Friday, 15 December 2017

Calif. Companies That Sold Aborted Baby Parts Forced to Close

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A pair of California bioscience companies that illegally sold tissue and body parts from aborted babies are slated for closure after they were hit with a $7.8 million lawsuit settlement over their actions. The sister companies, DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences, were among the entities exposed by the pro-life organization Center for Medical Progress during its 2014-15 undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood and its sale of aborted baby parts to a number of bio-medical companies.

The Los Angeles Times identified the owners of both companies as Estefano Isaias, Sr.; Estefano Isaias, Jr.; and Andres Isaias, all of whom were named as defendants in the settlement.

As reported by the Times, in September 2015 California's Orange County’s district attorney launched an investigation of the companies and filed suit a year later in Orange County Superior Court. “This settlement seized all profits from DV Biologics and DaVinci Biosciences, which they acquired by viewing body parts as a commodity and illegally selling fetal tissues for valuable consideration,” District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in a statement. “These companies will never be able to operate again in Orange County or the state of California.”

The companies were forced to settle after facing charges that they had sold body parts of aborted babies between 2009 and 2015 to pharmaceutical companies and universities in Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Both California and federal law prohibit the sale or purchase of aborted baby tissue or body parts, with federal felony convictions punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines.

While Planned Parenthood was not named in the lawsuit, it is believed that the majority of the body parts and tissue purchased by the firms came from clinics affiliated with the abortion giant. In a 2016 statement after filing suit against the companies, Rackauckas said: “From 2009 to 2015, the defendants obtained aborted fetus donations from Planned Parenthood and turned those donations into a profit-driven business. They did so by selling tissues and cells from the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, intestines, skeletal muscle, and bones of the aborted fetus donations. The companies advertised and sold these, what they called ‘prenatal products,’ from 2009 to 2015 to companies all around the world, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.”

Responding to the settlement and imminent closure of the companies, David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress and the lead investigator in the group's undercover operation, noted that “for eight years, Planned Parenthood supplied aborted baby hearts, lungs, brains, and intestines to DV Biologics, which DV Biologics then resold for profit. In exchange for merely providing access to aborted baby body parts, Planned Parenthood received kickback contributions from DaVinci Biosciences over the course of their eight-year contract.

Daleiden added that “Planned Parenthood is not above the law, and law enforcement and elected representatives everywhere must now hold Planned Parenthood accountable for their barbaric profiteering off of pregnant women and the body parts of their aborted children.”

The settlement against the two companies comes as the Department of Justice announced that it has launched its own investigation against Planned Parenthood for its role in the sale of aborted baby parts and tissue to companies.

Daleiden said that in light of that federal investigation, “the next step is for Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties to be held accountable under the law for their seven-year-long aiding, abetting, and profiting in DaVinci’s criminal scheme to sell baby parts for profit.”

As for the nearly $8 million settlement in the case, the companies and the Isaias family will pay only around $195,000 in cash to Orange County. “About $7.5 million of the settlement is the estimated scientific value of donated adult biological samples,” reported the Catholic News Agency. “The defendants will donate adult samples, tissues, and cells to a nonprofit academic and scientific teaching institution affiliated with a major U.S. medical school whose name prosecutors did not disclose. They will also donate and transfer lab storage containers and equipment.”

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