[House Prints 114-A]
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114th Congress   }                                  {       Committee
                            COMMITTEE PRINT
 2nd Session     }                                  {     Print 114-A





                              FINAL REPORT


                             March 2, 2016


                             April 20, 2016


                               APRIL 2017

114th Congress   }                                  {       Committee
                            COMMITTEE PRINT
 2nd Session     }                                  {     Print 114-A






                              FINAL REPORT


                             March 2, 2016


                             April 20, 2016


                               APRIL 2017

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

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                          Washington, DC 20402-0001
                       Select Investigative Panel

                      MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee
JOSEPH R. PITTS, Pennsylvania        JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY, Illinois
DIANE BLACK, Tennessee                 Ranking Member
LARRY BUCSHON, Indiana               JERROLD NADLER, New York
SEAN P. DUFFY, Wisconsin             DIANA DeGETTE, Colorado
ANDY HARRIS, Maryland                JACKIE SPEIER, California
VICKY HARTZLER, Missouri             SUZAN K. DelBENE, Washington
MIA B. LOVE, Utah                    BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN, New Jersey

                             C O N T E N T S



H.R. 461, Establishing a Select Investigative Panel of the 
  Committee on Energy and Commerce...............................     1
Final Report, Select Investigative Panel of the Committee on 
  Energy and Commerce, December 30, 2016.........................     5

                         HEARING MARCH 2, 2016

Hon. Marsha Blackburn, a Representative in Congress from the 
  State of Tennessee, opening statement..........................   476
    Prepared statement...........................................   477
Hon. Janice D. Schakowsky, a Representative in Congress from the 
  State of Illinois, opening statement...........................   478


G. Kevin Donovan, M.D., Director, Pellegrino Center for Clinical 
  Bioethics, and Professor of Pediatrics, Georgetown University 
  School of Medicine.............................................   483
    Prepared statement...........................................   487
    Answers to submitted questions...............................   823
Paige Comstock Cunningham, Executive Director, Center for 
  Bioethics and Human Dignity, Trinity International University..   492
    Prepared statement...........................................   494
    Answers to submitted questions...............................   828
R. Alta Charo, Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics, 
  University of Wisconsin at Madison.............................   510
    Prepared statement...........................................   513
    Answers to submitted questions...............................   833
Patrick Lee, Ph.D., John N. and Jamie D. McAleer Professor of 
  Bioethics and Director, Center for Bioethics, Franciscan 
  University of Steubenville.....................................   542
    Prepared statement...........................................   545
    Answers to submitted questions...............................   836
Kathleen M. Schmainda, Ph.D., Professor of Radiology and 
  Biophysics and Vice Chair, Research Department of Radiology, 
  Medical College of Wisconsin...................................   558
    Prepared statement...........................................   561
    Answers to submitted questions...............................   839
Lawrence Goldstein, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Department of 
  Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Department of Neurosciences, 
  and Director, University of California, San Diego, School of 
  Medicine.......................................................   568
    Prepared statement...........................................   571
    Answers to submitted questions...............................   844

                           Submitted Material

Subcommittee memorandum..........................................   603
Roll Call Vote, Motion by Mr. Pitts to table the motion to quash 
  subpoenas offered by Mr. Nadler................................   607
Editorial of February 20, 2016, ``The Planned Parenthood witch 
  hunt,'' Washington Post, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky...........   608
Article of September 4, 2015, ``Planned Parenthood and the 
  cynical attack on fetal tissue research,'' by Michael Hiltzik, 
  Los Angeles Times, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky.................   610
Report by the Office of Inspector General, Department of Health 
  and Human Services, ``Informed Consent in Tissue Donation: 
  Expectations and Realities,'' January 2001, submitted by Mrs. 
  Black..........................................................   614
Research Article of June 15, 2008, ``Generation of a 
  Transplantable Erythropoietin-Producer Derived From Human 
  Mesenchymal Stem Cells,'' by Takashi Yokoo, et al., 
  Transplantation, Volume 85, Number 11, submitted by Mr. Harris.   646
Research Article of 2010, ``Olfactory Mucosal Autografts and 
  Rehabilitation for Chronic Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury,'' by 
  Carlos Lima, et al., Neurorehabilitation and Natural Repair 
  24(1) 10-22, submitted by Mr. Harris...........................   651
Article of May 26, 2011, ``Stem Cell Recipe for Astrocytes,'' by 
  Amber Dance, Alzforum, submitted by Mr. Harris.................   664
Research Article of June 2011, ``Specification of transplantable 
  astroglial subtypes from human pluripotent stem cells,'' by 
  Robert Krencik, et al., Nature Biotechnology, Volume 29, Number 
  6, submitted by Mr. Harris.....................................   668
Research Article, ``Astrocytes generated from patient induced 
  pluripotent stem cells recapitulate features of Huntington's 
  disease patient cells,'' by Tarja A. Juopperi, et al., 
  Molecular Brain 2012 5:17, submitted by Mr. Harris.............   676
Information Sheet of 2015, ``iCell Astrocytes,'' Cellular 
  Dynamics International, submitted by Mr. Harris................   690
Information Sheet, ``iCell Astrocytes: Uncover the Complex Role 
  of Astrocytes in Health and Disease,'' Cellular Dynamics 
  International, submitted by Mr. Harris.........................   692
Research Article of July 2015, ``Human iPS cell-derived astrocyte 
  transplants preserve respiratory function after spinal cord 
  injury,'' by Ke Li, et al., Experimental Neurology 271 479-492, 
  submitted by Mr. Harris........................................   694
Letter of October 22, 2015, ``Kidney organoids from human iPS 
  cells contain multiple lineages and model human 
  nephrogenesis,'' by Minoru Takasato, et al., Nature, submitted 
  by Mr. Harris..................................................   708
Screen Shot of March 1, 2016, ``Tempo-iAstro: Human iPA-derived 
  Astrocytes,'' submitted by Mr. Harris..........................   729
Research Article of August 24/31, 2005, ``Fetal Pain: A 
  Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence,'' by Susan 
  J. Lee, et al., Journal of the American Medical Association, 
  Volume 294, Number 8, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky..............   731
Article of September 3, 2015, ``Fetal Tissue Fallout,'' by R. 
  Alta Charo, New England Journal of Medicine, submitted by Ms. 
  Schakowsky.....................................................   739
Statement of Stella T. Chou, et al., ``Stop Politics from 
  Interfering with Science and Research,'' October 14, 2015, 
  submitted by Ms. Schakowsky....................................   741
Article of December 10, 2015, ``The Truth About Fetal Tissue 
  Research,'' by Meredith Wadman, Nature, Volume 528, submitted 
  by Ms. Schakowsky..............................................   742
Amicus Brief of January 2016, Number 15-274, submitted by Ms. 
  Schakowsky.....................................................   747
Statement of International Society for Stem Cell Research, 
  ``ISSCR Endorses Fetal Tissue Research as Essential,'' undated, 
  submitted by Ms. Schakowsky....................................   784
Article, ``Fetal Tissue Research: A Weapon and a Casualty in the 
  War Against Abortion,'' by Heather D. Boonstra, Guttmacher 
  Policy Review, 2016, Volume 19, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky....   786
Statement of A Critical Mass: Women Celebrating Eucharist, et 
  al., March 1, 2016, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky................   793
Statement of Advocates for Youth, et al., March 1, 2016, 
  submitted by Ms. Schakowsky....................................   795
Letter of March 1, 2016, from Mark S. DeFrancesco, President, 
  American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, to Mrs. 
  Blackburn and Ms. Schakowsky, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky......   797
Letter of March 1, 2016, from Benard P. Dreyer, President, 
  American Academy of Pediatrics, to Mrs. Blackburn and Ms. 
  Schakowsky, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky........................   798
Statement of Association of American Medical Colleges, March 1, 
  2016, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky..............................   799
Statement of Ilyse Hogue, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America 
  Foundation, ``Bioethics and Fetal Tissue: An Unfounded Attack 
  on Reproductive Freedom,'' March 2, 2016, submitted by Ms. 
  Schakowsky.....................................................   802
Subcommittee exhibit binder......................................   811

                         HEARING APRIL 20, 2016

Hon. Marsha Blackburn, a Representative in Congress from the 
  State of Tennessee, opening statement..........................   857
    Prepared statement...........................................   859
Hon. Janice D. Schakowsky, a Representative in Congress from the 
  State of Illinois, opening statement...........................   860


Hon. Jeanne Shaheen, a United State Senator from the State of New 
  Hampshire......................................................   863
    Prepared statement...........................................   866
Hon. Ben Sasse, a United State Senator from the State of Nebraska   868
    Prepared statement...........................................   870
Fay Clayton, Senior Partner and Founding Shareholder, Robinson 
  Curley & Clayton, P.C..........................................   875
    Prepared statement...........................................   878
Robert Raben, President and Founder, The Raben Group.............   881
    Prepared statement...........................................   883
Brian Patrick Lennon, Partner, Warner Norcross & Judd............   885
    Prepared statement...........................................   887
    Answers to submitted questions...............................  1095
Michael J. Norton, Attorney and Counselor at Law, Thomas N. 
  Scheffel & Associates, P.C.....................................   896
    Prepared statement...........................................   898
    Answers to submitted questions...............................  1098
Catherine Glenn Foster, Associate Scholar, Charlotte Lozier 
  Institute, CEO and General Counsel, Sound Legal................   902
    Prepared statement...........................................   904
    Answers to submitted questions...............................  1104
Kenneth W. Sukhia, Senior Partner, Sukhia Law Group..............   908
    Prepared statement...........................................   909
    Answers to submitted questions...............................  1107

                           Submitted Material

Subcommittee memorandum..........................................   942
Roll Call Vote, Motion by Mr. Duffy to table the motion to 
  exclude the exhibits offered by Ms. DeGette....................   948
Subcommittee exhibit binder......................................   949
Source of Exhibits, submitted by Mrs. Blackburn..................   995
White Paper, ``Hearing on the Pricing of Fetal Tissue,'' 
  submitted by Mrs. Blackburn....................................   998
Letter of April 19, 2016, from Amandeep S. Sidhu, Attorney, to 
  Mrs. Blackburn and Ms. Schakowsky, submitted by Ms. DeGette....  1011
Statement of StemExpress, undated, submitted by Ms. DeGette......  1013
Letter of April 19, 2016, ``Re: Call for Withdrawal or 
  Amendment,'' from Amandeep S. Sidhu, Attorney, to Mrs. 
  Blackburn and Ms. Schakowsky, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky......  1029
Letter of March 9, 2000, from Robert S. Michaels, Attorney, 
  Robinson Curley & Clayton, P.C., to Hon. Thomas Bliley, 
  submitted by Ms. Schakowsky....................................  1046
Letter of March 9, 2000, from House Commerce Committee to 
  Attorney General Janet Reno and Federal Bureau of 
  Investigations Director Louis Freeh, submitted by Ms. 
  Schakowsky.....................................................  1050
Letter of March 9, 2000, from Robert Raben, Assistant Attorney 
  General, to Hon. Fred Upton, submitted by Mrs. Watson Coleman..  1051
Article of March 13, 2000, ``Fetal Tissue Hearing Thrown Into 
  Chaos,'' by Stacey Zolt, Roll Call, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky  1052
Article of March 16, 2000, ``Bilirakis Left in Dark About Witness 
  Problem Before Explosive Fetal Tissue Hearing, Staff Didn't 
  Tell Subcommittee Chairman About Conflicting Statements,'' by 
  Stacey Zolt, Roll Call, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky............  1055
Letter of October 4, 2000, from Janet Heinrich, Director, Health 
  Care--Public Health Issues, General Accounting Office, to 
  Senator Arlen Spector, et al., submitted by Ms. Schakowsky.....  1058
Article of July 21, 2015, ``Unspinning the Planned Parenthood 
  Video,'' by Dave Levitan, FactCheck.org, submitted by Ms. 
  Schakowsky.....................................................  1066
Research Article of March 10, 2016, ``Zika Virus Associated with 
  Microcephaly,'' by Jernej Mlakar, et al., New England Journal 
  of Medicine, submitted by Ms. Schakowsky.......................  1072
Article of March 30, 2016, ``How anti-abortion activists used 
  undercover Planned Parenthood videos to further a political 
  cause,'' by Jeremy Breningstall, et al., Los Angeles Times, 
  submitted by Ms. Schakowsky....................................  1080
Article of April 7, 2016, ``Zika highlights role of fetal-tissue 
  research,'' by Erika Check Hayden, Nature, submitted by Ms. 
  Schakowsky.....................................................  1090
Article of June 19, 2015, ``Cate Dyer, founder and CEO, Stem 
  Express,'' Sacramento Business Journal, submitted by Mrs. 
  Blackburn......................................................  1091


                       BIOETHICS AND FETAL TISSUE


                        WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016

                  House of Representatives,
                        Select Investigative Panel,
                          Committee on Energy and Commerce,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The panel met, pursuant to call, at 10:00 a.m., in Room 
HVC-210, House Visitors Center, Hon. Marsha Blackburn (chairman 
of the panel) presiding.
    Members present: Representatives Blackburn, Pitts, Black, 
Bucshon, Duffy, Harris, Hartzler, Love, Schakowsky, Nadler, 
DeGette, Speier, DelBene, and Watson Coleman.
    Staff present: March Bell, Staff Director; Mike Bloomquist, 
Deputy Staff Director; Karen Christian, General Counsel; Rachel 
Collins, Investigative Counsel and Clerk; Andy Duberstein, 
Press Secretary; Chuck Flint, Counsel; Theresa Gambo, Human 
Resources and Office Administrator; Jay Gulshen, Staff 
Assistant; Mary Harned, Investigative Counsel; Peter Kielty, 
Deputy General Counsel; Graham Pittman, Legislative Clerk; 
Frank Scaturro, Special Counsel; Heidi Stirrup, Health Policy 
Coordinator; Matthew Tallmer, Investigator; Zachary Baron, 
Democratic Senior Counsel; Paul Bell; Democratic Communications 
Advisor; Jacquelyn Bolen, Democratic Professional Staff Member; 
Vanessa Cramer, Democratic Professional Staff Member; Matthew 
Henry, Democratic Fellow; Karen Lightfoot, Democratic 
Communications Director; and Heather Sawyer, Democratic Staff 
    Mrs. Blackburn. The Select Investigative Panel will come to 
order, and the Chair recognizes herself for 5 minutes for an 
opening statement.


    I want to welcome all the witnesses who are here today, and 
I am going to introduce each of our witnesses in a moment. And 
I look forward to hearing the testimony from each of you on 
Bioethics and Fetal Tissue.
    The last decade has produced tremendous change in medical 
research and therapies. We are in the middle of a Biotechnology 
Revolution. Certainly, in my home State of Tennessee, this is 
evident and even today we have members of BioTennessee who are 
on the Hill.
    Each week an announcement from this industry presents a new 
therapy, or a new tool, or a new possibility in the search for 
lifesaving cures for diseases and afflictions that cause untold 
pain and suffering. New words have entered our vocabulary: 
three-parent children, chimeras, CRISPR gene editing, and 
bioinformatics. Words like organ transplant or tissue 
rejuvenation seem like ancient history in favor of regenerative 
medicine, which might eventually reconstitute entire organs 
from adult stem cells. In a word, things are moving quite 
    Like all revolutions, ethical questions and moral 
challenges can lag behind, but the new information and 
knowledge in medical science raises important questions. What 
does it mean? What are the historic principles of ``do no 
harm''? Promoting disinterested decisions by medical 
professionals and, very importantly, addressing the question of 
human dignity and personhood. Ours is not the first era to face 
such questions. The Nuremburg Code produced a human rights-
based ethics statement after horrible information was revealed 
about experimenting on humans without permission. We learned, 
years after it was underway, about prisoners in China forced to 
donate organs or killed for their organs. We learned about the 
horrors of forced abortion and testing drugs on the poor and 
unaware after it had happened. We all remember the horrible 
reports about the syphilis studies on African Americans or 
forced sterilization of the mentally challenged years or even 
decades after it happened.
    Last summer's videos revealed that something very troubling 
is going on related to fetal tissue and research. The weak, the 
vulnerable, those with no voice harvested and sold. There is 
something going on and something that deserves investigating, 
and it demands our best moral and ethical thinking.
    This first hearing on ethics focuses our attention on 
procuring and transferring baby body parts and related matters. 
We will hear from professors who teach ethics, from medical 
practitioners, from those who do biomedical research, from 
those within America's faith traditions so that we as 
legislators might become informed about the ethical 
implications and issues for the woman who terminates a 
pregnancy, for the researcher, for the person who needs a cure, 
and for the baby.
    This is then about bioethics. We did not invite our guests 
here to debate election-year politics, or journalism ethics, or 
whether this Select Panel should be funded. I ask my colleagues 
to join me in focusing on bioethics so that we might hear the 
best testimony our witnesses have to offer.
    I welcome each and every one of you, and I look forward to 
hearing from you.
    [The prepared statement of Mrs. Blackburn follows:]

              Prepared statement of Hon. Marsha Blackburn

    Welcome to all the witnesses who are here today. I will be 
introducing each of you in a moment and I look forward to 
hearing your testimony on Bioethics and Fetal Tissue.
    The last decade has produced tremendous change in medical 
research and therapies. We are in the middle of a Biotechnology 
Revolution. Each week an announcement presents a new therapy or 
a new tool or a new possibility in the search for lifesaving 
cures for diseases and afflictions that cause untold pain and 
    New words have entered our vocabulary: three parent 
children, chimeras, CRISPR gene editing, and bioinformatics. 
Words like ``organ transplant'' and ``tissue rejuvenation'' 
seem like ancient history in favor of regenerative medicine, 
which might eventually reconstitute whole organs from adult 
stem cells. In a word, things are moving ``fast''.
    Like all revolutions, ethical questions and moral 
challenges can lag behind. But the new information and 
knowledge in medical science-raises important questions: ``What 
does it mean?'' ``What about the historic principles of `Do no 
harm', `Promoting disinterested decisions by medical 
professionals,''' and very importantly, ``addressing the 
question of human dignity and personhood.''
    Ours is not the first era to face such questions. The 
Nuremburg Code produced a human rights based ethics statement 
after horrible information was revealed about experimenting on 
humans without their permission. We learned, years after it was 
underway, about prisoners in China forced to donate organs or 
killed for their organs. We learned about the horrors of forced 
abortion and testing drugs on the poor and unaware after it 
    We all remember the horrible reports about the syphilis 
studies on African Americas or forced sterilization of the 
mentally challenged years or even decades after it happened.
    Last summer's videos revealed that something very troubling 
that is going on related to fetal tissue and research. The 
weak, the vulnerable, those with no voice--harvested and sold--
there is something going on, something that deserves 
investigating and that demands our best moral and ethical 
    This first hearing on ethics focuses our attention on 
procuring and transferring baby body parts and related matters. 
We will hear from professors who teach ethics, from medical 
practitioners, from those who do biomedical research, from 
those within America's faith traditions--so that we as 
legislators might become informed about the ethical 
implications and issues for: the woman who terminates a 
pregnancy, for the researcher, for the person who needs a cure, 
for the baby.
    This is then about bioethics--we did not invite our guests 
here to debate election-year politics, or journalism ethics or 
whether this Select Panel should be funded. I ask my colleagues 
to join me in focusing on bioethics so that we might hear the 
best testimony our witnesses have to offer.
    Welcome and I look forward to hearing from each of you.

