An article posted by the Christian News says that Planned Parenthood, along with one of its baby parts buyers, is being investigated as to whether the two entities violated patient privacy laws. The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives has called for Planned Parenthood and StemExpress to be investigated because of uncovered documents and testimony from confidential informants that indicated StemExpress fraudulently used invalid consent forms and misled customers to believe the company had a valid Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, according to Chairwoman Marsha Blackburn.
Blackburn sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calling for the issue to be investigated. She also included evidence from email correspondence between Planned Parenthood reps and buyers such as StemExpress. The first hearing was in March, as mentioned in the video above.Blackburn said that StemExpress obtained "contractual relationships" with abortion clinics in order to "embed" Stem Express employees inside clinics. These employees then had access to confidential medical records, which were used to obtain consent from patients to receive fetal tissue. StemExpress then sold that tissue to researchers.
Blackburn also explained that customers would place orders for "fetal tissue" by using an online portal on the StemExpress website, and Planned Parenthood reps would fax a schedule of the next day's patients to StemExpress, who would notify the customer if their order could be filled.StemExpress email correspondence, which was provided to the congressional panel, included conversations that mentioned a trisomy patient where a brain sample could be procured, and one message asked if any pancreases could be procured with the question of how "the pancreas forecast" was that day. These and other email correspondence between the Planned Parenthood reps and StemExpress indicate that StemExpress had access to patient records, which is a violation of federal rules. An update of the investigation is given below by Congressman Diane Black, who is a member of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and a member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. Black is also a registered nurse, small businesswoman, and a former educator.
Update on Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives with Congressman Diane Black (R-Tenn.)The Infant Lives panel has been investigating the actions of Planned Parenthood since October 2015, when undercover videos were released that exposed the trafficking and illegal sales of aborted body parts. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the U.S., performing more than 320,000 abortions annually and receives more than $500 million of taxpayer dollars, as mentioned by Congressman Black in the video above. Black also said that the undercover videos exposed the main reasons that she is so passionate about the issue of abortion and why the House Panel called for the abortion giant to be investigated.
Democrats want to disband the investigation by the House Panel.Black said that the panel was not created specifically because of Planned Parenthood, although critics have said the panel was on a "witch hunt" to de-fund the abortion company, which Black says she has presented bills to do so. However, Black says that Planned Parenthood is not their main focus. Black says that it has been discovered that ethics guidelines are not always followed when it comes to the abortion industry's partners.
Black also mentioned one of the emails in question that asked for a "first-trimester human embryo, preferably 8-10 weeks of gestation." Black condemns the email saying it is not ethical and shows no dignity or respect for life. Black goes on to mention the panel's investigation of pricing of baby parts and that federal law prohibits the profit of the sale of human tissue.The Christian News article also mentions that StemExpress technicians who sought out patients in order to harvest their child's organs were paid both an hourly wage and per-tissue bonus for filling client orders, which Marsha Blackburn had outlined in her letter. StemExpress also paid the abortion clinic a per-tissue fee and marked up the tissue four to six hundred percent to sell to researchers who requested the tissue. Congressman Black also mentions this in the update and that if they find that the consent forms used by StemExpress violate HSS, then the panel is prepared to take action against the company.
Do you think abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood and their partners should be investigated to make sure they are not profiting from sales of tissue or invading patients' privacy? Please share your thoughts below.
[Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Images]