Planned Parenthood is now in a federal investigation by the Justice Department for the sale of fetal tissue. A letter was obtained by Fox News in which the Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd formally requested unredacted documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is the same panel that led the congressional investigation into the women’s health organization.
“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.
According to Fox News, the FBI requested unredacted documents from the committee last month. The news agency was told that Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said they needed to receive a letter and be assured that the documents would be used for investigative purposes. They received the rare confirmation of a federal investigation from the Justice Department last Thursday.
“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 also wrote.
The Senate Judiciary Committee wrote their final report published in December of 2016 and entitled: “Human Fetal Tissue Research: Context and Controversy.” At that time Grassley said the committee has discovered enough evidence that shows how abortion providers had transferred fetal tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses for research by charging amounts higher than they actually cost.
“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 last December. He then urged the Justice Department and FBI to investigate. “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.”
This investigation harkens back to a 2015 undercover investigation by activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Both were a part of the pro-life Center for Medical Progress. Daleiden and Merritt posed as fetal researchers and made undercover videos of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood.
The recorded conversations included officials from Planned Parenthood and StemExpress, a California company that provides blood, tissue and other biological material for medical research and has received fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood denied accusations that it violated any law or acted unethically. They also strongly disagreed with Grassley’s recommendations that the matter should go to the Justice Department. The maintained that “…three other Congressional committees, and investigations in 13 states including a Grand Jury in Texas, have all shown that Planned Parenthood did nothing wrong.”
This new federal investigation will reopen a long debate on whether Planned Parenthood violated the law with the illegal sale of body parts.
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Credit: Fox News