    Mrs. Blackburn. At this time, I yield 5 minutes to the 
ranking member, Ms. Schakowsky of Illinois.


    Ms. Schakowsky. Thank you, Madam Chair. I want to make two 
key points. First, fetal tissue research has saved millions of 
lives and has the potential for saving millions more. That is 
why many Republicans have long supported and should continue to 
support the use of fetal tissue for research purposes.
    Second, today's hearing is not part of a serious 
investigation into fetal tissue research or anything else. 
Twelve States, three congressional committees, and a grand jury 
in Texas have already investigated and found no evidence that 
Planned Parenthood is seeking to profit from the sale of fetal 
tissue. Indeed, the only criminal acts uncovered in the course 
of these investigations have been those of anti-abortion 
extremist David Daleiden, who is now under indictment in Texas 
for his role in manufacturing the deceptively edited videos 
that have fueled the Republicans' latest attacks on women and 
their doctors.
    Faced with these facts, the Select Panel should have 
disbanded. Instead, the Chair has embarked on a partisan and 
dangerous witch hunt. Her actions are putting the privacy and 
safety of Americans at risk.
    Over the repeated objection of the Democratic members of 
the panel, the Chair has sent dozens of document requests to 
academic institutions, medical schools, and healthcare 
providers across the country. She has already issued three 
unilateral subpoenas demanding the names of individual 
researchers, graduate students, medical students, doctors, and 
clinic personnel--and is threatening to issue more. There are 
no rules in place to protect these names from public 
disclosure. In fact, the Chair's staff has made it perfectly 
clear that any name turned over to the panel may be released to 
the public.
    There is no reason to create such a database. And the 
Chair's abuse of her position as Chair to compel this 
information is, frankly, reminiscent of Senator Joe McCarthy's 
abusive tactics.
    We live in a world where researchers who use fetal tissue 
are compared to Nazi war criminals and extremists have tried to 
burn clinics to the ground. We live in a world where women have 
to face a gauntlet of harassment to get health care and where 
there are threatening Web sites that identify reproductive 
healthcare providers, their families, and maps of the locations 
of their clinics and homes.
    On the day after Thanksgiving, a gunman drove 60 miles to a 
Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, killed three 
people, injured nine others, and terrorized doctors and 
patients. And when arrested, he uttered the words, ``no more 
baby parts,'' a phrase that many of my Republican colleagues 
have invoked both before and after these murders and in 
connection with this panel's investigation.
    Linking individuals' names to an investigation that the 
Republicans describe as examining the ``harvesting'' of ``baby 
body parts'' and the ``horrific'' practices of abortion 
providers puts people in danger. Our words and our actions 
    The Chair has refused to explain why she needs a database 
of names. As the Washington Post Editorial Board asked just a 
few week ago, ``How is the name of a graduate student who 5 
years ago was an intern at a lab relevant to anything?'' There 
is no apparent reason for this, other than harassment and 
intimidation. Republicans may not like the fact that abortion 
is legal and, therefore, safe for women in this country, but 
that is no excuse for putting students, researchers, women, and 
their doctors at risk.
    The Democratic members of this committee have repeatedly 
asked the Chair to stop demanding this information. We have 
proposed reasonable rules that would prevent collection of 
certain information and otherwise protect the information that 
we do receive. So far, the Chair has ignored our requests. 
Nonetheless--I want to make this very clear to the entities 
that are under threat of subpoena or contempt from the Chair 
and to every researcher, doctor, and woman in America--
Democrats will continue to fight to keep them safe.
    The unfortunate truth is that this partisan pursuit of the 
manufactured false allegations of anti-abortion extremists is 
putting Americans in harm's way, and it must stop. It is time 
to turn our attention to ensuring, not attacking, critical 
medical research and women's access to health care.
    With that, I request unanimous consent to enter into the 
record the February 21, 2016, Washington Post editorial, ``The 
Planned Parenthood Witch Hunt.'' And I yield back the balance 
of my time.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    Mrs. Blackburn. And your entry is made, without objection. 
The gentlelady yields back her time.
    Mr. Nadler. Madam Chairperson?
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman is recognized.
    Mr. Nadler. I have a parliamentary inquiry, Madam Chair.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Parliamentary inquiry. State your inquiry.
    Mr. Nadler. Madam Chair, my colleague, the ranking member, 
noted in her opening remarks our concerns about your dangerous 
and sweeping demands for the names of individual researchers, 
graduate and medical students, doctors, and clinic personnel. 
Can you explain what rules govern these demands?
    Mrs. Blackburn. The answer to your inquiry: We are entitled 
to the information and we are going to take the necessary----
    Mr. Nadler. Under what rules are you entitled to the 
information, is my question.
    Mrs. Blackburn. We are under the jurisdiction of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and the Rules of the Committee 
on Energy and Commerce.
    Mr. Nadler. Very well. Further parliamentary inquiry.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman will state his inquiry.
    Mr. Nadler. If we are under the Rules of the Committee on 
Energy and Commerce, Rule 16 of the Rules of the Energy and 
Commerce Committee requires that ``The Chair shall notify the 
ranking minority member prior to issuing any subpoena under 
such authority. To the extent practicable, the Chair shall 
consult with the ranking minority member at least 72 hours in 
advance of a subpoena being issued under such authority. The 
chairman shall report to the members of the Committee on the 
issuance of a subpoena as soon as practicable but in no event 
later than one week after issuance of such subpoena.''
    Those rules require three things, Madam Chair: They require 
you to notify the ranking member in advance; they require you 
to consult with the ranking member and to do so 72 hours before 
issuing a subpoena; and they require you to report within a 
week to the committee.
    On Friday, February 12th, you told Ranking Member 
Schakowsky during votes on the House floor that you would be 
issuing subpoenas the next week. We immediately asked for a 
meeting to discuss this and for a copy of the subpoenas so that 
we could see what we were requesting. Those requests were 
refused. You then issued the subpoenas on the 16th of February, 
4 days after that conversation, and have yet to report on their 
    Madam Chair, can you explain what constitutes consultation 
and reporting within the meaning of Energy and Commerce Rule 
    Mrs. Blackburn. Energy and Commerce Committee requires a 
conversation on the committee's plans, which I did. And I will 
remind the gentleman the resolution establishing this panel, 
House Resolution 461, stated that Rule 11 of the House of 
Representatives and the Rules of the Committee apply to this 
panel. Further, the Rules of the Committee on Energy and 
Commerce do not require subcommittees. And this panel, the 
functional equivalent of a subcommittee, are not required to 
first meet or organize before conducting business.
    Mr. Nadler. Madam Chair, further parliamentary inquiry.
    Mrs. Blackburn. State your inquiry.
    Mr. Nadler. Whether what you have described is a long-
standing practice, the fact is the ranking member made a direct 
request to discuss these particular subpoenas and have a copy 
of them. The flat refusal even to communicate with Democratic 
members has unfortunately been commonplace since the outset of 
this investigation and violates the duty under the rule to 
    With regard to reporting, we have yet to receive any report 
on the issuance of these subpoenas, including--and this is 
critically important--exactly what information entities are 
refusing to produce and how that information is pertinent to 
this investigation.
    Contrary to your public claims that these entities had not 
cooperated with the panel, they have in fact done so. They have 
turned over hundreds of document and to the extent there 
remains any disagreement, it appears to be over your demand 
that they turn over the names of students, researchers, 
doctors, and clinic personnel. To date, you have refused to 
explain how this information is pertinent to the investigation. 
The recipients of your demands are entitled to this 
information, as are your Democratic and Republican colleagues. 
It is incumbent on you, certainly prior to moving to issue or 
enforce a subpoena, to show how the information you demand is 
pertinent to the matters we are investigating.
    Madam Chair, will you explain how the names of individual 
medical or graduate students, researchers, healthcare 
providers, and clinic personnel are pertinent to this 
investigation, please?
    Mrs. Blackburn. No, sir, I am not going to do that. But I 
will let you know, Mr. Nadler, that copies of all the document 
requests have been made available to the minority. Copies of 
the subpoenas have been made available. And the requirements 
have been met.
    And at this point, we are going to move on and introduce 
our first----
    Mr. Nadler. No, Madam Chair, I have one further 
parliamentary inquiry, which I would----
    Mrs. Blackburn. State your inquiry.
    Mr. Nadler. I will state at the outset I disagree with the 
assertion that we need to compile a database of names to get 
answers that we can easily get from institutional 
representatives, persons who are akin to 30(b)(6) witnesses 
under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. You have refused to 
inform the subcommittee, to consult with the subcommittee. You 
should drop the demand for names and adopt the rules that we 
have proposed, which will ensure a more balanced and a fair 
investigation. If you will not change the rules, we should at 
least obey our current rules. We cannot proceed in flagrant 
violation of the rules, nor should we proceed with dangerous 
subpoenas that endanger the lives and physical safety of 
patients, providers, and researchers in a way that could make 
this committee complicit with any physical assaults on these 
people or any murders of these people.
    I, therefore, move to quash the subpoenas.
    Mr. Pitts. Madam Chair.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman is recognized.
    Mr. Pitts. I move to quash the motion.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman from Pennsylvania moves to 
table the motion. The gentleman from Pennsylvania has moved to 
table the motion. The question occurs on approving the motion 
to table.
    All those in favor of signifying to table the motion will 
say ``aye.''
    All opposed say ``no.''
    The ``ayes'' have it.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Roll call vote requested.
    Mr. Nadler. Roll call vote requested.
    Mr. Pitts. Roll call.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Roll call is requested.
    The Clerk. Mr. Pitts.
    Mr. Pitts. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Pitts, aye.
    Mrs. Black.
    Mrs. Black. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Black, aye.
    Mr. Bucshon.
    Mr. Bucshon. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bucshon, aye.
    Mr. Duffy.
    Mr. Duffy. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Duffy, aye.
    Mr. Harris.
    Mr. Harris. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Harris, aye.
    Mrs. Hartzler.
    Mrs. Hartzler. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Hartzler, aye.
    Mrs. Love.
    Mrs. Love. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Love, aye.
    Ms. Schakowsky.
    Ms. Schakowsky. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Schakowsky, no.
    Mr. Nadler.
    Mr. Nadler. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Nadler, no.
    Ms. DeGette.
    Ms. DeGette. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. DeGette, no.
    Ms. Speier.
    Ms. Speier. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Speier, no.
    Ms. DelBene.
    Ms. DelBene. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. DelBene, no.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. No.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Watson Coleman, no.
    Mrs. Blackburn.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Blackburn, aye.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The clerk will report.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Chairman, on that vote there were eight 
``ayes'' and six ``nays.''
    Mrs. Blackburn. The motion is tabled. At this time, we will 
introduce our first panel. I will ask that our panelists please 
move to the table as they are called forward.
    First, Ms. Paige Comstock Cunningham. She is the Executive 
Director of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. She is 
a fellow at the Institute for Biotechnology and the Human 
Future and a trustee of Taylor University.
    Dr. Gerald Donovan. Dr. Gerald Kevin Donovan is Senior 
Clinical Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at 
Georgetown University. He is also Director of the Pellegrino 
Center for Clinical Bioethics and Professor of Pediatrics at 
    Professor Alta Charo. Professor Charo is the Warren P. 
Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of 
Wisconsin at Madison, where she is on the faculty of the law 
school and the Department of Medical History and Bioethics at 
the Medical School.
    I want to welcome each of you. And at this point, I would 
like to make certain that as you are here, you are aware that 
the Selective Investigative Panel is holding an investigative 
hearing and will take testimony under oath.
    Do you have an objection to testifying under oath?
    Dr. Donovan. No.
    Ms. Cunningham. No.
    Ms. Charo. No.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The Chair then advises you that under the 
rules of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, you are 
entitled to be advised by counsel. Do you desire to be advised 
by counsel during your testimony today?
    Dr. Donovan. No.
    MMs. Cunningham. No.
    Ms. Charo. No.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you. If each of you will stand to be 
sworn in for your testimony.
    [Witnesses sworn.]
    Mrs. Blackburn. You are now under oath and subject to the 
penalties set forth in Title 18, Section 1001, of the U.S. 
Code. You may have 8 minutes to make a written summary--to 
provide a statement summary of your written testimony, and we 
thank each of you for providing that. I am going to ask that 
you make sure that your mike is on before you give your 
testimony and then that you will turn the mike off when you 
finish, and you will turn it back on when we move to the 
question portion.
    And Dr. Donovan, we will begin with you for your testimony.

                      WISCONSIN AT MADISON


    Dr. Donovan. Well, thank you. Chairman Blackburn and 
members of the panel, I am pleased to have the opportunity to 
present testimony regarding the bioethical considerations in 
the harvesting, transfer, and use of fetal tissue and organs.
    I am a physician trained in both pediatrics and clinical 
bioethics. I have spent my entire professional career caring 
for infants and children. It was this interest and concern that 
led me to further study in bioethics because I have always been 
concerned about the most vulnerable patients, those who need 
others to speak up for them, both at the beginning and at the 
end of life. I also have significant familiarity with research 
ethics, having spent 17 years as the chair of an IRB, although, 
I am, myself, not a research scientist. The IRB, as you know, 
is the board that monitors the rightness and the wrongness of 
medical research in order to protect human subjects. We took 
this aspect of our duties so seriously that I renamed our IRB 
the Institutional Research Ethics Board.
    Four years ago I was called by my mentor, Dr. Edmund 
Pellegrino, to take his place as Director of the Center for 
Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University. Our duties include 
ethics education for medical students and resident physicians, 
ethics consultation for patients and doctors at the hospital, 
as well as the promulgation of scholarly papers and public 
speaking. We focus on both clinical ethics, that which directly 
involves the good of patients, as well as addressing normative 
questions, those which involve right and wrong.
    This is what we want young physicians to know: Medicine is 
a moral enterprise. Our actions have consequences that can be 
good or bad for patients, and we must always focus on the 
patient's good and avoid doing harm. So what does this mean for 
the topic at hand? We're talking about bioethics and the fetus. 
In order to make any moral judgments, we would have to be clear 
on the moral status of the fetus. Obviously, this is an area in 
which society has not reached a consensus, but that does not 
mean we cannot make sound judgments on the topic.
    In a question of biomedical ethics, it is good to start 
with solid science. What do we know about the fetus with 
certainty? Well, first of all, we know that it is alive, that 
it represents growing, developing, cells, tissues, and organs, 
all of which develop increasing complexity and biologic 
sophistication, resulting in an intact organism, a human baby. 
Of course, this growth and development does not cease with the 
production of the baby, but continues for many years 
afterwards. As can be seen by this description, the fetus is 
not only alive, but is demonstrably human. I'm not talking 
about a potential human in the way that some parents talk about 
their teenagers as potential adults. I am referring to the 
scientific fact that a fetus constitutes a live human, 
typically 46XX or 46XY, fully and genetically human. In fact, 
it is the irrefutable humanness of these tissues and organs 
that has made them be of interest to researchers and 
    So, if a fetus is clearly both alive and human, can we 
justify taking these tissues and organs for scientific 
experimentation? If so, under what circumstances and what sort 
of consent or authorization should be required?
    In the past century, medicine has made incredible progress 
resulting from scientific studies involving human tissues and 
organs, resulting in the development of medications, vaccines, 
and the entire field of transplantation medicine. Is there any 
difference between these accomplishments and those that would 
require the harvesting of body parts and tissues from the 
fetus? First, we would have to admit that not all scientific 
experimentation has been praiseworthy. Studies done by Dr. 
Mengele in Germany and by American researchers in Guatemala and 
Tuskegee were morally abhorrent, and any knowledge gleaned from 
these would be severely tainted. No one would want to associate 
our current scientific studies involving the human fetus with 
such egregious breaches of research ethics. All that it takes 
to avoid such a comparison is a consensus on the moral status 
of the fetus.
    Those who have proceeded with experimentation and research 
on embryonic and fetal cells, tissues, and organs typically 
have obtained them as the result of an abortion. It is this 
stark fact that makes such scientific endeavors controversial, 
because they have proceeded without the aforementioned 
consensus on the moral status of the fetus.
    Because we know that the fetus is alive, and human, we must 
find some explanation for why it should not be treated with the 
same dignity that we accord all other human lives. The most 
frequent argument offered is that, although it is a human life, 
it is not a human person. Various criteria are offered for a 
definition of personhood, but none have been found universally 
acceptable. We, thus, have a standoff between those who would 
protect this early vulnerable human life and those that would 
deny that it deserves protection.
    In order to resolve such an ethical dilemma, the guiding 
principle is this: One is morally permitted to take such a life 
once you can demonstrate with moral certainty that the life is 
not fully human. It is a concept that can be exemplified by the 
situation faced by a hunter when he sees a bush shaking. He may 
sincerely believe that it is a deer in the bush but if he kills 
it, prior to determining with certainty what it is that he is 
killing, he will be morally responsible, as well as legally, if 
he has in fact killed the farmer's cow, or worse yet, the 
    As we can see, two deeply held but opposing viewpoints need 
not be resolved unless someone intends to act upon them. Then, 
the one who intends to take the action resulting in the death 
of the disputed entity must not do so unless they can first 
show with moral certainty that their perception of its moral 
worth is irrefutable. Those who would not disturb the normal 
progression of its life bear no such burden.
    It's my contention that such proof does not exist and 
deliberate fetal destruction for scientific purposes should not 
proceed until it does. Moreover, without disputing the arguable 
necessity of research on fetal tissues, an arguable necessity, 
I would also point out that harvesting it in such a way is 
unnecessary. Not only do cell lines already exist that were 
produced in such a fashion, but new cell lines could be 
obtained from fetal tissues harvested from spontaneous 
miscarriages. This is not a theoretical alternative. Georgetown 
University has a professor who has patented a method of 
isolating, processing, and cryopreserving fetal cells from 
second-semester, meaning 16-to-20-week-gestation, miscarriages. 
These have already been obtained and are stored in Georgetown 
    Moreover, the present practices of obtaining fetal tissues 
and organs would seem to go against the procedures that have 
been approved for others who harvest tissues and organs donated 
for transplantation. First, we follow a strict rule: the dead 
donor rule. It states that vital unpaired organs cannot be 
obtained unless the donor has died a natural death. This, 
obviously, is not the case in an induced abortion.
    Moreover, such tissues or organs cannot be harvested 
without the consent of the patient or their proper surrogate. 
In pediatrics, parents are considered the normal proper 
surrogate. However, this interpretation rests on the 
presumption that the parent is acting in the best interests of 
the individual child. It is difficult to sustain such an 
interpretation when it is the same parent who has just 
consented to the abortive destruction of that individual fetus 
from whom those tissues and organs would be obtained.
    Finally, we are at a difficult time in our Nation's 
history. We demonstrate much moral ambiguity in our approach to 
the human fetus. We have decided that we can legally abort the 
same fetus that might otherwise be a candidate for fetal 
surgery, even using the same indications as justification for 
acts that are diametrically opposed. We call it the fetus if it 
is to be aborted and its tissues and organs transferred to a 
scientific lab. We call it a baby, even at the same stage of 
gestation, when someone plans to keep it and bring it into 
their home.
    Language has consequences, but it can also reflect our 
conflicts. We are a nation justly proud of the progress and 
achievements of our biomedical research, but lifesaving 
research cannot and should not require the destruction of life 
for it to go forward. If we cannot act with moral certainty 
regarding the appropriate respect and dignity of the fetus, we 
cannot morally justify its destruction. Alternatives clearly 
exist that are less controversial, and moral arguments exist 
that support our natural abhorrence at the trafficking of human 
fetal parts.
    Surely we can, and surely we must, find a better way.
    Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Donovan follows:]

    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you.
    Ms. Cunningham, you are recognized.


