The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation of abortion giant Planned Parenthood over charges that the company has been selling the tissue and body parts of its defenseless victims to the highest bidder.
In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd requested documents that the committee had compiled during its own investigation of Planned Parenthood. “The Department of Justice appreciates the offer of assistance in obtaining these materials, and would like to request the Committee provide unredacted copies of records contained in the report, in order to further the Department's ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of that report based on the full range of information available,” wrote Boyd in the request.
Fox News reported that the FBI had first requested the documents in November, but Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) insisted on a letter of request from the DOJ.
“At this point, the records are intended for investigative use only,” wrote Boyd, “ — we understand that a resolution from the Senate may be required if the Department were to use any of the unredacted materials in a formal legal proceeding, such as a grand jury.”
In December 2016, the Senate Judiciary Committee published its own findings on Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry in the report “Human Fetal Tissue Research: Context and Controversy.” At the time Grassley urged an investigation of Planned Parenthood by the FBI, noting that the Obama administration's Department of Justice had steadfastly refused to investigate viable allegations against the abortion giant. “The report documents the failure of the Department of Justice, across multiple administrations, to enforce the law that bans the buying and selling of human fetal tissue,” Grassley wrote. “It also documents substantial evidence suggesting that the specific entities involved in the recent controversy, and/or individuals employed by those entities, may have violated that law.”
The positive movement by the Trump Department of Justice comes following an undercover investigation by the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress, which provided an overwhelming amount of video showing Planned Parenthood officials openly discussing the sale of tissue from aborted babies to private companies such as StemExpress, a California business that resells fetal tissue and other biological material for medical research.
“Over two years ago, citizen journalists at the Center for Medical Progress first caught Planned Parenthood’s top abortion doctors in a series of undercover videos callously and flippantly negotiating the sale of tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains,” said David Daleiden, founder of the group. “It is time for public officials to finally hold Planned Parenthood and their criminal abortion enterprise accountable under the law.”
Other pro-life groups quickly applauded the announced DOJ investigation. Abby Johnson, a one-time Planned Parenthood manager and now a pro-life leader, called the investigation “long-awaited, good news. Planned Parenthood has actively participated in illegal activity, selling the body parts of aborted babies in exchange for profit. They’ve lied to the very women they purport to fight for. I saw it first-hand when I worked for the abortion giant and yet, they still manage to obtain over half a billion dollars a year in our tax dollars. Congress should immediately halt any money to the abortion giant until the FBI completes their investigation.”
Similarly, Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List said that the investigation “is a major turning point in the battle to hold the nation's largest abortion business accountable. Evidence shows that Planned Parenthood sought to squeeze every last opportunity for cash from the sale of hearts, brains, lungs, and livers of aborted children. This abortion chain has for too long enjoyed government favor under the Obama Administration. That ends now.”
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council challenged Congress to use the investigation as an opportunity to defund Planned Parenthood of the hundreds of millions of tax dollars it receives each year. “It is beyond comprehension that the forced partnership between taxpayers and Planned Parenthood continues, especially as the abortion giant has been investigated by both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Panel on Infant Lives and evidence from the probes suggests criminal actions,” Perkins said. “The fact that DOJ is requesting unredacted information shows they are serious about its investigation, and that is good news for the women and babies that have been harmed by this leader of the abortion industry.”