In Light of Abortion Patient Death, New Mexico Rep. Pearce Seeks Federal Investigation Before Statute of Limitations Runs Out

By Cheryl Sullenger

Albuquerque, NM – Rep. Steve Pearce has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeking an investigation and prosecution of the University of New Mexico and its partner, Southwestern Women’s Options, the largest full-term abortion facility in the U.S.

Pearce’s letter expresses urgency for a Federal investigation for the following reasons:

• The New Mexico Attorney General’s office has been too slow to act on two criminal referrals made by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, allowing many of the charges to expire under the statute of limitations. (Referral 1, Referral 2)
• The statute of limitations is quickly approaching the rest of the allegations against UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options.
• There has been one documented death of an abortion patient at Southwestern Women’s Options this year, raising concerns that the dangers at SWO must be immediately addressed.

Pearce remind Attorney General Sessions that women travel to New Mexico from all over the country to receive abortions. This thriving abortion business, which specializes in abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy, profits from interstate commerce, making the issue a federal concern.

Pearce was especially troubled about the February 4, 2017, death of Keisha Atkins from a botched late-term abortion she received at Southwestern Women’s Options.

“On February 4, 2017, a woman tragically died at SWWO facilities after receiving a late-term abortion. This raises more questions about the reckless behavior of the SWWO. In 2016 alone, the National Abortion Federation reportedly referred more than 200 Texas patients to New Mexico for abortion related procedures. With hundreds of women flocking to New Mexico to receive these dangerous procedures, something must be done” Pearce wrote.

Tara Shaver of Abortion Free New Mexico uncovered the death of Keisha Atkins, 23, and obtained her UNM autopsy report that wrongly indicated Atkins’ pregnancy – not her abortion – caused her death. However, an analysis of the autopsy report clearly shows that determination was a cover-up of the truth that Atkins died a painful, panic-filled death as the result of complications that could only have resulted from the late-term abortion.

On April 19, 2017, Rep. Pearce, along with several leaders from state and national pro-life organizations, including Operation Rescue, attended a press conference with Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Chairman of the House Select Panel, that called for New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas to act immediately on the Select Panel’s criminal referrals that allege UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options were willing partners in the sale of aborted baby remains in violation of state and federal laws.

Later that same day, Balderas’ office acknowledged during a meeting with leaders of Operation Rescue, Abortion Free New Mexico, and several other pro-life groups that the referrals were under active investigation, yet there has been little progress.

On June 26, 2017, Operation Rescue president Troy Newman sent a letter to Balderas urging him to investigate criminal allegations against UNM and SWO with all urgency, but no response to that letter was ever received.

“The delay by Balderas’ office seems intentional to protect UNM and SWO from any consequences for their actions, whether it be the illegal sale of aborted baby body parts or their participation and cover-up of death of Keisha Atkins,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “As New Mexico’s ‘Top Cop,’ Balderas is committing a shocking betrayal the citizens of New Mexico by allowing his ideological cronies in the abortion business to commit crimes without consequence. U.S. Attorney General Sessions must do better than Balderas if the rule of law and the lives of women like Keisha Atkins are to mean anything.”

Read Rep. Pearce’s Letter to AG Sessions

Please contact the office of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and demand that the Department of Justice conduct an immediate criminal investigation of UNM and the Southwestern Women’s Options abortion business.

AG Session’s Direct Online E-mail Contact Form
Email Session’s Office: Press@usdoj.gov
Comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DOJ/
Comment on Twitter: @thejusticedept

Newman Files Petition with Supreme Court Challenging Gag Order that Bans Sharing Evidence with Law Enforcement

PRESS RELEASE

Washington, DC – Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue and a founding member of the Center for Medical Progress, filed a petition yesterday to the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the Constitutionality of a preliminary injunction that prohibits the release of undercover videos recorded at National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings — even to law enforcement when they contain evidence of crimes.

The petition, captioned Newman v. National Abortion Federation, states:

This Petition stems from an injunction forbidding the voluntary disclosure to law enforcement agencies, other governmental bodies, and the general public of recordings and other information that the enjoined individuals and entities—as well as Congressional investigators—believe are evidence of widespread criminal, illegal, and unethical conduct, including felonies.

