daily Progress reports.

Several researchers and others affiliated with University of Washington’s Birth Defects Research Center filed the lawsuit, saying they are afraid of harassment and violence if their names are released publicly, according to the report. Representing them is Legal Voice.

Two pro-life groups, David Daleiden with the Center for Medical Progress and Zachary Freeman with the Family Policy Institute of Washington, requested public records from the university pertaining to its use of aborted babies’ body parts in research. Both are named in the lawsuit.

“We know that Planned Parenthood and the University of Washington have a relationship,” Joseph Backholm, a spokesman for the Washington pro-life group, told NBC K5. “What are the invoices?  What are the contracts?”

“We’re not looking for information on people,” he continued, “We’re looking for information about connections between entities and whether money was exchanged for human body parts.”

In a statement, the Center for Medical Progress said the new lawsuit is a “suppression of public records about Planned Parenthood’s supply of aborted baby parts to the taxpayer-sponsored, National Institutes of Health funded fetal harvesting service at the University of Washington.”

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About 150 people are represented in the lawsuit; they include researchers and employees affiliated with the university, Planned Parenthood and other facilities that handle aborted baby parts, according to the Seattle Times.

“With the rancor Daleiden has fueled comes a threat of violence for individuals participating at any level in fetal tissue donation and research programs,” the lawsuit claims.

It pointed to a November shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs as evidence, though the alleged shooter was not part of the pro-life movement and he was later determined to be mentally incompetent to stand trial. No employees or patients at the abortion facility were injured, and the pro-life movement widely condemned the violence.

At the federal level, abortion activists have attempted to thwart the U.S. Congressional investigation into the trafficking of aborted baby parts. In May, a group of pro-abortion Democrats demanded that the investigation be shut down and accused the panel of “intimidating” scientific researchers who are using aborted baby parts by subpoenaing documents that may contain the researchers’ names and other personal information.

In addition, they blamed pro-life legislators for attempting to stall scientific research using aborted babies’ body parts that they claim could help find cures for diseases and save lives. However, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who chairs the investigative panel, previously told LifeNews that aborted babies’ body parts are not essential to life-saving medical research.

Recently, a new white paper on the pricing of aborted baby parts from the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives revealed Planned Parenthood appears to be breaking the law. The document points out that “to profit from the acquisition or transfer of fetal tissue violates Title 42 USC §289 g-2, which prohibits the transfer of any fetal tissue for valuable consideration that exceeds the reasonable costs associated with the procurement.”

The white paper and accompanying exhibits show that the middleman company StemExpress does all of the work to transfer the aborted baby parts — making it so Planned Parenthood is spared any significant expense, thus leaving it with pure profit from the sale of the parts.

“The [abortion clinic] has no costs so the payments from the [procurement business] to the [abortion clinic] are pure profit,” the report concludes. “All costs are born by the [procurement business] or the customer. The payments from the customer to the PB exceed its cost by a factor of 300 to 400 percent.”

The document also reveals 1 in 5 abortion clinics, whether they were affiliated with Planned Parenthood or independent abortion centers, were selling the body parts of aborted babies when CMP began exposing the sales at Planned Parenthood. This contradicts Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richard’s statement that only 1 percent of her abortion clinics were involved in “fetal tissue donation.”

Blackburn told LifeNews in April: “The release of videos last summer raised the question of whether abortion clinics and middleman tissue procurement businesses were profiting from the sale of baby body parts, organs and tissues. When questions are being raised about the possibility that a federal statute has been violated, Congress has a duty to the taxpayers to find the facts and get to the bottom of what is actually going on.”