No wonder House Democrats are trying to shut down the investigation of Planned Parenthood. The longer it’s open, the more dirt it’s uncovering. The accusations have been piling up for months, and this week, they showed no signs of stopping. Like most others, House Select Investigative Panel Chair Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) was convinced that the group’s trafficking in baby body parts was just the tip of the criminal iceberg.
Now, adding to the concerns that Planned Parenthood was manipulating procedures — and performing illegal ones — to harvest better organs is a new worry: that the recipients of more than a half-billion taxpayer dollars is also leaking confidential patient information to procurement firms.
The violation of privacy laws would be a serious charge to add to the heap of so many others — especially since it shows, yet again, how little the organization actually cares about women. In a letter to Health and Human Services this week, Rep. Blackburn implicated Cecile Richards’s group in violations spanning three California facilities: Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (the largest affiliate in America), Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific and the Family Planning Specialists Medical Group. “The key to understanding the HIPPA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] and consent violations that we’ve referred to HHS is that there’s a business contract between StemExpress and the abortion clinics under which both sides make a profit from the baby body parts inside the young woman’s womb.”
Essentially, Planned Parenthood was passing along sensitive information to tissue companies like StemExpress about women before their abortions to seal the deal on certain organ requests. As the Washington Times tells it, “The day before abortions were scheduled to take place… Stem Express was notified by fax by the clinics and granted medical files on individual patients.” It was such a routine practice that the companies included this access as part of their contract. As far as Rep. Blackburn is concerned, that changes the way both sides view the young woman. “Her baby is now a profit-center,” she argued. “This betrayal of a young woman’s trust should disgust us all. It takes financial advantage, obtains consent through coercion, and deceives the woman, all in violation of federal privacy laws.” If President Obama wants to continue to stand alongside an organization that preys on the women it claims to support, let him do it alone. Forcing taxpayers to fund the criminal acts of a group that preys on women is plain immoral and Congress must put an end to it.
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