A Congressional hearing on April 20 gave the House Select Committee on Infant Lives a clear bipartisan mandate for further investigation into Stem Express and other companies engaged in fetal tissue procurement.
Prior to the hearing Democrat staff leaked to Stem Express some of the material Republican members were going to introduce. This disclosure prompted the company—which until then had refused to meet with the Committee or to turn over any documents—to demand private meetings with Republican members at which they would share information. Thank you, Democrat staff!
Stem Express was not invited to the last hearing, but in light of this development, perhaps company employees might appear in the future.
Planned Parenthood and its lawyers first claimed no laws had been broken. How plausible is that claim when an invoice is produced showing that one procurement company paid an abortion clinic $22,610 for 38 fetal brains, and another invoice shows $3,340 being paid for a single fetal brain? Since the procurer company pays transportation, processing, and storage costs, those dollars can hardly be defended as “reasonable payments,” which are allowed by law.
A former federal criminal prosecutor, Michigan Assistant US Attorney Brian Patrick Lennon, testified at the hearing that, based on a review of the exhibits, in his opinion “a competent, ethical federal prosecutor could establish probable cause that both the abortion clinics and the procurement business violated the statute (42 U.S.C. § 289g-2), aided and abetted one another in violating the statute (18 U.S.C. § 2), and likely conspired together to violate the statute (18 U.S.C. § 371).”
Denial didn’t work, so next the Democrats on the Committee—who collectively have a 0% voting record in favor of life—tried to change the subject. Throughout the congressional probe, Democrats have protested that investigating fetal organ traffickers would put people at risk (from imaginary hordes of irate citizens, presumably). Republican staffers responded by removing all identifying information from the invoices and other evidence presented at the hearing.
So what did Democrats then do but complain that the information had been redacted! And to further show their hypocrisy, they proceeded to name names.
But there’s more. Remember how the Committee had been excoriated earlier for requesting internal audits and bank records, which it finally had to subpoena? (The records still haven’t been delivered to the Committee yet, by the way). Witnesses called by the Democrats ended up agreeing with the Republican members that there was a crying need for more documentation: internal audits, bank records, and the like. Just what the Republicans have been saying!
Now there’s bipartisan agreement that the investigation needs to go deeper. Not a bad outcome.
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In an interesting sidelight, the Committee on Infant Lives favorably invoked the name of Henry Waxman, a leftwing pro-abortion Democrat who represented California’s 33rd District for 40 years and was longtime Chair of the Subcommittee on Health of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Back in the early ’90s, as he exhorted Congress to adopt the Waxman Amendment to the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, Waxman said: “It would be abhorrent to allow for a sale of fetal tissue and a market to be created for that sale.” The Waxman Amendment passed Congress in 1993 and became the two provisions of law under which these hearings are taking place: 42 USC §289 g-2(a), which states:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise
transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects
And 42 USC §289 g-2(e)(3), which states:
“The term “valuable consideration” does not include reasonable payments associated
with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or
storage of human fetal tissue.”
In 1993, Waxman, the grandson of Jews who emigrated from Russia, might have appreciated more than some others Dr. Arthur Caplan’s statement that “the whole discipline of biomedical ethics rises from the ashes of the Holocaust.”
The judges at the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial rejected the defendants’ argument that what they did was legal under the laws of their country—they rejected the doctors’ attempts to justify their medical experimentation on prisoners on the grounds that some groups can lose their claim to humanity.
That was then. Then, the world and America insisted that the legal code of Hitler’s Germany was overridden by natural law, which maintains that human nature itself confers on all human beings certain inalienable rights.
But when millions and millions of dollars are given by the pro-abortion lobby to Congressional candidates (the six Democrat members of the Committee on Infant Lives collectively have received some $400,000 from Planned Parenthood during the course of their careers), the law of political enrichment threatens to override all other laws.