tv Hearing on Fetal Tissue Donation CSPAN April 21, 2016 1:52am-4:46am EDT
reflecting the president's personality and policies from watergate to vietnam. for the lead schedule, go to www.c-span.org. >> next, hearing examines whether abortion clinics are profiting from fetal tissue. members heard from a panel of lawyers on the issue. this is two hours and 50 minutes. mrs. blackburn: the select investigative panel will come to order. and before we begin, i would like to take a moment to address the guests, who are in our audience today. first of all, we thank each of you for taking the time to come. we think that engaged citizens are a welcome and valuable part of the process. i only wish every hearing drew the amount of interest that this hearing has drawn.
for the purpose of this hearing, we are going to examing the pricing of fetal tissue. it is an opportunity for the select investigative panel to ask questions and have a thoughtful discussion. the number of people in the audience this morning demonstrates a strong interest in the topic, and we welcome you. i do want to remind our guests in the audience that the chair is obligated come under the rules of the house and the rules of the committee, that we maintain order and preserve decorum in the committee room. and i know we all have deep feelings on the issue. but we appreciate the audience's cooperation in maintaining order, as we have a full discussion that we would like to have this morning on this important issue. i also want to welcome each of our witnesses who are here today. and at this time, i am going to yield myself 10 minutes for an opening statement. mrs. degette: madam chair, thank you.
thank you. regretfully, i need to bring up an issue regarding to the packet of materials from the so-called exhibit provided your staff yesterday. before the opening statements, and the reason is because we have just received your opening statement, which was released to the press. i just saw it for the first time. and in your opening statement, you make extensive reference to the document, this package of so-called exhibits. and so before you make your opening statements, maybe we can resolve the issues. otherwise, we are going to either have to object to the documents referenced in your opening statement. and if i may, madam chair, i will go over what our issues are with those. with those so-called exhibits. your staff told us that you and
other republican members intended to use these materials to question witnesses today. and it is my understanding that these documents have been given to the witnesses. and, in fact, several of the witnesses mentioned the documents in their written statements. now, i reviewed the documents yesterday. some of them were created wholesale by republican staff. there was no explanation of the underlying factual foundation for those materials. the methodology that was used in coming up with these charts or some of the graphs that we had. and frankly, i believe them to be misleading. and moreover, the conclusions that are drawn, and frankly stated as fact in the staff-created annotated index are false. there are other documents that were sourced to a "procurement business," which have nothing to do with the topic. though they were presented as if
they did. they do not distinguish between the various services of the company, which provides a variety of different specimens, including adult blood and bone marrow for use in biomedical research. now, just to add to this, madam chair, yesterday, the company who we believe these so-called exhibits came from, stem express, sent a letter to you and a copy to us about the serious, serious problems with the so-called exhibits. i would ask unanimous consent to put that into the record. but, i guess my point is, i am concerned because these so-called exhibits, i do not think they are really designed to find the facts about fetal tissue research. if they were, we would have called stem express in or taken depositions.
i don't think they are germane, as required by rule 16, class seven of the house because they do not reflect credibility or, but instead, they cast this honor on the house. but you know, in addition, if i just may, because we got these exhibits yesterday and we got a letter from them express, it also raises troubling questions about where this material came from. if you look at the letter, and i hope you have read it madam chair, what it says is that -- what stem express is saying is that they believe the panel may have received direct -- they have not been authenticated. they were obtained unlawfully. this is part of the whole issue of the investigation in texas. and some of these may have even been created by him, himself.
they asked that we withdraw these documents until the house has an opportunity to review them and approve them. madam chair, given the concerns about the factual foundation of these exhibits, and also given the further concern about how they were creative and what they are saying, i would just ask that we withdraw these exhibits until these things are figured out. mrs. blackburn: i thank the gentlelady for her inquiry. yes, we received the letter. i don't know anything about the attorney or how truthful the letter is. we do intend and will accept your request, and we will cc that letter into the record.
for the hearing today, the documents, let me speak to that for a moment. the documents have all been obtained through our regular investigatory work. we have had things that have come to us from whistleblowers, from subpoenas, from former employers, citizens that have filed foia request. and also, internet search archive search engine. and that is the way these documents have come to us. so the documents we are going to use for the hearing of the documents we intend to use for the hearing, and we well accept and cc the letter into the record. mrs. degette: may i make a further parliamentary inquiry? madam chair, you stated that all the basis of these exhibits were received from the variety of
sources by the committee, including whistleblowers. have all of those documents and the source of been provided to the minority staff of this committee? mrs. blackburn: we have provided documents. mrs. degette: have you provided all of them that you referred to, as the foundation for these exhibits? mrs. blackburn: i think they have been provided. and you have staff that leaked the documents to one of the entities. mrs. degette: ok, so they have all been -- madam chair, i would ask for further parliamentary inquiry. before we continue then, might i be asked to inquire about the appropriate staff member of the foundational basis for these exhibits, particularly exhibit b1, b2. some of those, there is a chart, exhibit b4, which you intend to use. there is exhibit b6, an excerpt of a draft contract, which
appears to have been created by staff. i would like to be able to ask the staff how these documents were created, and what -- ms. blackburn: what do you mean by foundational? mrs. degette: to take an exhibit b1. exhibit b1, appears to be a chart. it has three boxes. an between the three boxes, there are dollar signs and arrows going back and forth.
there are questions and so on. i do not know, i do not know what information this is based on. i do not know, i would like to know how this was created. if you look at exhibit b2, for example, exhibit b2 appears to be taken from some website. this is a document that stem express is saying they think might have been taken from, not from the company but from someplace else. not talking about fetal tissue. but i do not know where that comes from. the exhibit is not identified similar comes from. but i suspect that the witnesses today, and the majority intending to use it to talk about the so-called sale of fetal tissue, exhibit three is just again something from a website. we do not know the source of that. exhibit four appears to be a bar graph. and what it says, "procurement strategy." and that it has a bar graph. exhibit five, revenue growth. and in another bar graph.
we do not know who made those charts. and we do not know where that information came from. so if you or the witnesses are relying on this, this is being presented as if it is a fact. but in fact, it is not. and then the sixth, this is one that particularly disturbs me. it says, in parentheses, excerpts of a draft contract -- mrs. blackburn: the gentlelady will yield. mrs. degette: sure. mrs. blackburn: this was created by staff for discussion purposes. it is created by material, that has been submitted to us. to the committee. and so, the document b2 exhibit that you're going to is something again that was
submitted to us. and b4 is something greater by staff from material that has been submitted. does the gentlelady have a motion? mrs. degette: yes, to what is the finish my statement, madam chair. that is my concern. i would like to question the staff member agree to these documents. mrs. blackburn: if you would like to include the questioning in your time -- mrs. degette: i think these exhibits were created from whole class. and if you will not let me find the basis, i object to the information that has been submitted. and i would make a point of order that these materials are against the rule 16, cause seven of the house. i would ask for their exclusion. >> i moved to table the point of order. >> the gentlelady's motion has been tabled.
>> i appeal the ruling, madam chair. >> the motion has been made. and the motion is table. mrs. degette: i appeal the ruling of the chair. that was the motion i just made, madam chair. you made the motion, and then he -- mrs. blackburn: and then you ruled, you moved to table it. i moved to appeal it. >> we will rule on the motion to table first. yes. and the motion is tabled. and the appeal is denied. we will have the clerk call the role for the recorded votes on the motion to appeal.
clerk: mr. pitt? mr. pitt: yes. clerk: mr. pitt says aye. mrs. black? mrs. black: yes. clerk: mrs. black says aye. mr. bucshon? mr. bucshon: yes. clerk: mr. bucshon says aye. mr. duffy? mr. duffy: yes. clerk: mr. duffy says aye. mr. harris? mr. harris: yes. clerk: mr. harris says aye. mrs. love? mrs. love: yes. clerk: mrs. love says aye.
leak the words. those words should be taken down. accusing our staff of leaking that is not true. those words should be taken down. >> madam chair? ms. blackburn: the staff had asked for the documents to be shared. they were shared before the website, released to the entity. in order to take comments down, they have to be personal in nature. so with that, let us begin with our opening statement. and then, we will receive our first panel of witnesses.
as i was beginning earlier, i want to welcome all of our witnesses who are here today. i'm going to introduce each of you later. as we move forward with our testimony on the pricing of fetal tissue, as part of my opening statement, i will present a narrative about the exhibits that today's hearing will discuss. i have said many times that my hope is that both parties can work together on some things. and today's subject matter should be an opportunity to do so for a couple of reasons. first, at our initial hearing on bioethics and fetal tissue, all witnesses from both sides agree that no one should profit from the sale of baby body parts. nobody. second, the democrats overwhelmingly supported a prohibition on profiting from fetal tissue sales during the 1993 passage of the national institute of health's revitalization act. former congressman dingle pass
this legislation out of the energy and commerce committee. and a former congressman henry waxman amended the nih bill on the floor to make clear that profiting from the sale of baby body parts was a crime. folks, these two democrat leaders took the offense so seriously that they made profiting from the sale of fetal tissue punishable by a 10-year felony. they understood that unborn children do indeed have constitutional rights. now there is been a lot of heated debate about the horrible videos that came out last year. but today's hearing will present business documents, invoices, marketing brochures, and management documents that reveal that one for-profit procurement business and several abortion clinics may have violated the intent of the statute. and the waxman prohibition
passed overwhelmingly by a democrat-controlled house. we have invited attorneys to help us understand this, in light of the statue. we look forward to working through this material in a thoughtful way. and i asked my colleagues on the other side to join in a productive discussion about the statute that your side past. before i turned to introducing the documents i want to call your attention to five posters that will help to visually follow the discussion. the first chart presents three entities involved in the business of selling the body parts. that chart depicts the middleman, the procurement business, pays the abortion clinic for fetal tissue, and is then paid by the researcher. the second chart is a website screen grab of from the procurement business on how to buy baby body parts online. there is a new website, and the
business has been spun off to a new entity. that chart shows the drop-down box for every part imaginable. sort by liver, and then you pick the destination period, then you check out to select your form of shipping. the third chart shows the daily tasks inside the abortion clinic. once the order is communicated, the procurement tech starts to work, checking gestation periods. getting consent, procuring tissue, and ascending to the customer. these are clear hippa violations. i would hope that, at a minimum, they will join us in condemning obvious violations of hippa, which was signed into law by president clinton on august 21, 1998.
