House panel: Abortion provider, broker profited from sales of fetal tissue

Has a Congressional panel corroborated the findings of David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress? A new report from a House committee formed to investigate allegations of federal laws prohibiting abortionists from profiting off the sale of aborted babies claims that at least one abortion provider and one fetal tissue broker broke the law. The Free Beacon’s Bill McMorris reports that the committee essentially reinforces what Daleiden’s undercover investigation exposed:

Planned Parenthood abortion clinics profit from the sale of aborted baby organs, according to new documents released by a congressional committee investigating the organization’s practices.

The U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives released a preview of its findings after a months-long review of internal documents obtained from the nation’s top abortionist, as well as organ procurement companies and buyers. The panel concluded that abortion clinics incur no additional costs in harvesting organs obtained from an already-aborted baby and that the sale or transfer of those organs represented “pure profit” for the clinic.

“The [abortion clinic] has no costs so the payments from the [procurement business] to the [abortion clinic] are pure profit,” the report concludes. “All costs are born by the [procurement business] or the customer. The payments from the customer to the PB exceed its cost by a factor of 300 to 400 percent.” …

“The abortion industry sells baby hearts, livers, brains, hands and other organs procured by a middleman company inside their facilities at no cost or effort to the facilities themselves. The facility receives upfront fees that can amount to five-figure sums every month and then the procurement companies resell organs for tens of thousands more—depending on the child’s characteristics,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a release.The documents make clear there is absolutely no cost to the abortion clinic so that all monies received go to their bottom line.”

Politico takes pains to point out that this comes from the panel’s Republican majority:

Congressional Republicans say they have evidence that suggests an unnamed abortion provider and an unnamed fetal tissue company may have run afoul of federal laws that ban them from profiting from handling fetal tissue. …

“Concern has been raised about following the law and how the procurement companies operate within the framework of the law. There has been sufficient doubt raised around these relationships and the pricing schedules,” Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) told POLITICO. “Anytime Congress sees something that is violation of law, it behooves us to get in there and look at that.”

Democrats, as well as one of the companies described in the report, describe it as part of a smear campaign and say some of the documents in it appear to have been obtained illegally.

The preview of the report makes it clear that the original intent of the 1993 law was to ensure that no one would be profiting off the sale of aborted babies. Even staunch Democrat Henry Waxman said at the time when offering the prohibition in an amendment to the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, “It would be abhorrent to allow for a sale of fetal tissue and a market to be created for that sale.”

And yet, that’s exactly what has emerged in the two decades that followed. The report refers to a broker with the generic title “Procurement Business” to explain exactly how they have partnered with abortion clinics to generate a profit-model business in both directions:

From its inception in 2010, the Procurement Business was very successful at acquiring new abortion clinics from which to procure fetal tissue. In a business magazine article and in sworn legal documents, the Procurement Business CEO explained that the business started out in 2010 with three clinics and within two years had 30 clinics. The next milestone was achieved in 2015 when the Procurement Business had nearly 100 abortion clinics. During 2014 and 2015 the Procurement Business sought a co-marketing relationship with a national abortion clinic trade association. The contract, if ratified, would have given the Procurement Business over 250 abortion clinics from which to procure fetal tissue for resale. The contract was never ratified due to several factors, including the public release of the videotapes in 2015. …

The Procurement Business marketed itself as a way for clinics to make additional income by allowing the Procurement Business procurement technicians to take fetal tissues and organs from aborted babies immediately after the abortion was completed. The Select Panel investigation reveals that every conceivable task is performed by the Procurement business employees that are assigned to one or more clinics. The first step in the process is for the researcher to make an online order. The screen grab below shows the view that the researcher or customer would have when ordering. After selecting particular baby parts, the next step would be to select the gestational period and finally the method of shipment.

Waxman’s rider on the NIH Revitalization Act did allow abortionists to recoup costs associated with tissue transfers, such as collection and transportation costs. However, the House panel shows that the clinics don’t actually do any of those tasks — making the income from the broker pure profit:

The Exhibit “C” group of documents taken as a whole represents the comprehensive role and tasks undertaken by the Procurement Business employee, the procurement technician. Understanding these documents as a group is critical to the analysis of whether the abortion clinics had any responsibility or tasks at all related to the fetal tissue. In fact, it is hard to conceive of the abortion clinics doing anything at all other than being paid per tissue for the work performed by the Procurement Business.

The “C” documents show, in great detail, that all possible management guidance, tasks, and responsibilities are undertaken by the PB procurement tech employee and that that no tasks are performed by the abortion clinic. Thus, the costs of tissue acquisition are entirely born by entities other that the abortion clinic.

In other words, the House panel found exactly what Daleiden’s videos exposed. And yet the only player facing legal trouble in this case is Daleiden, the man who actually exposed the kind of wrongdoing that Rep. Waxman once called “abhorrent.”

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