Confirmed: UNM and Nation’s Largest Late-Term Abortion Center are Under Criminal Investigation for Body Parts Scheme

By Cheryl Sullenger

Albuquerque, NM — During a meeting with pro-life activists on Monday, March 6, 2017, representatives from the New Mexico Attorney General’s office confirmed that the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options, the largest late-term abortion facility in the United States, are under investigation for violations of state law.

Tania Maestas, Deputy Attorney General, informed Tara Shaver, Senior Policy Advisor for ProtestABQ, and ProtestABQ’s senior attorney, Angelo Artuso, that a complaint filed by Shaver in 2015, is under investigation by the criminal division of the New Mexico Attorney General’s office.

Shaver’s complaint involved Southwestern Women’s Options consent forms from 2012 and 2015, which women are obligated to sign prior to abortions. Those forms state that the remains of babies aborted at Southwestern Women’s Options may be used in medical research.

SWO Consent Form 2015 by Bud Shaver on Scribd

Southwestern Women’s Options is the sole supplier of aborted baby tissue to the publicly-funded University of New Mexico.

Potential state law violations in the complaint included the Jonathan Spradling Anatomical Gift Act and the Maternal and Fetal Experimentation Act.

In addition, Maestas informed Shaver and Artuso that the criminal referrals of UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options made by the U.S. House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas last year, are also under investigation.

The House Select Investigative Panel presented Balderas with evidence to back up their findings, which included several key points. (Read more about this.)

1. Taxpayers partially fund both UNM and the Southwestern Women’s Options late-term abortion business.
2. Two UNM abortionists created a radically pro-abortion climate at the “resistant” university and created a cultural shift that now aggressively promotes abortion.
3. The primary goal of UNM’s partnership with Southwestern Women’s Options was to increase the volume of second trimester abortions, in order to provide the UNM Health Sciences Center with an ample supply of aborted infant remains for “research” and other purposes.
4. Southwestern Women’s Options is the sole provider of “aborted infant tissue” to the UNM Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC).
5. Whole brains from aborted babies were admittedly used for dissection by “summer camp” students.
6. UNM’s training agreement with Southwestern Women’s Options violated UNM’s own policies and procedures on such contracts.
7. UNM granted faculty status to Southwestern Women’s Options abortionists that included employee benefits that provided professional and financial benefit. These benefits may qualify as “valuable consideration,” which would put them in violation of State and Federal law.
8. The Select Investigative Panel agreed with Shaver’s conclusions that New Mexico’s Spradling Act was violated.

“This is a matter of urgency as aborted baby remains are still being harvested and transferred between the facilities for experimental research. Each day that passes poses a risk to the public and sends the message to the New Mexico abortion cartel that they have free reign to do as they please,” said Shaver. “We are grateful for the confirmation from the New Mexico Attorney General’s office that the complaint and referral before them is being taken seriously and we urge them to work quickly to resolve this very important matter.”

“We urge the New Mexico Attorney General’s office to move with all possible speed to bring those involved in criminal conduct at UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options to justice,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who also provided information during the Select Panel’s Investigation. “The longer the investigation drags on, the more UNM and the Southwestern Women’s Options abortion business will continue to break the law and exploit women, all at taxpayers’ expense.”

Final Report: Planned Parenthood, Other Abortionists Broke the Law

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC — The Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives has released their final report detailing their investigation, findings and recommendations related to the underground trade in aborted baby remains for profit and late-term abortion abuses.

The 471-page report also includes hundreds of pages of supporting documents that explains the Select Panel’s fifteen criminal referrals for further investigation and prosecution, including five Planned Parenthood organizations, three middle-man procurement companies, and abortion providers in Texas, Arkansas, Florida, and New Mexico.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and thank them for their tireless investigation, which has vindicated much of Operation Rescue’s work that has raised the alarm about abortion abuses over the past few years,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, whose staff members cooperated with Congressional investigators.

Newman also served as a founding member of the Center for Medical Progress, whose undercover videos revealing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the sale of aborted baby parts served as the basis for the Select Panel’s investigation.

“Every word of those videos has been validated as true,” said Newman. “It is gratifying to see our allegations verified by the Panel’s investigation.”