the fourth chart summarizes several sample payments from the procurement business to the abortion clinic, and from the customer to the procurement business. is the samples for a discussion today. they do not present the entire financial picture. and the fifth chart shows you who bears the responsibility. next i want to walk the witnesses for the exhibits. i know that the lawyers in the room like to focus on the detail. that is why you're here. but it is important to understand the big picture of what the procurement business is trying to do, in spite of the waxman prohibition on profiting from the sale of baby body parts. please turn to the exhibits, beginning with b2. this is the procurement company broke sure that is handed out at national conferences, where abortion clinic managers are in
attendance. notice that it says financially profitable. fiscal rewards, financial benefits to your clinic. look at exhibit b3, which is a website screen grab of the procurement business. once again, financially profitable. while also providing a financial benefit to your own clinic. evidently, the procurement business is not familiar with the waxman prohibition. now, turn the page and look at exhibits b four and five. it started in 2010 with three clinics. in two more years, it had nearly 100. further, they were negotiating a contract to have over 250 clinics by this year. but the comarketing negotiations with the national abortion trade organization fell apart, just about the time the videos came out last year. now, you do not have to be a lawyer to see what is going on here. you put up a website that offers
the part imaginable, and why on earth would anybody ever need a baby scalp? then you pick the destination period and you checkout. you need abortion clinics, a lot of abortion clinics. so you grow your number of clinics, and you offer the clinics money to sign up. you offer them financial benefits to join. you tell the clinics that you will do all the work, all of the items on the chart that show the workflow of the procurement technician. this does not sound to me like tissue donation for research. this sounds like someone who wants to make money, a lot of money. selling the baby body parts. so, i thank our witnesses for their generous time today. i welcome them. and at this time, i yield 10 minutes. mrs. schakowsky: from the outset, this investigation has not been an objective or
fact-based search for the truth, but a political weapon to attack women's health care and life-saving research, and harass and intimidate those who provide these services. this was clear during our first hearing, where one of the witnesses invited by the republicans drew comparisons between researchers who use fetal tissue and nazi war criminal, dr. josef mengele. another republican witness is a women who have abortions "are morally disqualified" from choosing to donate tissue for research purposes. for today's hearing, republicans have again invited witnesses who believe that abortion should be illegal, that women should not be permitted or trusted to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term. some continue to declare that
planned parenthood is selling fetal tissue for-profit, despite the fact that three house committees, 12 states, and a texas grand jury have already cleared the organization of wrongdoing. these witnesses, like a republican colleagues, rely on the video allegations of antiabortion extremists and his associates to support the inflammatory claims. anyone who is been following the facts knows the truth. the videos are not reliable. and they do not show the unlawful sale of fetal tissue. and we will argue today that the so-called exhibits do not make that case either. a grand jury in texas already put him to the test under oath, and he failed. that grand jury, instructed by the republican lieutenant governor to investigate planned parenthood, instead indicted him for breaking the law through his efforts to entrap planned
parenthood. the district attorney handling the case refused to represent it to another grand jury, explaining that "we must go over the evidence leads us." and as she explained, "anyone who pays attention knows that i'm pro-life. i believe abortion is wrong. but my personal believe does not relieve me of my obligation to follow the law." that standard should apply with equal force here. there is no reason to believe that a proven liar when it comes to planned parenthood would be any more reliable on fetal tissue research. instead of correcting the record on the video, the chair continues to invoke them. today, my republican colleagues likely will claim that it is not just the videos actually -- the
chair has a reclaimed that. they may assert that documents, that this panel has received or that republican staff have created, show the need for further investigation. and this is also false. 16 years ago, the subcommittee on health and environment of the house commerce committee considered similar materials. 16 years ago. that hearing titled "fetal tissue: is it being sold in violation of federal law?" featured a "service schedule" showing amounts. "transaction logs," and agreements between providers and procurement organizations. and that also featured an employee who had worked at two
tissue procurement organizations. the antiabortion group "life dynamics," had filmed and released a video interview where dean alberty claimed to have witnessed fetuses "born alive." and unauthorized payment for fetal tissue, exactly the types of claims made in this video. in statements under oath, however, alberty contradicted his inflammatory claims, and admitted during the 2000 hearing that his sworn statement, not the remarks on the heavily edited video made by antiabortion extremists, were the truth. the department of justice also investigated the allegations of unlawful profiteering, that was in the heart of that hearing. and concluded that no laws have been broken. no one believes that companies should be allowed to profit by selling fetal tissue. we strongly support the
prohibition. however, the law expressly allows reimbursement for costs. in fact, the provision we are focusing on today is modeled on the national organ transplant act, which similarly prohibits "valuable consideration," but allows reimbursement, which can be considerable. allegations regarding possible unlawful profit from adult organ transplants would not result in a call to ban all organ donations. yet, republican lawmakers in the house want to ban fetal tissue donation and research altogether. something some states of oregon. florida for example recently unveiled the bill attacking
fetal tissue. this is tragic for women and families on the gulf coast, at researchers race to understand the zika virus. despite chair blackburn's claim, fetal tissue increases our understanding of the zika virus. these bands have been proposed, despite the fact there is still no evidence of wrongdoing related to fetal tissue donation. instead, the.net received by this panel actually show that health care providers are losing money for research purposes. this is not what congress intended when it voted on a bipartisan basis to allow reimbursement of costs. it is absurd that even when they are losing money, providers are still attacked by those who appear motivated by the
opposition to abortion, not the actual facts regarding fetal tissue donation. this panel is a perfect example. over the course of the investigation, the chair has targeted one clinic, one university, one tissue procurement organization, all of whom were operating voluntarily before the chair served them with unilateral subpoenas. the panel has known since january that the southwestern women option does not take any money for ensuring that women who want to donate tissue to the university can do so. and let me underscore that fact, no money is exchanged in connection with a woman's choice to donate fetal tissue researchers at the university of new mexico. already knowing this, the chair served subpoenas and issued press releases tied to what she describes as an investigation into the unlawful sale of baby body parts. which we heard today. as a result, the university and clinic have been subject to
unwarranted accusations from state and federal officials on the additional target of harassment and antiabortion extremists, it is no wonder that others reluctant to hand over the names of their researchers for students, clinic personnel, and doctors so that the chair can amass a dangerous database of their names. for its part, the tissue procurement company, stem express, already offered to have its procurement director explain the structure. the chair ignored that offer and instead called this public hearing, inviting witnesses who have no firsthand knowledge of the facts to opine about the potential criminal misconduct. on its own initiative, stem express has now submitted a letter to make sure the panel has the information needed to bring this investigation to an end. this investigation has never been and has no promise of becoming fair or fact-based. a republican colleague disdain
for the facts and doctors is putting women at risk. it is time for republican leadership to bring this investigation to an end. i ask unanimous consent to have the april 18 letter from stem express included as part of the record for this hearing. i yield back the balance of my time. mrs. blackburn: the gentlelady yields back on her request. we have already agreed to put that into the record. at this time, i want to welcome our first panel. senator jeanne shaheen is a u.s. senator from new hampshire. she is the only woman in u.s. history to be elected both a governor and a u.s. senator. mrs. schakowsky: excuse me, can i just say the letter i wanted inserted in the record is a different letter? than we receive from yesterday. mrs. blackburn: so moved. mrs. schakowsky: sorry.
mrs. blackburn: senator shaheen is a member on the committees of foreign relations, appropriations, and is ranking member of the small business and entrepreneurship committee. senator shaheen is a former small business owner and formerly served as the director of harvard university's institute of politics at the kennedy school of government. welcome. senator ben sasse is a u.s. senator from nebraska. he comes to the senate having spent the last five years as a college president, one of the youngest in the nation. during the first and second terms of george w. bush, he worked in the department of justice and the department of homeland security. before becoming assistant secretary for planning and a valuation at the u.s. department of health and human services. welcome to you, senator sasse. we will begin with senator shaheen for your five-minute remarks.
mrs. shaheen: thank you very much. members of the committee, i very much appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this morning. but i do so with great concern. i know you will hear from my colleagues, senator sasse from nebraska, and i respect his deeply held personal beliefs. but if we want to have a civil discussion on this issue, we should begin with the facts. already, news articles today have called into question the validity of the exhibits that will be presented to the panel. this committee's very existence -- it proven false across the country. in january, after thorough investigation into the videos, a texas grand jury cleared of planned parenthood of any wrongdoing.
and indicted the individuals responsible for their creation. in fact, 12 other states have also cleared of planned parenthood of any wrongdoing. and eight additional states have declined to investigate, citing a lack of evidence. i believe it is now time for the special investigations to end. and i would also like to point out that fetal tissue research has long had bipartisan support. in 1993, congress passed the national institute of health's revitalization act. that bill passed with overwhelming support. 94-4 and the senate, 290-130 in the house. and i think it is important to about bill was passed on recommendations of the blue-ribbon panel convened under president reagan, which was tasked with studying the efforts of fetal tissue research. millions of people have
benefited from fetal tissue research. vaccines for polio and rubella, and research on health issues that touch so many of us -- parkinson's, diabetes, hiv, aids, spinal for injuries have also benefited from the 1993 law. if it is the desire to change the law, obviously, u.s. legislators are able to do that. but i believe it would be a grave error. sadly, it is my belief that this panel was formed with political motivation. there is very little real interests in an unbiased investigation to uncover facts related to women's health or research. instead, i believe that this panel serves as an opportunity for some to once again attacked the health care providers, who millions of women and families reliable. i joined colleagues in both chambers to disband this panel and all other congressional
investigations that would undermine women's access to health care. not only do i believe that this panel is an inappropriate and wasteful misuse of federal resources, but i'm gravely concerned that it puts researchers, providers, and patients across the country at rest. unfortunately, as result of the political rhetoric surrounding this issue, we have seen violent acts and threats against researchers across the country. and i am very sad to report that this fall, the same month that this panel was formed, a woman's health clinic in claremont, new hampshire was vandalized not once, but twice. the second attack caused so much damage, it was forced to close for nearly six weeks. this was a real disservice to the women, men, and families who rely on the full range of services that the clinic provides. and unfortunately, new hampshire is not alone.
after the release of the deceptive, highly-edited videos, incidents of harassment against some health centers increased ninefold in just one month. i do not believe that today's hearing is a fact-based, objective investigation. rather, it is a taxpayer-funded political attack, based on discredited evidence. i hope that we will finally have time to move on. and madam chair, i apologize for the need to leave early and go back to a hearing. i appreciate the opportunity to be here. mrs. blackburn: we know you have to leave and get back. that you have those votes this morning, but thank you for the courtesy of your time and waiting. senator sasse, you are recognized. mr. sasse: good morning, thank you for including me.
many of us in the senate, like you in the house, and more importantly like millions of americans, watched with grief the video footage of abortion doctors and others discussing the sale of baby body parts for profits. as a senator, but more importantly as a father, i have three little kids -- one of my little kids traveled with me to washington this weekend. she is here with us today. more importantly, as a father, i support your investigation to get to the bottom of what is going on here. let us begin by stating clearly that we should not have to be here today. henry waxman said, that this would prevent any sale of fetal tissue for any purpose. not just for the purpose of research, but any sale for any person's would be abhorrent to allow for the sale of fetal tissue and a market to be created for that sale. words are important.