    Ms. Cunningham. Madam Chair Blackburn, Ranking Member 
Schakowsky, and members of the Select Investigative Panel, 
thank you for the opportunity to speak about the ethics 
surrounding the use of fetal tissue for research.
    My argument, which is expanded in my written testimony, is 
three-fold. First, respect the fetus. The fetus is a human 
being, who is entitled to the protections of modern guidelines 
for medical research. The foundational principles of respect 
for persons should apply to unborn children without 
    Second, you cannot take a life and then give away the body. 
Participants in elective abortion, including the mother, are 
morally disqualified from consenting to donating the body, 
organs, or tissue of the now-dead fetus for research purposes.
    And third, there are better, more ethical options.
    First, at the core of our concern is the fundamentally 
important question: Who or what is the fetus? The biological 
facts are clear. The fetus is an organism in charge of her own 
integral organic functioning, enduring and developing over 
time, through all the stages of human existence. First, embryo, 
fetus, infant, adolescent, and adult. Rather than being a 
distinct and lesser form of human life, the fetus is a distinct 
human being at a particular stage of development. She is not a 
potential human being but an actual human being. No one has the 
right to take her life by force.
    Those who are responsible for her death have failed to 
recognize the fundamental principle of human dignity. They have 
no moral claim to donate or assign her body, organs, or tissues 
to others. Even more, others should not profit from this 
wrongful act, whether for monetary gain, scientific reputation, 
better health, or even to claim, ``These cures are so 
wonderful, how could anyone oppose this research?''
    The regulatory scheme of protection for human subjects of 
medical research has continued to expand protection for 
research subjects to ensure that their participation is 
voluntary and fully informed and that the research is for their 
benefit, or if not, causes no more than minimal harm and that 
they may have access to the benefits of the research. 
Protections have been explicitly extended to most vulnerable 
populations but not to the fetus to be aborted. If she were 
being treated in utero for her own benefit, the HHS Policy for 
Protection of Human Subjects provides heightened protection for 
her well-being. That same HHS policy also provides special 
protections for prisoners but not for the fetus to be aborted.
    Some have argued that we all share a moral obligation to 
contribute our organs or bodies after death for the good of 
society. Others claim the principle of proximity, the view that 
we would want to help those most like us. In her analysis of 
fetal tissue transplantation, Kathleen Nolan elaborates on a 
problem with this view, and I quote: ``In the setting of 
elective abortion a cruel irony thus emerges: fetuses that have 
been excluded from membership in the human community by a 
societally sanctioned maternal decision to abort now have 
obligations to that same community because of membership in 
it.'' We reject this cruel irony.
    Now, Federal law does attempt to erect a barrier of sorts 
between the decision to abort and the decision to donate. For 
example, the procedure must not be altered in any way to 
accommodate researchers' needs. And elements of informed 
consent for tissue donations should include telling the donor's 
family if the tissue will be used outside the U.S.; whether it 
will be modified into a commercial product; the distinction 
between the for-profit and nonprofit entities involved; and 
that she be given a copy of the form she signed.
    Is the woman contemplating donation made aware of the 
specific body parts that will be harvested? The request may be 
for the unborn child's eyes, his brain, his kidneys that might 
be transplanted into a rat, his thymus, or pancreas. But the 
greatest demand might be for his liver. Women might find this 
factual information relevant to their decision.
    So, how is effective informed consent accomplished in the 
setting where there is no established institutional oversight 
to ensure compliance with this regulation, as the vast majority 
of abortions take place in clinics that are outside the 
ordinary system of health care and the accreditation 
requirements that exist in hospitals and ambulatory surgical 
centers? Further, abortion clinic owners vigorously resist 
health standards that are imposed on all other ambulatory 
surgical centers.
    The history of the use of human bodies and parts in medical 
education and research reveals a disturbing pattern of first 
seeking access from the most disadvantaged in society. One 
national commission noted that there have been ``instances of 
abuse in the area of fetal research and that the poor and 
minority groups may bear an inequitable burden as research 
subjects.'' It would be enlightening to know whether that abuse 
continues and the demographic profiles of women who are 
solicited to donate.
    There is yet another reason to oppose the current practices 
of fetal tissue research: It is unnecessary. Alternative, 
ethically derived sources of cells exist and they are working. 
My written testimony addresses this more fully, and I will 
defer to other witnesses to speak to this more directly.
    A just society has no moral or other claim on electively 
aborted fetal bodies, organs, or tissues. Unborn children 
scheduled for termination by induced abortion are among, if not 
the most vulnerable, members of the human family. As has been 
said by many leaders in many ways, a society will be judged by 
how we treat our weakest, most vulnerable members.
    Curbing the current practices of fetal tissue research 
would be a small but very significant step toward honoring the 
dignity of all our members.
    Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Cunningham follows:]

    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you, Ms. Cunningham.
    Professor Charo, you are recognized for 8 minutes.

                   STATEMENT OF R. ALTA CHARO

    Ms. Charo. Thank you, Madam Chairman, Ranking Member 
Schakowsky, and members of the Selective Investigative Panel. 
Thank you for allowing me to address you today on the question 
of fetal tissue research.
    My name is Alta Charo. I am a member of the National 
Academy of Medicine, and was a member of the National Bioethics 
Advisory Commission from 1996 to 2001.
    At present, I am the Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and 
Bioethics, on the faculties of both the Law School and the 
School of Medicine & Public Health at the University of 
Wisconsin. But I would like to note for the record that I am 
not here to represent the University of Wisconsin or any of its 
units and that I have used my own personal funds in order to 
attend the hearing.
    Madam Chair, fetal tissue has been used in research in this 
country since the 1920s, and NIH has funded it since the 1950s. 
It has been deemed ethical by Federal review bodies going back 
half a century and has been specifically authorized by Congress 
for funding for over a quarter-century precisely because it has 
saved the lives of countless people, including children and 
infants. It continues to be ethical, and it will continue to 
save lives.
    In my view, supporting this research represents a 
commitment to helping today's patients and tomorrow's infants. 
I say this for three reasons: first, this research serves a 
compelling public health purpose; second, it operates with in a 
framework of State and Federal law; and third, support for it 
need not depend on one's views about abortion.
    First, any discussion about fetal tissue must begin with 
its unimpeachable claim to have saved the lives and improved 
the health of millions of people. Indeed, almost every American 
has benefitted from this research in the form of vaccines for 
whooping cough, tetanus, chicken pox, and German measles. 
Diseases do not discriminate, and the beneficiaries of this 
research come from every place on the political, religious, 
geographic, and economic spectrum. You, yourselves, and those 
whom you love are undoubtedly among those who have benefitted 
from this research and whose lives have been made better.
    When work began, nearly a century ago, no one knew 
precisely where the research would lead but, over time, it led 
to a Nobel Prize for developing a polio vaccine using cell 
lines from fetal tissue. Today's scientists also cannot say 
precisely which disease will benefit or when, but HHS says that 
fetal tissue continues to be a critical resource for developing 
vaccines against dengue fever, HIV and Ebola, and for research 
on devastating diseases such as Huntington's chorea and 
    And as of this year, Zika virus is also on that growing 
list. I would note for your attention that the CDC has posted 
information on its Web site on how to provide fetal tissue, 
including neurological tissue, preferably with the 
architectural structure intact, specifically for the purpose of 
studying and managing the Zika virus to prevent devastating 
birth defects in tomorrow's infants.
    Now, some people may find the dispassionate, technical 
language used by professionals to be startling, but one should 
never mistake that for callousness, particularly when talking 
about men and women who have devoted their lives to improving 
all of our lives through medicine and science. And the use of 
cadaveric tissue and organs, ranging from mature hearts from 
adults to fetal tissue, can make some people uncomfortable 
about benefitting from material whose origins lie in complex 
situations, but it does not prevent us from accepting this 
life-saving gift.
    Critics have overwhelmingly partaken of the vaccines and 
treatments derived from fetal tissue and give no indication 
they will foreswear further benefits. Fairness and reciprocity 
alone would suggest they should support the work or at least 
not thwart it.
    Second, the use of fetal tissue in research has been 
specifically protected under American law for over 50 years, 
beginning in the 1960s with the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, 
which was drafted specifically to include a provision allowing 
fetal tissue to be donated just as other cadaveric tissue is 
donated. And in 1974, President Ford had a commission look 
specifically at fetal tissue research, and that commission also 
found that it is ethical.
    In the 1980s, President Reagan created the Human Fetal 
Tissue Transplantation Research Panel, chaired by the late 
Arlin Adams, a Republican, a retired Federal judge, an opponent 
of abortion rights, and the author of a book entitled ``A 
Nation Dedicated to Religious Liberty.'' Like the earlier Ford 
commission, the Reagan panel found the research to be ethical, 
declared there was no evidence that fetuses were ever killed 
for the purpose of obtaining tissue and no evidence that it 
ever had any effect on decision-making or on the number of 
abortions performed in this country.
    However, to guard against even that hypothetical 
possibility, current practice follows those recommendations, 
and discussion about donation takes place only after a woman 
has definitively decided to terminate her pregnancy. Indeed, 
the Reagan panel explicitly considered the question of whether 
the woman, herself, should be the one who gives consent and 
concluded that she was the party most interested in this topic 
and in this outcome and, therefore, she retained the moral 
authority to make this decision. They viewed any alternative to 
be even more problematic.
    Fetal tissue research is subject to local oversight 
committees, State law, laboratory, tissue bank regulations, and 
various Federal laws addressing everything from the consent 
process, to collection and storage, to confidentiality of 
    Two separate GAO investigations have found no violations, 
and found no sale of tissue but only legally permitted 
reimbursement for expenses, and no violations have been found 
in any current investigations at either the Federal or State 
    Third, support for fetal tissue transcends the debate about 
abortion rights. Federal review has repeatedly found that the 
option to donate tissue has no effect on whether a woman will 
choose to have an abortion. That is one reason why the Congress 
passed by overwhelming, bipartisan margins that codified the 
recommendations of the Ford and Reagan committees, 
authorization to fund this research in particular.
    Some of the most passionate supporters of that research 
recognized the difference between opposition to abortion rights 
and opposition to research using fetal tissue. Senator John 
McCain, for example, was quoted as saying, ``My abhorrence for 
the practice of abortion is unquestionable. Yet, my abhorrence 
for these diseases and the suffering they cause is just as 
    In this country, women have a constitutionally protected 
right to safe and legal abortion services. They make those 
decisions for their own reasons. And after that, some of them 
choose to donate the cadaveric fetal tissue to research. We 
gain nothing when we turn our back on the benefits of that 
research for people who are sick today or will be sick 
tomorrow, to say nothing of the irony of halting research that 
improves our chance of preventing miscarriages, preventing 
birth defects, and saving infant lives.
    Thank you very much for your attention.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Charo follows:]


