Sen. Rubio Presses For Investigation Into Planned Parenthood

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has called for a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood following allegations that the organization unlawfully supplied human fetal tissue for research to a university.

Sen. Rubio sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) urging a thorough investigation. In his letter, Rubio expressed concern about the potential violation of federal laws and called for a comprehensive review of Planned Parenthood’s practices related to fetal tissue donation and exchange.

“Documents obtained via public records request show that UCSD and Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest entered into a ‘Biological Material Transfer Agreement’ in 2009. In this contract, Planned Parenthood agreed to provide ‘fetal and placental tissue’ to UCSD for non-commercial research ‘for the purpose of deriving cell lines from and determining gene expression, genomic, and epigenomic profiles of the materials,’” the letter stated.

“Not only was Planned Parenthood providing the aborted fetal tissue in exchange for ‘valuable consideration,’ emails between the groups show that Planned Parenthood and [the University of California San Diego] actively collaborated and met at regular intervals to discuss the progress of the research,” Rubio said.

Federal law prohibits the sale of fetal tissue for profit.

The controversy surrounding fetal tissue sales is not new. In 2015, a series of undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress alleged that Planned Parenthood officials were involved in the sale of fetal tissue. The videos sparked outrage and led to congressional hearings. However, investigations did not find evidence of illegal activities.

While federal law allows for fetal tissue donation for research purposes, it strictly prohibits any financial gain from such transactions. Planned Parenthood maintains that it follows all legal guidelines and only facilitates tissue donation with the consent of patients.

A similar investigation is underway regarding the University of Pittsburgh’s involvement in comparable practices. Newly released documents reveal that federal officials have initiated an investigation into the university with allegations that the university may have illegally harvested and utilized fetal tissue for experimentation.