Newman is represented by Jay Sekulow, who leads Newman’s team of attorneys from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

During Newman’s tenure on the Board of the Center for Medical Progress, the NAF, and later Planned Parenthood, filed suits in a San Francisco Federal Court against Newman and others in an effort to prevent the release of further undercover videos that exposed the illegal trade in aborted baby body parts.

And it is little wonder that the NAF would not want the videos released.

Newman’s Supreme Court Petition notes that Congressional investigations conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives referred members of the National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for criminal investigation and prosecution.

Newman argues that the enjoined recordings corroborate the determination of the two Congressional investigations, which found evidence that NAF members (including several Planned Parenthood organizations) were engaged in the following criminal conduct:

• Profiting from the sale of fetal organs;
• Altering abortion procedures for financial gain;
• Performing illegal partial-birth abortions;
• Killing newborns who survived attempted abortions;
• Failing to obtain informed consent for fetal tissue donations;
• Violating federal regulations regarding Institutional Review Boards (IRBs); and
• Fraudulent overbilling practices.

Newman’s petition further states:

It has long been a tenet of Anglo-American jurisprudence that individuals who believe that they have information concerning criminal or illegal activities should be permitted, and encouraged, to voluntarily provide such information to government authorities. Similarly, investigative journalism concerning matters of public concern, including the uncovering of illegal, unethical, or troubling activities, is a constitutionally protected, venerable undertaking.

Newman’s unsuccessful appeal to the Ninth Circuit was joined by state 14 Attorneys General, led by Arizona, who are seeking to review the evidence contained in the recordings.

As the most important abortion case currently under litigation, Newman v. NAF could have profound implications on the future use of undercover investigative techniques and the ability of law enforcement to gather evidence in criminal investigations.

Read the Petition in Newman v. NAF

Pro-Life Group Seeks Urgency for DOJ Investigations into Planned Parenthood’s Baby Parts Scheme

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC – Operation Rescue is asking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to urgently investigate and prosecute suspected criminal conduct on the part of Planned Parenthood, three organ procurement companies, and a Texas abortionist that were referred to the Department of Justice by the House Select Panel on Infant Lives and the Senate Judiciary Committee last December.

The House Select Panel and the Senate Judiciary Committee resubmitted the criminal referrals to Sessions once he became U.S. Attorney General earlier this year.

The criminal referrals are now over six months old, yet there is no indication that the Department of Justice has taken any action on them. The Congressional referrals are related to the illegal trafficking of aborted baby remains for profit and other serious crimes associated with late-term abortions.

“Since the conduct alleged in the criminal referrals is so severe that it is literally placing lives at risk in some instances, we are urging Attorney General Sessions to aggressively pursue these cases in the interest of justice, and to protect the vulnerable from further harm,” said Operation Rescue president Troy Newman.

Among those that have been referred to the Department of Justice for investigation and possible prosecution are Planned Parenthood Federation of America and four of its California affiliates:

• Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.
• Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.
• Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific (Northern California).
• Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest.

In addition, Planned Parenthood’s partners in the scheme to profit from aborted baby remains, which have been the subject of Congressional criminal referrals are:

• StemExpress, LLC.
• Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc.
• Novogenix Laboratories, LLC.

A final criminal referral of Texas abortionist Douglas Karpen was made to the Department of Justice by the House Select Panel on Infant Lives.

In 2013, Operation Rescue released a report based on information provided by four former Karpen employees. These women alleged that they witnessed the killings of babies who were born alive during possibly illegal late-term abortions by abortionist Karpen. They claimed that Karpen twisted their heads nearly off or cut their necks while they were still moving, in a similar way that Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell killed babies born alive at his squalid “House of Horrors” clinic. Gosnell was convicted of three counts of first degree murder for the deaths of three born-alive babies and hundreds of other crimes.

[Read the just released book, The Trial of Kermit Gosnell, by Cheryl Sullenger, with a factual, first-hand account of the infamous murder trial. Also contains a chapter about the Douglas Karpen case. Available now at Amazon.com.]

