House Select Panel Votes to Hold StemExpress & CEO in Contempt in Baby Parts Investigation

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By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, D.C. – Despite parliamentary antics on the parts of pro-Planned Parenthood Democratic members of the Select Panel on Infant Lives, followed by several minutes of castigation of the Panel’s investigation, a markup meeting took place today where the Panel voted to hold StemExpress and its CEO, Cate Dyer, in contempt for failing to comply with subpoenas.

Democratic members, led by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, refused to participate in the actual vote and walked out of the meeting. The resolution passed with 8 yes votes.

A House Resolution Report seeking the contempt charges details a pattern of deception and stonewalling employed by StemExpress that was used to stall an investigation by the House Select Panel on Infant Lives.

StemExpress, an organ procurement company, was under investigation by the Select Panel due to its financial and professional relationship with Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses. Evidence released by the Center for Medical Progress last year indicated that Planned Parenthood illegally profited financially from the sale of aborted baby remains to StemExpress and other organ procurement organizations.

At issue are accounting records that were first voluntarily requested by the Select Panel from StemExpress. Instead of accounting documents, the Select Panel was provided inadequate summaries. When Dyer and her company refused to comply, the Select Panel issued subpoenas to require compliance.

According to the report, StemExpress told the Select Panel to seek the financial records from its outside accountant, the Scinto Group. However, when the Panel approached the Scinto Group, it refused to comply because Stem Express objected to their compliance.

The panel was also told to seek accounting documents from a former accountant, Sara Lee Heuston, who happened to be represented by StemExpress’ attorney. During a conversation with Heuston, she told the Select Panel she had no documents “and that if the Panel contacted her again she would call the police.”

Dyer has refused to supply the Select Panel with the names of current accountants for her company.

“This is the very definition of the ‘run-around,’” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue who also served as a founding board member for the Center for Medical Progress. “Dyer has a lot to hide, so to keep the Select Panel accessing incriminating documents that may implicate her and her Planned Parenthood cohorts, she would rather face contempt charges.”

The efforts by the Select Panel spanning to obtain the accounting documents from Dyer and StemExpress have spanned eight months. Now Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Chairman of the Select Panel, believes they have reached an impasse, which is impeding the Panel’s ability to conduct the investigation with which it was tasked.

Rep. Blackburn sought the contempt charges to break through the stonewalling and compel compliance so the Panel could get to the truth about whether laws were broken.

The contempt resolution will be referred to the full Committee on Energy and Commerce. If it is approved, it will be referred to the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for certification. Contempt is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of $100,000.

In a separate matter, Rep. Blackburn removed from the agenda a resolution to release the May 11, 2016, deposition of abortionist Eve Espey of the University of New Mexico. The deposition was taken as part of the Panel’s investigation into the UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options, a late term abortion facility that supplied UNM with aborted baby remains. No reason for removing the resolution was given.

Read the Select Panel’s Contempt Resolution Report
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This breaking news report has been updated.

StemExpress Faces Contempt Charges in Move to Halt Stonewalling of Subpoenaed Records

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By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC – In a big move announced yesterday, the U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives will vote Wednesday on contempt charges against StemExpress and its owner, Cate Dyer.

Dyer and her organ procurement company have repeatedly stonewalled subpoenas issued by the Select Panel for financial information that would prove not only that Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of fresh aborted baby body parts to Stem Express, but also how much it profited.

The sale of aborted baby remains for profit is a violation of Federal Law.

The Select Panel was created to investigate evidence that surfaced last year through a series of undercover videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress. The videos showed Planned Parenthood executives and abortionists bargaining for the sale of aborted baby remains for profit to a number of organ procurement companies and research laboratories

“This is the piece of the puzzle we hoped the Select Panel would uncover,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who served as a founding board member for the Center for Medical Progress. “As with many white collar crimes, the financial data is the key piece of evidence. The fact that Dyer is risking contempt charges to keep this information out of the Select Panel’s hands indicates it must be strongly incriminating to her, her company, and her business partners at Planned Parenthood.”

Newman is named in two Federal lawsuits filed by Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation, which are seeking to block the release of additional videos and evidence and financially ruin those involved in the undercover journalistic study that revealed their obvious ghoulish behavior toward aborted baby remains and their alleged criminal conduct.

