Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is referring Planned Parenthood to the FBI and the Justice Department for investigation and possible prosecution.
The announcement comes following an investigation into allegations the abortion chain and its partners in biomedical procurement have been harvesting the body parts of aborted babies and selling them for a profit.
In his referral letter to the FBI and Justice Department, Grassley notes, “[T]he facts uncovered raise a reasonable suspicion that these organizations, and/or individuals employed by them, may have engaged in a conspiracy to violate the fetal tissue law.”
In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) conducted an undercover investigation of the fetal tissue practices of Planned Parenthood. CMP released a series of videos focused on these practices.
In his letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI director James Comey, Jr., Grassley wrote Tuesday:
In the summer of 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee began an inquiry into paid fetal tissue transfers involving Planned Parenthood. The Committee has since obtained and reviewed more than 20,000 pages of information from the organizations involved, and engaged in detailed discussions with the attorneys for those organizations. The investigation has culminated in a Majority Staff Report to the Committee. That report is attached for your review.
The report documents the failure of the Department of Justice, across multiple administrations, to enforce the law that bans the buying or selling of human fetal tissue (42 U.S.C. § 289g-2) with even a single prosecution. It also documents substantial evidence suggesting that the specific entities involved in the recent controversy, and/or individuals employed by those entities, may have violated that law. Moreover, that evidence is contained entirely in those entities’ own records, which were voluntarily provided to the Committee and are detailed in the report.
Grassley writes he is referring “the paid fetal tissue practices of the following organizations…to the FBI and the Department of Justice for investigation and potential prosecution,” and names:
- StemExpress, LLC;
- Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc.
- Novogenix Laboratories, LLC
- Planned Parenthood Mar Monte
- Planned Parenthood Los Angeles
- Planned Parenthood Northern California
- Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest
However, Grassley also notes the national Planned Parenthood Federation of America appears to have “learned that its affiliates engaging in paid fetal tissue programs were not following the policies and procedures it had put in place to ensure compliance” with federal law.
However, instead of exercising its oversight procedures to bring them into compliance, it contacted the affiliates involved and then altered those oversight procedures in a manner that allowed the affiliates’ conduct to continue. While the Committee does not have all the details of what transpired between the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and these affiliates, the facts uncovered raise a reasonable suspicion that these organizations, and/or individuals employed by them, may have engaged in a conspiracy to violate the fetal tissue law (18 U.S.C. § 371). Therefore, I am referring the practices of these organizations, as outlined in the report, to the FBI and the Department of Justice for investigation and potential prosecution for this offense, as well.
“I don’t take lightly making a criminal referral,” Grassley said in a statement. “But, the seeming disregard for the law by these entities has been fueled by decades of utter failure by the Justice Department to enforce it. And, unless there is a renewed commitment by everyone involved against commercializing the trade in aborted fetal body parts for profit, then the problem is likely to continue.”
Regarding the referral, CMP project lead David Daleiden said in a statement:
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s report confirms that Planned Parenthood and companies like StemExpress partnered in a years-long criminal conspiracy to sell the body parts of aborted children for profit. When Planned Parenthood national became aware that their affiliates were operating their baby body part programs in violation of Planned Parenthood’s own guidelines, Planned Parenthood covered up for the affiliates and deleted the guidelines. The Committee’s report shows Planned Parenthood and their baby body parts business partners are totally unaccountable and must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and Planned Parenthood’s barbaric abortion empire must no longer be subsidized by taxpayer funds.
”Planned Parenthood has claimed for more than a year that it did nothing illegal in its grotesque practice of trafficking aborted baby body parts for money,” president of pro-life organization Lila Rose said in a statement sent to Breitbart News. “Now, a second congressional investigation has uncovered more evidence that has led to four more Planned Parenthood affiliates and Planned Parenthood’s national office being referred to federal law enforcement.”
Two weeks ago, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives referred Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast for criminal prosecution by the Texas Attorney General.
“This is not a set of isolated incidences or a few rogue employees,” Rose said. “The evidence shows that these crimes were coordinated at the highest levels of Planned Parenthood.”
Rose also called for the elimination of the abortion chain’s taxpayer funding.
“Planned Parenthood’s disturbing baby harvesting practice is the direct result of abortion laws that dehumanize defenseless preborn children in the first place,” she said. “It should surprise no one that an industry that violently kills a million innocent children in the womb every year doesn’t see the problem with tearing apart their little bodies and trafficking the parts for money.”