    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you, Professor Charo.
    And I will note that both of our female panelists came in 
with time to spare. And I think that is off to a great start.
    I yield myself 5 minutes for questions, as we begin our 
question round. And again, I thank you all. I am kind of going 
to do a lightning round on questions, if you will. So, let us 
just, we will begin, Dr. Donovan, with you in responses and 
then just go right down the line.
    So, first question: Do you think any business or clinic 
should sell fetal tissue for a profit?
    Dr. Donovan. No.
    Ms. Cunningham. I do not.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Keep your mikes on, please.
    Ms. Cunningham. I do not.
    Ms. Charo. It is against the law.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you all.
    Number two: Do you think that fetal organs should be grown 
and harvested for transplant?
    Dr. Donovan. No.
    Ms. Cunningham. If they can be grown ethically, but not 
from the fetus itself.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK.
    Ms. Charo. I apologize, but I am not sure I understand 
exactly what you mean by ``grown.'' Are you talking about 
getting pregnant deliberately in order to donate tissue? No, I 
would not think that that is appropriate. And in fact, the 
Reagan panel specifically worried about so-called directed 
donation and recommended that that be forbidden, and it is, 
under the law.
    If you are talking about the creation of synthetic organs, 
which is currently under investigation and is something I 
believe my colleague Dr. Goldstein might even be talking about 
in the next panel, then I think that is something that needs a 
closer look and, without further information, I couldn't say, 
but it is probably a very good alternative.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK, thank you.
    Question number three: Do you think fetal tissue should be 
used for cosmetics, cell lines to do taste tests for food, or 
for experiments that combine human and animal DNA?
    Dr. Donovan. No matter how they are obtained, I would find 
these distasteful.
    Ms. Cunningham. I agree with Dr. Donovan.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK.
    Ms. Charo. I think fetal tissue should be used in the same 
ways we use tissue from adults who have died, and that includes 
a wide range of uses. Some of the ones you mentioned are 
certainly not the ones that are the most compelling, but they 
are within the law at this time.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK.
    Number four: If an alternative source of tissue to form 
cell lines exists, such as spontaneous miscarriages, do you 
think that is a more ethical approach?
    Dr. Donovan. It does exist, and it is more ethical.
    Ms. Cunningham. Yes, and panels have found that to be the 
    Ms. Charo. It can be used, but it was found to be 
insufficient as a substitute for tissue from fetuses that were 
electively aborted. That was specifically considered by the 
Reagan panel and has been the subject of investigation since 
then, due to the kinds of causes that underlie miscarriages and 
often change the nature of the tissue. But certainly, it would 
be less controversial if one could find tissue that does not 
raise questions about the abortion debate. And avoiding 
controversy is preferable when it is possible, but not simply 
in order to avoid controversy at the expense of public health.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you.
    And the fifth question: If vaccines exist that do not rely 
upon fetal tissue or cell lines, should consumers be given a 
    Dr. Donovan. Actually, for the most part, those vaccines do 
exist. There are a few still left over from the cell lines 
started in the '60s to which there is no alternative. Many 
people have asked that an alternative be developed. That wasn't 
a ``yes'' or a ``no,'' was it?
    Mrs. Blackburn. That is an answer, and that is perfectly 
    Dr. Donovan. Thank you.
    Mrs. Blackburn. I appreciate that, and I will take that 
    Ms. Cunningham. I think parents and patients should be 
aware of the source of the vaccines they are using. At least, 
it should be available for their information for them to make 
their own choice about whether to use one that is derived 
ethically or unethically.
    Ms. Charo. That information is available on the Internet. I 
have no problem with the idea of saying that people have the 
right to have as much information as possible and to make 
choices for themselves.
    I would note in passing that with regard to the vaccines 
that have no current alternatives, the Vatican has said 
specifically that although they would wish that there would be 
other alternatives available, that parents who wish to protect 
their children by using vaccines that were derived using fetal 
tissue should feel free to go ahead and do so and put their 
children's interests ahead of all other concerns.
    Dr. Donovan. Madam Chairman?
    Mrs. Blackburn. Yes?
    Dr. Donovan. Could I offer a correction to that one? I 
hesitate to have Ms. Charo corrected on the interpretation of 
Vatican statements but, in fact, that isn't what the Vatican 
said. What they actually said was because the danger to 
pregnant women would be so great and their fetuses that 
children could be immunized with this, not so much for the 
protection of the children themselves from getting rubella but 
from spreading it to pregnant women and their babies.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK. Professor Charo, did you have anything 
else to add?
    Ms. Charo. No. I am happy to accept the notion that their 
concern was not for the child who is getting vaccinated but for 
the future children who might be affected when pregnant women 
get infected from the unvaccinated child.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK. Dr. Donovan, anything else?
    Dr. Donovan. It wasn't a lack of concern for children 
getting vaccinated. Vaccines--all us pediatricians think 
vaccines are wonderful things and everybody ought to get lots 
of them but, in fact, the reason that such a moral change could 
occur, such an exception could be offered, was because it was 
truly life or death for the pregnant woman's baby, and that is 
who needed the protection and, therefore, the exception could 
be made.
    They still are quite in favor of other vaccinations.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you. My time has expired.
    At this time, I yield 5 minutes for questions to Ms. 
    Ms. Schakowsky. Thank you. The Los Angeles Times reporter 
and columnist Michael Hiltzik wrote in September of last year 
that it ``would be a moral outrage'' if fetal tissue research 
became ``collateral damage in the campaign against Planned 
    He also quotes you, Professor Charo, as saying, ``We have a 
duty to use fetal tissue for research and therapy. And that 
duty includes taking advantage of avenues of hope for current 
and future patients, particularly if those avenues are being 
threatened by a purely political fight.''
    So, let me ask you, can you explain, Dr. Charo, the view 
that there actually is an affirmative duty to use available 
avenues of research? And if you could, please address how this 
might come into play with the Zika virus and research to 
understand and find a solution to what the World Health 
Organization has classified as a ``public health emergency of 
international concern.''
    Ms. Charo. Thank you, Ms. Schakowsky, for the question.
    The United States health policy is directed at improving 
the quality of public health. It is considered a compelling 
purpose under every possible regime of both law, legislative 
and judicial. And in this particular instance, this research 
has proven itself capable of preventing millions of diseases 
and has shown tremendous promise across a range of illnesses.
    From my perspective, if we are dedicated to improving the 
health and welfare of our population, this means pursuing 
avenues of research that might improve our resistance to 
disease or our ability to manage or even cure diseases. Now, 
that is always balanced against other interests. And I 
understand and appreciate the depth of concerns about abortion 
that are expressed here at this table and by many other 
Americans. But, because this research in no way affects the 
number of abortions, it seems to me that we are balancing a 
compelling public health need against what is simply a gesture 
of sentiment, respect, political position, or other kind of 
nonconcrete effect against the possible cure for diseases.
    Now, with regard to Zika, I think it brings it really into 
focus because, right now, we are struggling to understand 
exactly how the Zika virus operates, how it is that it can be 
transmitted through the placenta to the fetus, how it is that 
it can affect fetal development at different stages of 
gestation, and how we can understand what kinds of outcomes it 
will have. For that, we need to actually look at the tissue 
available after every stage of gestation where there actually 
has been a termination of pregnancy, whether through 
miscarriage or through elective abortion.
    If we don't do that, we are facing, as you said, a global 
emergency in which pregnant women will be forced to choose 
between risking the birth of a child with devastating effects 
or, in fact, terminating her pregnancy; irony being that the 
absence of this fetal tissue research might lead to more 
pregnancy terminations than anybody has ever contemplated up 
until now. I think we need to look very hard at the unintended 
effects of restricting this research.
    Ms. Schakowsky. So, are you saying, then, that without 
fetal tissue research we can't really understand the effect on 
    Ms. Charo. Because I am not a research scientist, I don't 
want to answer definitively but I can say that looking at the 
NIH Web site, looking at the CDC Web site, and looking at the 
information put out by other national governments, it seems 
clear that there is a global consensus it is very important to 
study exactly how the virus operates, both at the earliest and 
latest stages of pregnancy in order to understand how we might 
either stop it or treat it.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Let me also ask you, if the remains of the 
fetus are not used for fetal tissue research, what happens to 
    Ms. Charo. The tissue is discarded. There are a variety of 
methods; some involve burial, others involve cremation. There 
are a few States that have very specific legislation about the 
management of fetal remains. But they are not used in any way 
that is helpful to anybody outside of the possibility of using 
them for this research.
    Ms. Schakowsky. And let me ask you a question, since we are 
talking about ethics: Does the fact that fetal tissue research 
is now under attack and at risk of being shut down warrant our 
moral outrage?
    Ms. Charo. I am outraged at the idea that we would 
sacrifice valuable research and that we would gamble with the 
lives of patients today and tomorrow--gamble with our own lives 
and gamble with the lives of the people in our family and in 
our communities--because we are trying to fight a deeper battle 
about our common view on the moral and legal status of the 
fetus. Again, I can only say again and again that the number of 
abortions in the United States will be unaffected by the 
outcome of this discussion about whether to use the remains for 
    The only thing we know is that we will lose the benefit of 
the research for people who do in fact get sick.
    Ms. Schakowsky. I thank you so much.
    And Madam Chair, I seek unanimous consent to enter into the 
record the Los Angeles Times article that I have been 
discussing titled ``Planned Parenthood and the Cynical Attack 
on Fetal Tissue Research.''
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    Mrs. Blackburn. So ordered.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Thank you.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back. At this time, I 
recognize Chairman Pitts, 5 minutes.
    Mr. Pitts. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
    First of all, Dr. Charo's written statement that the 
success of fetal tissue is ``unimpeachable'' is not completely 
accurate. The Nobel Prize given to Enders, Weller, and Robbins 
in 1954 was for showing that polio virus could be grown in 
fetal tissue in the laboratory, not for developing the polio 
vaccine. In fact, the original Salk and Sabin vaccines were 
raised in monkey tissues, not human fetal tissue.
    And she conflates the use of fresh aborted fetal tissue 
with the use of fetal cell lines. And while a few cell lines 
which did originate from an abortion were used in the past for 
production of some vaccines, only a few modern vaccines utilize 
these old fetal cell lines, and none use fresh aborted fetal 
tissue. In fact, the CDC and other leading medical authorities 
have noted that ``no new fetal tissue is needed to produce cell 
lines to make these vaccines now or in the future.'' The new 
successful vaccine against Ebola virus announced last summer 
was made using monkey tissue, not fetal tissue or fetal cell 
    So, Dr. Donovan, looking at modern vaccines, do you see any 
need for use of fresh aborted fetal tissue for vaccine 
    Dr. Donovan. I think your statement was absolutely 
accurate, that yes, these have been of use in the past. There 
are other cell lines. There are other means of producing 
vaccines. And so, there is no need to use fetal tissue to 
produce new cell lines for vaccine production.
    Moreover, I think it may be a bit disingenuous to say that 
millions of lives have been saved because these vaccines were 
produced in the past. Millions of doses have been given and 
millions of infections have been prevented. Most of those would 
not have resulted in serious injury to the person immunized or 
death, certainly. That doesn't mean we shouldn't still be 
    Mr. Pitts. Thank you.
    Dr. Donovan. Thank you.
    Mr. Pitts. Thank you. At what point--and you can continue, 
Dr. Donovan. At what point in human development does science 
show one is a human being, and why is this?
    Dr. Donovan. Well, we really have to go back to one's 
definition. If we are talking about is it human in terms of 
having a full complement of cells that develop continually into 
fully grown adults, that happens at the zygote stage.
    Mr. Pitts. Well, let me go a little further. Is there a 
point in the baby's gestation at which researchers most want 
fetal tissue for research, and why is this?
    Dr. Donovan. And that I am not sure that I can answer 
accurately. So, I won't.
    Mr. Pitts. All right. Is there any scientific evidence that 
unborn babies at a later stage feel pain, and should the 
knowledge of a baby's ability to feel pain by certain points in 
development affect the ethics surrounding fetal tissue 
collection from induced abortion?
    Dr. Donovan. I think the evidence for fetal pain is very 
strong, and we are seeing good evidence at 18 to 20 weeks of 
gestation that fetuses can respond with pain responses. And I 
think, no matter how you feel about a fetus--you can accept its 
humanity, you can reject its humanity--but we wouldn't allow 
kittens and puppies to be harmed or put to sleep without 
keeping them out of pain. I don't think we should do that for 
fetuses, either.
    Mr. Pitts. Ms. Cunningham, did you want to add something to 
    Ms. Cunningham. No, thank you.
    Mr. Pitts. All right. Well, I appreciate your testimony 
about unborn children are the most vulnerable in the human 
family, and they are deserving of respect and protection. Yet, 
we see they are legally--they are destroyed in abortions and 
either thrown away or traded like a commodity, and it is our 
duty to protect them, not facilitate the market for their case.
    My time has expired. Mrs. Chairman, I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. And at this point, I yield 5 minutes to Ms. 
DeGette for questions.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
    I want to thank all the members of the panel for coming and 
presenting your different perspectives, because I think talking 
about ethics in these situations is important.
    Dr. Donovan, I believe you testified--and I only have 5 
minutes, so ``yes'' or ``no'' will suffice most of the time--I 
believe you testified that you are not a research scientist. Is 
that correct?
    Dr. Donovan. Although I have been----
    Ms. DeGette. A ``yes'' or ``no'' will work. You are not a 
research scientist.
    Dr. Donovan. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you.
    And Ms. Cunningham, you are an ethicist. Is that correct?
    Ms. Cunningham. Yes, in the most part.
    Ms. DeGette. Yes. Now, Dr. Donovan, I believe that you are 
philosophically opposed to abortion. Is that correct?
    Dr. Donovan. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. And Ms. Cunningham, you are also 
philosophically opposed to abortion, right?
    Ms. Cunningham. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. Now, Dr. Donovan, do you believe that fetal 
tissue research should be banned in this country? Yes or 
    Dr. Donovan. It depends on where you get the tissue. No.
    Ms. DeGette. So, you don't believe it should be banned.
    OK, what about you, Ms. Cunningham?
    Ms. Cunningham. I can't give a yes-or-no answer to that. 
Some should be banned.
    Ms. DeGette. Some should. Well, which should be banned?
    Ms. Cunningham. That that is unethically derived--that uses 
unethically derived tissue.
    Ms. DeGette. OK, tell me which fetal tissue research is 
ethically derived.
    Ms. Cunningham. That which uses fetuses that are donated 
after an ectopic pregnancy is removed or a stillbirth or a 
    Ms. DeGette. OK. So do you think that fetal tissue research 
from abortions should be banned?
    Ms. Cunningham. In its current practice, yes.
    Ms. DeGette. And Dr. Donovan, thank you for helping me 
clarify. Do you think fetal tissue from abortions should be 
    Dr. Donovan. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you. Now, Dr. Donovan, you testified 
that we have cell lines that have been developed over the last 
50 years from fetal tissue research. Correct?
    Dr. Donovan. Correct.
    Ms. DeGette. Is it your position, since those cell lines 
were developed from aborted fetal tissue 50 years ago, that 
since it was so long ago, it is OK to use that research now? Is 
that what you were trying to tell us?
    Dr. Donovan. In the absence of alternatives, then it can be 
acceptable when it is far removed.
    Ms. DeGette. So, because the abortions were a long time 
ago, it is OK that we use that tissue now, correct?
    Dr. Donovan. It is a little more complex than that.
    Ms. DeGette. I see. Now, you also testified that--I 
believe, yes, it was you who talked about the Tuskegee and the 
Mengele experiments. Do you make fetal tissue research from 
abortions equal to those experiments?
    Dr. Donovan. I think that we need to be very careful that 
we don't do that.
    Ms. DeGette. Do you think that they are equal? ``Yes'' or 
``no''? ``Yes'' or ``no''?
    Dr. Donovan. Maybe.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you.
    Now, I want to talk with you, Ms. Charo, for a minute. You 
testified about your view of the ethics of fetal tissue 
research from abortions. You mentioned the NIH panel on human 
fetal transportation research during the Reagan administration. 
Is that correct?
    Ms. Charo. Yes, I believe it was HHS and not NIH 
specifically, but yes.
    Ms. DeGette. OK, HHS. And in fact, that blue ribbon panel 
unanimously endorsed the position that fetal tissue research is 
not only ethical but should proceed. Is that correct?
    Ms. Charo. I believe the vote was 19 to zero.
    Ms. DeGette. Yes, it was unanimous. And the chair of that 
commission was actually opposed to abortion. Is that correct?
    Ms. Charo. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. And the reason was, as you testified a minute 
ago, because abortion is legal in this country, and so people 
thought we should be able to give the opportunity to people who 
had made that legal choice to have an abortion to then donate 
that tissue to help save other lives. Is that correct?
    Ms. Charo. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. Because as you testified, the alternative when 
somebody chose to have an abortion, if they did not donate that 
tissue, was the tissue would be destroyed as medical waste. Is 
that correct?
    Ms. Charo. Yes, it is.
    Ms. DeGette. And that, in fact, is why many people do make 
the ethical choice to donate the tissue. Is that right?
    Ms. Charo. I believe so.
    Ms. DeGette. Now, I wanted to ask you one more thing, which 
is from an ethical standpoint, do you think that it makes any 
difference when cell lines were developed, whether it was 50 
years ago or last year from tissue from abortions?
    Ms. Charo. In this circumstance, I do not think so, because 
the prospect of research in the future or the existence of 
research in the past is equally indifferent to the question of 
whether a woman would decide to have an abortion. That decision 
is not affected by the research or the prospect of it.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you. Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    At this time, I recognize Mrs. Black for 5 minutes.
    Mrs. Black. Thank you, Madam Chair, and I want to thank all 
the panelists for being here today.
    I want to begin by saying that I spent my entire career as 
a nurse. I worked in the emergency room most of that time. And 
it was my responsibility when I was in the emergency room, 
before we had the organ procurement organizations, to come and 
talk with the family members. It was my responsibility when 
someone was deceased to look them in the eyes and ask them if 
they would consider donating their family member for research 
or transplantation. It was a very sensitive time. And I have 
got to tell you that as I think about those times, I can 
actually see the eyes in the people that I asked this of. And 
one of the things that I will always remember is the dignity 
and the respect for those family members.
    Families--actually, there was a report done in Office of 
Inspector General--and if I may insert this into the record--
that looked at informed consent in tissue donation and what the 
expectation and the realities were of these family members.
    And here are the things that were found in there, and I 
don't think it will surprise any of us because if we have 
someone we love that dies either expectedly or unexpectedly, it 
is a very traumatic thing: What organs will be procured? Will 
the body be treated with respect? And special care to ensure 
that the gift is used for the stated purpose. Those are the 
three main things that were found in both this report and also 
my experiences.
    Very tender times and, as I say, a dignity of life and 
respect for that. I am curious that we don't have that same 
dignity and respect for the life of what we call tissue and 
fetus and embryo. This is a baby. I think Ms. Charo mentioned 
these are the remains. Tissue is discarded. This is not tissue. 
This is a baby. You don't get a brain, a liver, a kidney, all 
of these organs from a tissue. It is a baby. It is not a blob 
of tissue.
    Now, what I want to go to is, if we could put up an Exhibit 
    In these documents, documents were produced to the panel by 
a leading university to show that a researcher sought from a 
tissue procurement business, quote, a first trimester human 
embryo, preferably around 8 and up to 10 weeks of gestation. 
And I think you all may have that in front of you, but the 
document is Exhibit F, and this is what it looks like. It 
actually says ``Doctor,'' and the name of the doctor is blacked 
out, ``at the University of ---- would request a first 
trimester human embryo, preferably 8 to 10 weeks of gestation. 
We have ordered tissue before, so our information should be on 
file. Please let us know if this tissue is available.''
    This is not dignity. This is not dignity. This is not 
respect for human life. I want to ask the panelists, Have we 
reached a point in our society where there effectively is an 
Amazon.com for human parts, including entire babies? And I 
would like to ask our panel for their opinion on this email and 
the notion of obtaining potentially entire embryos on demand.
    Dr. Donovan, would you like to address this?
    Dr. Donovan. I, personally, find that it shocks my 
conscience, and I think it should shock the conscience of the 
Nation. I think you are absolutely right, we have commodified 
what have been referred to as the products of conception, 
meaning babies and baby parts. And yes, they are for sale, 
supposedly just to cover one's costs, but those costs seem to 
be quite variable. But even if they were given away free, it is 
shocking to be ordering what you want: Can I have a boy fetus 
or a girl fetus, or a brain, or a heart, or a liver? This is 
totally in distinction to the honorable transplantation 
industry that is lifesaving and shows great respect for the 
    Mrs. Black. Ms. Cunningham?
    Ms. Cunningham. I think what we need to pay attention to 
here is not is this somehow increasing abortion. My concern is 
that researchers have come to count on induced abortion for 
their research. And one of the articles that I cited in my 
written testimony shows that they say that liver from induced 
abortions is widely available and is a promising source. What 
have we come to where researchers need induced abortion to do 
their research? Wouldn't it have been better if we had banned 
this at the beginning and use the creative minds that we have 
to find ethical alternatives?
    Mrs. Black. Ms. Cunningham, I hate to cut you off. Thank 
    And I just have one brief comment to make because my time 
is going to end here in just a second. I believe that we should 
give the same information and dignity to these young women that 
are making these decisions, and I believe that it should be a 
more informed and educational decision that they are making, 
and I don't believe that is happening currently.
    I yield back the balance of my time.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    Ms. Speier, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Ms. Speier. Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you all for 
your participation today.
    You know, today I feel like a time traveler, not a Member 
of Congress. Perhaps we have been transported back to 1692 to 
the Salem witch trials, where fanatics persecuted and murdered 
innocent people who had committed no offenses. Or maybe we have 
been transported back to the Red Scare, where at least 10,000 
Americans in many professions around this country lost their 
livelihoods due to the reckless and disgraceful actions of the 
House Un-American Activities Committee and the infamous Senator 
Joseph McCarthy, who eventually went after an Army General 
Counsel, Mr. Welch. And Mr. Welch finally put down Senator 
McCarthy by saying, ``Have you no decency?''
    Unfortunately, this time, those being burned at the stakes 
are our scientists, who hold future medical breakthroughs in 
their hands. They are joined by brave women's healthcare 
providers who are simply trying to care for their patients. 
Meanwhile, David Daleiden and his associate, Sandra Merritt, 
fraudulently created the Center for Medical Progress and they 
were indicted in Texas by a grand jury for actual illegal 
activities. They are the reason why we are here today. Illegal 
conduct by two people, they have now been indicted, and that 
has been the creation of this committee.
    And I have here a poster that shows what they have been 
indicted for. They have been indicted for two felonies for 
tampering with Government records. In California, they are 
being investigated for any number of felonies, including 
misrepresentation of one's company to the IRS, felonies for 
fraud in creating fake drivers' licenses, and credit card fraud 
identity. And a judge in California has made this statement in 
granting a motion for a preliminary injunction by saying, 
``Defendants engaged in repeated instances of fraud, including 
the manufacture of fake documents, the creation and 
registration with the State of California of a fake company, 
and repeated false statements in order to infiltrate and 
implement their Human Capital Project. The products of that 
Project--achieved in large part from infiltration--thus far 
have not been pieces of journalistic integrity, but 
misleadingly edited videos and unfounded assertions.''
    So my question to you, Dr. Donovan, is this: You are an 
expert on ethics, as is Ms. Cunningham and Ms. Charo. Do you 
think it is appropriate to conduct oneself in that manner? Is 
that ethical? Is that moral? ``Yes'' or ``no''?
    Dr. Donovan. Most ethical and moral questions are not yes-
and-no questions.
    Ms. Speier. Well, we have been asking yes-and-no questions 
this morning.
    Dr. Donovan. I have noticed that. I have noticed that. It 
doesn't always help one unpeel the onion in order to get to the 
truth. So, if you want a ``yes'' or ``no,'' I am not quite sure 
how to answer that as a ``yes'' or ``no.''
    Where is the greater damage? I am not an expert on 
journalistic ethics, and I am certainly not an expert on the 
law. I am glad that carrying a false driver's license isn't a 
felony everywhere, or many college students would end up in 
    Ms. Speier. Do you think committing fraud is ethical?
    Dr. Donovan. Of course, fraud is not ethical.
    Ms. Speier. All right.
    Dr. Donovan. Neither is what was being investigated.
    Ms. Speier. Ms. Cunningham.
    Ms. Cunningham. And the specific question?
    Ms. Speier. Is committing fraud ethical?
    Ms. Cunningham. As a broad statement, one would say it is 
not ethical, but I am not answering the specific question about 
the conduct of David Daleiden.
    Ms. Speier. So, you think Mr. Daleiden is ethical?
    Ms. Cunningham. As Dr. Donovan said, that is a very broad 
    Ms. Speier. All right, thank you.
    Ms. Cunningham. I can't answer it in the way that you are 
    Ms. Speier. Professor Charo?
    Ms. Charo. I think the attempt to deliberately create 
distorted videos for political purpose and to tarnish an 
organization that helps millions of women was profoundly 
unethical and destructive.
    Ms. Speier. I thank you, and I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    At this time, Dr. Bucshon, you are recognized for 5 
    Mr. Bucshon. Thank you. First of all, I just want to say I 
was a practicing cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon for 15 
years prior to coming to Congress. And thank you, all the 
witnesses, for being here.
    I also want to say it is totally appropriate to reevaluate 
and examine ethical issues that have been examined in the past. 
Times do change. And so I know some of the narrative has been 
that in the past people have looked at these issues and come to 
conclusions but, in health care, particularly, I think, it is 
important that we occasionally reexamine these issues.
    The other thing is, based on some of the comments of my 
Democratic colleagues, I am not sure what everyone is so afraid 
of, because this type of discussion about ethics is totally 
appropriate and we don't have a preconceived outcome.
    And I would also just remind everybody in the crowd that 
charges and indictments don't mean convictions and guilt.
    So, with that, I would like to go to Exhibit B-1 and go 
over some emails, and you may have those. And the first is a 
customer--this is between a tissue technician and a customer. I 
am going to walk you through this:
    ``We are now ready to include the skull so if you would 
please include that in our order for tomorrow that would be 
great. ... If there is a case tomorrow could you please have 
someone contact me with the condition of both the long bones 
and the calvarium''--which is the head--``and I will be happy 
to let you know if we would like one or both.'' Four minutes 
later, the technician responds, ``I will be happy to do that.''
    Exhibit B-2, the customer replied a day later: ``Just 
wanted to check in and see if there were any cases within our 
gestational range for today?'' The technician responded 4 
minutes later: ``There is one case currently in the room. I 
will let you know how the limbs and calvarium look to see if 
you are able to take them,'' which means they are discussing 
actively during the abortion itself.
    Three minutes later, the client said, ``Great, thank you so 
    Exhibit B-3, after the abortion is performed, the 
technician tells the customer the calvarium, the head, ``is 
mostly intact with a tear up the back suture line, but all 
pieces look to be there. The limbs, one upper and one lower are 
totally intact, with one upper broken at the humerus''--which 
is the upper arm bone--``and one lower [limb] broken above the 
knee. Please let me know if these are acceptable. I have set 
them aside and will await your reply.`` Five minutes later, the 
customer replies, ``That sounds great. We would like both of 
them. Please send them our way. Thanks again.''
    The technician says, ``Limbs and calvarium will be there'' 
at 3:30 to 4:00.
    And we will hear later in testimony and there is evidence 
to show the technicians are partially paid by the number of 
body parts that they could get.
    So, given that, do these emails raise any ethical issues? 
And if so, what are they? Dr. Donovan.
    Dr. Donovan. Once again, I think that what we are seeing is 
a total lack of respect for the dignity of the human body, in 
this case, because as we have already pointed out, not only are 
these humans but these are human body parts. Otherwise, no one 
would be interested in them. But to order them piece by piece 
like you would order a McDonald's hamburger, I find 
discouraging and shocking.
    Mr. Bucshon. Ms. Cunningham?
    Ms. Cunningham. I do find a number of serious ethical 
problems. One being, apart from the question of abortion 
itself, I think this completely fails to isolate abortion from 
the decision about the fetal tissue and consent to use the 
fetal tissue. In what we see here, there is no indication of 
consent prior to this procedure or for these specific parts to 
be excised.
    Mr. Bucshon. And in fairness, that could have occurred 
earlier, I guess.
    Ms. Cunningham. It could. I just said there is nothing here 
to indicate that.
    Mr. Bucshon. Ms. Charo?
    Ms. Charo. I would just like to add a little bit of context 
because exactly the same kind of language would be used if we 
were talking about people ordering tissue from adults who had 
died and were now having their bodies used for tissue and organ 
recovery. It is the same kind of clinical, dispassionate 
language that is deeply upsetting to many of us who are not in 
that world and are not familiar with that. As you, as a 
physician, have said, there is a world of difference in how we 
talk about things. And----
    Mr. Bucshon. OK, my time is running. I appreciate that.
    Ms. Charo. Yes, and there is a world of tissue 
transplantation and tissue research with adult tissue out there 
that is enormous and is very little different from what we are 
seeing here. So, just a little context of how this all works.
    Mr. Bucshon. Sure. And I would like to say, as a physician, 
during my training I spent a lot of time on transplantation, 
both talking to recipients and also family members of people 
who were in an unfortunate situation making a decision on 
behalf of their loved one to donate organs.
    But, you know, I think that talking about a human being 
like this, just the mere fact that the arm was broke and the 
leg was broke, and they are talking about the head separately 
of a human being is something to me that is pretty hard to 
take, as a physician.
    I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman yields back.
    Ms. DelBene, you are recognized for 5 minutes of questions.
    Ms. DelBene. Thank you, Madam Chair. And thank you to all 
the witnesses for being with us today.
    I would like to start by dispelling any misconceptions 
about this hearing and this committee's investigation. It is 
definitely not objective or impartial in any way. This 
taxpayer-funded committee was created by Republicans more than 
4 months ago, after a group of anti-choice extremists made a 
series of false, unsubstantiated allegations about Planned 
Parenthood. Since that time, four different congressional 
committees and a grand jury tried and failed to uncover any 
evidence of wrong-doing, and their anti-choice accusers have 
been indicted on felony charges.
    Meanwhile, the majority has deliberately ignored this 
growing body of evidence and has clearly decided to continue 
spending taxpayer dollars to attack women's health and 
intimidate healthcare providers across the country.
    Now, in the committee's first hearing, the majority would 
like our constituents to believe we are conducting an objective 
hearing on medical research, and that couldn't be further from 
the truth. What we are really doing is reopening a long-settled 
debate about research to further a broader political agenda 
against a woman's right to choose. And if their attacks on 
science succeed, then we will all pay the price because nearly 
every American has benefitted from research conducted with 
fetal tissue. That is how we developed the first-ever polio 
vaccine. It is how we make vaccines for rubella, chicken pox, 
and shingles. It is how scientists are pursuing new treatments 
for heartbreaking diseases like Alzheimer's and HIV. And it is 
all done in full compliance with the high ethical standards 
recommended by President Reagan's blue ribbon panel in 1988, 
which were passed by Congress with broad bipartisan support.
    So, as someone--I started my career doing medical research, 
and I know that research using all human tissue is subject to 
ethical and legal standards. Professor Charo, do you agree with 
    Ms. Charo. I do.
    Ms. DelBene. And Professor, do you think it is appropriate 
to use ideology about women's rights to shape the roles that 