the language in the floor debate created a very clear legislative intent that no one should profit from the sale of fetal tissue. yet, here in the documents and exhibits, we see a business brochure and a website urging "partner with us and improve the probability of your clinic, improve your bottom line, the financial profitable." these are quotes. it offers to do all of the work. that would appear to mean that the abortion clinic has no cost, and it would thus appear to be about profit. questions of profit and legality matter because we are talking about people. it matters whether or not procurement businesses broke the law. it matters whether or not abortion clinics are lining
their profits through the dismemberment and distribution of children, all while receiving tax dollars. it matters because we are talking about the tiny limbs of little babies that have dignities. they are broken, yet still precious children of actual mothers and fathers. as the committee exhibit indicates the webpages exist where a customer can click on a drop-down box that list every organ of the baby for sale. you can click on a brain, heart, eyes, scalp. you proceed to checkout and you decide the method of shipment. we should cause to linger here. our humanity should be repulsed. we should all be sad by this. and this committee room and across the country, we will have passionate disagreements and discussions about the legality, the justice. like many in this room, like a majority of nebraskans, i believe each baby should be protected. i also understand that many others disagree on abortion policy. our disagreements on abortions will sometimes be heated.
but wherever possible, we should be looking for consensus. here on this basic reality, we can and should agree that babies are not the sum of their body parts. they are not meant to be bought. and they're not meant to be sold. they are just that, babies. they are meant to be welcomed and rejoiced over, held and nurtured. outside of our responsibilities here, many of us do in fact welcome, hold, nurture little children. we adopt and foster them, offer hope to the parents. madam chairman, your work does and can transcend politics. i appreciate your concern with children born alive inside abortion clinics, and with the treatment that they received. when i think about all the survivors of abortion, and i
think about your investigation into the sale of baby body parts, it makes born alive legislation more important. the born alive's abortion survivors act as are ready survived by a bipartisan vote. and i've had the privilege of introducing the companion legislation in the senate. i invite my senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to be working together to pass this bill in our chamber. this law would simply ensure that babies who survive abortions get a fighting chance, by requiring medical attention that is equivalent to what will be offered to any premature baby born at the same stage. no life is disposable. no child deserves to have life and a cold and alone, struggling for breath outside of the womb and an abortion clinic. we americans frequently cheer for the vulnerable. we fight for the minority. we protect the powerless against the powerful. and baby girls and boys are fighting for the lies. i encourage my colleagues to support senate 2066, the born
alive protection act. madam chairman, we look forward to monitoring the progress of your investigation. thank you for including me in this investigation. mrs. blackburn: thank you, we appreciate your time. we are sorry for the delay. we know that you have to go back to the senate for votes. thank you for your time. at this time, i would like to call forward our second panel. and as they move forward to be seated on the panel, i will move forward with introducinghis panel to our audience. so that we can move forward expeditiously. an attorney with robinson and clayton, practicing civil litigation for a wide range of clients, from major corporations to individuals in cases involving fraud, rico
securities, contract disputes, and director liability partnership concerns. mr. robert raben, where he drove attorney general janet reno's legislation and congressional oversight of the department. he founded a public policy group in 2002, serving as president. he is a graduate of the wharton school and the new york university law school. serving as a trial attorney for the civil division. as deputy chief of the criminal division for the u.s. attorney's office in the western district of michigan, he supervised the
health care fraud and computer-related crimes unit, among others. he also spent four and a half years as a judge advocate for the u.s. marine corps, handling both civil and criminal matters. now in private practice, he specializes in criminal defense, particularly health care fraud and other white-collar offenses, internal investigation and compliance matters. mr. michael norton served as u.s. attorney for colorado from 1988 to 1993. he was appointed by president reagan and reappointed by president george h.w. bush. mr. norton has been practicing law since 1976 and is admitted to the bars from the states of colorado and virginia as well as washington, d.c.
catherine glenn foster is associate scholar with the charlotte lozier institute, where she offers papers in the service of human life. she was formerly an attorney with alliance defending freedom and is a graduate of georgetown university law center. kenneth sukhia was appointed to the northern district of florida by president george h.w. bush and served as litigation counsel to norm russ corporations and individuals. he served as law clerk at the florida supreme court and the u.s. court of appeals and is a senior partner in one of florida's oldest and largest statewide firms. he began his own firm, the sukhia law group, in the florida state capital in 2008. you are aware that select investigative panel is holding an investigative hearing and that we will take your testimony under oath. do you have any objection to testifying under oath? ok. the chair then advises you under the house rules of the energy
and commerce, you are entitled to be advised by counsel. do you desire to be advised by counsel for today's hearing? ok. in that case, will you please rise and raise your right hand and i will swear you in? do you swear that the testimony that you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? thank you. you are now under oath and subject to the penalty set forth in title 18 section 1001 of the u.s. code. you will each give a five-minute summary of your written statement. ms. clayton, we'll begin the testimony with you and you are recognized for five minutes. mrs. blackburn: put your microphone on. ms. clayton: thank you, madam chair.
i've been a corporate litigator since 1978, and i'm here today despite a family medical situation for two reasons. one is that women's reproductive health and medical research are being threatened by these hearings. the second reason is that i have instructive experience to share with this panel on the topic that you're considering here. 16 years ago, a client of mine, anatomical gift foundation, a nonprofit corporation that provided donated tissue to medical researchers in hopes of curing the diseases, including the ones senator shaheen mentioned earlier. at nonprofit was falsely accused by life dynamics, the anti-abortion group congressman schakowsky mentioned, accused of selling fetal tissue.
these baseless charges were made in a videotape, sent by life dynamics to congress and in that video the person making the accusations was anonymous. as it happened, an employee of anatomical gift foundation, my client, had gone to work for another company, in violation of his contract. a.g.s. hired me to sue. that man's name was dean alberty. now, alberty's deposition, which was under oath like all of us today, but unlike what he said in the videotape, the videotape that life dynamics had sent to congress, alberty admitted he was the person in that video and he admitted what he had said in that video was fictional. he testified that he told those lies because life dynamics had paid him to and he said, i needed the money. he had repeated those falsehoods on tv's "20/20," but he knew better than to lie under oath. when i deposed him, where the penalties of perjury where the chair acknowledged do arise. those of you who were here in the year 2000 may recall the
humiliation that certain members of the house committee suffered, when their star witness, dean alberty, went up in flames and admitted that that much-touted video had been fabricated. those house hearings established that my client had done nothing wrong, that fetal tissue wasn't for sale at all, and that anti-abortion zealots, life dynamics, had forced a false witness on congress. what was for sale wasn't fetal tissue. it was a phony witness statement. and it had been bought and paid for by anti-abortion extremists. i find it curious, given the not so distant history of this strikingly similar scenario, that this panel has not demanded sworn testimony of the accusers, the latest batch of anti-abortion accusers as you've asked of us, chair blackburn. you haven't asked for that, haven't asked for them to go under oath, and that seems
strange to me, particularly when they come up with a similar tale about the so-called sale of fetal tissue, which again is a lie. this suggests to me that someone is afraid to put david daleiden and his star witness, holly o'donnell, under oath because as we saw with the dean alberty fiasco, when penalties of perjury attached, sometimes instead of fiction the actual truth comes out. we know they doctored videos to the point that the federal judge blocked the release of further tapes because they were fraudulent. another fact we know about them comes from "the los angeles times" examination of the unedited videos. they showed daleiden coaching and manipulating the testimony of holly o'donnell whose video interview, by the way, looks more like play acting than any genuine emotion. without cross-examination of him and his crew under oath, we have no way of knowing what he offered or said to ms. o'donnell, when his camera was
not running. and in texas, when daleiden went before a grand jury convened for the expressed purpose of prosecuting planned parenthood, the grand jury did something very different. it didn't indict planned parenthood. it indicted daleiden for falsehood. and the texas grand jury found that planned parenthood did nothing wrong. for nearly four decades, i have been representing corporations and individuals in business litigation. and i have to say, there is no bigger tell about the veracity of an accusation that when the person who is making the accusation will not stand by his or her accusation under oath. as alberty told the house committee in the year 2000, "when i was under oath i told the truth. anything i said in the video when i was not under oath, that's a different story." so, i have to ask. is this panel looking for the
truth or for another story? a real inquiry would start with sworn testimony from him and o'donnell, and that would be true even if the doctored videotapes didn't have so much in common with the deceitful tapes that the abortion opponents, including life dynamics, staged 16 years ago. this panel's failure to allow cross-examination of daleiden and his cohorts sends a message loud and clear, that those stories would not hold up under penalty of perjury than the baseless slurs that he made back in 2000, when life dynamics bought and paid for his testimony. and by the way, -- it just strikes me as inexcusable that the panel has been using its subpoena power to get testimony from medical researchers who have far better things to do with their time, like providing health care, working to cure disease, than daleiden and his group.
i just ask that until and unless this panel puts him and o'donnell under oath and gets down and tries to get to the bottom of what they did, that these proceedings be terminated and our elected officials be allowed to return to doing the people's business. thank you. mrs. blackburn: thank you, ms. clayton. mr. raben. mr. raben: thank you so much for having me this morning. my name is robert raben, i'm in private practice. over the years, i have served as counsel with the house judiciary committee and confirmed as assistant attorney general for the office of legislative affairs at the department of justice. in 1999, as i was watching you with the decorum, i was reminded of the democratic chair, henry hyde, walked across the capitol to testify for my nomination and what a wonderful day it was and
how much i miss him and appreciated him. i have taught law, practiced at a large law firm, and clerked after law school. i deeply appreciate the law and this committee's attention to it. for over 20 years, my work has involved the representation of people and organizations before the congressional executive branch. i give this testimony today as someone who has experienced both sides of advocacy and representation around investigations of all forms. this committee has asked us to opine on the question of whether the current legislation profiteers around fatal tissue and what constitutes a sale of profit of fetal tissue. in 2000, as my capacity as attorney general and the department of justice, i was called upon to respond to almost identical concerns expressed by members of the congress regarding the alleged transfer of fetal tissue for profit. on march 9, 2000, i communicated with congress, by signed letter,
a willingnesto investigate and learn further about credible claims and allegations. while i don't have specific recollection of further oral conversations within the department, subsequent that communication, i know in public record that in july of 2000, acting kansas u.s. attorney jim flurry decided after a thorough review of the issues involved that there were no violations of federal statutes, thereby announcing the closure of a investigation related. that is a matter of public record. i also recalled yesterday a second investigation from a colorado u.s. attorney that was similarly closed. we are today witnessing virtually identical allegations. while i am unaware as to whether the d.o.j. or f.b.i. has inquiries, 12 states have looked into related matters and declined to pursue any charge.
additional eight states have affirmatively declined to even investigate. given the importance that some people have about derring to the states, i'd just like to read into the record the 12 states that have affirmatively said they have investigated and decided not to pursue charges around related allegations. florida, georgia, indiana, kansas, massachusetts, michigan, missouri, ohio, pennsylvania, south dakota, texas and washington. innumerable reasons exist why there is the indictment under the existing language, which may include the dearth of profiteering in fact, the difference to state law enforcement, authorities which are cable of determining the same. past failed attempts to establish wrongdoing, or paramount in this area, a lack of credibility of those presenting facts to law enforcement.
of the ultimate question on which this committee is engaged, whether or not the existing statutes merits change, i believe the statute is sound and fully addresses its intended aims, is important today as it was when it was passed overwhelming majority in 1993. the statute considered bipartisan judgment of congress was meant to address profiteering from sale of fetal tissue. there is no evidence of an outbreak of this behavior. i'm commented that any acts of intentional behavior with the investigated and punished by law, both federal and state. thank you for having me. >> mr. lennon, your recognized for 5 minutes. >> chairman blackburn, numbers of this panel, thank you for the opportunity to speak about the pricing of fetal tissue. currently a partner at the law firm in grand rapids, michigan. for 13 years before entering
private practice, i was assistant u.s. attorney in michigan. i'm not medical ethicist or theologian. i don't represent any advocacy group on either side of the life versus reproductive rights debate. i'm not here to advocate for any change in federal legislation. as a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense counsel, i hope to relate value to this panel -- to provide value to the panel on legal objectives to determine whether the procurement business violated the statute. i looked at this as if an agent had showed up at my office with these exhibits and asked me to examine them. based on that review, i believe a competent and ethical prosecutor could establish probable cause that both the abortion clinics and procurement businesses violated the statute, needed and abetted one another
-- aided and abetted one another, and lately conspired to violate the statute. for 5 of the sixth elements of the substantive defense, there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. the only element for investigation needed is whether the payments made by the research institutions that ultimately received the human tissue to the procurement businesses were considered or alternatively, reasonable payment associated with the allowable services in the statute. with respect to the abortion clinics, the proves more clearly establish that the compensation received from the procurement business isn't valuable consideration. none of the identified services were provided by the next. prosecutors prefer established elements of the defense.
