Allegations of Fetal Tissue Sales Initiates DOJ Investigation Into Planned Parenthood
The last thing Planned Parenthood should have is a financial incentive for promoting abortion.
On Thursday, Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd sent a letter requesting unredacted documents to committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
“The Department of Justice appreciates the offer of assistance in obtaining these materials, and would like to request the Committee provide unredacted copies of records contained in the report, in order to further the Department’s ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of that report based on the full range of information available,” Boyd wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Fox News.
“At this point, the records are intended for investigative use only—we understand that a resolution from the Senate may be required if the Department were to use any of the unredacted materials in a formal legal proceeding, such as a grand jury,” Boyd added.
The FBI requested the unredacted documents in November but Fox News reports Grassley and Feinstein said they needed to be assured the documents would be used for investigative purposes. According to Fox News, the letter sent by Boyd “is a rare confirmation of a federal investigation.”
In December 2016, the committee published a report entitled “Human Fetal Tissue Research: Context and Controversy.” In that report, Grassley referred Planned Parenthood, as well as other providers, to the FBI with the hope that the bureau would investigate.
“The report documents the failure of the Department of Justice, across multiple administrations, to enforce the law that bans the buying and selling of human fetal tissue,” Grassley wrote in the report. “It also documents substantial evidence suggesting that the specific entities involved in the recent controversy, and/or individuals employed by those entities, may have violated that law.”
The confirmation of a Department of Justice investigation into Planned Parenthood and its practices comes after a 2015 undercover investigation by two citizen journalists.
David Daleiden, the leader of the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, and one of the group’s employees, Sandra Merritt, recorded undercover videos of themselves posing as fetal researchers while attempting to purchase fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood.
The activists recorded conversations between themselves and officials from Planned Parenthood and StemExpress, a California company that provides biological material for medical research and has received fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood.
“Over two years ago, citizen journalists at The Center for Medical Progress first caught Planned Parenthood’s top abortion doctors in a series of undercover videos callously and flippantly negotiating the sale of tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains,” Daleiden remarked on Thursday. “It is time for public officials to finally hold Planned Parenthood and their criminal abortion enterprise accountable under the law.”
Fox News reports that at the time of the undercover sting, Planned Parenthood rejected accusations that it acted unethically or broke the law. Planned Parenthood also opposed Grassley’s referral to the Justice Department, “especially in light of the fact that the investigations by three other Congressional committees, and investigations in 13 states including a Grand Jury in Texas, have all shown that Planned Parenthood did nothing wrong.”
Featured Image Via Flickr/Fibonacci Blue
Sources: Fox News
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