guide scientific research? And why or why not?
    Ms. Charo. No, I am very, very unhappy at seeing a debate 
around abortion turn into a debate around scientific research. 
That is not to say I am happy about the debate about abortion, 
either, because I also find it really offensive to imagine that 
women are incapable of making their own decisions about whether 
to have an abortion and whether or not to donate the tissue.
    But, for sure, while that is going on, scientific research 
ought not be halted or hindered simply as an attempt to 
demonstrate one's opposition to abortion rights in an either 
political or public relations manner. It doesn't change 
anything, and I don't think that the public should be made a 
victim of those abortion wars.
    Ms. DelBene. Can you speak a little bit about the role of 
Institutional Review Boards in providing oversight on the use 
of human tissue in research? How do they help ensure that 
research is compliant with ethical and legal standards?
    Ms. Charo. So, like Dr. Donovan, I have been a member of an 
Institutional Review Board off and on for many years. And those 
Boards look at a variety of things, starting with how it is 
that people are first approached and asked about whether or not 
they would like to participate in research or, in this case, to 
donate materials. It looks at the nature of the conversation 
that will be had, the documentation because of course what is 
on paper is not the extent of the conversation, it is simply 
the minimum number of items that need to be documented as far 
as the consent form goes.
    It looks at whether or not, in the end, there has been 
compliance. There are often research monitors that will observe 
a certain number of interactions in order to ensure compliance. 
There is an annual review that is required for each research 
protocol, and sometimes reviews are done more frequently, 
depending upon the protocol.
    The Institutional Review Board is made up of a variety of 
people from both scientific and clinical and nonmedical 
backgrounds, including law, ethics, religious studies, and 
members of the community who can reflect the local community 
culture in those discussions.
    Ms. DelBene. And that has been something that also the blue 
ribbon commission looked at and made sure that those boards 
were appropriate, and that was part of that debate that they 
had and decision they had from the commission?
    Ms. Charo. Yes, Institutional Review Boards are actually 
required by law. It begins with the use of Federal funds that 
will trigger such a requirement or the research into things 
that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, but 
most major research institutions now have extended that review 
beyond the legal requirements in order to give what is called a 
Federal-wide assurance of all research at that institution, 
complying with these same rules, even where not legally 
    Ms. DelBene. Thank you so much. I yield back, Madam Chair.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    Dr. Harris, you are recognized, 5 minutes.
    Mr. Harris. Thank you very much. You know, I am a physician 
and I was a physiology researcher. I actually did fetal 
research, but it was of fetal sheep of cerebral blood flow. And 
I also was a human principle investigator who actually had to 
file IRB applications.
    I don't intend to litigate the use of fetal tissue, because 
I suspect you all agree about this. And I am just going to--Dr. 
Donovan and Ms. Cunningham, when you said the question about 
fetal tissue, I assume you support fetal tissue research from 
spontaneously aborted fetuses. Correct?
    Dr. Donovan. Correct.
    Mr. Harris. Correct?
    Ms. Cunningham. Yes.
    Mr. Harris. OK, so we all agree. Let's all agree this is 
not litigating fetal tissue research. We all agree it should be 
    Now, Dr. Donovan, let me just say I was fascinated by 
your--because what we are talking about here is consent and 
whether IRB consent and patient consent, whether that is all 
adequate. The idea that when you are a guardian of someone that 
you are qualified to give consent because you have the global 
best interest of that person in mind has to be brought into 
question when it is an elective abortion. I mean, it just has 
to be.
    And with regards to the millions of people saved by fetal 
tissue research, we are all talking about the vaccines, the two 
cell lines. One cell line--interesting, a female child aborted 
because the family was too big. I would proffer that that 
mother, that if you gave that child and that child could 
somehow give consent, they would never consent to that 
abortion. The second one is a male which was aborted for, 
quote, ``psychiatric reasons.'' Now, when I had to get IRB 
approval on a patient, I had to be careful about approaching a 
patient with psychiatric illness because a lot of people feel 
they don't have the ability to give consent. So, it was a very 
good point you made.
    Let me just talk a little bit about an IRB question, 
specifically for you, Dr. Donovan. Is the source of fetal 
tissue or how it is acquired a valid question that an IRB 
should have answered before they approve a project?
    Dr. Donovan. It is not only a valid question, it is asked 
and has to be answered. Some institutions would absolutely 
forbid its use.
    Mr. Harris. So, that if there were an instance where the 
application was, let us say, massaged a little bit, so that it 
was a little unclear what the source was, in an attempt to 
bypass that, that would really bypass the intention of an IRB. 
Is that right? For instance, if you didn't call it exactly what 
it was or what could be readily identified as the source.
    Dr. Donovan. Yes, you clearly know what you are talking 
about. And in fact, would that occur, the investigator would be 
in trouble with the IRB. They would be called in and questioned 
about it.
    Mr. Harris. Sure. Let's look at Exhibit A-3, which is a 
commonly used form for fetal tissue donation that was uncovered 
through discovery by the committee.
    Ms. Cunningham, when I had to get consent from patients 
because we obtained human tissue at a cesarean section, human 
uterine tissue, we normally exactly described the tissue and 
then really kind of exactly described what it was going for. It 
could be global. It could be OK, in this case, it was to study 
uterine myocytes and their effect on preterm labor. Do you find 
anywhere on that form where it--I will tell you I don't see 
anywhere where it asks specifically what tissue it is. In the 
case brought up by Dr. Bucshon, I assume that in that abortion, 
they didn't go to the mother before and say, ``Oh, by the way, 
we are going to collect an arm and a leg, and we are going to 
do it for this kind of research.'' Is that something you think 
part of informed consent ought to be, that you actually know 
where this tissue is going and for what?
    Ms. Cunningham. Yes, and I am not the only one. If you look 
at elements of fetal tissue donation consent in other contexts, 
it is quite specific on what is being discussed with the 
prospective donor or their family.
    Mr. Harris. Absolutely.
    Ms. Charo?
    Ms. Charo. I----
    Mr. Harris. You point to the gentlelady--no, I have to ask 
the question.
    Ms. Charo. Oh, I am sorry.
    Mr. Harris. To the point from the gentlelady from 
Tennessee, when my wife passed away a year and a half ago, I 
got a call from the Medical Examiner's Office requesting 
donation of her brain. It was a tough call, but they specified 
one tissue and they specified what was going to be done with 
    Now, you look at Exhibit A-3, and then you look at Exhibit 
C-1 and C-2, which are actually what various anatomical 
donation forms used by States, it is strikingly different. 
Strikingly different.
    Do you think that it really ought to be included when you 
ask someone, a woman, to donate the fetal tissue that you 
perhaps suggest specifically what it is going for and what the 
specific tissues to be used are going to be, if the person 
knows or should they make a best effort to know?
    Ms. Charo. I am not sure. I think----
    Mr. Harris. Thank you very much. I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman yields back.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman, you are recognized for 5 minutes for 
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you, Madam Chairman. I have a 
question for Dr. Donovan and for Ms. Cunningham, and I would 
appreciate ``yes'' or ``no.''
    I need to understand. Are you suggesting that it is more 
moral and more ethical to discard fetal tissue that is 
available even after an abortion that a woman decided to have, 
rather than use it for medical research purposes? Is that a 
``yes'' or a ``no''?
    Dr. Donovan. That is not a ``yes'' or a ``no.''
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Is that a ``yes'' or a ``no''? Let me 
ask it this way: Do you believe that fetal tissue that has been 
derived from a woman's decision to abort should be used for 
medical purposes or not? Is that a ``yes'' or a ``no,'' sir?
    Dr. Donovan. That is not a yes-or-no question.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Ms. Cunningham, do you agree or 
disagree that fetal tissue that is available as a result of a 
woman deciding to have an abortion should be used for medical 
research purposes or discarded?
    Ms. Cunningham. I am sorry, what am I----
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. What is it that you all don't 
understand? I understand----
    Dr. Donovan. Would you like an answer to your question?
    Ms. Cunningham. ``Yes'' or ``no'' can't answer used or 
discarded. I am sorry.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Used for medical research purposes or 
discarded and not used for any purpose--eliminated, trashed, 
thrown away--as opposed to used for medical research purposes 
to find whether or not a cure could be found for Zika, a cure 
could be found for some other disease. Do you believe that it 
is moral to discard that tissue rather than use it? Is that a 
clear enough question?
    Ms. Cunningham. Thank you. Because I am under oath, I 
cannot answer a yes-or-no question. What I can say is that it 
is currently being practiced. I do not believe it is ethically 
possible to do so.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Dr. Charo, may I please have your sort 
of sense of what you just heard from both of these individuals 
with regard to the use or the discarding of fetal tissue that 
is a result of a woman's decision to have an abortion?
    Ms. Charo. I will stand corrected because I am speaking for 
other people, but I think I heard that they are uncomfortable 
with both outcomes. But given only those two choices, they 
would discard rather than use for fetal tissue, for a variety 
of reasons having to do with why they oppose fetal tissue 
    But I have to say I have to yield to you to explain what it 
is that you actually meant to say.
    Dr. Donovan. Thank you.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Well, I wouldn't mind hearing that, if 
you could say it succinctly because I do have a number of 
    Dr. Donovan. I am as succinct as I can be. You asked one of 
the most complex ethical questions: What do we do with the 
information or products of medical research when we think the 
research itself is tainted?
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. That is not what I asked.
    Dr. Donovan. That is what you asked, whether you realize it 
or not.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. I simply asked--no, sir. No, I know 
what I asked. I asked, Do you think that it is better to 
discard the tissue that would result from an abortion that a 
woman made a decision to abort as opposed to a spontaneous 
abortion, an ectopic pregnancy aborted, do you think it is 
moral to throw it away, rather than use it for purposes of 
discovering cures, discovering treatments, et cetera? And if 
you can give me a ``yes'' or ``no,'' I will take it. If not, I 
want to move on to the next question.
    Dr. Donovan. Few questions, moral questions, are yes-or-no 
questions. That one certainly is not.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you very much.
    Professor Charo, we have heard about what has happened as a 
result of those videos that had been released. We know what has 
happened with regard to Daleiden and those videos. And we know 
that it has created harassment and fear and whatnot.
    As a matter of fact, the dean of your school of medicine 
said that his faculty has been compared to Nazi war criminals 
because they use fetal tissue for research. Does it surprise 
you that the researchers have come under attack and that 
healthcare providers and doctors also were under attack? And 
could you give me a ``yes'' or ``no''?
    Ms. Charo. It does not surprise me.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. And what do you feel about that 
    Ms. Charo. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say 
something I have wanted very much to say. My family was 
personally touched by the Holocaust. I lost a grandparent in 
the camps. I grew up in a neighborhood where people wore 
tattoos on their arms that represented the years in the camps. 
These were people who were alive and were aware and were 
suffering for the years that they were in those camps. I am 
profoundly, profoundly distressed and, frankly, offended----
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you, Dr. Charo.
    Ms. Charo [continuing]. At the thought of comparing that to 
the experience of loss of an embryo or fetus.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Professor, I just thank you very much. 
Madam Chair, may I have 30 seconds?
    Mrs. Blackburn. Yes.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you very much. Because I simply 
wanted to say, Madam Chair, that we believe your efforts to 
compile this database of names are very dangerous. We believe 
that linking people to this investigation is very dangerous, 
and we think that the characterization of the unlawful sale of 
baby body parts is very dangerous, and we are disappointed that 
Republicans tabled our motion and that you would not answer Mr. 
Nadler's question when he asked you why you thought this was 
important. Thank you.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady's time has expired.
    At this point, I recognize Ms. Hartzler for 5 minutes.
    Mrs. Hartzler. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
    I would just say, based on the comments that were just 
made, that just a reminder that babies who are aborted are 
normally buried or cremated. It is not discarded. And so to 
follow this premise, you would be saying that to bury a loved 
one rather than donating to science is immoral. And I clearly, 
clearly reject that. We have to treat these babies with the 
dignity that they deserve, and I think the logic is flawed to 
say just because you don't donate a loved one to science, it is 
    But I want to talk a little bit about the consent. I was a 
former teacher for many years, working with teenagers, some 
that had a time in their life when they had an unexpected 
pregnancy, and these are very difficult issues. So, I would 
like to put up Exhibit E--excuse me, start with Exhibit D.
    And so this question will start off with Ms. Cunningham. 
The Secretary of HHS issued the Belmont Report, which says that 
consent is valid only if voluntarily given. And that 
``inducements that would ordinarily be acceptable may become 
undue influences if the subject is especially vulnerable.''
    So--if you could put up Exhibit A-3, the consent form that 
is used in some of these clinics--I would like to ask you, in 
your view, does this form violate our Government's own guidance 
in its inducement to women considering abortion, especially 
with the promise and the statement in the very first opening of 
the consent form says: ``Research using the blood from pregnant 
women and tissue that has been aborted has been used to treat 
and find a cure for such diseases as diabetes, Parkinson's 
disease, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and AIDS''?
    I will say I lost my mother last year with Alzheimer's. I 
am not aware that there is a cure out there. This was news to 
me. So, Ms. Cunningham, do you think that this consent form 
complies with HHS' mandate against inducement?
    Ms. Cunningham. It would be interesting to know from the 
woman's perspective if this does induce her to sign the form, 
this idea of the promise of cures, which is a very powerful 
    The concern I have is that the standards that we have 
typically for fetal tissue donation are just absent here. And 
so in addition to the voluntariness, there is just the 
thoroughness of the consent seems to be missing in this form.
    Mrs. Hartzler. I would concur with the HHS informed consent 
checklist itself that is online. A couple of other requirements 
that are supposed to be of consensus, a statement describing 
the extent, if any, to which confidentiality of records 
identifying the subject will be maintained. I see no such 
statement in this exhibit. It also says that: ``Research, 
Rights or Injury: An explanation of whom to contact for answer 
to pertinent questions about the research and research 
subjects' rights.''
    If I was a teenage girl in a crisis situation there being 
presented with this form, I don't see it there. Do you see it 
on the form?
    Ms. Cunningham. I do not.
    Mrs. Hartzler. OK. Ms. Charo, last August, speaking about 
fetal tissue research while at a NARAL conference, you were 
quoted as saying, ``Now remember, this is not about using an 
actual embryo or an actual fetus. This is leftover tissue after 
the fetus is long-dead.''
    Please put up Exhibit E. In this email, the tissue 
procurement manager of a tissue business described to a 
university researcher the immediacy of obtaining tissue from 
aborted fetuses. The manager wrote that after, quote, ``the 
doctor determines the [abortion] is complete, the [procurement 
technician] is allowed to begin procurement. This takes a 
couple of minutes.''
    So, given these comments from the tissue procurer, how can 
you contend that tissue procurement occurs ``after the fetus is 
    Ms. Charo. I don't recall speaking at a NARAL conference 
last August, but there was a conference I spoke at considerably 
longer ago, speaking of length of time, and I believe that that 
comment was being made in the context of the cell lines, which 
really are from fetuses that were aborted a very, very long 
time ago. But I don't have a transcript of my own remarks with 
me. Thank you.
    Mrs. Hartzler. OK. Dr. Donovan, isn't the tissue harvested 
immediately after the cells--are they still alive, the cells 
are still alive?
    Dr. Donovan. Absolutely. They want fresh cells.
    Mrs. Hartzler. OK, very good. I yield back. Thank you.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    Mr. Nadler, you are recognized 5 minutes for questions.
    Mr. Nadler. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Ms. Charo, I should first say that I find most of this 
discussion irrelevant, because it relates to the morality of 
abortion. Opinions differ, obviously, on the morality of 
abortion. I, for one, think abortions are perfectly moral, but 
that is not the question. Abortion is legal and, as a 
consequence, safe for women in this country.
    The law already prohibits initiating a pregnancy for the 
purpose of donating tissue--a hypothetical concern, as we have 
never heard of this actually happening. The question before us 
is about fetal tissue research. But if the abortion was going 
to happen anyway--now, Dr. Harris pointed out and Dr. Donovan 
agreed that we all agree that fetal tissue research is valuable 
and the disagreement may be over the source. But if the 
abortion was going to happen anyway, even if you don't like 
that fact, how can it be immoral to save lives by use of fetal 
tissue from an abortion that would have happened anyway, tissue 
that would otherwise be thrown away? What makes the use to save 
lives instead of throwing it away immoral, Ms. Charo?
    Ms. Charo. There has been a great deal of conversation 
about the notion of complicity with an underlying act one 
considers to be immoral, and it is at this point, I think, it 
is helpful to take an example of an act that I think is 
universally understood to be immoral and not one that is 
debated, which is the case of abortion. If we talk about the 
murder of an adult, which we all consider to be immoral and is 
also a criminal act, so it is also not legal, there is no 
question that we use those tissues and organs from murder 
victims for organ transplantation, for tissue transplantation, 
and for organ and tissue research without in any sense feeling 
complicit. We don't encourage murder by virtue of using those 
tissues. We may not condone it, but we certainly don't view it 
as something that should be abandoned because we don't want any 
connection with an underlying act of which we disapprove.
    So, I find the arguments about complicity to be 
    Mr. Nadler. So, by the same logic, whether you think 
abortion is immoral or not, use of fetal tissue that would be 
there in any event for research purposes is no more moral or 
immoral than use of tissue from a murder victim?
    Ms. Charo. That was the reasoning of the panel that was led 
by Judge Adams for President Reagan, and that is a kind of 
reasoning that does not appear to have been affected by events 
in the last 30 or 40 years. Science changes, but that 
particular analysis seems to have persisted.
    Mr. Nadler. Let me quote from Ms. Cunningham's testimony. 
And she said--and this is a sub-quote from a book by Robert 
George and Christopher Tollefsen--it is ``morally impermissible 
to engage in any research for any purpose that involves the 
destruction of human beings at any stage of their lives, 
including the embryonic stage, or in any condition however weak 
or dependent.''
    Ms. Cunningham continues: ``Those who are responsible for 
terminating the life of a fetus have failed to recognize this 
fundamental principle of human dignity and, thus, have no moral 
claim to be able to donate or assign the body, organs, or 
tissues of the fetus to others, regardless of the nobility of 
purpose.'' Dr. Donovan said something to the same effect.
    In other words, Ms. Cunningham, Dr. Donovan, Mr. George who 
wrote the article, believe that they have a superior moral 
claim to that of the mother to make this decision. I find this 
incredibly arrogant. Because of their view of the morality of 
abortion, they would deprive the mother of her moral agency. 
Having decided to have an abortion, which is her right under 
the law--which some of us regard as moral and some people 
regard as immoral, but it is her decision under the law--they 
would deprive her, therefore, of the right to make a decision 
to use the fetal tissue that would otherwise be thrown out for 
morally good purposes to help save lives. And they would 
deprive the mother of this moral right because they have a 
superior moral right.
    Would you comment on that, Ms. Charo?
    Ms. Charo. Yes, this was exactly the concern that was 
raised again and again by the Reagan panel, which did a fairly 
thorough report on a lot of these things. And they looked 
specifically at whether there is anybody else who is in a 
superior position to give consent. That could be scientists, it 
could be physicians. It could be that the material is used 
without any kind of consent at all and considered abandoned 
property. And in the end, they concluded that there was no one 
and no entity and no rule of law that had superior entitlement 
to make this decision than the woman herself.
    Mr. Nadler. Thank you. I have one final question. Dr. 
Bucshon noted that it is legitimate to reexamine these issues. 
We had panels a couple of decades ago. We can reexamine the 
issues. He is right, of course, on that. We can always 
reexamine an issue. And he said, What are we afraid of?
    Here is what we are afraid of: ``We also know that an 
employee at one of the entities that the Chair has subpoenaed, 
someone who is also identified in connection with the 
deceptively edited and false videos, has been the victim of a 
death threat posted online, suggesting that he or she should be 
hung by the neck using piano wire and propped up on the law in 
the front of''--on the lawn, I assume he meant--``in the front 
of the building with a note attached,'' unquote. That is what 
we are afraid of, that this kind of proceeding that we are 
doing, with the kinds of obnoxious and illegal and--frankly, 
subpoenas I think designed to endanger the lives of people who 
engage in abortions, that is the danger.
    Ms. Charo, would you comment on that? And that is my last 
    Ms. Charo. It is a documented danger. We also saw, as was 
noted earlier on, the deaths in Colorado immediately following 
some of these tapes being released. I can say from personal 
experience not related to this topic but other topics I have 
written on, I have also received threatening calls, and it is 
incredibly disturbing and it is a way to intimidate and chill 
research in the United States.
    Mr. Nadler. And make this committee complicit in further 
acts of violence, if they occur. Thank you very much.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Mrs. Love for 5 minutes.
    Mrs. Love. Thank you.
    Across the United States, current Federal law prohibits 
minors under the age of 18 from serving in the military, 
entering into financially binding contracts, purchasing 
nicotine, being tried as an adult, getting married, or voting. 
We have a number of laws in place that protect our minors. This 
includes prohibiting minors to go into certain movies without a 
guardian or a parent being around. And all of this is to 
protect that minor because their brains are not fully developed 
and they lack the ability to fully comprehend long-term 
repercussions of their decisions.
    So, my question, Ms. Cunningham: Do you think that ethical 
guidelines should be in place to protect a minor when they are 
giving consent to a clinic to perform an abortion, and what 
kind of guidelines do you think should be in place?
    Ms. Cunningham. Are you thinking about the abortion 
procedure itself or the specific issue of consent to donate?
    Mrs. Love. I am not talking about tissue donation. I am 
talking about when they are going in and actually giving 
consent to even have an abortion performed.
    Ms. Cunningham. Well, I think, first of all, there should 
be great care exercised because, as the United Kingdom Human 
Fetal Tissue Authority noted, that the time of deciding about 
abortion is a very emotionally stressful time for a woman. And 
I have been in a number of conversations with physicians 
involving informed consent, and it is really helpful to have 
the second person there taking notes and really paying 
attention to what is said. My own husband didn't remember what 
the oncologist said to him, but I took notes and I was able to 
help him go through the informed consent process.
    So, I think great care would need to be taken in any kind 
of informed consent proceeding, but especially with a minor.
    Mrs. Love. OK. Mr. Donovan, with all of this being said, do 
you think it is important for us to have different consent 
forms for minors versus adults?
    Dr. Donovan. Well, in fact, in medical research, children 
cannot give consent. They are allowed to give what we refer to 
as assent, but they also require the permission of the parent 
involved as well.
    Mrs. Love. OK. Given what we know today with current laws 
governing consent from minors, what do you think would be an 
appropriate age for someone to get an adult consent form as 
opposed to a minor that is given consent for an abortion?
    Dr. Donovan. Well, at least in research, under the law, at 
18 they can start signing a consent form, although human 
development specialists suggest that maybe sometime around the 
age of 24, teenagers actually do grow up.
    Mrs. Love. I want to actually concentrate a little bit now 
on the tissue donation. I have a 14-year-old child. I am not a 
physician. My expertise is in real life, in the real-life 
aspect. I have this 14-year-old, who is a straight-A student 
and makes decisions, great decisions, generally, most of the 
time. And under normal circumstances, I actually asked her to 
look at this exhibit and try and figure out whether she can 
fill that form out. My very smart child kept coming back to me 
asking for explanation, clarification. And those are normal 
    So, let me ask you this question: What kind of emotional 
duress do you think a minor is under in anticipation of an 
abortion procedure? Just your thoughts. I mean I can imagine 
what I would go through. Either one. Ms. Cunningham, this is a 
great question for you. What kind of duress do you think a 
minor would be under before having to go under, having to have 
a procedure, an invasive procedure like an abortion?
    Ms. Cunningham. Well, having raised a daughter who has 
survived adolescence but who has been with her in physician 
consultations, there is stress over dealing with a sprained 
arm. There is great stress over going through an x-ray, after 
she fainted. There must be even greater stress in an event that 
she may be wishing to conceal from others.
    Mrs. Love. OK. So, imagine that 14-year-old going into a 
clinic to undergo a very invasive procedure without someone 
there that she trusts to walk her through, to make sure that 
she is not being taken advantage of, to make sure that she is 
making the right decision. How can anyone be sure that that 
minor, under difficult circumstances, fully understands the 
long-term repercussions behind their decision when the current 
law wouldn't even allow that minor to get behind the wheel of a 
    Dr. Donovan. You are pointing out a real discrepancy 
between the way we deal with the teenagers in our country. I 
wouldn't be able to take that child and do a procedure on them 
without the mother or father being there and giving their 
consent as well. If I did, that would be assault and battery.
    Mrs. Love. Thank you.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back. Mr. Duffy, you 
are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Duffy. Thank you, Madam Chair, and welcome, panel.
    I want to be clear, Ms. Charo, on your testimony, and that 
is that there is, I think you said there is a compelling public 
interest in research on fetal tissue. Is that right?
    Ms. Charo. Yes, I said that.
    Mr. Duffy. And this is about saving lives, correct?
    Ms. Charo. That is what I said.
    Mr. Duffy. OK, now I think I heard you correctly when the 
Chair asked you in the first round of questions about whether 
there is any ethical violations in regard to using fetal tissue 
for taste tests, cosmetics, or human and animal DNA testing. 
And I think Mr. Donovan and Ms. Cunningham expressed concern, 
but you did not.
    So, could you explain to me the compelling public interest 
and the lifesaving research that takes place when we use fetal 
tissue for taste tests and cosmetics?
    Ms. Charo. First, I am referring to the full range of uses, 
which includes all of the basic science research that you hear 
    Mr. Duffy. No, no, no. I am reclaiming my time, because 
this was very specific.
    Ms. Charo. No, actually, the question was whether I thought 
there was a compelling public interest.
    Mr. Duffy. I am reclaiming my time.
    Ms. Charo. And I am talking about the full range.
    Mr. Duffy. Ms. Charo, the question came specifically from 
the Chair about taste tests and cosmetics and human and animal 
DNA testing. And you didn't express any concern.
    So, do you have a compelling public interest that saves 
lives in regard to taste tests and cosmetic research using the 
fetal tissue? ``Yes'' or ``no''?
    Ms. Charo. I am going to take a page from you and say I 
can't say ``yes'' or ``no,'' because that is not actually what 
I said. I did not express no concern. I said those are probably 
more frivolous, but they are among the many uses for tissue.
    Mr. Duffy. So, let me ask you this: Do you think there is a 
compelling public interest in saving lives if we use fetal 
tissue for taste tests and cosmetics?
    Ms. Charo. Believe it or not, for taste tests there might 
be because actually the loss of taste neurologically can 
actually lead to devastating problems.
    Mr. Duffy. And how about cosmetics?
    Ms. Charo. It depends on which cosmetics you are talking 
about. A lot of those skin grafts are considered aesthetic, but 
they are also very, very helpful.
    Mr. Duffy. Is there anything, any research that you think 
is inappropriate using fetal tissue?
    Ms. Charo. Well, using any tissue, fetal or adult, I find 
the cosmetic uses in Hollywood sometimes to be so frivolous, I 
would be perfectly happy to see us abandon them.
    Mr. Duffy. I want to be clear because it seems that you are 
here advocating, you are advocating on behalf of fetal tissue 
research and stem cells. You have also consulted with companies 
that are involved in those activities. And in the CV you 
provided in preparation for your testimony, in 2002 you were on 
the Scientific Advisory Board of WiCell. And in their Web site 
it shows that it does stem cell research. In 2012, you were a 
consultant to Cleveland BioLabs. And in their SEC filings, 
Cleveland BioLabs says it uses proprietary stem cell lines in 
its products. And in 2006, you were a consultant to Stem Cells, 
Inc. That firm's Web site says that it uses ``human neural stem 
cells'' in medicine. A leading university told the panel that 
it ``receives a proprietary stem cell line derived from fetal 
tissue that was supplied by Stem Cell, Inc.''
    So, you do have a vested financial interest in the boards 
that you serve on the research of fetal tissue. Correct?
    Ms. Charo. I receive no funding from WiCell. I did receive 
consulting funding from Cleveland and Stem Cells, Inc. Those 
were not embryonic stem cells, by the way, that we were talking 
    Mr. Duffy. So, you do have a financial interest in----
    Ms. Charo. Not at present, no.
    Mr. Duffy. But you have in the past?
    Ms. Charo. I have.
    Mr. Duffy. OK.
    Ms. Charo. And by the way, every dollar of that was 
donated. You can look at my IRS tax returns.
    Mr. Duffy. OK. So, I want to go to another few issues. So, 
let us say--and if we could go to Exhibit A-1--if we have 
someone who works for a tissue procurement business, and they 
are corresponding with an abortion clinic technician and they 
are providing a wish list of items that they are going to want 
to purchase, things like a liver, thymus, skin to be shipped by 
FedEx overnight, whether to Harvard or UMass. So, you have a 
wish list, a shopping list being sent from the tissue provider 
to the abortion technician.
    And if we could also go to Exhibit A-2, here is a 
procurement compensation schedule. So, we see the technician 
gets paid per specimen. And the more specimens you provide, the 
more money you make. And just a side note: I thought that there 
was no profit motive here. I don't think that per specimen the 
cost goes up, but the more you provide, the more money you make 
above your hourly wage, Exhibit 2-A.
    And then if you go to Exhibit A-3, you have a consent form 
that the technician brings out to the mom to garner consent for 
the abortion. I would just note that if the panel would look at 
their Exhibit A-3, anywhere in there does it say that the 
technician has a financial interest where they obtained $35 per 
specimen up to 10 specimens and $45 per specimen for those from 
11 to 20? Does a financial incentive, is that shown in Exhibit 
A-2--or I am sorry A-3, if you look at that quickly?
    Dr. Donovan. No, it is not there.
    Mr. Duffy. OK. Does that concern you, that we have the 
technician who is receiving the shopping list from the business 
and it is also the person that is going to go in and obtain 
consent from the mom and the financial component to it? Mr. 
Donovan, does that give you any pause or concern ethically?
    Dr. Donovan. Well, I think that you have correctly shown 
that this would never pass muster for an IRB.
    Mr. Duffy. Ms. Cunningham?
    Ms. Cunningham. Yes, it has ethical problems.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Mr. Duffy. My time has expired. I am getting gaveled down. 
I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. I thank the gentleman. I want to thank our 
first panel for being with us today.
    We are ready to move to our second panel. And as the first 
panel departs, I want to provide unanimous consent, so ordered, 
to Mrs. Black for her request to enter the Department of Health 
and Human Services' Office of Inspector General Report on 
Tissue Donation into the record. So ordered.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    As our first panel leaves, we will introduce the second 
panel, as they take their places, Dr. Lee, Dr. Schmainda, and 
Dr. Goldstein.
    And I would like to introduce the members of this panel, 
Dr. Patrick Lee is the John N. and Jamie D. McAleer Professor 
of Bioethics and the Director of the Center for Bioethics at 
Franciscan University of Steubenville. Dr. Kathleen M. 
Schmainda is Professor of Radiology and Professor of Biophysics 
at the Center for Imaging Research at the Medical College of 
Wisconsin. And Dr. Lawrence Goldstein is Distinguished 
Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, 
Department of Neurosciences at the University of California San 
Diego School of Medicine.
    You are aware that the Select Investigative Panel is 
holding an investigative hearing and will take your testimony 
under oath. Do you have any objection to testifying under oath?
    The Chair then advises you that under the rules of the 
House Committee on Energy and Commerce, you are entitled to be 
advised by counsel. Do you desire to be advised by counsel 
during your testimony today?
    If you will stand to be sworn in.
    [Witnesses sworn.]
    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you. You may be seated.
    You will each have 8 minutes for your opening statement. 
Dr. Lee, you may proceed.

