- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 15, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

One day in June 2014, Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) obtained a 20-week-old fetus at a Planned Parenthood clinic, for which it paid $60.

From that one fetus, ABR sold its brain to a customer for $325; both of its eyes for $325 each ($650 total); a portion of its liver for $325 to a third customer; its thymus for $325 and another portion of the liver for $325 to a forth customer; and its lung for $325 to a fifth customer.

In total, ABR charged its clients $2,275 for a fetus it paid $60 for — which didn’t include separate, additional charges for shipping and disease screening.

That day in the Planned Parenthood clinic, ABR was able to obtain four aborted fetuses with tissue samples that totaled $6,825. ABR was able to dissect and ship out the baby parts all within a four hour work period, where it’s direct costs totaled a mere $350. The company made a $6,525 profit all in a partial days work.

This week, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley referred ABR, along with other companies involved with fetal tissue transfers — StemExpress, and Novogenix Laboratories — and several Planned Parenthood affiliates and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America to the FBI and the Department of Justice for investigation and possible prosecution.

The recommendation was based on findings of a yearlong investigation the committee did into the fetal-tissue market after the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) began releasing a series of undercover videos regarding baby parts trafficking.

The committee’s revelations are not based on the CMP videos, but rather 20,000 pages and documents provided voluntarily by the parties, including contracts, invoices, internal cost calculations, medical standards and guidelines, technician compensation policies and tissue procurement logs.

“I don’t take lightly making a criminal referral. But, the seeming disregard for the law by these entities has been fueled by decades of utter failure by the Justice Department to enforce it,” Mr. Grassley said in a statement this week. “And, unless there is a renewed commitment by everyone involved against commercializing the trade in aborted fetal body parts for profit, then the problem is likely to continue.”

In 1993, the House passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act which was intended to outlaw the commercial market for fetal tissue. During the 14 years since the law’s passage, the Department of Health and Human Services has never conducted a single audit to ensure it was being enforced, and the Justice Department hasn’t initiated a single prosecution.

In addition to violating the 1993 law, Mr. Grassley’s committee believes further investigation into the massive organ trafficking scheme may reveal violations of the partial birth abortion ban, obtaining organs from still-living aborted fetuses, and altercating abortion procedures in order to obtain fetal tissue.

Some abhorrent stuff, if the Obama administration were willing to investigate. Instead, Mr. Obama has been working overtime to protect Planned Parenthood. Just this week, the HHS issued a rule that bars states from defunding abortion providers through Title X funds.

Mr. Grassley’s committee found that Planned Parenthood had policies in place to ensure its affiliates weren’t breaking the law when it came to their fetal tissue programs, but when it learned its affiliates were not following their guidelines in January 2011, instead of enforcing them, Planned Parenthood decided to turn a blind eye.

It was only in the weeks prior to the CMP’s videos release in 2015, did Planned Parenthood reinstate its guidelines, and add a new section to specifically address fetal tissue payments. These guidelines are ones that Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards repeatedly referred to when she defended her organization to Congress — failing to mention they had only been in place for a few weeks.

Thank goodness a new sheriff is coming to town in January.

If Sen. Jeff Sessions is appointed attorney general of the Justice Department, you can expect all laws will be enforced — not just some, selectively upheld, with others ignored. Prosecutions will be made based on evidence, not political preference.

In Congress, pro-life Republicans are leading an ambitious agenda to take on Planned Parenthood, which includes defunding the giant abortion provider and investigating its practices.

Ms. Richards warned in a Tuesday fundraising plea that pro-choice advocates can expect “the fight of our lives” in a world without President Obama.

For the future of America’s babies, we pray that’s the case.

Kelly Riddell is a columnist for The Washington Times.

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