My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Illinois Right to Life held its 49th Annual Banquet this past April 20 in Glen Ellyn, at which I offered the prayers before and after dinner. The Illinois Right to Life’s honoree as its Pro-Life Person of the Year and keynote speaker at the banquet was Rep. Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee. She is regarded as a bi-partisan leader, a champion of reform, and an outspoken advocate for the unborn. Rep. Blackburn has been honored by the Family Research Council, has been given a 100 percent rating for her pro-life voting record by National Right to Life, and has been presented with the Distinguished Leader Award from the Susan B. Anthony List for her pro-life and pro-family work. In 2016, she was selected by Speaker Paul Ryan to be the Chair of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, a year-long investigation into the abortion industry’s buying and selling of aborted children.
The Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives was established after David Daleiden, an investigative journalist, released undercover videos beginning in July 2015, recorded while posing as the head of a company interested in the fetal tissue procurement business. In numerous meetings with abortion providers and companies involved in the transfer of fetal tissue, Daleiden recorded doctors, executives, and staff level employees discussing various aspects of the fetal tissue procurement industry. Daleiden then released 11 videos documenting the practices of local abortion clinics and groups affiliated with the fetal tissue procurement industry. Multiple clips show abortion providers and executives admitting that their fetal tissue procurement agreements are profitable for clinics and help keep their bottom line healthy. Multiple clips also show them admitting that they sometimes changed the abortion procedure in order to obtain a more intact specimen, and some use the illegal partial birth abortion procedure.
Congress responded to the videos by holding hearings and initiating investigations. The investigation by the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives resulted in a 471-page report that was released on Dec. 30, 2016. You may have missed that since the mainstream media did not give it much attention. The report details many of the disturbing practices that the Panel uncovered in the abortion industry with the selling of fetal tissue along with information regarding the Panel’s public hearings, subpoenas, criminal and regulatory referrals. Also included is the listing of recommendations for improving access to appropriate scientific models in order to promote the advancement of science and the development of new therapies.
The report also includes hundreds of pages of supporting documents that explains the Select Panel’s 15 criminal referrals for further investigation and prosecution, including five Planned Parenthood organizations, three middle-man procurement companies, and abortion providers in Texas, Arkansas, Florida, and New Mexico.
One of the Panel’s members, Rep. Andy Harris, a medical doctor who represents the first Congressional District of Maryland, said, “The Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives succeeded in uncovering shameful practices, which undermined the very foundations of ethical American scientific research and have led to 15 criminal and regulatory referrals. Over the course of its year-long investigation of fetal tissue procurement companies and abortion businesses, the Select Panel found evidence that several tissue procurement companies and abortion clinics may have violated federal felony laws prohibiting the sale of human fetal tissue. As a physician and researcher, it is my sincere hope that our investigation and the subsequent referrals have put an end to these shady and unethical practices.”
The Select Panel has recommended several significant changes, which include in part:
The implementation of these recommendations of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives would help to stop the gruesome practices of the abortion providers and the fetal tissue procurement companies and would be a major step toward transforming the culture of death into a culture of life.
May God give us this grace. Amen.