5 of the six elements about defense are clearly defined and established in the exhibits. as for the final element, value in consideration, that element and those proofs are admittedly more nuanced. the statute itself defines valuable consideration by describing what it is not. it does not include reasonable payments associated with transportation and plantation, processing preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue. a valuable consideration is something other than this exhaustive list of to linear services, this element is also established. as for the abortion clinic, the marketing materials that i have reviewed clearly state that there is a financial profit from this partnership. several exhibits indicate the burgeoning business -- the procurement business pays per tissue, not services. they indicate that these
services provided by the procurement business through their embedded technicians and not abortion clinics, therefore these payments appear to be valuable consideration. indded, they could be profit. as for the procurement business, it's my opinion that a much deeper analysis of the company's financials is necessary in order to establish the valuable consideration element beyond a reasonable doubt. because the businesses do in fact incur costs associated with these delineated services, forensic accounting would be essential to breakdown the company's financials. looking at the growth and revenue doesn't tell you whether they are profiting. if they are profiting, in my opinion, they violated the law. there are other theories here, although i think a prosecutor would pursue the potential criminality of the procurement businesses.
those are aiding and abetting and conspiracy. based on my limited review of the exhibits in the strength of the substantive case against the abortion clinic, pursuing and aiding and abetting or conspiracy count against a procurement business, rather than the substantive count, maybe stronger theory of culpability. as i conclude, i would say that i believe federal prosecutors take pride in protecting the most vulnerable among us. once i probably served with in the western district of michigan did not shy away from the top cases. they put their personal politics aside when asked to evaluate cases for prosecution. evidence, or the lack there of, not politics, should determine whether panels agree to investigate abortion clinics and human fetal businesses in their district. again, i thank you members for allowing me to testify today and i welcome your questions.
>> thank you mr. lennon. mr. norton. mr. norton: thank you esteemed numbers of the committee. -- members of the committee. i am michael j norton, an attorney in denver, colorado in private practice. i've served as u.s. attorney for the state and district of colorado, first appointed by ronald reagan, then reappointed by first president bush. nice to see you again. i have a written statement, which i respectfully request be incorporated in the record. i want to summarize my comments and remarks in the time available. first of all, to the committee, this is not about women's health. it is not about abortion. how one stands on the issue of abortion. it's about whether or not there is probable cause to believe that crimes have been committed. and if so, what to do about that. to do nothing about the potential of the commission of criminal crimes is indeed
flouting the criminal justice system of the nation. i think preferring those who are in well-connected places over those who are not. i suggest to you at the outset, adventure -- madam chair, what this committee is about is highly important and critical to the criminal justice system and sanctity of that system. it's really not about the issue of abortion. potential profiteering and trafficking in aborted fetal tissue is of grave concern, not only on the federal level, but also in many states, including colorado, which has adopted a law similar to the federal law looked at by this committee today. there are many people that are concerned that not only this federal statute, but also the state statutes have been violated and or being flouted by the abortion industry.
in 2015, it was revealed that the denver's planned parenthood of the rocky mountains was making a profit by harvesting and trafficking the hearts, the brains, the lungs, eyes, livers, and other body parts of babies whose lives planned parenthood had ended. these gruesome revelations came from a series of videos released by the center for medical progress. was clear from the videos that those videos did not create queasiness about blood. the matter your position, no one watches these videos can think
that planned parenthood's harvesting of these baby parts is consistent with our values were consistent with the law. if wrongdoing has occurred, and i concur with the assessment that mr. lennon has made, as to the group commission of crimes i would add that criminal violations of the health insurance portability act have the been embedded in abortion facility itself and the review by privileged medical records. has also been committed. there are some facts that need to be determined. a competent terminal investigation could determine those facts. to do nothing is simply wrong, madam chair and members of this committee.
i think the committee for its -- i thank the committee for its courage in investigating this area. i urge it to complete its litigation and refer this to the u.s. department of justice, which i hope is taken. >> thank you mr. norton. ms. foster, recognized for five minutes. ms. foster: distinguished members of this panel, i am privileged to present this testimony concerning the pricing of human fetal tissue. my views are consistent with those of the charlotte closure institute, where i am associate scholar, which is dedicated to advancing science, medicine, and research in the service of human life and promoting a culture and policy of life. my views are similarly consistent with those of sound legal, a platform and organization advocating for the universal right to life. as an attorney, i have dedicated
financial enrichment. the public learned of these back alley transactions last year when undercover video of the oregon business brokers serviced -- organ broker business surfaced online. indeed, it is a business. estimate certified evidence presented by this panel, clinics and procurement companies have been getting away with charging far more than the allowed cost for harvesting, transporting,
and warehousing body parts as they wait for customers. in doing so, they have violated both the intent and the letter of section 289g2, which bars, among other things, the transfer of human fetal tissue for valuable consideration. the statute's definition of valuable consideration is straightforward. if payment is not reasonable or unassociated with the transplantation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue, is not permitted. we can all agree on the statute. it was passed with bipartisan support in a democratic caucus and was signed into law by president clinton. representative waxman called it -- called the fetal market aborted. and it's the panel -- market abhorrent. and yet they are paid, even when there are no costs to be reimbursed. for the multiplying a clinic's windfall via savings on disposal services. tissue procurement companies are likewise paid exorbitantly by
their customers. this market in baby organs and tissues demonstrates a flagrant and repeated this regard for the law. it was no surprise when america's biggest abortion business facing public and prosecutorial exposure limit --exposure relented and stopped direct payments of any body parts. and yet in my years of work in this field, and in the 23 years that section 289g2 has been law, i am unaware of a signal instance in which it has been enforced. this panel is right to shine a light on big abortion's back alleys. perhaps we forget that this law was meant to protect the ethical imperative that recognizes the dignity in every human life. and the face of human clinical sanitized link which, we become desensitized. a head is a calvarium. recognition that counts body parts is a product of conception, or poc worker. by converting to minimize into a --converting human lives into a bulk commodity, conversation has been stifled. we're talking about real and unique canadians whose lives --unique human beings whose lives were snufffed out.
we are affording them the minimal negative that comes with not having there remains further through to be bought and sold like chattel. i know that the abortion industry and its allies are waging a campaign against any effort at transparency or accountability. it is what we can expect from a big business with an emphasis on maximizing profit, and a lot of money to lose. big abortion is fighting back with all its financial and political might, investing its political and monetary stockpiles to buy public sanction, and weighing its thumb down on scales of justice. with politicians, pr firms, and sold out media. with these allies, until now, the abortion industry has succeeded in shutting down the voices acknowledging the public evidence of guilt. but no more. we the people are not afraid of confronting the truth. we encourage this panel and those in law enforcement to pursue it. common sense and common decency demand enforcement of section 289g2. >> mr. sukhia, your recognized for 5 minutes. >> members of this committee, i was honored to serve as the u.s. attorney for the northern district of florida. before that, was an assistant u.s. attorney for 10 years. much of my expertise that i could lend to the committee would be in area of determining whether a grand jury should be impaneled. whether a case should proceed, whether investigation should be
pursued. and i've heard it said today that this is a committee that has the same for the truth -- that has disdain for the truth, that this is not a fact-based inquiry. when i look at the exhibits that were submitted, but also of course when i looked at the videos that were presented, it strikes me as odd that there would not be an aggressive and meaningful investigation into the allegation that, indeed, human baby parts are being sold for profit. article 2, section 3 of our u.s. constitution requires of the executive branch that it faithfully executes the laws of the country. by not faithfully executing
those laws, you are in fact taking specific affirmative action to defy what is required by the constitution. in this situation, it is beyond my assessment and belief that when you have a procurement industry that is actually marketing to the abortion clinics that they can gain more profits by this method, and when they are feeding their own employees in the clinic to do those jobs that would indeed cost and would indeed be the
services that would comprise the legitimate cost or payment for those services. then the question clearly arises, have these clinics profited from this process? it's a very simple basic issue. and so we are not saying as a prosecutor, when someone comes in the door with this evidence, oh this is absolutely positively a fact. we're saying no, this justifies a full and complete investigation. i think there seems to be a pattern when, oh, this can't possibly have any basis. let's see, 16 years ago, someone lied. so we can't take this. this is the same sort of thing that has happened before, and we should also stop the prosecution of all murders, because there
have been cases where persons have lied and people have been wrongly convicted. the whole argument is nonsense. in fact, this whole notion that oh, lets follow liver ourselves to insist -- lets fall all over ourselves to insist this is another -- this is nothing but an effort to attack the reproductive rights of our citizens. when effect is an effort to enforce the law of our constitution. thank you. >> at this time we will begin questioning. >> madam chair. >> yes, the gentleman is recognized. state your inquiry. >> madam chair, the witnesses appeared to have her life heavily -- have to relied
heavily that clinics incur no cost due to fetal tissue. that premise is captured in exhibit g, which you previously had up on the screened. could you put that up on the screen for a moment? >> let's bring up exhibit g. please state the inquiry. >> that's not exhibit g. that is it. thank you. madam chair, district says that the clinic has "no cost to the payments of your profit to the clinic." this is contradicted by exhibits c6 and c19, which showed that some clinics are paying for blood and others related to fetal tissue. these are questions the government accountability recognized 16 years ago as reimbursable. madam chair, can you explain how this document, exhibit g, was created and its actual foundation, including the discrepancy between what this staff created chart says, mainly
that there are no costs, and information on other documents in a packet, exhibit c6 and c19, which detail such costs. >> i thank the gentleman for the inquiry. we discussed this previously before you arrived. all of the documents today come from the investigative work that took place by submissions, whistleblower information. the charts for discussion, of which g is one, were compiled from that work from our staff/ at this time, we begin our questioning. thank you for the inquiry. >> i don't believe this was discussed when i was on the judiciary committee. how can you this plane the discrepancy -- you explain the discrepancy between exhibit g and the information on these other exhibits, which lists some of those costs? that didn't happen. >> there is no discover and see.
