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House Investigators: Abortion Clinics, Fetal Tissue Companies Violated Medical Privacy Rules

The final report by the House Select Investigative Panel on the secretive ‘fetal tissue’ business says abortion clinics and tissue-procurement companies “committed systemic violations” of federal medical privacy laws to maximize their sale of body parts from aborted babies.

The comprehensive 471-page, heavily-documented report was prepared during a yearlong investigation which included many interviews with medical professionals and examinations of company records. It states:

The Panel’s investigation indicates that StemExpress and Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM), Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific (PPSP), and Family Planning Specialists Medical Group (FPS) committed systematic violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule from about 2010 to 2015. These violations occurred when the abortion clinics disclosed patients’ individually identifiable health information to StemExpress to facilitate the TPB’s [Tissue Procurement Business’] efforts to procure human fetal tissue for resale.

In June of 2016, panel chairman Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) described the groups’ relationship as commerce, not healthcare:

The key to understanding the HIPAA and consent violations that we’ve referred to HHS is that there’s a business contract between StemExpress and the abortion clinics under which both sides make a profit from the baby body parts inside the young woman’s womb. The contract changes the way both entities view the young woman: her baby is now a profit-center. This betrayal of a young woman’s trust should disgust us all. It takes financial advantage, obtains consent through coercion, and deceives the woman, all in violation of federal privacy laws.

In its final report, the panel states, “The Panel’s work has revealed that this corruption extends to the method of obtaining consent from the patient, which is both deceptive and unlawful.”

“Also, those entrusted with patient medical information may violate Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rights in order to enable businesses to match their customer orders for human fetal tissue with particular patients,” the panel adds.

The final report describes many of the disturbing practices in the abortion industry which were revealed to the panel during its investigation, and makes recommendations to Congress.

 

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