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As Congress Investigates StemExpress, the World Moves On

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It's so often they way things go in today's world. Stories catch fire and blaze brightly for a moment, fueled by public interest and sometimes visceral fascination before slowly flickering out as curiosity gives way to whatever is printed in tomorrow’s headlines.

So it went with Planned Parenthood and questions over their potential buying and selling of fetal tissue and organs from aborted babies, a scandal that, within days of breaking, had blazed a contentious trail across the nation. As social media lit up with the news last summer, the liberal media predictably provided scant coverage of the topic, save for demonizing pro-lifers and their apparently misplaced horror at watching abortionists laugh while sifting through baby bits in a spaghetti strainer.

And then, clouded by the thick smoke from the liberal media’s propaganda mill, the winds of outrage died down, and the world moved on.

But the investigation into the sale of fetal tissue isn’t over yet, despite what your evening news show may imply. In fact, a Select Investigative Panel for the House Energy and Commerce Committee is still looking into whether any laws have been broken by a tissue procurement business called StemExpress after company officials were caught on camera discussing the sale and profit from fetal tissue during an undercover investigation by pro-life activists from the Center for Medical Progress last year.

The Select Panel on Infant Lives held a hearing on StemExpress’s business dealings on April 20, which liberal members of Congress slammed as a witch-hunt into the evidently legitimate practice of taking human organs from fetuses (who somehow aren’t humans themselves, despite their admittedly human parts) and selling them to scientists.

In their efforts to derail the panel’s investigation, pro-choice lawmakers questioned the validity of the documents used during the hearing to raise questions over whether StemExpress or the abortion clinics were profiting from the sale of fetal tissue, which is prohibited by federal law.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) went on record as saying that "[s]ome of [the documents] were created wholesale by Republican staff," adding that "[t]here 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."

In her opening statement, Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.) claimed, "From the outset, this investigation has not been an objective investigation or fact-based search for the truth but a political weapon to attack women's healthcare and lifesaving research and harass and intimidate those who provide these services.”

Even StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer released a statement following the hearing, claiming:

“I am appalled by Chairman Blackburn’s statements in today’s hearing. Contrary to her assertions, StemExpress has provided thousands of pages of documents to the Select Panel and other Senate and House Committees, including documents illustrating that we do not profit from the provision of fetal tissue to researchers. Unfortunately, the Select Panel continues to ignore the evidence, instead misstating facts and citing to documents that appear to have been stolen from StemExpress.”

But in a May 2 letter sent from the Select Committee to StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer, Chairwoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) explained the committee already has reached out to StemExpress asking for business documents that could either confirm or disprove the company has been paying abortion clinics for fetal tissue beyond the basic administrative and shipping reimbursement allowed by law.

“Over the last several months, we have made numerous attempts to acquire business and accounting documents from StemExpress that are necessary to complete our work at the Select Investigative Panel. All of these requests have been met with verbal and written objections from your attorneys,” Blackburn stated in the letter.

“In light of recent public comments you have made and the consensus reached by witnesses at our April 20 hearing on The Pricing of Fetal Tissue that a complete review of StemExpress business and accounting documents was necessary, I am writing to personally request you turn this information over to our investigators,” she added.

Blackburn requested StemExpress turn over a slew of documents related to the company’s dealings in fetal tissue, including all company communications relating to the procurement of fetal tissue, accounting and banking records, invoices relating to the billing or payment for fetal tissue, statements of revenues and company tax returns.

The obvious crux of the matter is simply this: if StemExpress claims they did not break the law by engaging in the profitable sale of fetal tissue, it stands to reason they would simply provide the documents requested and prove their innocence.

But perhaps most fascinating in all this is the complete lack of coverage or attention given to this still-unfolding story. Have we sunk so far as to give no more than a temporary passing glance to the fact that thousands of infants are being systematically slaughtered every day, only to have their eyeballs and livers and brains dissected and shipped off to science labs -- regardless of its legality? Is it now acceptable to Americans that elected lawmakers give an assuming pass to companies that may be making money off the body parts of babies?

And if it is somehow proven that the collection and trade of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood, StemExpress and the entire abortion industry is perfectly legal, is it just acceptable that it should be?

In school, children learn with understandable horror that, in ancient Greece, it was common for infants that weren’t wanted to be placed outside on doorsteps or even in roadways to die of exposure or starvation, their cries ignored by those around them who could have helped. But here, in the cushy opulence of 21st century America, we silently take care of the “problem” within sterilized walls behind heavy metal doors, and whatever's left over is used to line the pockets of the conscienceless.

And the world spins madly on.

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