-- no discrepancy. i thank the gentleman. >> of course there is a discrepancy. >> do you have a motion? >> i have a further inquiry, which is being sidestepped and not answered. this exhibit g says abortion clinics have no cost for for the payments for pure profit. all caps are borne by the customer. exhibit c9 says, an exhibit of clinic procedures and policy -- it says "you must inform the assistant manager when you have completed your work. this one short that they do not continue to draw unnecessary blood samples."
>> if the gentleman will yield, you are citing a procurement business procedure. one is the clinic, one is the procurement business. >> the procurement business has to tell the clinic staff, and that takes time, and there is a direct cost. they have to tell the abortion clinic that they are done, that the abortion clinic does not continue to take more samples, etc. which is a direct cost to the clinic, not procurement business. that is a direct contradiction. >> the document are separate. it is not a direct contradiction. the documents are separate. one relates to abortion. >> this is not a direct connection, why is the methodology to determine there are no costs for the abortion clinic as asserted in exhibit g, which apparently has no basis?
>> it's all based on the investigatory work. i thank you for the parliamentary inquiry. at this time we are going to-- >> further and final parliamentary inquiry. can you explain how using a chart that draws conclusions with no objective basis in fact other than your statement that summary of estimated, does not violate house rules that's not reflect creditably or may discredit the house in this panel? what i'm hearing is that staff people derived this information somehow, we are not told how. >> this is not a parliamentary inquiry, basically you are trying to debate the documents. we need to move on with their questions. i'm turning to mr. pitts. mr. pitts: thank you madam chair for calling this issue. this is caused me considerable concern. one of the underpinnings and safeguards of the statute that
allowed for the donation of fetal tissue for transplantation and research was that this tissue would not be sold. the author of the statute, river senator waxman, stated in 1993 "it would be abhorrent to allow for the sale of fetal tissue in a market to be created for that sale." and yet this is what is happening, as one of the witnesses said, in the back alleys today. as seen on exhibit b2 and b3, the procurement business markets itself on its pressure as a way for clinics to make additional income by allowing the procurement business, procurement technicians to take fetal tissues and organs from aborted babies immediately after the abortion was completed, using the words "financially
profitable", financial rewards on its brochure. the select panel investigation reveals that every conceivable harvesting test is performed by the technician employed bride the predicament business. -- by the procurement businesses. they are essentially the middlemen, paying fees to abortion clinics, but the abortion clinics are incurring no cost. exhibit d shows payment from the
procurement business to abortion clicks for aborted babies and baby blood. exhibit d1, the abortion clinic charged the middlemen with a bill for $11,365 in august 2010 for baby parts and blood that the middleman's technicians harvested. another invoice in january 2011 charged $9,006 for harvested baby parts and blood. the middleman even makes it easy
for the researcher to purchase baby body parts. exhibit c3, the procurement business order form, or the drop-down menu for baby organs shows just how easy this is. on the left side it asks "what type of tissue would you like to order?" i supposed you could respond to this, i would like to order brains. and then it says, number of specimens. well, 6 let's say baby brains. 1618 weeks. left have another question. add another tissue type? you can say yes, another tissue type listed, female reproductive system and ovaries. you could say i will take 5 of those at 15 weeks. you could add, 5 baby tongues. shipping or options. you could respond yes i wanted rush ordered. for crying out loud, this is the amazon.com of baby body parts. there is a market for baby body parts and you get what you pay for. this is absolutely repulsive. we must not forget it as was testified here. each one of these little baby brains or tongues represents a baby. how can anyone defend this practice? all this shows that in both intent and practice, these organizations were making money
well above the actual cost. going back to exhibit b2 and b3, the company brochure and website show intent. my question for the former prosecutors for doj, what communications or information would you seek to learn whether the intent of procurement business and the abortion clinic was to profit from selling baby body parts? >> well, some of that evidence in this record. i have heard everyone again quickly rushing to insist that these videotapes are just deceptively prepared. in other words, do what we are extremely deft at doing in this
industry, which is deflecting. everyone else is at fault, let's shift focus so everyone is focused on these videos and what this person said in the video. those videos were posted, all of them. there are some things that, when people say them on tape, it doesn't matter what what they didn't say or said elsewhere. if someone is saying, that would be good, and we are talking about profiting, and they are talking about that, that is corroborative evidence. it corroborates the evidence, as you are identifying, which is very strong evidence when someone is actually marketing for it. i also want to know what communications occurred between those people. we would seek those items as well, and of course the
accounting records. thank you. rep. pitts: i yield back. rep. czajkowski: the majority has refused to bring in the one-party that could actually answer these questions. i want to say, as lawyers, the fact that you keep referring back to these completely discredited, by 3 can congressional panels -- by 3 congressional panels, by 12 states that looked into this, by a grand jury. you talk about the center for medical progress, and yet one of them were actually indicted as a consequence. that is a common, it is not a question, it is a fact that that has been looked into. the other thing, i want to ask ms. clayton a question. but i also want to go back to a letter. numbers of documents presented by stem express that would clearly discredit the exhibits
mentioned. as far as d2, the majority's use of this brochure is leading -- is misleading at best. it was used with hospitals and clinics involved in a broad spectrum of work related to adult blood, adult tissue, biopsies, etc., not fetal tissue donation. exhibit b3, the stem express website screenshot makes absolutely no reference to fetal tissue. in fact, it pertains to the
overwhelming majority of stem express' work with adult blood and tissue that has nothing to do with fetal tissue, which accounted for less than 1% of the company's revenue in 2014 before losses. they have repeatedly offered to come in and provide exact the specific information that is raised in these exhibits, and that has been turned down. i think it is shameful for an investigation that seeks to get supposedly to the truth. i want ask ms. clayton a
question. i think that this parallel is worth examining. because the facts are the same. discredited video which led to an investigation that found no guilt. i want to skip part of this. there were accusations made against your client that impacted him. the client that was found to have done nothing wrong. i wonder how it affected his business repetition, his own safety, and that of his family. >> yes congressman. the company was threatened by terrorists on the anti-choice side, including the army of god,
the group that shot dr. tiller, the time he was shot before his murder. army of god is one of the most anti-choice outrageous violent groups around. my client received threats about. as soon as the outrageously fallacious videotapes were sent to congress and got circulated, when they were on 2020. everybody believed they were true, it must be true, we saw it on a videotape. not under of, i would comment that anyone that wants to look at a defense of any of this, get
him in under oath. sees what happens when the penalty of perjury is attached. in my the position, he suddenly started telling the truth. when he said was everything else was a lie. meanwhile, these threats endangered the life and safety of people at clinics all over the world, as in colorado. a crazy mr. dear murdered three people because he thought it was true about these tapes. even though 12 states, the texas grand jury, have found that is completely fallacious.
>> client provided a letter sent by an antiabortion group to your client's wife. in that letter, the group referenced baby parts and warned her that it was "watching you and her husband" and that "this is only the beginning." i take unanimous consent to enter this march 9, 2000 letter. i believe there is a connection between the murders at the clinic in colorado springs following these deceptive videos, where the murderer said "no more baby body arts. " the repeat of that language and false accusations, and the collection of names, a database of names of people involved in research and in clinics is dangerous. it is dangerous. we should not be doing that in the united states of america. i yield back. >> i yield to ms. black for 5 minutes.
>> thank you madam chair. i want to focus on exhibit g, on who bears the responsibility for the tissue procurement chart. as a nurse i am well aware of how important it is to follow procedures, especially performing the duties when caring for a patient that has trusted you. let's walk through the day in the life of a procurement tech. if you will please turn to exhibit c for the question. in exhibit c4, you'll see that the tech gets an e-mail from an order uncertain baby body parts and knows what she needs to harvest for that day. i want to reckon -- to reference the bottom line. she will need a brain, 16-18 weeks, and complete, but can be in pieces. sure she has a very specific tissue that she is looking for. if we can turn to exhibitc9. then she informs the abortion
clinic staff of what she will be procuring on that day. we actually see on the first line where she communicates with the assistant manager, upon arrival, informed the staff clearly of what you are procuring for the day. let's follow on with exhibit c5. the procurement tech then reviews the medical files, which is another subject of whether this is a have a violation, to learn patient names and gestation times of the baby. she records this in a gestation tracking log, essentially matching the patient with her needs. not the patient's needs, her needs of what she's been given for the day. next, to procurement tech approaches the patient waiting for the abortion. many times, this is a young woman who is afraid, not always certain about what she is doing. and needs advice and counseling. but that's not we see ehr getting. this tech doesn't have much time and much master orders with patient at the right gestation time. she asks for the patient by name. she consents with them to donate, by saying that her baby tissue is about curing potential diseases such as diabetes, and parkinson's, and heart disease.
i want to also referenced the second paragraph here, where she actually says that the law in california requires that the tissue from the child be incinerated. she could offer to his mother to actually bury this baby. put that is left out. she is given decisions that are very difficult. either you are going to incinerate this baby, for your going to give it up for research. i think you should certainly be counseling and giving all options to the some woman who is in a very difficult situation. let's turn to exhibit c12 and c13. after the abortion, the
procurement tech collects the tissues and printers the parts needed. she carries all of her supplies with her. see that she has a very detailed instruction about what she is putting these body parts into. this is not coming from the abortion clinic, this is coming, the procurement agency she is working for. the tissue tek then arranges for the delivery. that is by fedex, clear on the first exhibit about who is paying for the delivery. not only the test tubes she will put the specimen in. let's go back to exhibit g. we see here a blank where the expenses are for the abortion clinic.
as i walked you through her day, there's nothing to indicate that the abortion clinic has incurred any expenses. when he ask you -- let me ask you mr. lennon, how does this comprehensiveness inform your thinking about whether the abortion clinic is profiting from the sale of baby body parts? >> thank you. i did consider that in my analysis. the question raised earlier in the parliamentary representative from new york was that maybe there was a conversation. in this case, there was a
conversation. that the payment should be for that conversation in the processing. that is the only thing i see where the abortion clinic would have any cost incurred. not a per tissue payment. that informs me we're talking about the sale of a part and not some reasonable cost. they are also involved in processing because the patient is there. the abortion itself is not the processing of the tissue, it's the creation of the tissue and destruction of a human life. there is no argument i saw from any of this that the abortion clinic had any other cost. they are getting a per tissue payment. >> as a former litigator myself, there's nothing i like better than a panel of lawyers. i have a series of questions that i would prefer a yes or no answer. if i may, first question for the
panel -- we received the packet of documents from the majority. believe i've seen you refer to it during this hearing in a binder/ have you seen these documents before today's hearing? ms. clayton, yes or no? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> thank you. and did you personally offer any of these documents, ms. clayton? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> have you spoken with anyone who authored any of the documents about the information that the documents contain? >> not to my knowledge. >> no. >> not to my knowledge. >> not to my knowledge. >> maybe. i don't know. >> who have you spoken with then? do you have names? that is from majority staff? thank you. for the documents listed in the index that accompanied the >> not to my knowledge. packet, as coming from "a procurement business," have you spoken with about procurement business about the documents? is clayton? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> no.