“Needless to say, these allegations are very serious, and if true, are literally putting innocent lives in grave danger,” stated Newman in his June 23, 2017, letter to Sessions. “Because of that, I encourage you to pursue criminal investigations and prosecutions, if warranted, against the Planned Parenthood organizations, the organ procurement companies, and the Texas abortion provider with all urgency in order to protect women and their babies from harm, and in the interest of justice.”

Newman has also sent letters to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi urging both Top Cops to aggressively pursue investigations into criminal referrals made in their states by the House Select Panel on Infant Lives.

In New Mexico, the University of New Mexico and a very late-term abortion business, Southwestern Women’s Options, have been accused of violating state and federal laws related to the sale of aborted baby remains and informed consent.

Southwestern Women’s Options, which is one of only five abortion facilities nationwide that openly conduct abortions throughout the third trimester of pregnancy, is the sole provider of aborted baby remains to UNM.

In a ghoulish admission included in the Select Panel’s final report, Dr. Paul Roth, Chancellor of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and Dean of the School of Medicine publicly confessed that UNM had used brains of aborted babies for dissection by high school students at a summer camp.

In Florida, the Select Panel noted in its criminal referral of Presidential Women’s Center, an abortion business located in West Palm Beach, that it and its partner, Stem Express routinely violated FL. Stat. §873.05, which makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, donate, transfer, or purchase fetal remains obtained from an abortion.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has acknowledged that an investigation is ongoing, but results of the investigation have not been forthcoming in over six months since the criminal referrals were made.

“By sending these letters to U.S. Attorney General Sessions and the two state attorneys general, we are trying to instill prosecutors with a sense of urgency,” said Newman. “The longer these investigations drag out, the longer women and their babies will be placed at risk, and the greater the potential that evidence of crimes will be covered up. We must demand that those who have broken the law be brought speedily to justice.”

Read the letters:

Newman to AG Sessions
Newman to NM AG Bladeras
Newman to FL AG Bondi
__________

You can help!
Please contact the offices below and ask that the criminal referrals issued by the House Select Panel on Infant Lives and the Senate Judiciary Committee be fast-tracked for a speedy conclusion.

U.S. Attorney General Office of Public Affairs

Email: Press@usdoj.gov
Comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jeff-Sessions-Attorney-General-625037464347173/?nr
Comment on Twitter: @USAGSessions

New Mexico Attorney General, Santa Fe Office

Phone Toll Free: 1-844-255-9210
Comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NMAttorneyGeneral/?fref=ts
Comment on Twitter: @HectorBalderas

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
Web contact page: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/contact.nsf/contact?Open&Section=Citizen_Services
Comment on Twitter: @AGPamBondi

Late-term Abortion Facility Turns Over Records as New Undercover Recordings Expose Additional Crimes

By Cheryl Sullenger

Albuquerque, NM – In a new development, a spokesman for New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, James Hallinan, confirmed last week that Southwestern Women’s Services and the University of New Mexico have submitted a “voluminous” amount of records in response to the ongoing investigation into allegations of illegal trafficking in aborted baby remains and other crimes.

“While we can confirm there is an ongoing investigation and both UNM and SWWO have responded to our demands by producing a voluminous amount of records, we cannot comment further on the investigation,” Hallinan said in an email to the Albuquerque Journal.

The Attorney General’s investigation and “aggressive” request for documents, which was first made public during a meeting between national pro-life leaders and Deputy Attorney General Tania Maestas in April.

The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by Tara Shaver of Abortion Free New Mexico, and later criminal referrals from the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. Representatives from Operation Rescue, Priests for Life, the Survivors, and Abortion Free New Mexico attended the meeting. Also present was Cathern Glenn Foster, who has since become President and CEO of Americans United for Life.

However, there is some question about whether the “voluminous” records represent full compliance.

Southwestern Women’s Options and UNM previously submitted documents to the House Select Panel during its investigation into the practice of procuring aborted baby remains for “research.” It is believed that neither entity fully complied with the Select Panel’s subpoenas.

