A special House panel charged with investigating Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities that may be involved in harvesting the body parts of aborted babies has subpoenaed StemExpress and two other organizations in New Mexico that have been withholding information.
“We have been working diligently to acquire information that is needed to get the facts about the medical practices of abortion service providers and the business practices of the procurement organizations who sell baby body parts,” said Chairman Marsha Blackburn, adding:
While it was our hope that these organizations would voluntarily work with us in this effort, some have refused to cooperate by withholding information that is critical to providing us with answers to questions the American people are asking. Consequently, if forced to do so, we will issue subpoenas to any organization that refuses to fully cooperate with our investigation.
StemExpress is a California-based privately held company that buys baby body parts and resells them at significant mark-ups to research facilities around the country.
Additionally, the House panel has issued subpoenas to the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options – both of which perform abortions.
In videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), StemExpress was exposed as purchasing most of its baby body parts from Planned Parenthood clinics. The undercover videos exposed the abortion business’ apparent practices of harvesting the body parts of aborted babies for sale and altering the position of babies during abortion in order to harvest the most intact organs.
Blackburn said the subpoenas will also assist in collecting information about fetal tissue research in the United States, reports The Hill.
Democrats, however, are protesting the subpoenas, claiming they will endanger the lives of abortion providers and patients at abortion clinics.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, the ranking Democrat on the House panel, accused Blackburn of an effort to create a national database for political purposes.
“A database like that – with no rules to protect it from public disclosure – poses a grave risk to individual privacy and safety,” Schakowsky said.
A Blackburn spokesman, however, responded, “Once again the Democrats are politicizing this effort when they know full well that the subpoenas do not ask for and in fact instruct that no patient information be included.”
New Mexico Alliance for Life posted the following comment on Facebook:
The University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options have come under investigation after it became clear the university had a close relationship with one of the nation’s most notorious late-term abortionists to receive aborted babies’ tissues and organs for scientific experiments. “The flimsy agreement between UNM and late-term abortionist Curtis Boyd, signed by UNM’s Dr. Eve Espey, appears to be constructed to conceal the potential sale of late-term baby body parts to UNM, which to date, has withheld any documentation as to the compensation of Curtis Boyd, the compensation of residents and any record of their late-term baby body parts inventory,” said Elisa Martinez executive director of New Mexico Alliance for Life.
Under suspicion of bias, Harris County, Texas District Attorney Devon Anderson convened a grand jury that cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing in the video exposé and, instead, indicted CMP project lead David Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merrit. Two pro-choice law professors wrote 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.
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) February 9, 2016
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 Center for Medical Progress, were “deceptively edited.”
However, a Democrat opposition research firm named Fusion – hired by Planned Parenthood – to review the videos said 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.”
In October, John Stonestreet, president of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, told World Magazine the CMP videos have finally brought Planned Parenthood under scrutiny.
“It hasn’t been, and it’s essentially been allowed to do whatever it wants,” he observed, noting how, in 2012, the Susan G. Komen foundation backed away from its decision to no longer support Planned Parenthood because it does not provide mammograms. Planned Parenthood’s supporters, however, condemned Komen in the media, leading the breast cancer nonprofit to cave and renew its support for the abortion business.
“That was the kind of untouchable status that Planned Parenthood once had,” Stonestreet said. “I don’t think it has that now.”
CMP’s campaign “gives us the opportunity continually to clarify what’s true in this whole debate, and I think we can see it move the cultural needle,” he added. “I think it’s a momentum-generating event, so I still think it’s two thumbs up on these videos.”