that is why there needs to be an investigation. >> excuse me, do you have any firsthand knowledge of how the procurement business in question created the document used in today's exhibit? >> no. >> absolutely not. >> no. >> no. >> for the documents that are listed as staff created, for example exhibits b4 and b5, did the public and staff discussed those documents with you? -- the the republican staff discussed those documents with you? >> no. >> remind me what those are. >> charts that were staff created. >> no. >> i think we did discuss that. i think the staff member
indicated -- >> did they tell you the document that formed the foundation of those? >> no. >> thank you very much. my last question, do you have any firsthand knowledge of what documents the majority staffer light upon in these -- lied upon in these staff treated documents? >> absolutely no idea. >> yes. >> okay, and how do you know that if you didn't talk to the staff? >> the exhibits provided to me of easily support. >> take a look at exhibit-- mr. norton, talking about the staff created documents like the chart. did they tell you what data they used in creating the staff created document? >> that is not what you asked. >> that is what i asked. >> no. rep. degette: given that no witness has firsthand knowledge of how these exhibits were created or the underlying facts captured in any of them, do you think it's appropriate for the witnesses to speculate about possible criminal misconduct based on those documents? >> i think calling it speculation is entirely accurate. it would be pure speculation.
rep. degette: you heard mr. lennon testified that not based on his experience, that he believes these documents in and of themselves not only establish probable cause, but proof beyond a reasonable doubt. what is your opinion of that analysis? >> i would be a little frightened if that were the regime in which we live. rep. degette: why? >> several reasons. the context in which all of these facts come, and i don't have to come back to 2000 although i think that is, illustrative. rep. degette: if you could be brief. >> there has been a volume of inaccurate and deceptive information thrown committees and the media about this issue. if i were an investigator or prosecutor, i would be extremely skeptical and would want to know more. rep. degette: do you want to bring in people that actually created those documents and put
them under oath? >> yes. rep. degette: if people are selling fetal tissue in violation of the law, we need to get to the bottom of it. but we can't just have some witchhunt based on things taken off of screenshots and documents created by staff. i will tell you, even though 12 states, including my home state of colorado, by attorney general, who is a republican, who investigated these claims mr. norton was talking about against planned parenthood and found no cause of action to investigate. even though 12 states have investigated and found there was nothing, if you want to send it to the department of justice for investigation, i will guarantee
you they won't make a little charts with their staff. they will get to the bottom of it with original documents. i suggest that is what you should do if you think there is a committal violation. i yield back. dr. buschon, you are recognized. >> attorney general kaufman has not investigated the allegations rocky mountain planned parenthood, or other facilities around the country, in trafficking baby parts of bodies. she has taken the position she has no authority to investigate the matter whatsoever. >> will gentlemen yield? >> i will not. >> then i guess we won't get to the truth of it. >> the indictment in texas was for using a fake i.d. i can tell you have the college campus is would be indicted over that. it was stated researchers were losing money on this fetal tissue. if they are losing money, how are they losing money if there
is not a financial transaction? i agree the past investigations are completely irrelevant to today's discussion. if that was the case, we would never investigate anything. the other thing, the person in colorado who tragically murdered people have very severe mental illness, and that was what was impacted. i was a doctor before i came to congress. unfortunately, that didn't work out. in reference to this particular procurement agency, mentioned multiple times by the minority, this section of the act was to reverse the ban on fetal tissue. that applies to tradition, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of
human tissue. i know about this because i was a doctor. it appears these are upstream activities from the abortion clinic in reference to this full-service procurement agency. the question is, assuming that is correct, do you see any language in the statute that forms the basis to reimburse the abortion clinic for any cost at all? >> the statute itself doesn't delineate between the two. i want to quickly respond. my written testimony submitted makes it clear there were assumptions made, that this evidence is admissible in court, and that unethical prosecutor
would have storytellers either credible insiders, or people were compelled to testify to support this. my analysis, my written testimony points out that this evidence needs to be corroborated. if the clinic can show there are regional cost delineated, that would be complying with the statute. but i do not see that on any of the exhibits i was asked to review. that's the basis of my opinion.
>> i would agree with that. first, let me say in our system of kernel justice, each and every individual is determined innocent until determined guilty. that would be the case here. there are a number of unanswered issues that competent investigation should presume. for example, how much does the abortion click receive for an an abortion? was the source from that? from a patient, from medicaid or other sources? what if any of the services purported to the abortion client are unbundled? what is the actual cost of the abortion? what are the amounts above that cost, and how are they accounted for? what is happening to this profits? how the the abortion clinic notify the procurement business of the fact of abortion. it appears from the materials we provided that the procurement technician is embedded in the abortion clinic, and is given access to confidential medical records for the patient shows up on scene, so that the tech can select organs the company wants
at the time. >> you want to comment on something earlier. >> thank you very much. the federal position -- federal provision, talking about states having looked at this. the services were provided -- weren't provided in the first place. nothing was done wrong because that wasn't even part of the equation. >> so they are different to different jurisdictions. a prosecutor will not be swayed by what some states decided was or wasn't a violation of their state statutes. >> fair enough. i yield back. >> ms. speier, you are recognized for 5 minutes. >> this hearing belongs in a bad episode of "house of cards." i'm sure frank underwood is lurking somewhere in the room. this hearing is literally based
on a house of cards and the exhibits being used as a foundation are in all likelihood the product of staff carried out by someone now under indictment in texas and whose home has been the subject of a court order search in california. is this hearing really going to proceed based on stolen and misleading documents? even frank underwood would be blushing at this point. this committee's for purpose is to hold fake trials of citizens and companies that comply with the law, but not with the political agenda of republicans who want to restrict women's health care. 12 states and four congressional committees, one senate, three house, have already investigated the videos released by the so-called center for medical progress and found absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing. the same cannot be said for
david and his associates. this so-called committee is the very definition of a kangaroo court. court. a mock court that disregards the rule of law and justice to validate a predetermined conclusion. this mock court has real consequences. while arewe are focusing what gs on inside a woman's uterus, we are completely ignoring what happens to babies and children outside of them. hello stephen sling why this panel is holding this hearing whil children go hungrye and research on pediatric cancer is this really in need of more dollars. what about the health implications for our children if we stifle fetal tissue research? after all, fetal tissue research was key to the cdc's recent confirmation of the link between zika and micro and subtly. --microcephaly. this is the first step to stop the spread of zika. considering zika suffer from brain-damaged, severe seizures,
and other medical problems, why aren't we talking about protecting those infant lives? if this committee succeeds in abusing medical professionals so severely that they abandon promising research, not a single life will be saved. but many many will be lost. perhaps we should proposed a new name for this committee, to select investigative panel on stopping research and letting people die. , given thatr. raben no witnesses have firsthand knowledge of how these exhibits were created, or the underlying facts captured in any of them, do you think it's appropriate for the witnesses to speculate? >> i take personal offense for it being said as a physician that i'm here to allow people to die.
i would like his words stricken from the record. >> you are not referenced by name. you have to be referenced by name. >> if the gentlelady will yield. you would have to be referenced by name. and i appreciate the inquiry, but you would need to be referenced by name. >> i would like the record that offended by the comment. >> so noted. i
>> the madam chair referenced videos. they said 10 times planned parenthood does not profit from tissue donations. proposedht in sent a agreement with a clause to planned parenthood when he was trying to negotiate a contract. planned parenthood struck that particular clause and then he did not pursue it. impressioneputable on which to base an entire hearing? correctly have never met the gentleman you are referring to. in fact i don't know what "house of cards" or frank are -- frank underwood is either. there is a difference between what a discredited whistleblower had to deal with, as opposed to
admissions made by an agent of a potential target. those are apples and oranges. i am not saying i have seen all of the videos. i have seen excerpts. there is a huge difference between a whistleblower, who is discredited and an agent, or director, or employee of a targeted industry. those are admissions that could be admissible in court. i have not looked at all of the videos. back --entlelady yells yields back. dr. harris. dr. harris: i am not a lawyer, i am a doctor. i have worked at johns hopkins. about, not about profits, i think the record speaks for itself. two the brochure says these are certified
consents. ask a legalll question here, that approval is important in human research. if you are looking at whether somebody is out to make a profit they will cut corners and save a dollar. i went to ask about this company bio med. two letters regarding the 2012ny one from march 29, and the other one from january 2013. letters asked for a cease-and-desist for anything being obtained under one of their approvals because of the shoddy work. apparently it is a one room, mill -- rib are iv mill. ibsubmitted things to a r
they guarantee, if you have it in tuesday before noon, you will have it that week. have its more you can submit it later and have it approved the same week. it is unbelievable. k a specific legal question because if in fact the company continued to obtain approvalunder that irb , who is liable? if in fact when the fda said you cannot obtain specimens that is true. who would be responsible? >> i don't have the foundation to answer that. to: is it a valid question ask. if the fda said you
could not obtain anything until you have written -- responded in the letter came back almost a year later. if in fact the procurement company was obtaining tissue in that time, would that be a problem? title 45 of the regulations part 46 make it pretty clear you need irb approval. where and irb further downstream depended on that to be accurate -- in other words, doing research on a tissue from this company my irb assumes the previous approval is valid. -- representsest they have the approval, if they don't, is it valid to look downstream and see whether those irb's were notified downstream? if these had been suspended? is that something we should look into.
mr. norton: i think that is a valid question. as i look to the exhibits in preparation for this hearing, that was the question i had. what was the effect of and the date of and integrity of the irb approval process. 15, isderstand exhibit c a document provided to the woman whose obtaining the abortion. dr.: let me go further to a false statement. on a video, pretty clearly a doctor says, we modify the procedure to get better body part. -- parts. clearly. you look at it, i urge anyone go look it up. the doctor says they don't want to crush the alvarion -- calvar iam.
the federal regulations say you have to tell the patient if you're going to change a procedure. -- it at consent forms says specifically your abortion procedure will not change in any way. if you look at the record from last time, it says the procedure will not do changed. -- be changed. if in fact it is changed, is that a violation of the irb approved consent which is necessary for federal research. it is necessary for any research to be conducted downstream. is that a violation of that? if you in fact modify the procedure after a patient signed a consent that said procedure will not be modified. >> yes, i think so. >> yield back. >> may i get in there to question -- >> my time is expired. >> the gentleman's time has
expired. ok. mr. raven, go ahead. mr. raven: i'm going to question premise that- your this part of the video is not distorted is not accurate. every aspect of the videos that were put out in a public or heavily edited, deceptive, and distorted. independent analysis finds that. i don't think there is a sane prosecutor in the country that would feel comfortable putting those people that created the videos on the witness stand in a case because they would be impeached. >> you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. this hearing and entire investigation is nothing more than an attempt to limit a woman's right to choose under the false guise of illegal tissue sales. this is not a first time we have seen this. years ago the house held a hearing on nearly identical allegations.
