Over the last few years there's been an uproar over the abortion industry's profiting from the sale of the body parts of unborn babies.
It's remained an issue because of civil court cases abortionists brought against the Center for Medical Progress, whose undercover reporters documented the activity. Congress also has issued criminal referrals to the Department of Justice after investigations. Several intermediary companies in the business already have reached agreements with prosecutors in California and have been closed down.
Now government watchdog Judicial Watch has found that the government is among the purchasers of body parts.
The organization on Thursday said it obtained several hundred pages of records from the Food and Drug Administration "showing the agency spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to buy human fetal tissue" from California-based Advanced Bioscience Resources, or ABR.
The company was the subject of criminal referrals from both House and Senate committees. The purchases were used in the federal government's program to "humanize" mice for "testing" programs.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the "fetal organ trafficking documents shock the conscience and show potentially illegal use of tax dollars to purchase organs of the unborn killed through abortion."
The records were communications between ABR procurement manager Perrin Larton and FDA research veterinary medical official Dr. Kristina Howard between January 2011 and April 2018.
They show that ABR would be paid $12,000 up front for "tissue purchases," beginning in 2012.
The contract called for "human fetal tissue with a gestational age of 16 to 24 weeks," including "thymus-liver" twice a month.
ABR was told that year,"We have three batches of mice that still need to be humanized, so lease keep us on the schedule every week until we manage to receive three sets of tissue."
Another email asked for "the sex of the tissue we received."
Larton replied: "The techs were not able to identify the gender. We only check external genitalia and if it’s not there … due to the nature of the termination procedure… we have no way of telling."
A year later an exchange revealed a package of organs was X-rayed and therefore "could not be used."
Larton wrote: "DAMN … they were wonderful tissues. I procured them! I’m training a new tech in Minneapolis and I told her how important it is to put the DO NOT X-RAY stickers on the package. Of course if you have an IMBECILE on the Fedex side … but then, now it’s a moot point."
Exchanges in 2015 and 2016 also referenced the humanized mice program.
In 2016 Larton confirmed a pending deliver of "tissue."
"This week I’m working with a doctor who induces fetal demise at 20 weeks. The other doctors who staff this clinic won’t induce fetal demise until 22 weeks … and of course … this week we had 4 21 week [sic] cases that all had been injected with digoxin on Wednesday so the tissue is unusable. I’ll have you on next week and prioritize your request."
In 2016 there was a discussion about billing, with plans for all billing to be dated July 6, "as we did last year as time was running out."
Judicial Watch said recently that a federal court overseeing a lawsuit ordered HHS to release previously withheld parts of records about its organ-buying plans.
"The court found 'there is reason to question' whether the transactions violate federal law barring the sale of fetal organs," Judicial Watch said.
The ruling found ABR could have sold, for more than $2,000, parts of an infant's body it bought from Planned Parenthood for $60.
"The federal government participated in this potentially illicit trade for years," the ruling said.
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