Yep. The cat is out of bag now.
Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry have lots of explaining to do.
The Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives released a 471 page majority report, at the very end of last year, detailing their work and findings (Blackburn, 2016). This Congressional panel, chaired by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), was created to investigate Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry’s involvement in the unethical and potentially illegal trafficking of body parts from aborted babies.
After the investigation, Congresswoman Blackburn remarked,
“It is my hope that our recommendations will result in some necessary changes within both the abortion and fetal tissue procurement industries. Our hope is that these changes will both protect women and their unborn children, as well as the integrity of scientific research.” (Energy & Commerce Committee, 2017)
In response to the report’s release, Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-9), also a member of the panel, called it “illegitimate,” saying the Panel left behind a “legacy of lies, intimidation, and misconduct.” (Schakowsky, 2017)
Is that so?
Actually, if you had a chance to read through all 471 pages of the research, evidence, and facts detailed in the report, we’d bet you’d think otherwise. But that’s quite a read – so we did that for you!
Here are 7 SHOCKING things we learned from the Select Panel’s investigation:
1. The University of Illinois Chicago paid Stem Express for baby parts?
The Panel’s forensic accountant collected the invoices that Stem Express (a baby part procurement company) sent to its customers. They found that the University of Illinois Chicago was among a host of other publicly funded schools that purchased fetal tissue and body parts (and/or products derived from fetal tissue) from Stem Express. They document the purchases according to year (Blackburn, 2016, p. 176):
And what a coincidence…
Just last year, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) produced documents detailing orders for fetal body parts from Stem Express, in March of 2013. According to the order, researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago had ordered the brain of a 10-week-old aborted baby for research (Progress, 2013, p. 1).
Are your tax dollars being used by the University of Illinois Chicago and other publicly funded schools to harvest and purchase the body parts of aborted children?
2. Fetal tissue is NOT vital to life-saving research.
Interestingly, in February of 2016, Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky sent a letter to a list of universities, scientific societies, and medical societies, asking them for information on the following:
“Past benefits of fetal tissue research.”
“Potential future benefits that might be gained through continued fetal tissue research.”
“Unique aspects of fetal tissue in research, in comparison with adult cells, stem cells, or other cellular organisms that might be used for research purposes.”(Blackburn, 2016, p. 374)
After receiving responses from several institutions (including the University of Illinois at Chicago UIC), the Panel came to the following conclusion:
“While the question of whether human fetal tissue provides unique benefits to research is important, not a single one of the responding institutions provided substantive evidence relevant to this question.” (Blackburn, 2016, p. 375)
From their research, the Panel also found:
- Early vaccine research did NOT rely on human fetal tissue.
- Human fetal tissue was NOT used to produce vaccines for polio and other diseases in the last century.
- The production of modern vaccines do NOT depend on human fetal tissue.
- Fetal tissue is NOT necessary for the study of diseases that affect the human brain, like Zika and Down Syndrome.
- Human fetal tissue is NOT vital for a “wide range of life-saving research.”(Blackburn, 2016, pp. xxxviii-xl)
3. Planned Parenthood of Illinois has a history of Medicaid fraud.
As we have noted before, Planned Parenthood of Illinois is no stranger to the improper handling of Medicaid funds. Now, the Select Investigative Panel, in their own investigation, confirms this.
Having assessed 51 external audits of Planned Parenthood affiliates in different states, the Congressional panel found a shocking total of $8,552,264.20 in overbilling (Blackburn, 2016, p. 313). With regards to Illinois, they state:
“This audit by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Inspector General of Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) found 641 missing records, 31 instances of billing for non-covered services, and 10 instances of billing for services actually performed by someone else, as well as improper procedure codes.” (Blackburn, 2016, p. 315)
As a result of the audit, PPIL repaid the state $367,000 for Medicaid overbilling and failure to document their services provided. (Blackburn, 2016, p. 315)
So… do you trust Planned Parenthood with your tax dollars?
4. Planned Parenthood clinics profited from the sale of fetal tissue?
Among other evidence referred to in the report, the production of documents from StemExpress and their bank during the investigation revealed that “substantial payments” had been made to Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics (Blackburn, 2016, p. 39). Furthermore, interviews with the CEO of StemExpress showed that StemExpress, as the “middleman,” had been performing all the tasks required to procure fetal tissue at Planned Parenthood clinics…but Planned Parenthood documented they were doing the same work Stem Express claimed to do (Blackburn, 2016, p. 323).
The Panel reported,
“It became clear that StemExpress was doing all the work to obtain consent for donation from individual patients, that StemExpress was doing the work of harvesting the fetal tissue after an abortion was complete, and that StemExpress was doing the work and passing on its costs of shipping to customers. This raised a profound issue for the Panel: Both the middleman and the PPFA affiliate clinic were claiming the same expenses against their revenue to show a loss on fetal tissue sales.” (Blackburn, 2016, p. 327)
The following chart depicts this discrepancy:
So both Planned Parenthood and StemExpress claimed the same costs and expenses for services that only one company–Stem Express – could perform. How can you be reimbursed for services you never provided? Was Planned Parenthood making a profit?
According to the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993, Title 42 U.S.C., 289g-2(a) states:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.” (Code, Title 42, Chapter 6A, Subchapter III, Part H, Section 289g-2, 2010)
Those who violate this federal law will face fines and imprisonment.
5. Abortion doctors adjusted their methods to obtain more fetal tissue
Planned Parenthood executives, policy makers, and abortion doctors were called to testify before the Select Panel. One interview with a Planned Parenthood executive proceeded as follows (Blackburn, 2016, pp. 357-358):
A I mean exactly what it said, which is their—providers can change their technique to increase success.
Q What would that—what would be that change in technique?
