New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has found no fetal tissue violations were committed by the University of New Mexico (UNM) and an Albuquerque abortion clinic.
The Associated Press (AP) has released a report that states letters sent by Democrat Balderas to the U.S. House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives – a year after the panel has disbanded – and to the New Mexico Alliance for Life state, “We consider this matter closed.”
“No state laws were broken by the transfer of fetal tissue between an Albuquerque abortion clinic and researchers at the University of New Mexico, according to findings outlined Thursday by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office,” AP wrote Thursday.
In June 2016, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), chairwoman of the special House panel charged with investigating alleged fetal tissue trafficking in Planned Parenthood, other abortion facilities, and biomedical procurement firms, wrote to Balderas that the congressional panel had uncovered potentially “too close a relationship” between UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO) – an abortion facility that markets abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
“We understand that SWO is the sole provider of fetal tissue to UNM,” Blackburn wrote, adding that the House panel also discovered “that transfers of value to SWO from UNM occurred within a context of aggressive abortion advocacy.”
“We appreciate your swift attention to the serious and systematic violations of law committed by the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options,” Blackburn added.
The panel had issued subpoenas to UNM and SWO after both organizations were shown to be uncooperative with the congressional investigation.
“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,” Blackburn said. “Consequently, if forced to do so, we will issue subpoenas to any organization that refuses to fully cooperate with our investigation.”
The special House panel was convened following the release of a series of undercover videos by Center for Medical Progress that exposed the fetal organ sale practices of Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities and their partners in the biomedical procurement industry. The video series led to allegations of violations of federal law.
In a statement sent to Breitbart News, however, Abortion Free New Mexico notes that its spokesperson Tara Shaver filed a complaint with Balderas’ office that predated the congressional panel’s criminal referrals to his office. Abortion Free New Mexico observes that not only has Shaver not received a similar letter from the attorney general’s office, but also her legal counsel was informed on December 7 by Assistant Attorney General Dylan Lange that a “civil investigation remains ongoing.”
Shaver’s complaint concerned allegations of violations of state statutes concerning use of aborted babies in medical research.
She said in her statement:
Attorney General Hector Balderas protects those who profit from and are in the business of dehumanizing children in the womb by his lack of enforcement of state laws that are designed to protect New Mexicans, which should include those in the sanctuary of their mothers’ wombs. There will never be justice in New Mexico until leaders, lawmakers and law enforcers stop propping up a failing abortion industry whose grisly trade negatively effects the most vulnerable of our communities.
Similarly, Father Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life said in a statement, “It is business as usual in New Mexico that the Attorney General, Hector Balderas responds to a Congressional Committee more than one year after it was disbanded.”
“It is my hope that the Department of Justice will take a dim view of Balderas’ incompetence and arrogance and will perform a proper investigation into the illegal activities going on within the New Mexico abortion cartel centered at UNM,” he added.
The DOJ has launched a federal investigation into the practices of Planned Parenthood and its alleged involvement in the sale of body parts of babies aborted in their clinics.
In December, the FBI also responded to an appeal letter sent by U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) to the DOJ, requesting the FBI investigate the referrals of the UNM Health Sciences Center and SWO.
Stephen E. Boyd, Department of Justice assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, responded:
We can confirm that the Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI Headquarters has received this information, including the two referrals made to the New Mexico Attorney General regarding practices of the UNM HSC and SWO, and sent the materials to the relevant FBI field offices for review and any action deemed appropriate.
Elisa Martinez, executive director of New Mexico Alliance for Life, said the treatment of baby body parts “like commodities” is a very serious violation of the law.
“[W]omen were deceived for years and nobody has held the abortion industry accountable, including Attorney General Hector Balderas,” she said. “It’s time for women, babies, and taxpayers to receive some justice and anyone found in violation of the law to be held accountable, whether they are abortionists, researchers or university officials, no one is above the law.”