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DA Sues Two CA Companies for Profiting from Baby Parts from Abortions

The Orange County, California district attorney’s office has filed a civil lawsuit against two medical companies, alleging that they profited from the sale of fetal tissue donated by abortion clinics.

DaVinci Biosciences and its sister company, DV Biologics, both located in Yorba Linda, are accused of making hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of fetal tissue and stem cells donated to them by abortion providers, reports the Orange County Register.

The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court, accuses the DaVinci companies of profiting from at least 500 sales to research laboratories between 2012 and 2015, and selling the fetal body parts for a profit of more than $1.5 million from 2013 to 2015. The Register reports the DA’s office says DaVinci charged “marked-up prices for shipping and processing” as well.

The report continues:

According to the lawsuit, the companies hired sales and marketing staffers and pushed them to meet revenue goals through discount promotions such as “summer sales” and coupons; the products were advertised in catalogs, brochures and other materials.

“It costs us roughly $25 per unit to manufacture, and we are selling from $170,” one employee wrote in an email, according to the lawsuit.

From 2009 to 2015, the companies collected $56,678 in “packing and handling” fees marked up by roughly 50 percent over the actual cost of packaging and handling, according to the suit.

Employees were paid a commission on profits they earned from the packing and handling charges, the lawsuit says.

Some products were allegedly sold to different customers at different prices.

“This case is not about whether it should be lawful to sell fetal parts, or whether fetal-tissue research is ethical or legal,” said district attorney Tony Rackauckas. “This lawsuit is aimed at taking the profit out of selling body parts.”

Michael Tein, attorney for the DaVinci companies, said his clients have complied with regulations regarding fetal tissue and never made money off its sale.

“Their scientists worked day and night to discover cell-based medical treatments and improve the quality of life for patients suffering from cancer, Alzheimer’s and other deadly diseases,” he said, according to the Register.

DaVinci Biosciences is owned by three members of the Isaias family – Andres, Luis, and Estefano. Two of them also own DV Biologics.

The lawsuit comes following a year of congressional investigation into allegations that Planned Parenthood sold aborted fetal tissue and organs to biomedical companies for profit.

While some of the focus of the allegations brought by pro-life organization Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has been on Planned Parenthood’s relationship with tissue procurement company StemExpress, lead investigator at CMP David Daleiden alleged in a statement that Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties’ (PPOSBC) is “longtime baby body parts business partners” with “sister companies DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics.”

“For eight years, Planned Parenthood supplied aborted baby hearts, lungs, brains, and intestines to DV Biologics, which DV Biologics then resold for profit,” Daleiden continued. “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.”

He added:

The wheels of justice are beginning to turn against Planned Parenthood and their corrupt business partners in the illicit trade in aborted baby body parts. 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.

Deputy district attorney Kelly Ernby said the DaVinci companies previously had a contract with Planned Parenthood, but that the taxpayer-funded group is not part of the current investigation.

The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives voted in September to hold biomedical company StemExpress in contempt for failing to provide documents required by congressional subpoena.

The panel’s chairman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), issued the following statement regarding the criminal lawsuit against the DaVinci companies:

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. 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.

Documents produced to the Panel show that, from 2008 through 2015, DaVinci Biosciences obtained its fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC). DaVinci has told the Panel that PPOSBC “donated” the fetal tissue. But DaVinci has also told the Panel that its executives contributed thousands of dollars to PPOSBC starting before the Planned Parenthood affiliate began “donating” fetal tissue to DaVinci. Planned Parenthood has said PPOSBC was its only affiliate that gave fetal tissue directly to a research company.

Blackburn said the panel’s investigation shows the relationship between Planned Parenthood and DaVinci “appears to have created a market for the donation of human fetal tissue.”

“As a result, our Panel is continuing to look at connections between Planned Parenthood and tissue procurement companies,” she said.

Pro-life leaders commended the Orange County DA’s office for bringing the lawsuit.

“For eight years, Planned Parenthood partnered with DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics in their grisly scheme to harvest and traffick the body parts of the babies Planned Parenthood aborted,” said Lila Rose, president of pro-life organization Live Action, in a statement. She added:

I commend the Orange County district attorney, and I hope this sets a precedent for prosecutors and law enforcement across the nation. Abortion is a barbaric and cruel practice, and it should come as no surprise that those callous enough to profit off killing defenseless children in the womb would allegedly profit off selling their organs piecemeal. It’s time to end these grave human rights abuses against our most vulnerable children and bring those responsible to justice.

Similarly, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said, “The Orange County, California District Attorney should be commended for suing two of Planned Parenthood’s business partners, DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics, for profiting off of the body parts of aborted babies, sold to them by Planned Parenthood.”

“Hopefully this lawsuit is the beginning of the unraveling of the entire for-profit fetal tissue industry, one that Planned Parenthood has played a key role in for years,” Hawkins added. “If a California District Attorney can file suit for illegally profiting off of baby body parts, there’s no excuse for law enforcement in other parts of the country not to do their jobs and put a stop to this criminal activity.”

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