Planned Parenthood Violates Patient Privacy Rights to Sell Fetal Tissue

RepMarshaBlackburnLife Legal applauds the Select Congressional Panel investigating Planned Parenthood for filing a complaint against the abortion giant, citing “serious and systematic violations of the HIPAA privacy rule.” The Panel requested a “swift and full investigation by the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services.” Complaints were also filed against StemExpress, a broker of fetal specimens, and other abortion providers.

Life Legal is representing David Daleiden in three separate lawsuits by StemExpress, the National Abortion Federation, and Planned Parenthood.

The Select Congressional Panel was established after David Daleiden published a series of videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s role in the trafficking of baby body parts. The Panel uncovered information showing that Planned Parenthood “committed systematic violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) privacy rule from about 2010 to 2015.” Planned Parenthood clinics shared patient health information with StemExpress in order to provide specific types of fetal tissue for resale.

Evidence gathered by the Panel showed that Planned Parenthood systematically shared patients’ medical charts with StemExpress employees. StemExpress then used the information, including the age of the patient, gestational age of the baby, health of the mother and the baby, to decide which patients to approach and obtain consent to harvest the fetal tissue. StemExpress employees had daily orders from researchers for particular organs at certain gestational ages and access to all the patients’ medical charts allowed them to approach only those patients whose wombs contained the desired tissues.

“In addition to violating federal laws prohibiting the sale of tissue from aborted babies, now we discover that Planned Parenthood has violated federal laws protecting patient privacy,” says Alexandra Snyder, Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. “Planned Parenthood and its media allies claim that none of the government investigations spurred by our client David Daleiden’s work have uncovered any wrongdoing by the abortion giant. This is manifestly untrue, and today’s letters from the Select Panel are the latest proof.”

Life Legal also learned that Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, who chairs the Select Panel, sent a letter to the HHS office for Human Research Protections urging a separate investigation into StemExpress for “fraudulently using invalid consent forms.” An earlier panel hearing highlighted evidence that Planned Parenthood’s consent forms incorrectly stated that fetal tissue had produced cures for a variety of diseases. According to the Panel’s evidence, StemExpress also misled its customers to believe it had a valid Institutional Review Board approval, a federal requirement for conducting research involving human subjects.