                   DIEGO, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

                    STATEMENT OF PATRICK LEE

    Dr. Lee. Thank you, Chairman.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Microphone, please.
    Dr. Lee. Thank you, Madam Chairman Blackburn, and thank 
you, distinguished members of the committee. And thank you for 
this opportunity for speaking on bioethics and fetal tissue.
    My name is Patrick Lee. I am a professor of bioethics at 
Franciscan University of Steubenville, and I have submitted my 
written testimony. I will just give a brief summary of some of 
the arguments there.
    In Roe v. Wade, Justice Blackmun claimed that the Court 
would not settle the question of whether the fetus is a human 
being or not. And yet, as a practical matter, the Court denied 
two human fetuses the equal protection of the law and so 
treated them as, in fact, outside the class of human beings.
    In fact, however, as the standard text of embryology, 
developmental biology, and genetics assert, a human embryo or 
fetus from conception on is a distinct, whole human individual. 
The evidence for this is quite clear. We know that a human 
embryo or fetus is a human being, a human organism, in 
basically the same way we know the 6-week-old infant is a human 
organism. Looking at a 6-week-old infant, we can see that, 
first, she is a distinct being, not a part of a larger 
organism. She is a complete being, although at an immature 
level of development, since even though she cannot now perform 
many of the actions that are typical of human beings, she is 
growing. She is actively developing herself to the point where 
she will do so.
    In a similar way, it is clear that a human embryo or a 
fetus is a distinct being, since she grows in her own distinct 
direction. She is, obviously, human, since she has the genetic 
structure in her cells that is characteristic of humans. And 
she is a whole human being, as opposed to something that is 
functionally apart, such as a human cell or human tissue. For, 
unlike a cell or a human tissue, she has within her structure, 
within her genetic and epigenetic structure, all of the 
internal resources needed to actively develop herself to the 
mature stage of a human being. This shows that she already is a 
whole human organism, only at the earliest stage of 
    So, the same kind of facts that show a 6-week-old infant is 
a human being also show that a human embryo or fetus is a human 
being, a human organism. And since what we are are human 
organisms, bodily beings, it follows that she is the same kind 
of being as you or me, only at an earlier stage of her 
lifecycle. Just as you and I once were adolescents, and before 
that children, and before that infants, so we once were fetuses 
and we once were embryos.
    Moreover, since what makes you and me intrinsically 
valuable as subjects of rights is what we are, our fundamental 
nature, it is wrong intentionally to kill us and it would have 
been wrong to kill us when we were embryos or fetuses. All 
human beings, unborn as well as born, no matter at what age or 
size, are created equal and are endowed by their creator with 
fundamental, unalienable rights. Therefore, it is gravely 
unjust to provide protection of the law to born human beings 
but to deny it to unborn human beings.
    Since what is killed in abortion is a human being, the 
further act of governmentally funding and endorsing abortion 
providers is an additional injustice. By subsidizing abortion 
providers, the Government, unlike the Court in Roe v. Wade, 
cannot even make a pretense of being neutral on the question of 
whether what is killed in abortion is a human being. To 
subsidize and encourage the killing of human fetuses is to 
presuppose in that act that what is killed in abortion is not a 
human being.
    Furthermore, the donation of organs after death in general 
requires authoritative consent from the person who dies or, if 
a minor, from her parent. In the case of fetal organs or 
tissues, parental consent would be required. This seems 
permissible in the case of spontaneous miscarriages or ectopic 
pregnancies. However, that is not the case with relying on the 
consent of the parent of an elective abortion. Parental 
authority over children is based on the special connection of 
parents to their children, a connection that creates a special 
responsibility of parents to their children, responsibility to 
care for them and to be devoted to their well-being. Grave 
abuses of that relationship or actions indicating that a parent 
no longer has the child's interest at heart cause the parent to 
lose that parental authority. But the choice to have the child 
killed, even if done in confusion and with mitigated 
responsibility, is incompatible with a willingness to act in 
the true interest of the child. Thus, the practice of allowing 
or encouraging the use of fetal tissue obtained from elective 
abortions, relying, as it does, on the mother's consent, treats 
the bodily parts of the fetus as if they were parts of the 
woman's body. The practice makes no sense, unless the fetus is 
assumed to be something other than a human being.
    Therefore, governmental funding of abortion providers and 
the use of fetal tissue from elective abortions involve 
profound dehumanization of unborn human beings and are grave 
    Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Lee follows:]


    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you, Dr. Lee.
    Dr. Schmainda, you are recognized, 8 minutes.


