WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has written to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to request an update on the investigation into Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country for the trafficking and sale of fetal tissue, infant organ harvesting, and unlawfully utilizing loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) despite knowing they were ineligible to apply.
Graham also contacted the newly confirmed Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR) Brian Miller with the U.S. Department of the Treasury to urge him to investigate and audit all PPP loans made to Planned Parenthood affiliates.
“As we have seen from invoices from certain Planned Parenthood affiliates, biomedical companies paid thousands of dollars in exchange for fetal organs from abortions,” said Graham. “Planned Parenthood and any biomedical companies involved must be held accountable for their lucrative and illegal activities involving the trafficking and sale of fetal tissue.
“Planned Parenthood’s abuse of taxpayer PPP dollars is yet another example of Planned Parenthood’s flagrant disregard for the law,” said Graham. “We urge you to investigate not only the extent to which Planned Parenthood was involved in the sale of fetal tissue, but also the disturbing descriptions by Planned Parenthood workers of infants born alive who were left to die or killed through organ harvesting.
“President Trump and his administration have been unwavering in their efforts to protect life. Planned Parenthood’s blatant disregard for legal protections for life is unacceptable, and we therefore respectfully ask that DOJ take all steps necessary to address Planned Parenthood’s unlawful activities.”
Graham, along with a group of more than twenty senators, expressed their concerns in letters to Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray as well as a letter to Special Inspector General Miller.
Full text of the letters are below.
The Honorable William Barr
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530
The Honorable Christopher Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20535
Dear Attorney General Barr and Director Wray,
In the wake of recently-released under-oath testimony of Planned Parenthood and biomedical company officials admitting to the trafficking and sale of fetal tissue and describing infants born alive and left to die or killed through organ harvesting, we write you to request an update on your investigation into Planned Parenthood.
The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) first revealed undercover videos in 2015 that exposed Planned Parenthood officials admitting to selling fetal tissue. CMP’s efforts led to a House Select Investigative Panel and Senate Judiciary Committee inquiries followed by criminal referrals to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). On December 13, 2016, then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley sent criminal referrals to the FBI, including multiple Planned Parenthood affiliates, biomedical companies, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). In June 2019, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Senator Grassley sent a follow-up letter requesting an update on the investigation. More incriminating video testimony was revealed this year by CMP.
In the recently released deposition testimony, Perrin Larton, the Procurement Manager for Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc., testified about entirely intact fetuses: “They just, sometimes they fall out” of the patient during an abortion procedure “once every couple months.” When asked if the fetus has a heartbeat in this situation, Ms. Larton testified, “It would depend” as “I can see hearts that are not in an intact P.O.C. [product of conception] that are beating independently” after dissection.
Dr. Deborah Nucatola, former Senior Director of Medical Services for PPFA, whose deposition was also released, testified that she had patients deliver a non-viable fetus in the operating room. In her testimony, she defined a non-viable fetus as one that is “not capable of survival,” and used the “availability of interventions” as criteria of viability. Dr. Nucatola performed abortions at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, which provided fetal tissue to Novogenix Laboratories, LLC. Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc., Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, and Novogenix Laboratories, LLC, were among those included in the criminal referrals sent to the FBI in 2016.
Additional testimony included Jon Dunn, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC). Mr. Dunn testified that during his tenure, he recalled of at least one situation where an infant was born alive. PPOSBC had a partnership with DaVinci Biosciences LLC that was found by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to be illegally profiting from selling fetal tissue in 2017, though PPOSBC did not face any charges. This same Planned Parenthood facility was awarded a $7.5 million loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)—the largest loan of the total $80 million that Planned Parenthood affiliates received.
Congress expressly intended to prohibit the creation of a market trading in fetal tissue when it established 42 U.S.C. §289g-2, that prohibits the sale of fetal tissue for “valuable consideration.” In 1993, Representative Henry Waxman (CA-33), who authored these restrictions despite supporting abortion himself, said on the House floor, “This amendment that I am offering as a substitute would enact the most important safeguards, and those are the safeguards to prevent any sale of fetal tissue for any purpose, just not for the purpose of research. It would be abhorrent to allow for a sale of fetal tissue and a market to be created for that sale.” In National Journal, Waxman later clarified on companies that sell tissue, “they should be prosecuted. … Any price is unreasonable and illegal.” Further, Congress passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which establishes equal protection for an infant who is born alive—a heartbeat being an indicator of that status—at any stage of development, including in the event of an induced abortion.
