The U.S. Department of Justice has begun a federal investigation into practices of Planned Parenthood and the claims that it illegally sold fetal tissue, say media reports.
Stephen Boyd, the Justice Department assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, formally requested in a letter unredacted documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee – the same panel who in 2016 led a congressional inquiry into allegations that Planned Parenthood sold tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses to research firms, reported Fox News.
“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,” Boyd wrote in the letter sent Thursday, Dec. 7, cited Fox.
The Department of Justice aims to conduct a “thorough and comprehensive assessment” of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s documents. “At this point, these records are intended for investigative use only,” said the letter.
Fox reported that the now-federal investigation follows a 2015 undercover investigation by pro-life activists who made covert videos (see one below) of Planned Parenthood management and others negotiating the sale of fetal tissue.
Planned Parenthood, at the time, intensely rejected the claims that it had acted unethically or illegally, Fox reported.
The committee’s final report “Human Fetal Tissue Research: Context and Controversy” was published December 2016.
The committee’s chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said at the time that the committee had discovered sufficient proof revealing how abortion providers transferred fetal tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses to researchers for profit, reported Fox.
Grassley also criticized the Justice Department for not properly doing its job.
“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 stated in December 2016 when he urged the Justice Department and FBI to investigate, reported Fox.
“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,” he said.
The news of the federal investigation has been welcomed by pro-life advocates such as Lila Rose, who heads Live Action.
“We applaud any action by the DOJ to follow the evidence where it leads — and the Senate Judiciary report reveals substantial evidence suggesting Planned Parenthood profits from the sale of baby body parts,” Rose told The Daily Beast.
“Taxpayers should not be forced to fund a corporation that commits over 320,000 abortions every year and is now under investigation by the Justice Department and FBI for the sale of baby body parts,” she said.
Planned Parenthood kills over 320,000 children every year, almost 900 a day — that's one baby aborted every 97 seconds. Sign the petition to defund the abortion giant. #DefundPP
— Live Action (@LiveAction) December 8, 2017
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