    Dr. Schmainda. Distinguished Chair Blackburn and honored 
members of the panel, thank you for the opportunity to offer my 
testimony in defense of infant lives and, specifically, in 
opposition to research using fetal tissue derived from induced 
    As background, I was trained in the disciplines of 
engineering and medicine, receiving a Ph.D. degree in medical 
engineering jointly awarded by Harvard University and 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I am currently a 
Professor of Radiology and Biophysics, serving as Vice Chair of 
Radiology Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. I have 
participated in medical research for nearly 25 years. I have 
served on grant review panels for the National Institutes of 
Health for nearly 15 years, including a 4-year term on the 
developmental therapeutics study section.
    I serve on national advisory committees for clinical trials 
and have founded two start-up companies. Most importantly, I am 
a wife and a mother.
    The views expressed are my own and do not represent the 
official views of the Medical College of Wisconsin.
    I am firmly opposed to research using fetal or embryonic 
tissue from induced abortions or procedures such as in vitro 
fertilization. I am compelled to create awareness amongst the 
community and my colleagues as to why the use of such tissue is 
both unethical and unnecessary.
    Let me begin by defining terms. The terms ``embryo,'' 
``fetus,'' ``baby,'' or ``infant'' each refer to different 
stages in the continuum of the developing child. When cells are 
extracted during the earliest stages, these are typically human 
embryonic stem cells, which are obtained by destruction of the 
human embryo. When I speak of fetal tissue research, I am 
referring to cells, tissues, or organs that are harvested from 
an aborted fetus. While this is the focus of my testimony, my 
arguments apply to the continuum of the developing child.
    Proponents of research using fetal tissue make several 
claims. The first claim is that, without fetal tissue, many of 
the life-saving treatments we have today would not have been 
possible. Second, it is argued that without continued access to 
fetal tissue, we are preventing the discovery of new therapies. 
And third, it is alleged that proper ethical guidelines are 
already in place to avoid the connection between abortion and 
fetal tissue research. I will speak to each of these claims.
    First, it needs to be made clear that there are no current 
medical treatments today that have required use of fetal 
tissues for their discovery or development. While the often-
cited polio vaccine was developed using fetal tissue cells, the 
developers later testified that initial studies were also 
successful using cells that were not of fetal origin. Though 
most vaccines today offer ethical alternatives, not all are 
available in the U.S. and some, such as chicken pox and 
Hepatitis A, currently do not have ethical alternatives. Yet, 
let me make it clear there has never been a scientific reason 
requiring fetal cell lines for vaccine development.
    Testimony given to the FDA dated May 16, 2001, underscores 
this point. The developer of two common fetal cell lines, HEK 
293, human embryonic kidney, and Per C6, isolated retina from a 
fetus, stated that his motivation for developing these cell 
lines from aborted fetuses was simply to see if it could be 
done in comparison to what had already been done with animal 
cells. Since then, use of these cell lines has become 
widespread and the manufacturers have no motivation to invest 
the time or money necessary to produce ethical replacements.
    Due to lack of transparency, scientists can unknowingly 
become entrenched in using these cell lines. For example, the 
HEK 293 cell line is often offered as part of a standard kit 
available from biotechnology companies and branded under 
various names. Only upon specific request are alternatives 
provided. This lack of transparency is devastating for 
scientists who have ethical objections to use of this tissue 
and amounts to moral coercion.
    Second, I refute the claim that, without continued access 
to fetal tissue, the discovery of new therapies will be 
prevented. The evidence is overwhelming to the contrary. For 
example, insulin for diabetes is produced in bacteria. Chinese 
hamster ovary cells have been used for the development of 
Herceptin for breast cancer and TPA for heart attack and 
stroke. There are more 70 successful treatments developed using 
adult stem cell sources. Over one million bone marrow 
transplants, which are essentially adult stem cell transplants, 
have been performed to date.
    Still, some continue to claim that fetal cells 
unequivocally provide the best option because they divide 
rapidly and adapt to new environments easily. But, alternative 
tissue and cells sources are available for research without 
ethical concerns and are demonstrating more versatility than 
originally thought. Examples include stem cells from bone 
marrow, circulating blood, umbilical cord, and amniotic fluid, 
as well as induced pluripotent stem cells and even neural stem 
cells from cadavers. Adult stem cells have already been used 
for the development of new treatments, have been proven in 
clinical trials, and resulted in the formation of new 
companies, which have successfully brought to market treatments 
that are routinely benefitting patients today.
    There is still no viable medical use for embryonic stem 
cells. Yet, the argument continues that keeping this avenue of 
research open may someday offer the only hope for a child with 
a devastating disease or a person with spinal cord injury.
    In 1997, in The New York Times, it was reported the 
Nation's first transplant of fetal tissue into a person with 
spinal cord injury. The study required five to eight fetal 
spinal cords for each adult recipient but showed no significant 
therapeutic benefit. Many more studies followed with none 
showing significant therapeutic benefit, yet with each 
continuing to claim great promise. The promise without benefit 
continues today at the cost of many human lives.
    So, let me address this claim from another perspective. 
Consider the possibility that a treatment is discovered using 
fetal tissue transplants, and it is the only option for a 
certain disease. Consider just one disease, like Parkinson's, 
which affects up to one million people in the U.S. alone. Based 
on a clinical trial in Sweden, cells from at least three to 
four fetuses are needed to treat each Parkinson's patient. So, 
four million babies would need to be aborted to treat this one 
disease, not to mention the number needed to treat patients 
    Imagine the magnitude of the demand for fetuses to cure yet 
another disease like Alzheimer's, which affects 44 million 
people worldwide. Do we really want a world where the most 
vulnerable, those with no voice, are subject to the whims, 
desires, and perceived needs of others? Clearly, we will have 
created industrialized harvesting of pre-born babies, a crime 
against the human race.
    Third, the repeated assurances that proper ethical 
guidelines are in place to avoid the connection between 
abortion and subsequent research are entirely inadequate. By 
purchasing fetal tissue products, the researcher is not far 
removed from the act of abortion. As recently described in the 
journal Nature, one researcher continues to pay $830 for each 
fetal liver sample, a purchase he must repeatedly make. A few 
years ago, before the recent media coverage, it was quite easy 
to go to the Web site of a biotechnology company and put almost 
any fetal body part in one's shopping cart and submit for a 
    So, independent of whether a researcher is at the bedside 
of the one choosing an abortion or using a fetal cell line 
created decades prior, by purchasing these fetal tissue 
products, scientists are helping to create a market that drives 
the abortion-biotechnology industry complex.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Dr. Schmainda, please wrap up. Your time 
has expired.
    Dr. Schmainda. So, finally, I conclude with what is first 
and foremost. Each and every human life is sacred, with the 
fundamental dignity that does not depend on his or her 
development stage or abilities. This value belongs to all, 
without distinction from the first moment of existence. Each 
and every human life is unique and unrepeatable, created by our 
loving God in his image and likeness.
    Nothing--no person, no argument, not even a scientific 
discovery or cure--can diminish the fact that using human 
embryos or fetuses as objects or means of experimentation 
constitutes an assault against the dignity of human beings who 
have a right to the same respect owed to every person.
    Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Schmainda follows:]

    Mrs. Blackburn. I thank you. And Dr. Goldstein, you are 
recognized for 8 minutes for an opening statement.


    Dr. Goldstein. Good morning--actually, good afternoon, 
Chairwoman Blackburn, Ranking Member Schakowsky, and other 
members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to 
testify before you this afternoon about the important and 
potentially life-saving research being done with fetal cells 
and fetal tissue. And I will give you three brief examples for 
the potential impact of this work.
    My bio is in your written materials. I will just summarize 
a few key points. My early faculty career was spent at Harvard 
University, where I became a tenured professor. I then moved to 
the University of California, San Diego in 1993, and I am 
currently a distinguished professor in the Department of 
Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the Department of 
Neuroscience there.
    I served as Director of the U.C. San Diego Stem Cell 
Program, Scientific Director of the Sanford Consortium for 
Regenerative Medicine, and Director of the Sanford Stem Cell 
Clinical Center. I have received numerous honors and awards for 
my work.
    I have been a practicing scientist for 40 years, most 
recently using all types of stem cells to understand and treat 
Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury, ALS, and more 
recently, kidney disease.
    Today, I represent myself and the International Society for 
Stem Cell Research, the American Society for Cell Biology, and 
the Coalition for Life Sciences, which together represent in 
excess of 60,000 practicing life scientists and physicians.
    My message is very simple: Fetal tissue and cells that 
would otherwise be discarded play a vital role in modern, 
cutting-edge biomedical research. These fetal tissues and cells 
cannot be easily replaced by embryonic stem cells, reprogrammed 
stem cells, or adult stem cells. Let me give you three 
    In the first example, we are using fetal astrocytes in the 
study of Alzheimer's disease. This devastating disease affects 
5.3 million Americans and costs us in excess of $200 billion to 
$300 billion a year. It killed my own mother. This number 
doesn't reflect the real and terrible hardship that families 
face. We don't have a cure. No cure is obviously in sight, and 
we really do have to find a way to treat this terrible 
    Now, in my own lab, the approach we are taking is to use 
reprogrammed stem cells to make Alzheimer's-type brain cells in 
the dish. That is, to generate Alzheimer's disease in a dish 
and to try to understand what is going wrong and to develop 
drugs that curtail the problems that happen biochemically.
    Now, a type of cell that is very valuable in this work is 
called an astrocyte. And this is a type of cell that is a 
support cell in the brain. We use fetal astrocytes, which are 
vital to these investigations. These fetal astrocytes provide 
growth factors that keep the nerve cells healthy, that help 
them establish connections, and, to be honest, they produce 
factors that we do not yet have fully defined that help 
maintain the viability of these cultures and are proving 
important to us to make new discoveries.
    It is possible to make astrocytes from stem cells. And you 
can write the label ``astrocytes'' on those stem cells, but 
they are not identical in their behavior and properties to 
fetal astrocytes, which arguably remain the gold standard to 
which we compare astrocytes made from stem cells. And we cannot 
yet use astrocytes made from stem cells to replace fetal 
astrocytes. These astrocytes are vital to our investigations, 
and I remain hopeful that they will help us conquer the scourge 
of this terrible disease.
    In the second example, in the center that I direct, the 
Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center, we are using fetal neural 
stem cells in clinical trials for spinal cord injury in human 
patients. In animal versions of spinal cord injury, these fetal 
neural stem cells have previously been shown to have really 
remarkable properties, and animals so treated exhibit 
tremendously greater performance after treatment than before. 
What seems to happen is that these fetal neural stem cells, 
when implanted at the site of the injury, make new neurons that 
form a relay across the site of the injury, enabling these 
animals to regain function.
    Now, as a result of the work in animals, we have FDA 
approval to test these fetal stem cells in human patients. 
Physicians and surgeons in my center have initiated FDA-
approved phase 1 clinical trials of these cells and have 
implanted them in four patients within the past year. I will 
tell you that these surgeries are very arduous and the human 
volunteers are courageous in the face of uncertainty about 
their future. Thus far, the trial is a success. We have learned 
that, at minimum, the surgery is safe. The fetal cells are 
safe, and we will be tracking these patients over the next few 
years looking for signs of recovery, as these cells are given 
the opportunity to develop and positively impact the paralysis.
    We hope in the next year to begin transplanting patients 
with cervical spinal cord injuries, which will give us a more 
sensitive test bed, we think. This trial and others like it--
this is not the only such trial; others are pursuing analogous 
investigations with different sorts of cells--but these trials 
are vital to pushing medical science forward and to helping to 
rescue people who are afflicted with spinal cord injuries, 
which is a terrible affliction.
    I will just mention that these same fetal neural stem cells 
that we are using for spinal cord injury are also being used in 
phase 1 and soon-to-be phase 2 clinical investigations for ALS, 
or Lou Gehrig's disease, at NIH-sponsored centers around the 
    In a third and final example, I chair the executive 
committee of a group of NIH-funded scientists who are trying to 
learn whether it is possible to build new kidneys from stem 
cells. This goal is significant because we have 93,000 
Americans on waiting lists for kidney transplants, and we 
recognize that the goal of building a functional kidney is 
audacious, but audacious goals build audacious dreams and 
projects and progress, and I believe that we can attain these 
goals with hard work, determination, and time. It won't happen 
instantly, but it is something I think we can achieve.
    Fetal tissue that would otherwise be discarded is vital to 
the future of this investigation, as it is only by examining 
fetal tissue that we are able to deduce and learn what the 
signals are that cells use to tell each other which cells are 
going to become kidneys, which are going to become other parts 
of the body, and so on.
    So, our ability to examine the very earliest stages of 
human development are ultimately vital to our understanding and 
our ability to treat many diseases in the future, including 
diseases of pregnancy, diseases of the placenta, and diseases 
of children and adults. Development of many of these therapies 
depends upon our learning what the normal signals are by 
studying the earliest stages of development and, without this 
type of research, we will be dramatically slowed down, and 
people who would have therapies sooner will wait and suffer 
needlessly longer.
    So, let me close by stating once again that, in my opinion, 
research with fetal tissue and cells that would otherwise be 
discarded is ethical, valuable, and vital to ongoing biomedical 
research projects.
    I want to thank the committee for your time, and I am 
prepared to answer questions that you may have.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Goldstein follows:]

