Congress subpoenas StemExpress records to find out how it determines price for aborted babies’ organs
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The House Select Panel on Infant Lives issued subpoenas on Thursday to investigate whether StemExpress has violated federal law by purchasing aborted babies' organs and tissue.
“In light of the advice we received from witnesses at our hearing last month, these subpoenas are necessary in order for the Select Investigative Panel to complete a full review of StemExpress’ accounting records,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who chairs the panel, said. “Documents uncovered by our investigation so far point to the very troubling possibility that StemExpress may have violated federal law by profiting from the sale of baby body parts.”
“We have learned that not only is this investigation warranted, but further examination of accounting records is needed to get the complete facts about what was actually going on,” she said.
The panel, which is investigating a host of bioethical concerns raised by the abortion industry's “fetal tissue donation” program, asked two companies - Scinto Group, LLP and Five Star Bancorp – to furnish all StemExpress' financial and bank statements by next Wednesday, May 11. These would show payments made to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in exchange for often intact fetal cadavers.
Significantly, the panel also demanded the companies turn over “documents sufficient to show how StemExpress calculates the cost of a fetal tissue.”
Planned Parenthood and StemExpress have long maintained that their financial arrangement does not violate federal law, which makes it a felony to sell human tissue or organs for “valuable consideration” (a profit) but allows the reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred in the process of transferring the samples.
Investigators say Planned Parenthood incurs no expenses and that StemExpress pays per organ in order to keep its promise that partnering with it will bring abortion providers a new “revenue stream.”
Rep. Blackburn said this move was necessary, since StemExpress had failed to comply with numerous requests and urged Congressional Democrats at the panel's most recent hearings to dismiss evidence against it.
Social conservatives had called on the panel to keep pushing for full disclosure and punish any infractions of the law.
"Companies stonewalling congressional subpoenas must be held accountable,” said Arina Grossu of the Family Research Center.