The Select Panel also announced that in a separate matter, it will vote to release a May 11, 2016, deposition taken as part of the Panel’s investigation in to the University of New Mexico (UNM).

On June 23, 2016, the Select Panel sent a letter to Attorney General Hector H. Balderas, Jr. recommending criminal charges and further investigation into UNM and the largest late-term abortion facility in the country, Southwestern Women’s Options, both located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

During their investigation, the Select Panel uncovered evidence that UNM obtained aborted baby remains from Southwestern Women’s Options, which were then used for experimentation by UNM or sold to others for experimentation in violation of state and federal law.

In return, Southwestern Women’s Options abortionists received numerous employee benefits at UNM that provided professional and financial gain.

Nearly three months later, Attorney General Balderas has yet to charge UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options.

In August, Dr. Paul Roth, chancellor of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and dean of the School of Medicine, who oversaw the aborted baby tissue harvesting scheme, admitted on video that staff from the University of New Mexico used brains of aborted babies for dissection by high school students at a summer camp.

This admission essentially justified the Select Panel’s decision to seek criminal charges against UNM and SWO.

The Select Panel will meet Wednesday, September 21, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. ET in HVC-210 at the United States Capitol. A live stream of the meeting and links to the documents will be available at this link.

Operation Rescue will also post the documents when they are available.

A Tale of Two Cities: Ohio AG Appeals to State Supreme Court in Lengthy Abortion Transfer Agreement Case

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By Cheryl Sullenger

Toledo, OH — Please excuse me if I sound impatient. After all, the lives and health of women and their babies are at risk – and have been at one particular abortion facility for over three years, with no end in sight.

Back in March of 2013, a hearing was held by the Ohio Department of Health seeking to terminate the facility license of a Toledo abortion facility, Capital Care Network (now known as the Toledo Women’s Center) for failing to meet licensing requirements.

In order to qualify for a license as an ambulatory surgical facility, Ohio law stipulates that the facility must have transfer agreements with hospitals to ensure prompt hospital care for patients in the event of an emergency.

That’s been the law in Ohio since 1996. It was even upheld by a Federal Court ten years ago.

This law is different from the provision struck down in June by the U.S. Supreme Court in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt where each abortionist was required to maintain local hospital privileges. The Ohio transfer agreement condition is a lower standard that is easier to meet.

In 2013, the regulation was codified. This time it included language that ensured that the transfer agreements were with “local” hospitals, a clarification that makes perfect sense. When one needs emergency medical care, a nearby hospital is preferable to one, say, in another state.

But the Capital Care Network (CCN) in Toledo didn’t see it that way. When the University of Toledo Hospital made the decision not to renew its transfer agreement with the abortion business when it expired on July 31, 2013, no hospital anywhere in the vicinity of Toledo, Ohio, wanted anything to do with CCN.

On August 3, 2013, the Department of Health proposed to revoke the ambulatory surgical facility license of CCN in Toledo.

But the facility did not immediately shut down, as one might expect. Instead, it continued to operate for almost five months without any hospital transfer agreement at all.

On January 16, 2014, the CCN entered into a transfer agreement with the only hospital that would have it, the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, Michigan. However, that hospital was in another state 52 miles away!

That agreement was rejected by the Department of Health for being in violation of the requirement for hospitals to be “local” to the location of the abortion facility. Ann Arbor, Michigan, could in no way be considered local to Toledo, Ohio, and was far beyond the 30 minute travel time that the Department ruled was the farthest a facility could be located to ensure the health of patients was protected.

Instead of shutting down, CCN requested a hearing, which was held a year later. All the while, the abortion facility that was in clear violation of a law meant to protect patient lives and safety remained open for business.

terriehubbardAt the hearing, the clinic owner/director, Terrie Hubbard, parsed the meaning of the word “local” and ludicrously proposed that she could comply with the 30 minute driving time by calling for a helicopter located outside Columbus to fly to Toledo, pick up her critically injured patients then fly them off to Michigan.

However, she also admitted that she had no arrangement in place for the helicopter service. It was doubtful if one could ever be made.