As we have seen from invoices from certain Planned Parenthood affiliates, biomedical companies paid thousands of dollars in exchange for fetal organs from abortions. Planned Parenthood and any biomedical companies involved must be held accountable for their lucrative and illegal activities involving the trafficking and sale of fetal tissue.
Planned Parenthood’s abuse of taxpayer PPP dollars is yet another example of Planned Parenthood’s flagrant disregard for the law. We urge you to investigate not only the extent to which Planned Parenthood was involved in the sale of fetal tissue, but also the disturbing descriptions by Planned Parenthood workers of infants born alive who were left to die or killed through organ harvesting. In addition, we request the following information:
- An update on any investigation already underway into Planned Parenthood, its affiliates, and the biomedical companies it deals with;
- Any FBI or other DOJ action on the criminal referrals sent by the Senate Judiciary Committee or the House Select Investigative Panel. If no action has been taken on these referrals, provide an explanation as to why;
- A list of any prosecutions or investigations DOJ has pursued for violations of 42 U.S.C. §289g-2 since January 1, 2010;
- A list of any Planned Parenthood affiliates that DOJ is investigating for illegal fetal tissue sales that also received PPP loans; and
- A list of any prosecutions or investigations of individuals or organizations that have committed crimes against born-alive infants who survive attempted abortions, including in violation of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.
President Trump and his administration have been unwavering in their efforts to protect life. Planned Parenthood’s blatant disregard for legal protections for life is unacceptable, and we therefore respectfully ask that DOJ take all steps necessary to address Planned Parenthood’s unlawful activities.
Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to your response.
The Honorable Brian D. Miller,
Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20220
Dear Special Inspector General Miller,
As the newly confirmed Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR), you have the authority to investigate and audit all loans made or managed by the Secretary of the Treasury, including those made under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We write, therefore, to ask that you review the loans made to at least 43 Planned Parenthood affiliates. Specifically, we ask that you investigate how these affiliates were able to obtain PPP loans despite their ineligibility under the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) affiliation rules, whether any Planned Parenthood affiliates knowingly provided false information in their PPP loan applications, and to what extent the parent organization, Planned Parenthood for America (PPFA), was involved in the application process for said loans.
On May 19, 2020, SBA sent a letter to a number of Planned Parenthood affiliates who had received PPP loans informing them that it had made a preliminary determination that the affiliates did not qualify for the loans and all funds must be returned. SBA’s preliminary determination found that the affiliates did not qualify under affiliation rules, citing specifically to affiliation arising from management.
In support of its preliminary determination, SBA cited a number of areas in which PPFA exercises control over its affiliates as described by PPFA’s bylaws. The cited control included: requirements outlined in PPFA’s bylaws dictating a certification process for becoming a Planned Parenthood affiliate; a requirement that affiliate bylaws conform to PPFA policies; and 17 “affiliation mandates” affiliates must abide by covering core medical functions. In addition, SBA found that PPFA requires reaccreditation of affiliates and reserves the right to strip them of affiliation with PPFA or eject them from the PPFA network. Taken together, along with SBA’s correct assertion that the receipt of these loans by Planned Parenthood affiliates violates the intent of Congress in creating the PPP loans , these facts clearly show that these affiliates should neither have been deemed eligible nor received taxpayer funds in the form of PPP loans.
Statements made by Planned Parenthood suggest that the submissions were done with prior knowledge that the organizations were not eligible for the PPP loans. As noted in a letter to Attorney General William Barr signed by 27 Senators, including many of the undersigned here, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political action committee for Planned Parenthood, expressly acknowledged that the CARES Act “gives the Small Business Administration broad discretion to exclude Planned Parenthood affiliates and other non-profits serving people with low incomes and deny them benefits under the new small business loan program.” This acknowledgement raises serious questions about not only the intent of Planned Parenthood affiliates in submitting PPP applications, but also the role that PPFA played in inducing or encouraging affiliates to apply for loans in deliberate violation of law.
We therefore ask you to conduct a thorough investigation of all PPP loans applied for and received by any Planned Parenthood affiliate, to determine how those affiliates were able to obtain PPP loans, and if any of their applications were submitted with information that was known or should have been known to be false, and make any civil or criminal referrals that you deem necessary and proper. We also ask that you review the extent to which PPFA was involved in the submission of any affiliate applications containing false or incorrect information. If such involvement is found, we ask that you consider whether it should be referred as a violation of 18 U.S.C. §371 or any other criminal or civil statute.