BLOG5 Key Conclusions from the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives’ Final Report

By Marissa Mayer Posted on: | January 10, 2017

On the same day that Alliance Defending Freedom announced its updated congressional report exposing Planned Parenthood’s continued taxpayer abuse, the U.S. House of Representatives Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives released its final report—and it isn’t pretty.

If you remember, the panel was formed following the release of the authenticated undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress to investigate the horrific practices of harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted babies.

After multiple hearings, the panel has concluded that big changes need to happen to fix the unethical practices that abortionists and fetal tissue procurement companies use when trafficking baby body parts.

To better protect women and their unborn children, the panel has made five important recommendations:

1. Defund Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood has a long-documented history of abusing federal funding. (You can read more about that in our newly updated congressional report here.) To protect taxpayers from such blatant abuse of our hard-earned money, the panel recommends stripping Planned Parenthood of federal funding and redirecting those funds to support the thousands of better low-cost healthcare options for women and families.

Last year, Congress was a president’s veto away from defunding Planned Parenthood. And while President Obama has tried to ensure that Planned Parenthood gets taxpayer funding long after his presidency comes to an end, the panel’s report and increased pro-life momentum tells us there has never been a more opportune time for Congress and president-elect Donald Trump to defund Planned Parenthood.  

2. Clarify the law and improve consent practices to ensure that all donations of fetal tissue are made with informed consent and women are not pressured or harmed in the process.

Organ donation is a highly regulated practice. Informed consent requires detailing the organs that will be harvested and donated. And yet, investigative hearings revealed that current consent practices regarding fetal tissue can be incredibly vague: consent forms refer broadly to "tissue," but the CMP videos show Planned Parenthood abortionists openly discussing the harvested livers, hearts, and brains.

The law should clarify informed consent standards and methods that abortionists cannot use (such as changing their abortion techniques) in order to get intact organs. And these laws should be enforced.

3. Prosecute those who have illegally profited off the sale of baby body parts. 

The law is clear—profiting off organ donation is illegal. And yet, for years, the trafficking of baby body parts has yielded likely thousands of dollars in profit for those who sidestepped the law. But no longer. The Select Investigative Panel has recommended that “Congress take appropriate measures to ensure that the United State Department of Justice allocates resources for the prosecution of persons or entities that profit from the sale of fetal tissue.”

4. Enact a law to protect infants after 20-weeks’ gestation.

An unborn baby at 20-weeks’ gestation is undeniably a living human being. She has a heartbeat. She has brain waves. Her organs function. She sucks her thumb. She is alive. In addition, scientific evidence reveals that an unborn baby at 20-weeks’ gestation can feel pain. Enacting the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would protect infants after 20-weeks’ gestation by ensuring that these unborn children are not ripped limb by limb from their mother’s wombs. 

5. Establish criminal penalties to enforce the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.

We as a nation cannot condone infanticide, which is exactly what happens when babies are left to die simply because an abortionist failed to end the child’s life before it exited the womb. While abortionists like to pretend failed abortions don’t happen, we have powerful testimonies from abortion survivors who likely would have been strangled to death—or left for dead—in the hands of a less scrupulous abortionist.

Follow-Through Is Needed

The panel’s final report is revealing, and its recommendations are sound. Now it’s time to take action. Share this post on social media so that your friends and family are informed and can hold Congress accountable. Let’s stop subsidizing this horrible abuse of infant lives. 

Marissa Mayer

Senior Web Writer

Marissa Mayer is an Arizona native who fell in love with the written word at a young age.

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