In addition to the Planned Parenthood criminal referrals related to illegal trafficking in aborted baby organs and tissue, some of the referrals were made for abortion providers that were uniquely projects of Operation Rescue.

Since 2010, Operation Rescue has worked with local activists in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to expose abuses at Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), the largest late-term abortion facility in the U.S. We have repeatedly exposed the link between SWO and the University of New Mexico (UNM), which used tax dollars to expand abortion in New Mexico.

Both SWO and UNM had been referred to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas for prosecution on charges they violated the state anatomical gift act and failed to provide legally-required informed consent to women.

Operation Rescue also first discovered that Houston late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen had likely engaged in illegal conduct and worked with former employees of his two abortion facilities who still stand by their allegations that he murdered viable babies “Gosnell-style” who were born alive during illegal late-term abortions.

Karpen evaded indictment by a 2013 grand jury due to political corruption in the Harris County District Attorney’s office – corruption that Operation Rescue helped expose.

Karpen has now been referred the Texas Attorney General’s office and the U.S. Department of Justice for a laundry list of crimes including murder, infanticide, violation of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, and fraudulent concealment of criminal conduct from government authorities, among others.

“We took a lot of heat over our efforts to bring Planned Parenthood and the other dangerous abortionists to justice. I was falsely accused of lying, faking evidence, and committing crimes I never committed,’ said Newman. “But today, every allegation we made about the abortion providers who have been referred for criminal charges has been verified by the Congressional investigation that vindicated our work over and over. Now we pray these abortionists, who have made their livings exploiting women and killing innocent babies, will receive proper justice in a court of law.”

The Select Panel has recommended several significant changes, which include in part:

• Defund Planned Parenthood of Title X grants and Medicaid payments.
• Recommendation that a law be passed by Congress that would mandate that babies 20 weeks gestation or older be born alive. It would ban intentionally killing or dismembering a child in the womb after 20 weeks.
• Mandate training for abortionists in the care of infants born alive during abortions.
• Establish criminal penalties for violating the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.
• Create a division within the Department of Justice within the criminal division to enforce Federal abortion laws, such as the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, etc.
• Improve Biomedical Research by instituting safeguards so that only ethical (non-abortion) sources of tissue are used.
• Establish guidelines for the use of human fetal tissue.

“Under the Obama Administration or even a Hillary Clinton Administration, we know nothing would be done to make the changes needed to protect women and their babies from exploitation by a predatory abortion industry. However, once the new Trump Administration takes office, we expect that they will take this very seriously,” said Newman. “We will continue to monitor the progress of the Select Panel’s criminal referrals and recommendations and encourage Congress and prosecutors to act swiftly.”

Read the Final Report and Exhibits
Read the 15 criminal referral letters

Select Panel Issues Two Criminal Referrals of Texas Late-term Abortionist Karpen, Others

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC — The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives has announced that it has made a total of 15 criminal referrals based on its investigation into the underground trade in aborted baby organs and tissue. Six of the referral letters were just released late yesterday, while nine others had been previously made public.

Among the new criminal referral letters issued by Select Investigative Panel Chair Marsha Blackburn were two made against Texas late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas Attorney General’s office seeking further investigation and appropriate action.

In 2012, Operation Rescue began acquiring evidence against Karpen from his former employees. That evidence included photographs depicting the bodies of two infants that were clearly in their third trimester of pregnancy, which were said to have been aborted by Karpen. Those photos were provided directly to Operation Rescue in November 2012, by the former Karpen employee who took them with her cell phone. They depicted wounds that could not have occurred while the baby was still inside the womb.

Blackburn referenced those photographs in both criminal referral letters against Karpen. She quoted from witness affidavits that described how Karpen killed late-term babies who were born alive during abortions at his Houston abortion facilities at a rate of three to four per week.

[Karpen] would terminate the lives of these infants, Employee #1 further alleges based on those incidents she witnessed, by any of several methods, including the following:

Snipping the infant’s spinal cord with scissors, cutting the neck with Sopher forceps or similar instruments; twisting the infant’s head; using forceps or other instruments, or his finger to crush the “soft spot” of the infant’s head, or crushing it by the same means through its stomach; or inserting his finger down its throat. If the infant’s cranium was coming out first, he would usually use his index finger to puncture its head, but if it was coming out feet first, he would instead insert an instrument in the back of the infant’s head.