According to Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who chaired the investigatory panel, UNM was especially uncooperative. UNM officials never showed up to the any of the several meetings with investigators, which were arranged at UNM’s request.

“We can only hope that this new state criminal investigation will be finally result in justice. Southwestern Women’s Options and UNM must be held accountable for their actions that are suspected of violating a ban on the use of fetal tissue for experimentation, as well as a woman’s informed consent,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Since Balderas is a Democrat who was very slow to act on these serious allegations, there is no guarantee there will be a prosecution. We hope Attorney General Balderas will chose to put aside partisan politics and his personal bias favoring abortion, and just enforce the law as written as he was elected to do.”

This development comes in the wake of new investigative reports from Abortion Free New Mexico that reveal disturbing behavior by Southwestern Women’s Options.

An undercover recording revealed how tax money completely pays for abortions for any reason – even through the third trimester of pregnancy — on women who can qualify for Medicaid. A caller identifying herself as 30-weeks pregnant, was told that Medicaid would pick up the full cost for her elective late-term abortion.

While that might not be a crime, failure to report child sex abuse is.

A second undercover recording featured a caller posing as a minor girl who was 26-weeks pregnant by an older family member. Instead of being told to contact the authorities, the incest victim was told to call New Mexico Medicaid, which would pay the full costs of her $7,500 for the abortion. The caller was never notified that the abortion facility would be required to report suspected child sex abuse.

“This latest undercover call continues to rip the veil off the abortion industry and show our nation what even most ‘prochoice’ people oppose: late term abortion of healthy babies, paid for by taxpayers, and conducted by an industry which provides cover for sexual predators,” said Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, who has been working with Abortion Free New Mexico on their investigative efforts. “What we need to know to end abortion is found in the abortion industry itself. We just need to continue exposing it, and we will.”

Collusion? Planned Parenthood Drafted “Video Tape Law” Aimed at Punishing Future Pro-Lifer Whistleblowers

By Cheryl Sullenger

[Note: This article has been edited as of June 4, 2017, to reflect corrections and additional information. Operation Rescue endeavors to be as accurate as possible, thus we regret anything in the previous version of this article that may have been misleading or inaccurate. -C.S.]

Sacramento, CA – A public records request made by Operation Rescue has yielded e-mails and other documents that show a close working relationship between Planned Parenthood and the California Attorney General’s office, especially when it comes to countering pro-life efforts.

Planned Parenthood attorneys often sought meetings and conference calls with members of the Attorney General’s Office to discuss a number of issues, including the “Video Tape Law,” HB 1671, which was used to criminally charge David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).

“Planned Parenthood essentially wrote the language that criminalized Daleiden and Merritt’s recordings more than a year after they were made,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who also served as a founding member of the CMP. To clarify, if the recordings had been made after January 1, 2017, they could have been charged under Planned Parenthood’s new, tougher law.

“Planned Parenthood wanted to punish the CMP for exposing their appalling and illegal sale of aborted baby tissue and organs, so they concocted a law that made [future] recordings illegal. [Even so,] David and Sandra’s criminal charges are the result of the State of California aiding and abetting Planned Parenthood’s vendetta against those who blew the whistle on their ghoulish conduct.”

In fact, a draft of amendments to an existing recording law was submitted on March 8, 2016, by Beth Parker, Chief Legal Counsel to Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California to Jill Habig, who then served as Special Counsel to Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Planned Parenthood’s suggested amendments made it a crime to secretly record health care providers and mandated that anyone who “aids, agrees with, employs, or conspires with any person or persons to unlawfully do, permit, or cause to be done” surreptitious recordings would face fines of $2,500 per occurrence and imprisonment not exceeding one year, if convicted.

The following day, March 9, 2016, Planned Parenthood’s Parker visited Habig’s office to discuss the draft amendments, including any potential obstacles to the law.

On March 16, just five days later, Parker submitted a rewrite of the bill that showed slight edits in the original draft. For example, “agrees with” was stricken from the language that discussed criminal culpability for those who conspired in making secret recordings.