those claims, also based on secretly rid of -- recorded videos by anti-choice extremist were found to be fabricated and patently false. much of the so-called evidence that was used back then mirrors what we're seeing today. the majorityng relied upon a whistleblower who claimed the entities were profiting from illegal tissue sales. thever, while testifying was a lower acknowledged he had fabricated his statement and lacks any knowledge of legal act -- illegal activity. the -- the department of justice still investigated dr. miles jones, the person in question, and found that after a thorough review, no violations of federal statutes were found. the death -- justice department had uncovered information that he had violated federal laws, the statute would
have permitted the department of justice to prosecute. is that correct? >> yes. >> the majority appears to be saying the term valuable consideration is not defined as a result the doj is incapable of foreseeing -- enforcing the law. in your opinion is the department of justice lacking the clarity they need to enforce the law? >> no. >> if the department had actual evidence of federal violations in those cases, the doj would enforce the law. would it not? >> i have complete confidence the men and women of the department just as no they are doing. >> is it fair to say then there is not really a problem with the statute in the 2000 case regarding the miles jones investigation, but rather a lack of facts to support the prosecution. >> yes. do you think it is possible
be lack of prosecutions that others referred to over the years under both republican and democratic administrations there is not widespread violations of the law as we have heard today? >> that is right. >> once again, this hearing is another recycled attempt to show wrongdoing when there is none, or there is no evidence. we are once again watching history repeat itself. i would like to point out after the investigation in 2000 women's health care providers were also subjected to false seven separate ,ccasions between 2000 and 2013 all based on so-called evidence by anti-choice extremist. i don't know if you have any comments you would like to make about those allegations? >> i would be glad to. the false allegations in the attempt to stare up crazy people
like robert deer have been ongoing. anyone who saw mark crutcher talking at the cleveland right to life last month saw him brag about stirring up people to do his business by any means necessary. how crutcher has avoided prosecution, i don't know. i think it is because he gets others to lie for him. these other groups like army of god have been endless. they threaten the lives of everyone who uses a clinic -- the clinics by the way do not provide just abortions, they divide a host of health services. people in colorado that were murdered were not getting abortions. it is a threat to the health and safety of the nation when people are allowed to get away with that. >> the majority seems determined to use a taxpayer-funded panel to continue pursuing the latest series of false, unsubstantiated allegations, even though they
have been debunked by everyone who has looked at them, including state attorneys general as well as committees right here in congress. investigation,e and this particular investigation is not really about -- we have not had witnesses who had -- can't be to the facts. these are baseless allegations made by daniel. it is another attempt to smear women. women deserve better. >> i think the gentlelady. mr. duffy. mr. duffy: is it fair to say the whole panel today thinks we should look for the truth? raise your hand if you disagree. we should actually enforce the law. does anyone disagree with that? great. starting off really well. i have heard conversation about how the department of justice
and investigations -- just to be clear, mrs. clayton has there been an investigation? mrs. clayton: i have no idea. there a lead doj attorney who has been assigned to lead this investigation? mrs. clayton: i am a civil litigator. i have no knowledge on that. i don't think it is allowed to be shared with people like me. mr. duffy: does anyone on a panel know of a lead attorney of the department of justice leading this? >> i have not heard nothing -- i have heard nothing. duffy: i would like the panel to refer to exhibit b 2 and b3. i believe this is a document provided by a national abortion provider. it seems to indicate there could be financial positive --
plausibility for an abortion provider if they engage with the blocked out middle person. if we look at the statute, it prohibits valuable consideration to be paid for the transfer of body parts. right? >> absolutely. mr. duffy: if somebody is getting reimbursed for a body part, it is tough to make a profit. am i missing something? >> agree. mr. duffy: if you are getting more than reimbursement, you could make a profit. is that concerning anyone? maybe the doj and the fbi is not looking into this? mr. norton: i think that is highly concerning. that is why we are here. to encourage the panel to do that. mr. duffy: mrs. foster, i have heard my friends talking about
how this is an issue of women's health care. section 289, this is a section that cap about valuable consideration for fetal body parts. is there anything in there that relates to women's health care? woman, as a as a post aborted woman, i am deeply offended that abortion clinics are committing improper acts by procurement businesses to exploit us. to potentially place us under duress and put our children on display for sale. it is the way that chicken livers are in the grocery store. it deeply offensive may. -- offends me. testimony is it your that this document has been altered? >> i have no knowledge of any of these documents. if these documents are like the videotape i would start with the
assumption they probably have been altered. i don't have any personal knowledge one way or the other. i never saw them until they were sent by e-mail yesterday. mr. duffy: you have had a chance to look at them yesterday. you are an impartial witness today who is making assertions they are probably doctored. start with theld assumption they might be because i have no knowledge of them, nor has anyone in this room given any indication of the source of the document. as far as i know they may have been invented like the videos. mr. duffy: what has been doctored in exhibit b 2. this is the document that shows an abortion provider can have financial profitability. >> it doesn't say that at all. this obviously refers -- it is not limited. i looked at that, it is clear it
is talking about adult tissue, far differently regulated. >> that is not true. it is talking about fetal tissue. it was not doctored enough. >> it has been rejected in certain ways that i cannot tell. >> right here, fetal -- >> will be gentleman yield? mr. duffy: no, i won't. it also talks about raw materials -- does anyone know what that is referring to? >> adult tissue. it applies to both. >> even if it does apply to both, it is still an offense because it does apply to fetal. mr. duffy: if this document is being sent out during the national abortion provider conference, and they're talking about adult tissue -- is that your testimony today? that this document is referring to adult tissue?
>> i have no idea. all i can tell you is it is clear from reading this document, it is not limited to fetal tissue. and sir, if i may finish answering, the results are entirely different. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> has anyone made a contribution to anyone on the panel. mrs. watson coleman, your recognized for five minutes. mrs. watson coleman: thank you very much. it is often said that congress writes their laws in the executive -- and the executive branch enforces them. in 2000, we had very similar allegations made by video interviews the justice department was asked to investigate. generalstant attorney
responded to a request to an inquiry about the potential criminal violations of the federal statute against fetal tissue sales. in that letter, the department noted that based on a preliminary review of the records it appeared the department had not received information meeting our to trigger a formal investigation that fetal tissue had been sold for a profit. i ask unanimous consent a copy be submitted. mr. raven. mr. raven, can you explain the standards for triggering a formal investigation are within the doj and why they are necessary and have these standards been met in this instance that we are debating? mr. raven: if these standards have not been met?
mrs. watson coleman: are we there now? what triggers it? raben: there is an initial investigation which can be begun .ith any credible data there is formal investigation which requires a supervisor to sign off on their use of resources. then it is up to the prosecutor to figure out if the sustainability of a conviction, are there other jurisdictions. i can refer you to the guidelines and get that to you subsequently. to answer question, it could agency is- be the involved in the investigation. we have on the record 12 states involved in a investigation. eight states said they would not open an investigation based on their evidence.
i would not be surprised if the department has looked at it and declined. as stated before, the central problem is there is so much deception around how so much of this evidence was created that i think it would give most prosecutors pause to go forward with the case. coleman: as in the deceptively edited videos and out of context, would they be enough to trigger a doj investigation? : they would be an investigator and prosecutor going with a caution. they would have to find evidence other than that source. watson: would it also include the validity of the allegations? it would be important to at least have a conversation with individuals with actual knowledge of the facts in any
documents under review. askedoday you have been by my republican colleagues to inquire about possible criminal this conduct sent to you late monday afternoon without any indication of the author, underlying source of information the document contained, and without the benefit of speaking to anyone with knowledge on that information. is this, and your opinion, affair or legitimate way to determine if there has any violation of federal law? mr. raben: no. mrs. watson: i would like to submit the doj must base investigations on real facts. this panel has based this investigation on an indicted extremist and his discredited videos. it is certainly a time for the majority to rely on facts, not inflammatory allegations of antiabortion extremist.
with that, i would like to ask mrs. clayton one question, that has to do with adult versus fetal tissue. you wanted to say something with regard to that. i want to give you that opportunity. it is clear that wherever that particular slide comes from, it refers to vote. -- both. clayton: from my experience, i know a little bit, my knowledge is out of date. among the things i know is that fetal tissue donations are highly regulated as our donations of fetal or adult for transplant. when it comes to adult tissue for research, there are still regulations, but far fewer. exhibit, ied at that immediately saw the exhibit, assuming it is a real document, was conflating more things than
one. it was not just about fetal. if i die on the train and my liver goes to someone, they can do a lot of things with that. not highly regulated. >> the gentlelady yield back. your recognized for five minutes. >> no one should make a profit from the sale of baby body parts . that is something shared by the majority party as well as the minority problem -- party. in 1993,inded of a one when this was first introduced in congress, henry waxman, who introduced the amendment, a democrat, said it would be a to allow for sales of fetal tissue in a market. today we have seen the procurement organization in exhibit 1, 2, 3, and four are receiving $700 to $850 per
brain. i want to focus on the abortion clinics part. could we look at exhibit b 1. here are the payments we have obtained to various abortion clinics for these baby body parts. we have fresno, 38 specimens. they received $2090. sacramento abortion clinic received $3740. san jose received $3750. nationwide of panels of investigation found many more of these organizations. there are hundreds of abortion clinics. ira #of the abortion clinic doctors on the video referenced talking about -- i remember in the video some of the abortion clinic doctors referring -- i want to know how
they would investigate the accounting record. anything else should document whether the clinics profited. >> thank you. i have some experience both on the prosecutor side of this -- not just being a former prosecutor for 13 years and a few years as a u.s. attorney. also in my spirits fighting planned parenthood in a very grueling eight-day trial. one of the few in the country on the defense of florida's parental notice of abortion act. i will tell you that follow the money is a concept that that applies -- that applies with special force in that area. it was astounding what i learned about how money motivates that an history -- industry. when i look at these figures.
one of the doctors that testified acknowledged that he had performed over 100,000 abortions. we -- based on the amount of time that he -- the only way we could do it because i continue to try to find out how much are they making. they fought tooth and nail to prevent that information from coming out. to answer your question i would say, yes, it is extremely important to find out where the money goes. >> what specific documents would you look for? >> i would ask for bank records. >> thank you. mr. norton: i would do the same. i would start by looking at the videos. i would read the forensic accounting report. i would read the investigations made up by former fbi agents that found the videos were
credible and the redacted version say what the longer one say. i would obtain financial records of the abortion clinic, the procurement business, and frankly i would obtain the records of the end-user. i would subpoena records and witnesses from all of those entities to get effects. -- the facts. ms. foster, turn to please explain a little more about what you think about the possible violations mr. norton raised. where after receiving the order three e-mail in the morning, they have a right to review the medical records of the patients without her knowledge. think hipa has been violated. >> i am very concerned it has been violated. planned parenthood has gone to
court time and time again to keep secrets and confidential the records of the women who have had abortions. same abortion clinics are allowing procurement businesses into their doors, sharing records, and allowing them to find out some of the most personal health care information of national -- information unimaginable. that is an extreme concern for me. it is something i definitely want investigated. >> thank you for sharing that. we are here because we care about the women too. i yield back. >> you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. republican think my colleagues cannot find a way to make this investigation more of a farce, we have a hearing like this. none of the documents the republicans are showing today contain evidence of wrongdoing. in fact these misleading documents, many of which the
republicans have brought themselves, have no basis in pasting sections of draft contracts that were never signed or from allowance, -- formalized,or does not meet the standard of any form of law. i would think the republicans should have learned this lesson after the hearing in 2000 and eight tissue procurement organization stood accused of profiting from the sale of fetal tissue research. the source of these accusations, heavily edited videos produced by antiabortion extremists. some of the documents we are looking at today were tossed around in 2000 with the same misrepresentation of the facts. that hearing fell apart when the key witness accusing admitted that he had lied in the video. suddenly, those invoices and schedules didn't seem like such
a smoking gun. here we are again. this hearing is another example of the republican majority going to extreme lengths to advanced dual agendas of sneering organizations against him investigations have found no evidence of any violations of law, knowing that the smears will endanger the lives of people were for these organizations. that's why i said this committee is worth -- worse than mccarthy investigations. peoples endangered jobs. this committee is knowingly endangering people's lives. and their other goal of eliminating women's choices and degrading their doctors. mr. raben, i would like to ask you a couple questions. just yesterday, we received a letter from the council who informed us, and i quote, it appears the majority staff may have repurposed inauthentic
stolen documents illegally obtained and that some of the majority exhibits have never appeared publicly, suggesting that perhaps a select panel may .e receiving so-called evidence does that not call into question the validity of the entire investigation? mr. raben: it sounds like bad form, yes. >> more than bad form, i would think. what do you think about the refusal of republicans to test the credibility and objectivity of the allegations? what should that tell us at this investigation? mr. raben: i'm not going to comment on my good friends across the aisle's motivation. what i am concerned about whether the point of this hearing is to politicize an investigation into press be oj to do its job in a way different than they think they ought to do it.