Blackburn further addressed a 2013 Harris County Grand Jury assigned to investigate the allegations against Karpen of illegal late-term abortion and murder, which were brought by Operation Rescue in a formal complaint. That grand jury failed to return a true bill.

“[Karpen] was previously referred to the District Attorney of Harris County, but the investigation into the matter was deficient,” Blackburn stated.

The Select Investigative Panel referenced several violations Karpen may have committed that warrant further investigation and possible prosecution, including:

• Violations of Texas homicide laws.
• Violation of the Federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act.
• Violation of the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.
• State and Federal violations for falsifying ultrasound results.
• State and Federal violations of laws against fraudulent billing. (Medicaid fraud)
• Texas Administrative Code violations for failing to properly store and log medication.
• Texas Administrative Code violations for failing to have adequate medical staff,
• Texas Administrative Code violations for failing to observe proper sterilization procedures and disposal practices.
• Violations of Texas laws related to fraudulent concealment of criminal conduct from government authorities.

“The criminal referrals of Karpen to the Department of Justice and Texas Attorney General validate our efforts over the past three years to bring this late-term abortionist to justice,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The issuance of the referrals completely repudiates the actions of Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, who committed a gross injustice by protecting Karpen from accountability. May justice finally be done!”

Earlier this week, Operation Rescue reported that Anderson had failed in her bid for re-election. The new district attorney-elect notified Assistant District Attorney Sunni Mitchell that her services are no longer needed. Mitchell handled both the 2013 Karpen grand jury and the 2015 grand jury that falsely indicted pro-life journalists while protecting Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast from prosecution.

Other criminal referrals made by the Select Investigative Panel include:

StemExpress is a California organ procurement company that contracted with Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses for the acquisition of aborted baby remains. The Panel issued four referrals of StemExpress for HIPAA violations, Institutional Review Board violations, profiting from the sale of aborted baby remains, destroying documents under subpoena.
University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options was previously referred to the New Mexico Attorney General for violations of the state anatomical gift act. A supplementary referral was made for failing to provide informed consent.
• An Arkansas abortion facility, Little Rock Family Planning, was referred for possible violations of the law when it sent aborted baby remains to StemExpress.
DV Biologics was referred for suspected profiting from the sale of aborted baby remains and failing to collect California sales tax. (Read about this company’s connections to Hillary Clinton.)
Advanced Bioscience Resources was referred for possible illegal profiting from the sale of aborted baby remains.
• A Florida abortion facility, Presidential Women’s Center, was referred for possible illegal sale of aborted baby remains.
Four Planned Parenthood organizations and an organ procurement company, Novogenix, were referred to the Department of Justice for possible violation of a federal law that prohibits the sale of aborted baby tissue for “valuable consideration.”

“Operation Rescue is grateful to the Select Investigative Panel and to Chairman Marsha Blackburn for their courageous willingness to investigate the shadowy underground world of trafficking in aborted baby remains, and abuses related to illegal abortions and the murder in infants born alive during abortions. We know the Panel underwent constant attacks from the opposition, which wanted desperately to cover up these crimes,” said Newman.

Of the criminal referrals, Blackburn issued the following written statement.

“Speaking as a woman, I am deeply troubled by what we have learned about the mistreatment of patients at a particularly difficult and vulnerable time in their lives. They are being treated with a disregard for their best interests and their rights as patients,” said Chairman Blackburn. “Women deserve better than this. They deserve better than to face any level of deception or pressure. We have seen instances in which profit-driven procurement businesses acting in conjunction with clinics violate women’s privacy rights under HIPAA. We have seen consent forms misrepresenting to women that cures for still uncured diseases have resulted from fetal tissue. It is disturbing to see so many cases where there is barely the pretense of consent or no consent at all before the remains of a baby are taken by researchers.”

Read all criminal referral letters released by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives.

Read Operation Rescue’s Special Report on its own 2012-2013 investigation of Douglas Karpen (Includes photos referenced by the Select Investigative Panel.)