While the final text of the legislation was fine-tuned over the following weeks, it included all the points that Planned Parenthood had requested. The newly edited law was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on September 30, 2016, after last-minute language was inserted to specifically exclude news organizations, which had complained about the bill. The law went into effect on January 1, 2017.

Daleiden and Merritt were not charged with violations of the new Planned Parenthood-drafted provisions on March 28, 2017, by Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who succeeded Kamala Harris after she left to pursue a U.S. Senate seat. The recordings that supposedly violated the law were made in 2014-2015. The majority of the recordings were released in 2015.

However, the older version of the law that Daleiden and Merritt were charged under allowed for either misdemeanor or felony charges. The charges against the pro-life journalists were bumped up to felony counts, no doubt at Planned Parenthood’s request.

Earlier this year – based in part on the CMP recordings – investigative panels in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives referred Planned Parenthood Federation of America and five California affiliates to the U.S. Department of Justice for further criminal investigation and prosecution for illegally profiting from the sale of aborted baby remains.

“California has opted to protect Planned Parenthood while making up a new law under which they could charge pro-lifers. It is important to emphasize that David and Sandra’s recording were legal when they were made and released. We believe the recordings were always in compliance with the law,” said Newman.

But the cozy relationship between the California Attorney General’s office and Planned Parenthood was not just confined to the “Video Tape Law.”

Talking Points

There was also a back-and-forth exchange of e-mails originating from Harris’s Special Counsel, Jill Habig, who was seeking a zip code sort for the number of out-of-state patients seeking reproductive services in California.

The purpose of the data was to help fine-tune media talking points in opposition to the Texas HB 2 law that provided support Habig’s assumption that pro-life legislation in other states was impacting California by driving women there for abortions. She was especially interested in any Texas women coming to California for abortions they could not get in Texas due to Texas’ HB 2 abortion law that was being challenged at the U.S. Supreme Court.

“If it’s not too difficult, I’m thinking about using it for press purposes when we talk to reporters about the [Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt] case this week and then later when the decision comes down,” Habig wrote to Planned Parenthood’s Beth Parker on March 3, 2016. “We got a couple of reporter questions that seemed to indicate they had assumed that the ruling wouldn’t have any effect of CA because we’re pro-choice, so I’ve been thinking about ways to challenge that assumption beyond just saying that pro-choice leadership isn’t guaranteed forever.”

Zip code data provided by Planned Parenthood’s Beth Parker did not support Habig’s flawed assumption, showing only three women seeking services in 2015 at one unidentified California Planned Parenthood affiliate, in contrast to four Texas women seeking services there in 2012.

Forced Abortion Referrals

In another case, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California considered filing an amicus brief in NIFLA v. Harris, a 2015 case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that concerned speech at pro-life pregnancy help centers.

NIFLA, (National Institute of Family Life Advocates) is a national organization that provides legal counsel, education, and training to pro-life pregnancy help centers. NIFLA challenged California “Fact Act,” which unconstitutionally forces pro-life medical clinics to refer for abortions.

A conference call, attended on February 10, 2016, by seven heavy hitters in the Attorney General’s Office, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood, concluded that Planned Parenthood’s amicus brief in support of the “Fact Act” would be welcomed.

Repeat of Houston Corruption?

David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were also criminally charged for making secret recordings at Planned Parenthood in Houston, Texas, by a grand jury under the direction of Harris County Attorney General Devon Anderson. It was later discovered that Anderson’s office had colluded with Planned Parenthood to flip the focus of the grand jury away from Planned Parenthood and onto the CMP journalists. Once that collusion was uncovered, Anderson was forced to drop all charges. In part, due to the scandal the collusion generated, Anderson lost her bid for re-election last fall.

“I believe we are seeing a repeat of the same kind of corruption that led to the false charges in Texas. Planned Parenthood wields a huge amount of political support in California, but the Attorney General’s office should be unbiased when it comes to enforcing the law. Instead we see California’s Top Cop actively protecting crimes committed by Planned Parenthood while allowing Planned Parenthood to manufacture a law to punish pro-life supporters,” said Newman. “That is the definition of corruption.”

Read the full 223 page document packet received by Operation Rescue.