i think there is a set history of that and it is also dangerous. it is one thing to refer information and have comity between the branches. it is another to use politics to pressure a particular agent or investigator into doing his or her job. >> in that connection, this entire hearing having no purpose other than to suggest that since it is obvious these organizations are guilty, the doj and the state investigating agencies have not done their job properly if they haven't brought indictments. mr. raben:hat is the indication. >> thank you. and let me ask you this. we've heard that mr. delayed in was indicted only for a false identification and every -- not every, but half the college kids have false identification, so big deal.
[indiscernible] i would like your comment. from what we've seen and heard, that does seem to be a serious den and, that mr. dalei the center for medical progress were submitted false information to congress. that is a serious problem. ms. clayton, would you comment on that? ms. clayton: i agree completely. i've always wondered why they didn't get prosecuted for it. it was an admitted fact by the guy they hired. that is who the doj should we going after. in summary, we have the refusal by the committee, making all sorts of accusations, the refusal by the committee to talk to them, to ask them for explanations, then we have the committee apparently taking directly or indirectly material , stolen fromaleiden
the stem express website, all to say that stem express and other similar organizations are doing illegal activities, but you don't want to talk to them and see if they have an explanation and you do take apparently false material stolen for that purpose in order to pressure the doj. is that a fair summary of what seems to be going on? mr. raben: yes. >> is that a legitimate function of congress? mr. raben: the concern that i ofe after 20 some years being on both sides of it is when a congressional gavel is used to intimidate or pressure an agency to take action that they think it ought to the taking, particularly in the face of now 20 state officials, nonpartisan, have said on the record they've looked into this all related facts and declined
to go forward with prosecutions. >> thank you. my time is expired. >> ms. love, you are recognized for five minutes. love: thank you, and thank you to the panel for being here. i want to focus on two different things, organ donations and evil tissue donations. many say that organ donation is a gift that one can give, a beautiful thing when you think about somebody donating their organs, and organ donations are done with dignity, disclosure of where and how the organs will be used, and in every hospital in counselors there are to help with the process, and no money is made from the organ donation. the process is transparent and seen as ethical. on the other hand, when it comes to fetal tissue donation, it is different. a scared, vulnerable woman,
including a minor, can come into a clinic on the morning of her surgery and first she needs to give consent to the procedure without any parental guidance or anyone there. then, before the event, before this invasive procedure, a tissue technician comes to her and gets her to donate her baby body parts. instead of an unbalanced counselor, the tissue -- it is not transparent how the fetal organs will be used more by one organization. to me, the contrast is astounding. for thisthical procedure to happen this way. my question is, who protects the woman's interest in each case? who protects the miners' interest in each case? there are no existing laws related to consent for fetal
tissue donation. how many organs are needed? how much will be paid out for each body part, and as a mother of two teenage girls, i'm astounded and outraged that we don't have laws in place to protect our minors. mr. lennon, why is there uniform law for organ donation in every hospital in this donation and a different practice for donations of fetal organs? i don't know and i would have to speculate. that is a good question. sukhia -- mr. mr. sukhia: my father was persian and came here -- he was actually from india, but his people were from persia. sukhia. rep. love: is there any evidence
-- if there is any evidence that a law is being broken or suggestions of profiteering from baby organs, should there be investigations to ensure this -- that this is not the case? mr. sukhia: i thought that was the focus of this hearing, which is to ask of a federal prosecutor, if you have this information, what it justify a thorough investigation to ascertain those facts? rep. love: at the end of your comments, you noted that it is the duty to investigate, to make sure laws aren't being broken. thank you. ms. foster, i want to point out five immediate differences when it comes to organ donation and fetal tissue donation. and ask why there would be such a gross difference. i want to ask your thoughts after you hear these. first, organ donation is done with protections and advocates
for the donor and/or person giving consent for the donation of the organs. of a loved one, sometimes that is already deceased, there's no profit being made more money exchanged with organ donation. furthermore, if there was any evidence of such, there would be great cause to investigate. minor there is never a under duress having to make these decisions alone, without the consent or advocate of an adult or for any operation procedure, let alone an invasive procedure. furthermore, a minor would never be in the position to make the decision to donate the organs of another person. there is no contact when it comes to organ donation between the recipient of the organ, the physician procuring the organs, or the transfer team, with the consent giver, the transfer team
of the consent giver, before the consent is being given, and the hipaa violations would never be allowed when it comes to organ donation. i want to ask you this. ,f you were ever in a clinic sitting in that room, understanding that those protections are different, is there advocating for you? in an abortion clinic, no one. rep. love: who is advocating for a minor who this country would not let behind the wheel of a vehicle, would not allow to vote, would not allow to join the military, would not be allowed to smoke, would not even becauseed to join a gym there is a financially binding contract? ms. foster: no one. >> the gentlelady yields back. i recognize myself five minutes for questioning.
as a reminder to my colleagues, i leave myself to last in the questions. i want to just go back to a couple of comments that were made, and i do have a couple questions for you all. document, exhibit d, we looked at some of those on the pricing's of items, brains, things of this nature. if you are looking at a customer brain, and0 for a over the course of the year, $42,000tomer is paying for the body parts, it is hard to imagine how the procurement ,usiness is operating at a loss and what we are seeking to do is
to figure out if there is a violation of the law, and if someone is selling these fetal , ande parts for a profit that is what we are digging down on. we are looking at the pricing of fetal tissue represented in those d series documents, and then we have constructed the shows where there seems to the movement of the money. so you all have heard this debate from both sides. you've heard the questions coming from both sides. i am going to start, ms. clayton, with you, and work my way down to mr. sukhia. very quickly, what i would like to hear from you, what documents would you request or subpoena from these procurement
organizations in order to find out? we have asked for banking records from the procurement business that has been the point of discussion today and they have refused to give us those. we thought that would help clear the way to figure out -- let's start there. we only got 2:45 left. ms. clayton: i would start with accepting the invitation from the procurement business. i would have them come in, put them under oath as i understand they've offered to do, and ask them, how did you come up with this charge? rep. blackburn: that would be an incorrect assumption. ms. clayton: the second thing i would do is ask them in each particular case what aspect of the actual cost does a particular clinic incur? for example, does the clinic provides space? does the clinic as we've seen in your charts provide the blood draws, which require a
technician, nurse, materials? does the clinic have to do paperwork? how much of the actual reasonable cost is incurred by the clinic itself as opposed to the procurement business? that is where i would start. ms. foster: similar, sterilization of equipment, processing, preservation, transportation costs. i wouldn't look at banking records. well,an hr function as staff time for the consent forms that are put together. rep. blackburn: mr. lenin. -- if ion: you need a was a prosecutor, you have to have a forensic analysis of the procurement business. following the money, you got to have the entire picture. rep. blackburn: mr. norton. mr. norton: the first thing i wouldn't do is ask stan express or others, are you guilty? there is some culpability here.
i would do the same thing. i would get forensic accounting, financial records, profit and loss statements, and get people under oath before a grand jury. rep. blackburn: ms. foster. ms. foster: there are two things i would seek. first, financial records. that is something that must be brought to light. second, women of every generation are unique human beings who can speak for themselves, but the profiteers have created a market in which profits rise if they pressure women into signing donation consent forms. i would want to find out what their procedures are, what documents, what training they have on how to speak to women and how they get those consent forms find. rep. blackburn: mr. sukhia. mr. sukhia: i would note that in the case that i handled, many of ors -- there were
reports from people who owned rsd ran clinics that many mino would be under the age of 14 who often would cry out for their mothers and so forth. they are in no position to give meaningful consent, such as the exhibitsed by presented here. rep. blackburn: thank you. my time is expired and i yield it back. i asked unanimous consent that the members' written open statements be introduced to the record. >> we've provided a packet of materials to be entered into the record and ask unanimous consent that those be made part of the record. rep. blackburn: so ordered. we also will submit the document binder for the record. so ordered. we will also submit an article
from "the sacramento business journal" from the founder and ceo of stem express. that will going to the record. on stem ranking express. we also would put into the record a screenshot from stem express' website this morning which still has the fetal tissue sales component -- >> have we reviewed that document? rep. blackburn: we have not because we pulled it this morning. >> i would like to look at it. rep. blackburn: so ordered. >> before -- i'm going to reserve the right to object. rep. blackburn: you can reserve the right and we will come back to that one. we also have the source of exhibits that we will put into the record with the exhibits.
there was a question on exhibit b5, the chart that showed the growth of the procurement business revenue. that came from "is this magazine" articles and the congressional research service. ad then there was also question on exhibit b4, that chart with the growth in the number of abortion clinics. that information for that chart came from the procurement business owner and a contract with the abortion organization. so ordered. would throw in i my reservation. -- the lastsay statement you made about that last document, it was never ratified, that contract was never ratified. it was a draft.
it says that on your specific -- rep. blackburn: the sourcing. this is what we are putting into the record. >> as you know, we've already litigated that and i object to it. , theblackburn: with that hearing is adjourned and i think our witnesses. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> join us on saturday, april 23, we'll be live beginning at noon from the folger library for 400 years of shakes speer on book tv. >> the supreme court ruled unanimously on wednesday that arizona's legislative districts created by an independent commission, are valid and comply with the voting rights act.
>> argument first this morning, harris versus the arizona ind independent redistricting commission. mr. hearne: thank you, may it please the court, the one person, one vote principle of the equal protection clause requires an apportionment authority to make a good faith effort to equally apportion the population as possible. while deviations are tolerated, they are only minor dooef yaigss of a rational state policy intended not to be discriminatory or arbitrary. here, the arizona redistricting commission mel apportioned state legislature by almost 10%