Planned Parenthood faces ‘body parts’ federal probe

A Senate Judiciary Committee in the United States has recommended that the country’s largest abortion provider be investigated by the FBI and the Department of Justice in connection with allegations of illicit trading in aborted body parts.

Arising from undercover footage filmed by pro-life activists appearing to show members of Planned Parenthood engaging in trade deals with organisations seeking to procure body parts for research, the committee was established to investigate some 20,000 documentary pages from clinics associated with the group. While current laws allows for aborted tissue to be supplied for research, it is illegal to engage in this practice for financial return.

A report newly release by the Senate committee recommends the launching of a criminal investigation based on its findings.

Launching the report, the committee’s chair, Senator Chuck Grassley said that while he did not “take lightly making a criminal referral”, he added that “the seeming disregard for the law by these entities has been fuelled by decades of utter failure by the Justice Department to enforce it. 

“And, unless there is a renewed commitment by everyone involved against commercialising the trade in aborted foetal body parts for profit, then the problem is likely to continu