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.”

Will the Florida Attorney General Investigate Criminal Conduct at West Palm Beach Abortion Facility?

By Cheryl Sullenger

Tallahassee, FL – When the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives issued 15 criminal referrals as a result of their investigation into the illegal sale of aborted baby remains, most news stories focused on Planned Parenthood’s part in the illegal profit-taking scheme.

However, the Select Investigative Panel also referred a West Palm Beach abortion facility, Presidential Women’s Center, Inc., to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi for violating State and Federal laws prohibiting the following:

• The sale of aborted baby tissue for profit.
• The use of tissue from aborted babies for research or experimentation.
• The disclosure of individually identifiable health information to another person.
• The disclosure of individual health information for commercial advantage.

These allegations are serious and significant. Selling aborted baby tissue for profit is a second-degree felony that can earn violators up to $10,000 in fines and 15 years in prison for the first offense.

Sharing health information is a violation of HIPAA punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and imprisonment for up to one year. However, if the disclosure of health information involved commercial advantage, the punishment jumps to a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Yet, there has been no word from Attorney General Bondi’s office regarding whether or not she will instruct law enforcement to investigate.

Operation Rescue contacted the Attorney General’s office for comment, but despite assurances from Bondi’s Press Secretary Kylie Mason that she would get back with an answer, she never responded to Operation Rescue’s follow up communications.

“The public has a right to know if there will be an investigation based on the Congressional criminal referral,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “We have not asked for information about the progress any possible investigation, which we understand they cannot comment on. We have simply sought to find out if there would be an investigation.”

NAF Member

Presidential Women’s Center (PWC) is an abortion business located in West Palm Beach, Florida – ironically less than 10 miles from President Donald Trump’s “Winter White House” Mar-a-Lago estate.

PWC is a member of the National Abortion Federation, a confederation of abortion facilities with an overall dismal safety record that partnered with Planned Parenthood to educate its members about the potential benefits of selling aborted baby remains.

StemExpress Contract

PWC contracted with the procurement company StemExpress to receive $50.00 per 60ccs of maternal blood and $75 for the collection of “fetal tissue” derived from abortions.

It also agreed to allow StemExpress “access to patient charts and identify of donors ‘as necessary to obtain patients’ consent for use of POCs and maternal bloods.”

“Typical Work Day”

In the PWC criminal referral letter, Chairman Marsha Blackburn describes a “typical work day” for PWC staff on organ procurement/abortion days.

First PWC staff logged onto the StemExpress website for orders awaiting fulfillment that described parts needed and gestational ages.

The PWC procurement staff then “met with patients waiting to be prepped for their abortions and convinced them to consent to donate by saying that the donation will help cure diabetes, Parkinson’s, and heart disease.”

Once consent was obtained and the abortion completed, staff would collect the remains of aborted babies and procure the parts requested, then ship the remains via FedEx directly to the customer.

Staff updated the StemExpress website throughout the day to let other abortion businesses also participating in the aborted baby body parts trade about what had been procured at PWC. These updates included some patient details.

Finally, PWC staff shared details of patients’ private health information with StemExpress, including name, date of birth, date of abortion, gestational age at time of abortion, and other information such as the patients’ height, weight, and smoking history.

Disposal of Unused Remains

Disposal of aborted baby remains is a huge problem for many abortion businesses – PWC included. Many medical waste disposal companies refuse to do business with abortion facilities. Those that do charge high prices that cut into the abortion business’ bottom line.

To solve that problem, PWC contracted with StemExpress to “cover disposal services for non-used portions of cadaveric materials.”

Other Concerns

Operation Rescue is not the only one to get the silent treatment when it comes to questions about whether or not Bondi’s office will investigate. M. Susan Pine of FACE Life, Inc., has been attempting to get an answer for weeks. Pine is concerned because she is aware of patient injuries, including a 2012 patient death at Presidential Women’s Center and has been working to see the facility closed due to dangerously shoddy patient care and in the interest of saving lives.

On September 22, 2012, PWC abortionist Frank Rodriguez conducted an abortion on patient S.H. He mistakenly pushed a cervical dilator into her uterus. After the abortion, Rodriguez failed to remove the dilator. S.H. died five days later.

