Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the head of the U.S. House Select Investigative Panel regarding Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trade and profit, on Wednesday asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for an investigation into the transactions that appear to have violated, among other things, federal privacy law.
“The panel’s investigation has uncovered information indicating that StemExpress and Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (‘PPMM’), Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific (‘PPSP’), and Family Planning Specialists Medical Group (‘FPS’) (hereinafter ‘the abortion clinics’) committed systematic violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (‘HIPAA’) privacy rule from about 2010 to 2015,” she wrote.
“These violations occurred when the abortion clinics disclosed patients’ individually identifiable health information to StemExpress to facilate the “TPB’s efforts to procure human fetal tissue for resale.”
Her letter was sent to Jocelyn Samuels, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well the HHS Office for Human Research Protections.
The investigation follows a series of revelations from undercover videos during the course of 2015 released by the Center for Medical Progress. The videos revealed Planned Parenthood officials negotiating for the highest prices they could get for the body parts of dead babies.
Companies set up specifically to buy those parts, then resell them at a profit to researchers, also were caught in the undercover videos.
The letters from Blackburn explained how evidence obtained by her committee showed workers from StemExpress were allowed to get individually identifiable health information and protected health information about women seeking abortions at Planned Parenthood businesses, even though by law they should not have been given access.
“The work sequence, when combined with supporting documentation, reveals that StemExpress did not have a medically valid reason to see, and the abortion clinics did not have a reason to provide, patients’ PHI. Instead, the abortion clinics shared patients’ PHI with StemExpress in furtherance of contractual agreements that financially benefitted StemExpress and the clinics,” she wrote.
Her letter explained that the documentation obtained by the committee shows how the abortion businesses simply handed over patients’ personal information “prior to obtaining patients’ consent to donate fetal tissue or patients’ authorization to view their PHI.”
The report from the select panel also showed “that StemExpress violated federal regulations governing Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) by using the appearance of compliance with the regulations, while fraudulently using invalid consent forms, and misleading scientific researchers to believe it had a valid IRB approval. Misleading scientific researchers violates one of the core values of the IRB system, enacted by Congress to engender integrity in scientific medical research.”
“The key to understanding the HIPAA and consent violations that we’ve referred to HHS is that there’s a business contract between StemExpress and the abortion clinics under which both sides make a profit from the baby body parts inside the young woman’s womb,” Blackburn said. “The contract changes the way both entities view the young woman: her baby is now a profit-center. This betrayal of a young woman’s trust should disgust us all. It takes financial advantage, obtains consent through coercion, and deceives the woman, all in violation of federal privacy laws.”
Alexandra Snyder, chief of Life Legal Defense Foundation, which is representing CMP chief David Daleiden in three lawsuits, said, “In addition to violating federal laws prohibiting the sale of tissue from aborted babies, now we discover that Planned Parenthood has violated federal laws protecting patient privacy.
“Planned Parenthood and its media allies claim that none of the government investigations spurred by our client David Daleiden’s work have uncovered any wrongdoing by the abortion giant. This is manifestly untrue, and today;s letters from the Select Panel are the latest proof.”
The CMP released a statement saying, “The documents released today by the Select Investigative Panel show StemExpress and the biggest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country engaged in a five-year-long scheme to profit off aborted baby body parts using unprotected confidential patient information and disregarding normal patient protections, in direct violation of HIPAA and other federal laws.
“Now we know why Planned Parenthood and their allies have fought so hard to oppose any scrutiny of their barbaric aborted baby body parts business: the violations in Planned Parenthood and StemExpress’ illegal baby body parts trade goes far deeper than anyone ever realized. CMP’s videos only scratched the surface of the systematic profiteering off the private health information and baby body parts from pregnant women that Planned Parenthood and their business partners like StemExpress relentlessly pursued. Elected officials at all levels must act immediately to hold lawless entities like StemExpress and Planned Parenthood accountable for their atrocities against humanity.”
Blackburn’s letter said, “No evidence suggests the abortion clinics’ patients provided authorization for StemExpress to view their PHI prior to seeking their consent to donate tissue. Therefore, regardless of whether the patient ultimately consented to tissue donation and authorized disclosure of her PHI to StemExpress, her privacy was violated.”
WND reported only days earlier that Planned Parenthood and others in the lucrative aborted baby body parts trade in California caught in the undercover videos are working with leftist lawmakers to censor any such investigations in the future.
A bill pending in the state legislature AB 1671, would “make it a crime for a person who unlawfully eavesdrops upon or records a confidential communication as described above with a health care provider, as defined, to intentionally disclose or distribute the contents of the confidential communication.”
The penalty could be a fine of up to $10,000 and up to a year in jail. The bill has passed the appropriations committee and appears to be headed to the assembly floor for a vote.
LLDF noted that since the release of Daleiden’s videos, 11 states have voted to defund the nation’s largest abortion industry player.
“California legislators are willing to trample on the right to free speech to protect Planned Parenthood’s financial interests,” said Snyder. “AB 1671 violates the First Amendment rights of all Californians and we urge legislators to oppose this unconstitutional bill.”
The group said the bill would “criminalize the publication of evidence of its business practices, which include harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted babies.”
“Assembly Bill 1671 would make it a crime to publish confidential conversations with health care providers – even if those conversations disclose criminal activity. Moreover, the bill includes volunteers and independent contractors of abortion clinics as ‘health care providers.’ This means anyone who posts a photo or video of an interaction with an abortion clinic employee or volunteer – including clinic escorts – could be prosecuted under the bill. AB 1671 provides for penalties of up to $10,000 per violation and one year in state prison,” the group said.
Planned Parenthood has responded in a number of ways since it was exposed by the videos. WND reported earlier an affidavit in one of the lawsuits revealed a Texas prosecutor shared confidential details with Planned Parenthood during an investigation there.
The abortion cartel also has sued Daleiden and others, and in one Texas case where a grand jury was assigned to investigate abortionists, a prosecutor who has accepted huge campaign donations from an abortionists’ lawyer, changed directions and had the grand jury indict Daleiden and an associate.
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 said, “I want a Lamborghini.”
See her comments:
In the fifth, Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood’s Houston clinic discusses “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.
And No. 8 has Cate Dyer, CEO of Stem Express, admitting Planned Parenthood sells fully intact aborted babies.