On July 29, 2014, nearly a year after CCN fell out of compliance with licensing requirements, an adjudication order was issued that ordered the facility to shut down.

But it never did. Instead, it filed suit to block the Ohio Department of Health from closing the dangerously-operating abortion facility.

The Lucas County Court of Common Pleas heard the case nearly a year after that and issued a decision on June 19, 2015, inexplicably favoring the abortion facility. It ruled that the law posed an “undue burden.”

The Attorney General’s office appealed.

It took yet another year for the Appeals Court to hear the case and render a decision. On July 29, 2016, nearly three years after CCN should have closed, the Appeals Court allowed the abortion facility to continue operating even though it could not comply with the law.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Mike DeWine filed notice with the Ohio Supreme Court to hear his final appeal on the CCN case.

timeline-in-ccn-case

One has to give him credit for trying, but the reality is that this case will likely not be decided for at least another year. By then, at least four years – perhaps more – will have passed since the Department of Health first attempted to enforce the hospital transfer agreement law.

Each day, CCN’s abortion customers literally play the equivalent of “Russian Roulette” with their lives. In the event of an emergency when minutes could mean the difference between life or death, they face the prospect of being sent to a hospital emergency room that is an hour away, or perhaps risk being dumped at an emergency room that has to waste precious time determining the extent of a patient’s injuries without the benefit of good communication with those that injured her.

The system that is keeping CCN dangerously open is simply inadequate to protect the public. It shouldn’t take years to shut down an abortion business that refuses to comply with the law. Abortion clinics are given one opportunity after another to delay by a system that cannot function without taking years and years to do it. This is placing women in unacceptable jeopardy.

Even when it comes to licensing inspections, CCN hasn’t been fully surveyed since 2011 – over five years ago. Who knows if the many gross deficiencies discovered at that time have ever been corrected? Certainly not the Department of Health.

But don’t think for one minute that CCN’s only problem is its out-of-state hospital transfer agreement. Its hired abortionists are a true “rogue’s gallery.”

Raymond Robinson: His Ohio medical license was suspended for six months in 1993 for prescribing over 5,000 doses of controlled substances to family members without performing physical examinations. In 2014, Robinson was criminally charged in Indiana for failing to report suspected cases of child sex abuse. Action against his medical license is pending in that state.
Thomas Michaelis: He worked at CCN before his arrest on child pornography charges in 2014. Operation Rescue sought an investigation into whether sex abuses took place at CCN during his employment there given his record of sex crimes involving children dating back to 1991. To date, there is no record that such an investigation ever took place.
Harley Blank: He was sued in 2013 for misdiagnosing an ectopic pregnancy, leaving a woman unable to ever bear another child.
David Burkons: He was charged by the Medical Board on December 9, 2015, for illegally distributing controlled substances, failing to note prescriptions in medical records, and more. Despite the potentially devastating impact on patient’s health, this case has yet to be resolved months later.

It is obvious that the disciplinary and licensing enforcement process needs to be dramatically reformed. It is ridiculous for cases where patient safety is at stake to take years upon years. But that’s not just an Ohio problem. That is how the system functions – or in most cases, malfunctions – in nearly every state.

How tragic that the lives and health of women are held in such low regard that those who pose the most danger are knowingly allowed to continue to place women in continual risk while the disciplinary process grinds along at a glacial pace.

If strict time limits are not going to be put in place, licenses should be suspended pending the resolution of cases, because human lives should be valued over someone’s job.

I’m a big believer in working peacefully through the system to end abortion. Through longsuffering patience, we have seen the licenses of abortionists revoked and abortion facilities closed. We have even seen some abortionists thankfully hauled off to jail because of our complaints. But the reality is that the regulatory system, and in some cases, the court system we depend upon for justice, needs a serious overhaul.

So yes, I’m impatient for the Capital Care Network of Toledo to be shut down by the state. I’m impatient for the abortionists that work there to be prohibited from hurting anyone else. I’m impatient to see the system actually work to protect lives of women and their babies rather than the industry that exploits them. We all should be. Maybe then we could see the reforms that are so desperately needed to protect human life.

Read Ohio’s Memorandum in Support of Jurisdiction in Capital Care Network of Toledo v. State of Ohio Department of Health.