A I can’t speak for every provider. If—every procedure is different. Providers make changes in technique as they’re doing a procedure the whole time for a variety of reasons. There are probably a myriad of changes that can be made.
Q Okay. Which ones could be made to increase the success of a fetal tissue donation?
A That’s a very broad question and I think unless we were talking about a specific procedure I couldn’t answer it for you.
Q “There are little things they can make in their technique to increase your success.” What are those little things?
A Again, as I mentioned, a change in instruments, a change in where they’re grasping the tissue. These are changes in technique that a provider can make for a variety of reasons. I—
Q But it could be made to increase the success of fetal tissue donation.
A Yes, that’s what I’m saying.
With the evidence presented, the Panel later concluded:
“It is clear that the PPFA executive in charge of directing the MS&G guidelines, altered the method of the abortion procedure in her own practice. It is also clear that she has not complied with the directive of the MS&G manual regarding the requirement to affirm that the method of the abortion has NOT been changed to promote fetal tissue donation.” (Blackburn, 2016, p. 359)
Title 42 U.S.C. 289g-1 of the NIH Revitalization Act 1993, expressly prohibits the “alteration of the timing, method, or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy… used solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue.” (Code, Title 42, Chapter 6A, Subchapter III, Part H, Section 289g-1, 2010)
The safety of the patient should always be of primary concern to the physician. Altering an abortion procedure for the purpose of harvesting harvest baby body parts can put a patient’s safety in jeopardy.
6. Planned Parenthood consent forms were “inaccurate” and “insufficient”
During the Panel hearing, a researcher and ethics expert were asked about the patient consent form widely used by Planned Parenthood abortion clinics to obtain consent from women to donate and use their aborted baby’s tissue. In response, the researcher claimed that the form would have never “made it past” his Institutional Review Board. The ethics expert also stated that the standards and thoroughness of consent required in such a form were missing (Blackburn, 2016, p. 15).
The form specifically states,
“Research using the blood from pregnant women and tissue that has been aborted has been used to treat and find a cure for such diseases as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and AIDS.” (Blackburn, 2016, p. 361)
This, however, was already shown to be false by the Panel.
In addition, the Panel reports that numerous witnesses, including senior PPFA officials, testified before the Panel and held the form to be “misleading and unethical.” (Blackburn, 2016, p. 182) In fact, the very individual in charge of overseeing the production of the PPFA manual stated:
“If I’m evaluating the form now, you are correct. To my knowledge there is no cure for AIDS. So that is probably an inaccurate statement. . . . a consent form should not have an incorrect statement.” (Blackburn, 2016, p. 182)
Another Planned Parenthood executive also stated,
“I would agree that that is insufficient for obtaining informed consent, correct.” (Blackburn, 2016, p. 363)
7. Planned Parenthood and Stem Express violated HIPPA laws protecting patients’ privacy
As the Panel report explains, the HIPAA privacy rule protects all the “protected health information” (PHI) of an individual, held or transmitted by a covered entity or business associate (hospital, clinic, doctor, etc.). The entity, in turn, may not use or disclose a patient’s PHI unless authorized, or they can be penalized with criminal fines or imprisonment. (Blackburn, 2016, p. 363)
The Panel makes very clear that under HIPPA, StemExpress does not qualify as a “business associate,” and therefore is “not permitted to obtain the PHI of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics’ patients” without the patient’s consent (which they did not obtain). (Blackburn, 2016, p. 368)
Nevertheless, the Panel found that:
“Planned Parenthood clinics intentionally disclosed patients’ individually identifiable health information to StemExpress to facilitate the TPB’s efforts to procure human fetal tissue for resale.” (Blackburn, 2016, pp. 365-366)
The Panel investigation found that StemExpress placed procurement technicians inside Planned Parenthood clinics, and they followed a specific work sequence: the customer placed the order for the specimens, Planned Parenthood gave StemExpress a list of patients and their medical files and PHI’s, Stem Express chose who they wanted and sought out the patients by name, Stem Express paid Planned Parenthood for the specimens and then resold them for four to six hundred percent of the original cost. (Blackburn, 2016, pp. 366-367)
From the looks of it, Planned Parenthood, StemExpress, and the rest of the abortion industry are in hot water. 15 criminal referrals for potential prosecution have been made as result of this investigation, and some of these referrals have already been put into action.
We will keep you updated as the results of the investigation as they unfold.
Blackburn, R. M. (2016). Select Investigative Panel Final Report. Washington D.C.: Energy & Commerce Committee, US House of Representatives. Retrieved from https://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/files/documents/Select_Investigative_Panel_Final_Report.pdf
Code, U. S. (2010). Title 42, Chapter 6A, Subchapter III, Part H, Section 289g-1. Retrieved from https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2010-title42/html/USCODE-2010-title42-chap6A-subchapIII-partH-sec289g-1.htm
Code, U. S. (2010). Title 42, Chapter 6A, Subchapter III, Part H, Section 289g-2. Retrieved from https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2010-title42/html/USCODE-2010-title42-chap6A-subchapIII-partH-sec289g-2.htm
Energy & Commerce Committee, U. H. (2017, January 4). Press Release. Washington DC. Retrieved from Energy & Commerce Committee: https://energycommerce.house.gov/news-center/press-releases/select-investigative-panel-releases-final-report
Progress, C. f. (2013, March 20). Updated Task Assignment: Procurement Schedule Wednesday 3/20/13. Retrieved from http://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Updated-Task-Assignment-Procurement-Schedule-Wednesday-32013.pdf
Schakowsky, R. J. (2017, January 3). Schakowsky Blasts Select Panel Republicans’ Secretive and Flawed Final Report. Washington DC. Retrieved from https://schakowsky.house.gov/press-releases/schakowsky-blasts-select-panel-republicans-secretive-and-flawed-final-report/