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Investigative Panel Calls on Congress to Defund Planned Parenthood

   DailyWire.com

In an over 400-page report on Planned Parenthood and the fetal trade industry presented Wednesday, a Republican House panel urged Congress to defund the nation’s largest provider of abortions, which receives hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds annually.

In an extensive report detailing the federal laws addressing the sale of fetal tissue and the key companies involved in the industry, including Planned Parenthood and StemExpress, among others, the panel, headed up by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), issued 15 criminal and regulatory referrals and concluded by recommending that Congress stop directing funds (around $500 million a year, or about half of its budget) to Planned Parenthood:

The Panel found that Planned Parenthood affiliates and clinics have repeatedly neglected their fiduciary duty requiring good stewardship of federal taxpayer dollars through the following: careless management and failed compliance with Medicaid billing procedures; violating federal laws and regulations pertaining to patient consent and the privacy rights of their patients; changing the method of abortion to increase procurement of fetal tissue for which they received a per tissue payment; and a general disinterest in clinical integrity. The Panel recommends that Planned Parenthood lose all federal funding, including reimbursements for Medicaid services.

The panel specifies that the hundreds of millions in federal grants no longer going to Planned Parenthood should be awarded to “healthcare providers that provide comprehensive preventive healthcare for their patients, and that do not perform abortions, except: if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.”

Planned Parenthood responded by dismissing the report as a “partisan attack” and denying that they had done anything wrong, despite now multiple reports and video evidence indicating otherwise.

“Today’s Republican staff report once again demonstrates that this exercise was nothing more than a partisan attack on Planned Parenthood and women’s access to safe and legal abortion,” the abortion provider’s VP for Public Policy Dana Singiser said in a written statement Wednesday.

AP notes that Democrats are portraying the panel’s $1.5 million investigation as a massive waste of taxpayer money, but the panel points to Planned Parenthood’s misuse of hundreds of millions as the real problem. “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that Planned Parenthood receives about $450 million annually in federal funds, mostly $390 million in reimbursements from the Medicaid program for low-income people,” reports AP.

Though federal law forbids the use of federal money to fund abortions, the abortion giant has been awarded billions over the years. By far its biggest source of income is the abortions it provides, which average over 300,000 a year, and around which many of its services are focused.

Below are the panel’s recommendations to Congress for the proper “stewardship of taxpayer funds” (pp. 407-408, footnotes removed):

1) The Panel found that Planned Parenthood affiliates and clinics have repeatedly neglected their fiduciary duty requiring good stewardship of federal taxpayer dollars through the following: careless management and failed compliance with Medicaid billing procedures; violating federal laws and regulations pertaining to patient consent and the privacy rights of their patients; changing the method of abortion to increase procurement of fetal tissue for which they received a per tissue payment; and a general disinterest in clinical integrity. The Panel recommends that Planned Parenthood lose all federal funding, including reimbursements for Medicaid services. Further, grants no longer available to Planned Parenthood should be awarded to healthcare providers that provide comprehensive preventive healthcare for their patients, and that do not perform abortions, except:

if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest;

or

in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.

2) In keeping with the joint federal-state Medicaid program, the Panel recommends that Congress pass a law explicitly permitting states to exclude abortion providers from receiving Medicaid reimbursement (in response to narrow interpretations of current law by President Obama’s Administration and the Seventh and Ninth Circuits).

3) The Panel also recommends that Congress pass a law overriding the Sept. 9, 2016, administrative rule restricting states’ discretion in choosing subrecipients of Title X funding. Further, the new law should explicitly prohibit the federal government from contracting with anyone other than a state or a state’s designee. That way, states will have the flexibility to ensure that Title X funds are used in a manner compatible with state public policy.

4) Taxpayer funding indirectly supports the practice of abortion when it funds institutions that provide or fund abortions, or when it funds research on tissue derived from aborted infants. Consistent with this principle, Congress should prohibit federal funding of research involving tissue derived from induced abortions. This should be enacted to become effective after establishment of a program that would fund alternative sources of fetal tissue (i.e., fetal tissue from spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) or stillbirths) for research. See subsection C, below.

Below are the 15 criminal and regulatory referrals made by the investigative panel (pp. xxv-xxvi), including several focused on StemExpress and other fetal tissue procurement companies for potentially having profited off of aborted baby parts and violating the privacy rights of patients.

The Select Investigative Panel has made numerous criminal and regulatory referrals and investigations are underway around the nation.

1) The Panel learned that StemExpress and certain abortion clinics may have violated the HIPAA privacy rights of vulnerable women for the sole purpose of increasing the harvesting of fetal tissue to make money. Referred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

2) The Panel uncovered evidence showing that StemExpress may have violated federal regulations governing Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). Referred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

3) The Panel discovered that the University of New Mexico may have been violating its state’s Anatomical Gift Act by receiving tissue from a late-term abortion clinic (Southwestern Women’s Options). Referred to the Attorney General of New Mexico.

4 & 5) The Panel conducted a forensic accounting analysis of StemExpress’ limited production and determined that it may have been profiting from the sale of baby body parts. Referral sent to El Dorado, California District Attorney, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

6) The Panel discovered that an abortion clinic in Arkansas may have violated the law when it sent tissue to StemExpress. Referred to the Attorney General of Arkansas.

7) The Panel discovered that DV Biologics, another tissue procurement company, may have been profiting from the sale of fetal tissue, and was not collecting California sales tax from purchasers of the baby body parts. The Orange County District Attorney has filed a lawsuit and the Panel sent a supplemental referral.

8) The Panel learned that Advanced Bioscience Resources appeared to have made a profit when it sold tissue to various universities. Referred to the District Attorney for Riverside County, California. 9) The Panel discovered that an abortion clinic in Florida, at least in part through its relationship with StemExpress, may have violated various provisions of federal and state law by profiting from the sale of fetal tissue. Referred to the Attorney General of Florida. xxvi

10) The Panel learned that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast may have violated both Texas law and U.S. law when it sold fetal tissue to the University of Texas. Referred to the Texas Attorney General.

11 & 12) The Panel has uncovered evidence from former employees and a patient of a late-term abortionist in Texas alleging numerous violations of federal and state law at one or more of the practitioner’s clinics. The allegations include eyewitness accounts of the doctor killing infants who show signs of life both when partially outside the birth canal, in violation of the PartialBirth Abortion Ban Act, and after they are completely outside the birth canal, in violation of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act and Texas murder statutes. Referred to the Texas Attorney General, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

13) The Panel has discovered information that StemExpress may have destroyed documents that were the subject of congressional inquiries, document request letters, and subpoenas, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519. Referred to the U.S. Department of Justice.

14) The Panel made a supplemental referral to the Attorney General of New Mexico based on information produced in document productions by the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Southwestern Women’s Options (SWWO), deposition testimony by Doctor #5, and a complaint and affidavit with supporting documents submitted by a former patient at SWWO. It details the alleged failure of SWWO and UNM to provide informed consent to women prior to using tissue from abortions for research at the university.

15) Over the course of its investigation, the Panel has uncovered documents and received testimony from confidential informants indicating that several entities, including four Planned Parenthood clinics and Novogenix, may have violated federal law, specifically Title 42 U.S.C. § 289g-2, which forbids the transfer of fetal tissue for valuable consideration. Referred to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Energy and Commerce Committee investigative panel report here.

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