A company identified as a buyer of baby-body parts in an undercover video investigation of Planned Parenthood’s sales and profits is walking away from a lawsuit it filed against the investigators.
StemExpress moved to dismiss its own claims against the Center for Medical Progress shortly after it was referred to the Department of Justice for investigation and possible charges over its purchase of body parts.
Word of the action comes from the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, which has been defending the CMP investigators, who went undercover with video cameras to interview Planned Parenthood executives and others in the abortion business and then released a series of videos in 2015.
“The dismissal of this lawsuit, on the eve of an important hearing and in the wake of criminal referrals, shows that StemExpress’s time is up,” said Charles LiMandri, the head of the defense fund.
“[StemExpress chief] Cate Dyer and StemExpress would pay $55 for a fetal brain, and then turn around and sell it for $3,340. If you do that, you can hire a lot of attorneys to throw up propaganda lawsuits aimed – not at vindicating legal rights – but at influencing public opinion.”
“Propaganda lawsuits are expensive, and StemExpress decided this one was no longer worth the money. Hopefully, when Congress removes Planned Parenthood’s $500 million annual tax revenue stream, we’ll see Planned Parenthood rethink the merit of its own propaganda lawsuit against David Daleiden and CMP,” he said.
See the StemExpress video:
LiMandri explained that an appeals court already was scheduled on Wednesday to hear CMP’s arguments to dismiss the StemExpress complaint, but “on the eve of the hearing, StemExpress dismissed its complaint and walked away with nothing.”
CMP said its videos in July 2015 exposed StemExpress “as a major illegal vendor of aborted fetal organs and tissue from some of the biggest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country.”
“StemExpress advertised to abortion clinics that supplying fetal tissue would be ‘financially profitable’ and this advertisement was endorsed by Dr. Dorothy Furgerson, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte where StemExpress harvested and purchased body parts. StemExpress’ longtime medical director, Dr. Ronald Berman, was also an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte,” the group said.
StemExpress, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte and Planned Parenthood Federation of America are among the organizations already referred to the FBI and the DOJ by either the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel.
The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
StemExpress was the first organization to race to court to try to protect its interests when the videos were released.
It was a video with Dyer that caused the problems.
Dyer, CMP said, “made several shocking admissions about StemExpress obtaining fully intact fetuses from abortion cases, seeking ‘another 50 livers a week’ from a ‘volume institution’ like Planned Parenthood, and asserting that supplying fetal tissue should be ‘profitable’ for abortion clinics.”
Those comments “corroborated the whistleblower interview testimony of Holly O’Donnell, who worked as a procurement technician at StemExpress in Planned Parenthood clinics and observed profit motive between StemExpress and Planned Parenthood and the harvesting of intact fetuses,” CMP said.
StemExpress had tried to obtain a court order silencing the investigators, but the move failed. CMP said the company later approached CMP about settling the case, and shortly after, its lawyers left the case.
“StemExpress was the first of Planned Parenthood’s accomplices to file a retaliatory lawsuit against citizen journalists and the first to seek an unconstitutional prior restraint on our First Amendment rights to speak and publish,” noted CMP’s project lead, David Daleiden. “Now, the video is out for all the world to see, StemExpress faces criminal referral in multiple jurisdictions, and they are walking away from their own lawsuit empty-handed.
“This victory for free speech and citizen journalism was made possible by our masterful and indefatigable legal representation in this case by Chuck LiMandri at the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, and Katie Short at Life Legal Defense Foundation. StemExpress’ surrender sends an unmistakable message to Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and all their political cronies who would dare to attack the First Amendment to cover up their crimes.”
It was almost immediately after the videos appeared that StemExpress announced it had cut ties with Planned Parenthood.
The House panel, headed by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., released a report that the investigators released 11 videos “documenting the practices of local abortion clinics and groups affiliated with the fetal tissue procurement industry.”
“Daleiden and his colleagues filmed hundreds of hours of meetings and conversations. … Multiple clips show abortion providers and executives admitting that their fetal tissue procurement agreements are profitable for clinics and help keep their bottom line healthy,” the House panel said.
“Multiple clips show abortion providers and executives admitting that they sometimes changed the abortion procedure in order to obtain a more intact specimen, and some use the illegal partial birth abortion procedure,” it said.
Stunningly, the congressional investigators found: “Planned Parenthood Federation of America also revealed that they intentionally had not set a policy about ‘remuneration’ for fetal tissue because ‘the headlines would be a disaster.’ While the organization’s executive told affiliates to ‘think, ‘New York Times headline” if this went badly, at the end of the day, they thought ‘[selling fetal tissue] is a good idea.'”
The panel used the videos not as evidence but as a complaint, the report said. It ended up referring for investigation and possible charges StemExpress, the University of New Mexico, an abortion clinic in Arkansas, DV Biologics, Advanced Bioscience Resoruces, an abortion clinic in Florida, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and a Texas abortionist.
The House panel’s referral of individuals and organizations for investigation was joined by a referral from a Senate panel.
When the House panel voted on a contempt citation for StemExpress, Democrats on the committee walked out.
“Let me have the record reflect the Democrats are refusing to participate in this illegitimate and unsanctioned effort to seek criminal contempt (charges),” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.
“We refuse to sanction or endorse this exercise by continuing to participate,” she said then.
The stunt, however, had no impact on the outcome and the committee, which approved a report recommending StemExpress and Dyer be held in contempt of Congress.
They have failed to comply with “lawfully issued subpoenas,” the committee determined.
See Schakowsky’s statement:
Among the fallout of the videos have been decisions by states to defund Planned Parenthood. Major donors also are backing out, with Macy’s ending it support for the abortionists.
There also is a growing movement in Congress with stop handing Planned Parenthood some $500 million taxpayer money each year.
One of the videos showed an official admitting Planned Parenthood sells fully intact aborted babies.
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.