Officials for StemExpress, the baby body parts company caught up in an undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood’s role in the human-tissue trade, have refused to cooperate with congressional investigators, drawing a veiled threat from the head of the investigative team.
“The Select Investigative Panel was forced to issue a subpoena on February 12, 2016, which required the production in an unredacted form of 12 items. Despite that explicit legal instruction, StemExpress’ production was replete with [redactions]. Your firm flatly refused to produce one item, and produced an attorney-created accounting report, rather than required accounting documents,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., in a letter to the company.
The letter was on behalf of the congressional Select Panel on Infant Lives, which was assigned to investigate the evidence from undercover videos showing the “illegal sale of aborted baby body parts.”
Blackburn’s letter gives StemExpress a deadline of the close of business on May 12 to produce the requested documents.
“Failure to comply will leave the panel with no choice but to pursue all means necessary to compel compliance,” Blackburn wrote.
The case focuses on the videos released throughout 2015 by the Center for Medical Progress. CMP released a dozen videos last year showing Planned Parenthood doctors and managers discussing the fetal body part trade and how they could increase their profit from it. They also discussed how they could alter procedures to salvage requested body parts.
Both actions violate federal law.
Since then, the abortion industry has retaliated, bringing lawsuits and charges against the investigators, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.
The congressional panel recently released documents confirming that the abortion industry profits from the sale of body parts.
StemExpress came into the investigation as a purchaser that resells fetal tissue to researchers and others.
One of the videos features Cate Dyer, CEO of Stem Express, admitting Planned Parenthood sells fully intact aborted babies.
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue and a CMP board member, said of Blackburn’s letter: “It is obvious that Dyer is stonewalling and has a lot to hide. I applaud Rep. Marsha Blackburn and the select committee for their thorough investigation and their tenacity to cut through the smoke and mirrors to get to the truth.
“I have believed since the beginning that Planned Parenthood and their partners at StemExpress have broken the law by trafficking in aborted baby remains, and that they would fight like wild animals to hide their crimes. We are seeing that fight played out now. We can only hope that the rule of law prevails.”
Blackburn’s letter was addressed to Cate Dyer.
“We have made numerous attempts to acquire business and accounting documents from StemExpress that are necessary to complete our work,” she wrote. “All of these requests have been met with verbal and written objections from your attorneys.”
Blackburn said the evidence already available suggests that “in order to get to the bottom of StemExpress involvement in the fetal tissue industry it would require” banking records, a forensic accounting review and a complete production of unredacted business records.
“We have yet to receive accounting, banking and other business documents, for which subpoenas were issued to StemExpress,” Blackburn wrote, “Instead, we have received attorney created estimates and summaries without back up materials. These summaries provide insufficient information to complete the panel’s review of the fetal tissue industry and they ignore the advice of the experts who testified.”
Further, she said StemExpress’ “objections” were of no account.
“I find all of StemExpress’ objections to the subpoena to be invalid and without legal merit.”
Blackburn explained the financial statements are needed to document whether there was a profit from the sale of the body parts of unborn infants.
The subpoenas from Congress were ignored, she said.
“You outright refused to fully comply with the subpoena issued to you personally,” Blackburn told Dyer.
A short time after the videos were released, StemExpress announced it was disassociating from Planned Parenthood.
But the entire issue remains under investigation in Blackburn’s panel, and in others.
“This barbarism degrades our nation and violates federal laws against such profiteering. We commend the Select Panel for its investigative work thus far and call on the Department of Justice to take immediate action,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List.
“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,” she continued. “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.
“Was the developing baby 18 weeks old? 24 weeks? Was the mother a smoker? What is the child’s ethnicity? All of these factors might make the heart, foot, eyeball or limbs more expensive,” she said in a statement.
The SBA List linked to documents posted online by the U.S. House, including copies of promotional materials promising that the baby body trade is “financially profitable.”
“Join the [blanked out] partner program that fiscally rewards clinics for contributing to the advancement of life-saving research with a solution that is easy to incorporate into your clinic practice,” the organization said.
The marketing materials promise the promotion of biomedical research while “also providing a financial benefit to your clinic.”
In the first undercover video released by CMP, Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on crushing babies.
“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact,” she said.
See the first video:
In the second video, Planned Parenthood’s Mary Gatter discussed how her compensation for organs could rise when she said, “I want a Lamborghini.”
See her comments:
The fifth video released shows Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood’s Houston clinic discussing “intact fetal cadavers”:
The seventh video has the testimony of a Planned Parenthood worker who tapped an aborted infant’s heart and saw it start beating.