The Board of Medicine reprimanded Rodriguez March 10, 2016, for killing his patient on ordered him to pay fines and costs in the amount of $14,472, and barred him from conducting surgical abortions until he met all the requirements imposed by the board, including extensive re-education and evaluation.

Operation Rescue has evidence of other injuries inflicted PWC abortionists. In April, 2011, Operation Rescue reported on an ambulance at PWC, which transferred a patient to a hospital emergency room for treatment. The abortionist on duty was Michael Benjamin, who has a history of Medical Board discipline.

Criminal charges related to the illegal sale of aborted baby remains may actually help spare other women from injury or death.

Will She or Won’t She?

As serious as the House Select Investigative Panel’s charges are, in the nearly three months since the referrals were made, there still has been no word from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi as to whether her office has taken any action to further investigate Presidential Women’s Center, as requested by the Select Investigative Panel.

“It’s time to let the public know if there will be an investigation. Please call Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office and respectfully request an answer to whether or not Presidential Women’s Center will be investigated for violating the laws protecting aborted baby remains from exploitation for financial gain,” said Newman.

Read the Criminal Referral Letter

Please contact AG Pam Bondi and ask if her office plans to act on the criminal referral of Presidential Women’s Center.

Voice: 850-414-3300
Email: Web form

Newman Presents Malachi Award to Rep. Marsha Blackburn Made in Nation’s Capital

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC – A presentation of Operation Rescue’s Malachi Pro-Life Person of the Year Award was made on January 24, 2017, to Rep. Marsha Blackburn at her office in Washington, D.C. Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue made the presentation.

Joining the ceremony were a number of pro-life leaders, including Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition; Fr. Frank Pavone, Director of Priests for Life; Mark Harrington, Director of Created Equal; Fr. Terry Gensemer, Director of CEC for Life, and others.

Blackburn was selected to receive the award in recognition of her work as Chairman of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, which conducted a year-long investigation into allegations that Planned Parenthood and others participated in the illegal sale of aborted baby remains. Under her leadership, 15 criminal and regulatory referrals were made by Blackburn’s committee, seeking prosecutions of several Planned Parenthood organizations, organ procurement companies, and other abortion providers.

The Malachi Award is given by Operation Rescue every year to recognize individuals who sacrificially work to advance the cause of protecting the pre-born.

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

Rep. Marsha Blackburn Named Operation Rescue’s 2016 Pro-Life Person of the Year

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC — Operation Rescue is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2016 Pro-Life Person of the Year Malachi Award is Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) for her work as Chairman of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives.

The Malachi Award is given by Operation Rescue every year to recognize individuals who sacrificially work to advance the cause of protecting the pre-born.

“Operation Rescue is grateful to Chairman Marsha Blackburn for her courageous willingness to investigate the shadowy illegal underworld of trafficking in aborted baby remains by Planned Parenthood and others. We know that she underwent constant attacks from the opposition, which wanted desperately to cover up these crimes,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

Under Blackburn’s leadership, the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives made 15 criminal and regulatory referrals to state and federal authorities, seeking further investigations and possible prosecutions of five Planned Parenthood organizations, three organ procurement companies, the University of New Mexico, and three other late-term abortion facilities.

“Her Panel’s work provided vindication for Center for Medical Progress journalists, which first brought evidence of Planned Parenthood’s participation in the illegal sale of aborted baby remains to the public in 2015,” said Newman, who served as a founding CMP board member.

In addition, Blackburn boldly investigated other abuses related to illegal late-term abortions and the murder in infants born alive during abortions.

As a result, her Select Investigative Panel referred Texas late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen to the U.S. Department of Justice and Texas Attorney General for further investigation and possible prosecution for the alleged murder of late-term babies born alive during abortions at his Houston abortion facilities. The Karpen criminal referrals included numerous additional violations that placed the lives of women in danger.

Operation Rescue had filed formal a complaint against Karpen in 2013, prompting a grand jury investigation that went nowhere due to political corruption within the county prosecutor’s office.

“The criminal referrals made by Chairman Blackburn and her team reveal disturbing evidence of abortion-related crimes that must not be ignored. Her work should help change our culture so that such atrocities never occur again,” said Newman. “This makes her a deserving recipient of the 2016 Pro-Life Person of the Year Malachi Award.”