The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives has issued subpoenas in order to obtain the accounting and banking records of biomedical company StemExpress, which may have allegedly partnered with abortion business Planned Parenthood in a scheme to profit from the sale of the body parts of aborted babies.
“In light of the advice we received from witnesses at our hearing last month, these subpoenas are necessary in order for the Select Investigative Panel to complete a full review of StemExpress’ accounting records,” said panel chairwoman Rep. Marsha Blackburn, adding:
Documents uncovered by our investigation so far point to the very troubling possibility that StemExpress may have violated federal law by profiting from the sale of baby body parts. We have learned that not only is this investigation warranted, but further examination of accounting records is needed to get the complete facts about what was actually going on.
The panel issued subpoenas to Scinto Group, LLP and Five Star Bancorp in order to obtain StemExpress’s financial records. The fetal tissue procurement business has reportedly failed in producing the records itself.
A statement by StemExpress, however, claims:
StemExpress has worked diligently to respond to myriad requests from the Select Investigative Panel of the House Energy & Commerce Committee (“Select Panel”), which has focused its attention on the use of fetal tissue in research. StemExpress’s cooperation with the Select Panel comes after fully cooperating with three other committees in the House and Senate, none of which determined that StemExpress’s support of fetal tissue research was inappropriate. To date, we have provided over 2,000 pages of documents to the various Senate and House Committees—including nearly 900 pages of materials to the Select Panel—and have offered witnesses who are willing to testify under oath to answer questions about fetal tissue procurement and pricing. To date, none of these individuals have been scheduled to provide deposition testimony.
At a hearing conducted by the panel last month, witnesses agreed StemExpress’s banking and accounting documents must be reviewed in order to determine whether the company violated federal law by profiting from the sale of fetal tissue.
The panel discovered three pieces of evidence during the hearing.
First, fetal tissue procurement companies such as StemExpress – which was featured in the investigative videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) – appear to do all of the work in the fetal tissue transfer, with no cost to abortion clinics such as Planned Parenthood, allegedly allowing the abortion companies to receive millions of dollars in pure profit.
Second, by 2015, StemExpress was working with nearly 100 abortion clinics. Approximately one in every five abortion facilities nationwide was involved in the sale of the body parts of aborted babies to StemExpress. Just prior to the release of the CMP investigative videos, the tissue procurement business was about to have access to over 50 percent of the abortion market.
Third, CMP’s video exposé was just the tip of the iceberg regarding the relationship between Planned Parenthood and StemExpress.
Blackburn said Republicans’ presentation of “business documents, invoices, marketing brochures, and management documents” at the hearing “reveal that one for profit Procurement Business and several abortion clinics may have violated” federal statute prohibiting profits from the sale of fetal tissue.
StemExpress accused David Daleiden, project lead for CMP, of illegally obtaining the company’s documents, activity it says warranted his criminal indictment in Houston, Texas.
However, it was under suspicion of bias that Harris County, Texas District Attorney Devon Anderson convened the grand jury that cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing in the video exposé and, instead, indicted Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merrit. Two pro-choice law professors subsequently wrote that the indictment of Daleiden and Merrit amounted to “a stunning act of legal jujitsu” and was a “deeply disturbing” outcome both for the First Amendment and undercover citizen journalists attempting to expose corruption.
“The exhibits and testimony provided at the last hearing of the Select Investigative Panel make it clear that StemExpress and Planned Parenthood illegally profited off the sale of baby body parts,” Daleiden said in a statement. “StemExpress’ accounting records could easily exonerate them if they did nothing wrong, so their refusal to voluntarily produce these documents speaks volumes.”
“The raw banking and accounting records will tell the full story of whether—and how much—StemExpress and their “business partners” like Planned Parenthood profited off of aborted baby parts,” Daleiden added.
Though Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing in its sale of body parts, the abortion business also released a statement in October announcing it will no longer accept payments for aborted fetal tissue. The organization and its leftwing media supporters continue to insist the videos produced by CMP were “deceptively edited.”
However, a Democrat opposition research firm named Fusion – hired by Planned Parenthood itself to review the videos — said that while their analysts observed the videos had been edited, “the analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.”
Additionally, Fusion noted, “[A]nalysts found no evidence that CMP inserted dialogue not spoken by Planned Parenthood staff.”
An analysis by Coalfire, a third-party forensics company hired by Alliance Defending Freedom, found that the videos were “not manipulated” and that they are “authentic.”
StemExpress claims it is “providing urgently needed fetal tissue to medical researchers around the world working to treat and cure cancer, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.”