The House Select Investigative Panel is out with a final report after a yearlong investigation, one that concludes taxpayer funds should be redirected from Planned Parenthood to other federally qualified health centers that offer comprehensive care but do not perform abortions.
The report describes many of the disturbing activities practiced in the abortion industry that the panel uncovered during its investigation, and makes recommendations to Congress based on the evidence revealed.
According to the report:
The Panel also recommends that Congress take actions to ensure good stewardship of taxpayer funds, including:
o Defunding Planned Parenthood and ensuring that grants no longer available to Planned Parenthood are awarded to healthcare providers that provide comprehensive preventive healthcare for their patients and that do not perform abortions (that are not covered by Medicaid under the Hyde Amendment);
o Providing greater flexibility to states to enact laws prohibiting abortion providers form receiving Medicaid reimbursement and giving states discretion to choose subrecipients of Title X funding consistent with state policy, and;
o Prohibiting federal funding of research involving tissue derived from induced abortions in conjunction with the establishment of a program that would fund sources of ethically obtained fetal tissue (i.e., fetal tissue from spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) or stillbirths) for research.
“It is my hope that our recommendations will result in some necessary changes within both the abortion and fetal tissue procurement industries,” panel Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) says. “Our hope is that these changes will both protect women and their unborn children, as well as the integrity of scientific research.”
“Over the last year, the Select Panel’s relentless fact-finding investigation has laid bare the grisly reality of an abortion industry that is driven by profit, unconcerned by matters of basic ethics and, too often, noncompliant with the few laws we have to protect the safety of women and their unborn children,” said Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), a member of the panel. “I have never shied away from my own pro-life views, but the findings of this panel should incense all people of conscience.”
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) January 4, 2017
Panel member Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) praised the work of the panel “in investigating the callous practices of abortion providers, the nefarious dealings of the tissue procurement industry, and the atrocious disregard for the privacy and wellbeing of patients.”
“The American people deserve to know these facts so responsible decisions can be made about research that respects women and protects life,” Hartzler added.
“The committee’s work uncovered aspects of the fetal tissue industry few people knew about, and I look forward to tracking the progress of the criminal referrals,” said panel member Rep. Mia Love (R-UT). “We must protect the unborn, and every citizen’s God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Panel member Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) said, “This select panel conducted a thorough and fact-based investigation to provide the American people answers and to hold those who facilitated these horrendous practices accountable.”
“As a physician who has operated on babies as young as 22 weeks gestation, I am proud of our work on behalf of the most vulnerable among us – to protect the lives of the unborn from an industry that puts profits before the value and dignity of human life,” he added.
Panel member Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) stated, “Over the course of its year-long investigation of fetal tissue procurement companies and abortion businesses, the Select Panel found evidence that several tissue procurement companies and abortion clinics may have violated federal felony laws prohibiting the sale of human fetal tissue.”
“As a physician and researcher, it is my sincere hope that our investigation and the subsequent referrals have put an end to these shady and unethical practices,” he added.
“In the course of our investigation, our panel requested the banking and accounting records from many institutions to verify those businesses’ activities,” said panel member Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI). “Although many complied, StemExpress, a major procurement business, did not. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that they are held accountable in the 115th Congress.”
“The Select Investigative Panel has worked hard to uncover the illegal and highly repulsive activities of the organizations involved in the sale and trafficking of baby body parts,” said panel member Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA). “Now it is up to the judicial system to hold the perpetrators accountable and up to Congress and the new Administration to see that these heinous acts are continued no longer. The way we treat our young, our weak, and our voiceless does matter. History will hold us accountable for these atrocities.”
The panel began its work in 2015 when the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), under project lead David Daleiden, conducted an undercover investigation into the fetal tissue practices of Planned Parenthood and its partners in the biomedical tissue procurement industry. CMP produced videos that alleged Planned Parenthood and these biomedical companies were selling the body parts of babies aborted in clinics for a profit, and maximizing the profit by altering the abortion procedure in order to keep the most profitable organs intact.
Kristan Hawkins, president of the largest organization of pro-life youth, summarized the work of the panel:
The strain running through the thousands of pages of reports from the Select Panel on Infant Lives is that Planned Parenthood and their business partners are far from the innocent parties they claim to be, that it was their every intention to make money off of the sale of the body parts of babies they aborted. They knew their consent forms were bogus, and they freely broke laws that put women in danger by illegally changing the abortion procedure to procure better organs to sell for money. The final report is heart-wrenching to read, extracting details about late-term abortionists who, like the infamous Kermit Gosnell, killed babies born alive after botched abortions.
“It is our deepest hope that Planned Parenthood, StemExpress, their business partners, and these late-term abortionists be brought to swift justice by the immediate investigation and prosecution of the U.S. Department of Justice and various state Attorneys General to whom charges were referred,” Hawkins added. “We also agree with the recommendation of the Select Panel that Planned Parenthood be immediately defunded of all taxpayer dollars and that the money be redirected to healthcare providers that do not commit abortions.”