The March for Life, along with over a dozen other organizations, signed a letter released Tuesday asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI acting Director Andrew McCabe to investigate Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the selling of fetal tissue.
“We, the undersigned representing millions of Americans, strongly support an investigation into paid fetal tissue transfers involving Planned Parenthood,” the signers write.
The letter is prompted by the work of David Daleiden, an investigative journalist who founded the Center for Medical Progress, a nonprofit organization of “citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances.”
As part of his work, “Daleiden recorded doctors, executives, and staff-level employees discussing various aspects of the fetal tissue procurement industry,” the signers write.
Daleiden and a contractor hired by Center for Medical Progress, Sandra Merritt, are currently facing criminal charges in California over their undercover video work. Daleiden called the charges “bogus.”
Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, told The Daily Signal in an interview Thursday that pro-life organizations want justice to be served.
“Essentially, we’re asking the administration to take it up in its proper format, so it should have been looked at through the Justice Department in the Obama administration,” Mancini said. “Of course, that never happened, so we’re asking the Trump administration to rightly take up this in the Department of Justice.”
The letter comes days after the May 24 release of a video from the Center for Medical Progress that shows footage from the conventions of the National Abortion Federation in 2014 and 2015.
“An eyeball just fell down into my lap, and that is gross,” Dr. Uta Landy, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Consortium of Abortion Providers founder, said during a panel discussion at a National Abortion Federation convention.
Deb VanDerhei, national director for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America America Consortium of Abortion Providers, directly addressed revenues.
“But the truth is, that some might want to do it for, to increase their revenues,” VanDerhei said. “And we can’t stop them.”
The Center for Medical Progress has released multiple videos taken by undercover journalists showing Planned Parenthood employees discussing the selling of fetal tissue.
A video released in April by the Center for Medical Progress shows Dr. Mary Gatter, Planned Parenthood Foundation of America’s Medical Directors’ Council president, speaking about the price of fetal tissue.
“Yeah, $50’s on the low end, $50 [per specimen] was like 12 years ago,” Gatter said.
The last Congress, the letter said, investigated Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the selling of fetal tissue.
“The 114th Congress responded to the videos by holding hearings and initiating investigations that culminated in the House of Representatives creating the Select Panel on Infant Lives to further investigate the matter,” the letter reads.
The letter states that the panel “found evidence of violations of laws protecting human research subjects and patient privacy; laws regulating anatomical gifts for transplantation, therapy, research, and education; laws protecting late-term and born-alive infants; and laws pertaining to public funding for fetal tissue research and abortion providers.”
The panel, according to the letter, “made 15 criminal and regulatory referrals of tissue procurement companies and abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood affiliates, and investigations are underway around the nation.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee, which investigated the selling of fetal tissue, made seven criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, according to the letter.
Planned Parenthood did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment. Previously the organization has pushed back against Daleiden’s coverage.
“The videos generated by the discredited ‘Center for Medical Progress’ are a fraud aimed at single purpose: to end women’s access to reproductive health care, including medically safe and legal abortion, and to damage Planned Parenthood,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement last year.
The signers of the letter wrote that President Barack Obama’s administration “decided to turn a blind eye to the wrongdoing,” and are asking the Department of Justice to “continue the investigation into the practices surrounding this scandal.”
David Christensen, vice president of government affairs at the Family Research Council, a conservative policy organization, told The Daily Signal Thursday this request to the Department of Justice should be heeded.
“It was really important to see the Obama administration put its incredible support for Planned Parenthood and abortion rights over and above the law and justice,” Christensen said. “President [Donald] Trump has spoken strongly in favor of life and…we would like to see the Department of Justice follow up by appraising the law.”