Congressional Republicans are not backing down from their investigation of the Planned Parenthood abortion business and its sales of body parts of aborted babies. While Democrats want the investigation to end, Republicans have voted to double the budget of the probe, which has produced starting information related to the abortion industry’s sale of and research using aborted babies.
The decision comes on the heels of a LifeNews report detailing how the University of Indiana was caught buying two brains of aborted babies for research from the University of Washington, potentially violating federal law.
Over the objection of Democrats, the House Committee on Administration voted Wednesday to approve an additional $800,000 for the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. The money is in addition to the panel’s previously approved $790,000 budget and puts it on track to spend more than $1.5 million by the end of the year.
The 14-member panel, led by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., was formed last year after a firestorm over undercover videos that accused Planned Parenthood of breaking federal laws by selling tissues and organs of aborted fetuses. Planned Parenthood has denied the allegations, and Democrats have accused the panel of unfairly targeting abortion providers and putting women and doctors at risk.
“Instead of providing more funding for this divisive and dangerous witch hunt, Congress should shut down this panel and put an end to its shameful proceedings,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, the panel’s top Democrat.
Last month, two California medical companies linked to Planned Parenthood faced a new lawsuit that claims they illegally profited off the sales of aborted babies’ body parts.
The Orange County Register reports the District Attorney’s Office of Orange County, California filed the lawsuit alleging that DaVinci Biosciences and its sister company DV Biologics sold hundreds of fetal tissue products (aborted babies’ body parts) and stem cells to research facilities for a profit.
David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, which exposed Planned Parenthood and medical groups peddling aborted babies’ body parts in a series of undercover videos, said the abortion chain is a long-time partner of the two companies.
“For eight years, Planned Parenthood supplied aborted baby hearts, lungs, brains, and intestines to DV Biologics, which DV Biologics then resold for profit,” Daleiden said. “In exchange for merely providing access to aborted baby body parts, Planned Parenthood received kickback contributions from DaVinci Biosciences over the course of their eight-year contract.
“Planned Parenthood is not above the law, and law enforcement and elected representatives everywhere must now hold Planned Parenthood accountable for their barbaric profiteering off of pregnant women and the body parts of their aborted children,” Daleiden added.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, chairwoman of the U.S. House panel investigating the handling of aborted babies’ body parts, said the lawsuit demonstrates the importance of her panel’s work.
“For nearly a year, critics of this Panel’s fact-finding investigation have repeatedly called for it to be disbanded, saying there’s nothing to see here,” Blackburn said. “They claimed there was no wrongdoing in the fetal tissue industry. This claim was soundly debunked with a lawsuit filed by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, which reveals that officials at the state and local level share our concern that some fetal tissue middlemen may have broken the law.”
Blackburn said some of her panel members also have been troubled by the relationship between the California companies and Planned Parenthood.
“The lawsuit filed by the Orange County DA shows that there is also broad support at the state and local level to uncover the truth about what is going on in the abortion and fetal tissue industries,” she said.
In September, the voted to hold StemExpress and its CEO, Cate Dyer, in contempt for failing to comply with subpoenas.
Democratic members, led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, refused to participate in the actual vote and walked out of the meeting. The resolution passed with 8 yes votes.
A House Resolution Report seeking the contempt charges details a pattern of deception and stonewalling employed by StemExpress that was used to stall an investigation by the House Select Panel on Infant Lives.
StemExpress, an organ procurement company, was under investigation by the Select Panel due to its financial and professional relationship with Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses. Evidence released by the Center for Medical Progress last year indicated that Planned Parenthood illegally profited financially from the sale of aborted baby remains to StemExpress and other organ procurement organizations.
At issue are accounting records that were first voluntarily requested by the Select Panel from StemExpress. Instead of accounting documents, the Select Panel was provided inadequate summaries. When Dyer and her company refused to comply, the Select Panel issued subpoenas to require compliance.
According to the report, StemExpress told the Select Panel to seek the financial records from its outside accountant, the Scinto Group. However, when the Panel approached the Scinto Group, it refused to comply because Stem Express objected to their compliance.