    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you, Dr. Goldstein.
    We will move to questions. And on our side, I am going to 
reserve my time and Joe Pitts, Chairman Pitts, will be 
recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Pitts. Thank you, Madam Chair. Thanks again to the 
witnesses for coming today.
    Let me just say something for the record that wasn't 
covered in the last panel. The issue of undercover journalism 
was raised, but I just want to put this quote on the record. 
The indictment was alarming enough for two pro-abortion 
scholars at Cornell to write an opinion piece defending 
undercover journalism. Professors Sherry Colb and Michael Dorf 
said, ``We are pro-choice, and we support the important work of 
Planned Parenthood, but we find the prosecution of these 
citizen journalists, however self-styled, deeply disturbing. 
Undercover exposes play a vital role in informing the American 
public of important facts that would otherwise remain hidden.''
    We are all familiar with local TV station I-teams and 
undercover exposes using hidden cameras, sometime false 
narratives. Mike Wallace was famous--journalists have gone 
undercover to expose shoddy conditions at the VA hospitals. 
Nick Kristof of The New York Times posed as a customer to 
reveal the darkness of sex trafficking in Cambodia, and you can 
go on and on. So, for the record, I will put that.
    Now, let me go to this question. The gentleman mentioned 
Harvard. I think using--whether fresh, fetal tissue is vital to 
cures is an open question. Presently, Harvard has 8,000 medical 
research projects underway, only 10 use fresh fetal tissues; 10 
out of 8,000.
    Now, some defend the practice of fetal tissue collection 
from aborted babies because the fetal tissue supposedly 
contributes to life-saving research today. First, can you tell 
us what deadly diseases have been cured or can now be treated 
thanks to modern-day collection of human fetal body parts, 
anyone? No?
    And secondly----
    Dr. Goldstein. No, I think----
    Mr. Pitts. I am sorry?
    Dr. Goldstein. I would like to respond because I think the 
case of vaccines is appropriate. The fact is, that is how those 
vaccines were developed.
    Mr. Pitts. Which vaccines?
    Dr. Goldstein. Polio and the other long list that Professor 
Charo gave us. And it is so easy to look in the rearview mirror 
at research and say, ``Well, now that we know everything we 
know, it would have been so much easier to do it a different 
way, you didn't have to do it this way,'' but the fact is, as 
you well know, research is a slow, tough enterprise.
    Mr. Pitts. Yes, reclaiming my time. The simple fact is that 
the vaccine for polio was developed using monkey tissue, not 
human fetal tissue.
    Let me go on to my question, and it has to do with conflict 
of interest. Suppose a tissue procurement business makes 
financial contributions to an abortion clinic from which the 
company harvests tissue. What ethical issues exist if the 
clinic notifies the company in advance that the clinic has 
particular abortions scheduled that would be good for acquiring 
particular organs or tissue? Dr. Lee.
    Dr. Lee. Can you help me with who is making the 
contribution to whom again?
    Mr. Pitts. The procurement business----
    Dr. Lee. Is making the contribution to the abortion clinic?
    Mr. Pitts. Yes.
    Dr. Lee. OK. Well, I think there is a conflict of interest 
in that there is not the separation. I think in all of these 
organ transplant cases, we want to have a different set of team 
making the decisions about how to proceed, how to treat a 
patient, and then a different set of team from that on talking 
to the family about whether to make a donation. And it seems to 
me it is the same team here that is working on aborting this 
baby that is also trying to get the consent from the woman, 
which I think is questionable whether it has authority there, 
but getting consent from that woman to use the fetal body 
    So, I think there is a conflict of interest there, yes.
    Mr. Pitts. Dr. Schmainda?
    Dr. Schmainda. Yes, there is definitely a conflict of 
interest, and I would like to also add with regard to the 
procurement of tissue, I oversee a tissue bank for brain tumor 
tissue and spinal cord tumor tissue. And our procedure is such 
that we have to have someone constantly on-call with a pager, 
and they have to be there in the OR, ready to go 30 minutes 
from tissue removal. And if you don't get that tissue within 30 
minutes of removal, it is no longer useful for research, 
especially the more advanced research like genomics and 
    So, it is very difficult to see how there can be a 
separation between the research and the requirements of the 
scientific community and the act of procuring that tissue.
    Mr. Pitts. My time has expired. Thanks.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman's time has expired. Ms. 
Schakowsky, you are recognized for 5 minutes for questions.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Thank you.
    Ms. Schmainda, you oppose the use of fetal tissue in 
scientific research, right?
    Dr. Schmainda. Yes.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Is this the position your university has?
    Dr. Schmainda. I represent my own views. I am not 
representing my university.
    Ms. Schakowsky. In fact, last September, Dr. John Raymond, 
the President and CEO of your university, testified in 
opposition to a Wisconsin State Senate bill that would prohibit 
researchers in the State from using fetal tissue in their 
    Dr. Goldstein, so my colleagues have used documents, emails 
from researchers seeking fetal tissue, and I don't know, maybe 
it is in an effort to shock us, but what is your feeling about 
asking for, for example--it may not sound great--but a liver or 
a thymus, that kind of thing, if you have specific research 
going on? Do you see anything unethical about that?
    Dr. Schmainda. Absolutely.
    Ms. Schakowsky. No, I am asking Dr. Goldstein that.
    Dr. Schmainda. Oh, excuse me.
    Dr. Goldstein. No, I don't see anything unethical about 
asking for specific regions. When we get brain tissue from our 
Alzheimer's disease brain bank, we will request the hippocampus 
or a part of the cortex, or a specific part of the brain as 
part of the normal procedure for obtaining post-mortem tissue.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Thank you. So, I wanted to ask you, there 
have been concerns about the recent outbreak of Zika, of 
course, and it has led to renewed focus on infectious diseases 
that have the potential to rapidly spread. As you know, there 
seems to be a strong link between Zika virus infection during 
pregnancy and congenital microcephaly, a devastating birth 
defect. And at this point, there is no treatment or vaccine for 
    Given the majority's insistence on calling this panel the 
Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, it would seem 
important to focus on potential ways to improve infant lives, 
like finding a way to prevent or cure the Zika virus and the 
potential for microcephaly. In fact, the CDC has recently 
released guidance on the collection and submission of fetal 
tissue for Zika virus testing. They recognize that the study of 
this tissue is the means through which we can understand the 
    So, Dr. Goldstein, how are we expected to learn and 
understand the implications of the Zika virus without studying 
the fetal tissue?
    Dr. Goldstein. I think that if you want to understand the 
Zika virus, the most efficient place to start is with the fetal 
tissue that is infected. That just seems self-evident to me.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Isn't it imperative that researchers have 
access to brain tissue to study the differences between the 
healthy neurological cells and those potentially infected with 
    Dr. Goldstein. Well, and in particular for figuring out 
which cell types are infected. It is often forgotten that the 
brain is made of dozens, if not more, kinds of cells. We don't 
know which cell type is being infected by the virus, and it is 
only by surveying the landscape that we will get any clues.
    Ms. Schakowsky. The World Health Organization has now 
labeled the Zika virus as a ``public health emergency of 
international concern.'' What is your view of preventing the 
use of fetal tissue research to study and hopefully stop this 
growing public health emergency?
    Dr. Goldstein. I think that would be sticking your head in 
the sand.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Thank you. Would not having fetal tissue as 
a resource in this study potentially delay finding a cure?
    Dr. Goldstein. It would absolutely delay it. I think you 
have to go to the source if you want to understand what is 
going wrong.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Going back to the name of this committee, 
this type of research could lead to treatments and cures that 
benefit infant lives, could it not?
    Dr. Goldstein. That would be the hope. You know, there is 
never any guarantee with research that we are going to get to 
where we want to go, but we are going to give it a good solid 
try, and we have to have appropriate tools.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Beyond Zika virus, fetal tissue is 
important for research and to other conditions that impact 
infant and fetal development. Is that correct? And I am 
wondering if you could name what else we might be 
    Dr. Goldstein. Well, another interest in my lab is in a 
disorder called Niemann-Pick type C1, which is a devastating 
cholesterol transport disorder that kills kids in their first 
or second year of life. We use fetal astrocytes in our 
investigation of that disorder, as well. We have recently 
discovered what I hope will be two drugs that may be effective. 
We need to get into clinical trials to find out, but it is the 
sort of thing that you could imagine doing on multiple 
occasions down the line.
    Again, research is not a guarantee, but we have to go 
through the door and look in order to find out.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Thank you, and I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Mrs. Black, you are recognized for 5 
    Mrs. Black. Thank you, Madam Chair, and I thank the 
panelists for being here. I think it is really ironic that we 
sit here and talk about how we will benefit children and, at 
the same time, we are talking about how it is OK to abort a 
baby and to dissect it and take out its body parts and use that 
for research but, at the same time, we talk about how this will 
save babies. So, it is very ironic. Do we want to save babies, 
or do we not want to save babies? But that is not my question.
    My question I want to go to are babies that are born alive 
in these abortion clinics. And just last week, there was a 20-
week-old child that was born alive in a Phoenix abortion 
clinic. There was a fire department that was close and had to 
transport the baby to the hospital.
    Since sometimes these children are born alive, either 
during or right after the abortion, should abortion clinics 
have neonatal care equipment in those clinics to help to save 
those babies? Dr. Lee, do you have a thought on that?
    Dr. Lee. Yes. I mean, I think that if we were treating 
someone that we really genuinely recognized as a human being 
and as having intrinsic dignity, we would say that we need to 
have available the kind of care that is needed if something 
goes wrong. And we would not fight every inch of the way when 
the Government, whether it is State or Federal level, tries to 
require protection for babies who are born alive.
    So, yes, I think neonatal care, access to ambulance care, I 
think that is a minimum, I think.
    Mrs. Black. Dr. Schmainda, do you have a thought on that?
    Dr. Schmainda. I can't imagine it because, when you have 
the neonatal care unit, you are recognizing that this is a 
human person. And I think absolutely it must be because it is a 
human person, it would be wonderful if it existed.
    Mrs. Black. How about you, Dr. Goldstein, do you have a 
thought on that?
    Dr. Goldstein. I am not an expert on the sort of equipment 
that should be present at an abortion clinic, and it would be 
inappropriate for me to speculate.
    Mrs. Black. Well, can I ask you do you think it is wrong to 
let a child die that is born in an abortion clinic and needs 
medical assistance?
    Dr. Goldstein. I think it is wrong to let a child die.
    Mrs. Black. Thank you.
    The second question that I have along these lines: Should 
the mother be told as a part of that consent form that there is 
a chance that your baby will be born alive and that our clinic 
will give your baby the best care? Ethically, what do you think 
about that, Dr. Lee?
    Dr. Lee. Well, I think it is hard to say when you are 
talking about percentages, and it is a difficult question to 
answer because the premise of it is that we are talking about 
asking someone full consent for something that I think, if they 
genuinely understood and had a moral outlook, a just outlook, 
they would not really want to consent to that.
    So, it is kind of a--I find it difficult to answer that 
question. But I would say that I think, in general, there is 
not enough information given to the woman about the nature of 
what it is that is being killed in an abortion. Sometimes it is 
even hidden from her that anything is being killed, that there 
was even something alive. So, if we could just get even just 
general really good informed consent about the nature of that 
procedure that we are talking about, that would be a first 
step. And then, yes, I think the other things should be brought 
in, when you are talking about the possibilities. Even if it is 
a remote possibility, it is such a horrific possibility and it 
also, I think, bears on the question that she should be asking 
about, Well, what kind of procedure is this?
    Mrs. Black. Thank you. With the little bit of time that I 
have left, Madam Chairman, I am not so sure after we complete 
our investigations and our information that we will receive as 
a result of this committee that there shouldn't be another blue 
ribbon commission. We talked about this blue ribbon commission 
that was under President Reagan, it was done back in 1984. We 
are 30 years down the road. There is so much medical science 
advancement here. At that point in time, the viability--I was 
still young out of nursing school, the viability was around 36 
weeks. And, you know, if we had a baby that was born at 36 
weeks or less, we really didn't have a lot of medical 
advancements for saving that child. But I think that this whole 
issue really needs to be revisited and, rather than going back 
and looking at a blue ribbon commission that was done some 30 
years ago, that may be one of the recommendations that we have.
    And I yield back the balance of my time.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    Ms. DeGette, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    As with the last panel, I would appreciate yes-and-no 
answers, if possible.
    My first question, Dr. Lee, you are a professor, a doctor 
of philosophy, correct?
    Dr. Lee. Right.
    Ms. DeGette. And Dr. Schmainda, you have a Ph.D. in medical 
engineering. Correct?
    Dr. Schmainda. Correct.
    Ms. DeGette. And the first line of your biography on the 
Medical College of Wisconsin's Web site says your primary focus 
of your lab is the development of MRI methods to assess brain 
tumors. Is that correct?
    Dr. Schmainda. That is definitely a focus, yes.
    Ms. DeGette. Now, Dr. Goldstein, you are an actual cell-
based researcher and you run a lab. Is that correct?
    Dr. Goldstein. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. So, I am going to talk to you, since of all 
the six witnesses we have had today, you seem to be the only 
one with experience in being able to talk about fetal tissue 
research and other types of cell-based research.
    The first question I want to ask you is, Dr. Donovan said 
we still have cell lines developed from fetal tissue from 
abortions from before and from a long time ago, when they were 
used for vaccines and other purposes; those should still be 
sufficient. Do you believe that existing fetal cell lines are 
sufficient, or do you think it is important to develop new 
fetal cell lines?
    Dr. Goldstein. I think that as methods improve, you 
generally are going to want to revisit the question of 
developing new cell lines with superior methods.
    Ms. DeGette. Now, in the three studies you talked about in 
your testimony, are you using new cell lines or some of the 
existing cell lines from before?
    Dr. Goldstein. The fetal neural stem cells, those are cell 
lines that have been in existence for some time and have been 
through substantial expansion. The fetal astrocytes are earlier 
stage primary cultures, but they are also established.
    Ms. DeGette. OK. And my next question and related to that 
is, Dr. Schmainda said that there is no--actually, she said in 
her testimony it is clear that no current medical treatments 
exist that have required using fetal tissues for their 
discovery or development. Is that a correct statement, ``yes'' 
or ``no''?
    Dr. Goldstein. I think that is an incorrect statement.
    Ms. DeGette. OK. Now, there are a number of new research 
studies, including the ones that you and your facility are 
investigating, that are using fetal cells. Is that correct?
    Dr. Goldstein. That is correct.
    Ms. DeGette. And several of the witnesses today have 
testified that the cell lines are all interchangeable, so that, 
to do your research and this other research, you would not need 
to have fetal cells. Is that correct?
    Dr. Goldstein. I don't agree with that. In my experience, 
cell lines are simply not interchangeable.
    Ms. DeGette. And I know there are a number of new types of 
cell lines out there. I have done a lot of work, as you know, 
on embryonic stem cell research, but there are a lot of 
different kinds of cells. There are iPS cells, there are human 
mesenchymal stem cells, there are some nasal astrocytes that 
are being used in other types. Can they all just be slotted in 
for each other, or do you need all different types of cells to 
do research?
    Dr. Goldstein. So, I will make two comments about that. One 
is we need all different types of cells to do research because 
we don't know what is best. And second, in order to find out 
what is best, we have to do comparative studies and compare 
each against the other to figure out what is actually going to 
turn out to be superior for the medical application.
    Ms. DeGette. So, it is not like the iPS cells are the same 
thing as these fetal tissue cells?
    Dr. Goldstein. No. No, no, they are different.
    Ms. DeGette. OK. Now, there was also some testimony from 
several different of the witnesses, none of them cell 
researchers like you, that we don't need fetal tissue from 
induced abortions because we can just use fetal tissue from 
miscarriages. Have you heard testimony like that today and 
    Dr. Goldstein. I have heard that statement made.
    Ms. DeGette. And are you familiar with the view that, 
because the timing of recognition of a spontaneous abortion or 
ectopic pregnancy is unpredictable and both conditions may 
result in a serious emergency for the woman, the fetal tissue 
collected under these circumstances is often not suitable for 
research purposes? Are you aware of that?
    Dr. Goldstein. I am aware of that.
    Ms. DeGette. And do you think that we can substitute the 
tissue from spontaneous abortions or from ectopic pregnancies?
    Dr. Goldstein. I don't.
    Ms. DeGette. Why not?
    Dr. Goldstein. And I would add that frequently spontaneous 
abortions have genetic abnormalities that render them 
unsuitable for further downstream work.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you. I have no further questions.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    Dr. Bucshon, for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Bucshon. Thank you very much. Thank you to all the 
witnesses for being here. By the way, I did my residency at the 
Medical College of Wisconsin, and I spent 7 years there. My 
wife went to medical school there. Welcome, all of our 
    Dr. Goldstein, in your testimony you failed to mention that 
functional kidney organoids have already been grown using iPS 
cells and adults stem cells. Is that true?
    Dr. Goldstein. It is true that organoids have been made. An 
organoid is not the same as an organ. In fact, Dr. Little, in 
whose lab that work was done is a member of our team----
    Mr. Bucshon. OK. Now----
    Dr. Goldstein [continuing]. Trying to figure out how to 
harness organoid technology to the development of an intact 
functional kidney.
    Mr. Bucshon. That is fair enough. So, with fetal cells 
then, you are trying to grow organs?
    Dr. Goldstein. Ultimately, the goal would be to figure out 
whether using fetal cell lines, or embryonic cell lines, or 
induced reprogrammed cell lines, whether it is possible to 
build a functional kidney or not.
    Mr. Bucshon. OK. And the same thing, if you have already 
made it to organoids from iPS cells and adult stem cells, it 
seems like you are actually further along in that area using 
    Dr. Goldstein. I am not sure I agree with that. I think 
that is conjecture.
    Mr. Bucshon. OK, well that is your area. So, I can't 
dispute that.
    You mentioned fetal cells related to spinal cord injuries. 
Are there peer-reviewed journal studies about clinical cures of 
spinal cord injuries from adult stem cells?
    Dr. Goldstein. There are published papers from a number of 
labs around the world that claim to have seen dramatic results 
with cells from adult sources in spinal cord injury. In a 
number of cases, those studies have been discredited. In a 
number of cases, we are just not sure and we need to have 
further investigation to find out.
    Mr. Bucshon. OK, thank you. And can I ask, where do you 
guys get your fetal tissue?
    Dr. Goldstein. So, the fetal neural stem cells that we 
obtain for our clinical trials come from our collaborating 
company called Neuralstem, which expands them to a large 
number, literally billions of cells.
    Mr. Bucshon. OK, where do they get the tissue to start 
their cell growth?
    Dr. Goldstein. I honestly don't know where they obtain 
their tissue.
    Mr. Bucshon. Do they pay for it, do you know?
    Dr. Goldstein. I don't know, but I presume that since it is 
against the law for them to pay for it, that they do not pay 
for it.
    Mr. Bucshon. OK. And so somebody made the point that, since 
tissue would otherwise be discarded--I am just asking, this is 
a philosophical question--should anyone be paying for fetal 
tissue or making a profit from it, since it was just going to 
be ``discarded'' anyway? The reason I ask that is because we 
know there are agencies that have been making a lot of money 
off of this tissue. So, just philosophically, would you think 
that that would be the right thing, that money should be 
exchanged? I mean, I understand that the argument is that it 
takes money to process the tissue.
    Dr. Goldstein. Right, exactly. So, I am comfortable with 
the law of the land as it currently sits.
    Mr. Bucshon. OK. Dr. Schmainda?
    Dr. Schmainda. Yes.
    Mr. Bucshon. That same question. If the tissue is just 
discarded, I mean, does it make any ethical sense that people 
would be making a profit from it if it is just--as has been 
quoted by many people, a couple people in this hearing--it is 
going to be discarded anyway, what is the big deal? Then how 
come we are selling it and making a profit from it?
    Dr. Schmainda. Right, the ends never justify the means.
    Mr. Bucshon. How come we are buying it?
    Dr. Schmainda. Exactly. So, while the ends never justify 
the means, supposedly, the guidelines are in place and so the 
researchers are not connected with abortion. They clearly are 
by creating the market that is driving the development of these 
cell lines or the use of fetal cell tissues. The 
biopharmaceutical company, there is a lot of areas where people 
could be making a lot of money. So, it is clear that is a 
moneymaking effort.
    And I also want to speak to the fact that, if you don't 
mind, there has been a lot of discussion of the 1988 Advisory 
Panel, this blue ribbon panel that people have been discussing. 
And I want to clarify because, in my reading of this panel, 
there are actually 21 panel members and, of the 21, there were 
two or three that dissented from the majority opinion. Now, the 
majority opinion itself basically was that we agree that there 
is a moral question here.
    Mr. Bucshon. OK. I am going to have to move on because I am 
running out of time.
    Dr. Schmainda. OK.
    Mr. Bucshon. Dr. Lee, do you have any comments on that 
question about--I mean, it is just, like, it makes no sense to 
me that, if there is no money in this, the tissue, and it is 
about research--and I support research. Don't get me wrong and 
Dr. Harris addressed that in the last panel--then why are there 
organizations out there wanting to do this? If there is just no 
money involved, it is going to be discarded anyway, what is the 
big deal? We will just use it for research.
    Dr. Lee. Well, my comment is, if the argument that the fact 
that these would be discarded anyway had any merit, it would 
prove too much. It would prove that, well, then, since it is 
going to be discarded anyway, we might as well allow people to 
make money off this. In any situation where someone dies who 
did not consent to have his body used for research, the same 
argument could be made about that person's body and say, well, 
look, yes, it is true that person did not give consent----
    Mr. Bucshon. Understood. My time has expired. Thank you 
very much.
    Mrs. Blackburn. I thank the gentleman.
    Ms. Speier, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Ms. Speier. Thank you all.
    Dr. Lee, again, you are not a researcher. Correct?
    Dr. Lee. Not in physical science.
    Ms. Speier. Not in physical science, and yet this hearing 
is about the use of fetal tissue in a scientific setting.
    Dr. Lee. Right, my area of study is bioethics.
    Ms. Speier. It is a little confusing to me as to why this 
panel, which should be comprised of scientists, doesn't have a 
whole panel of scientists. But, you are an ethicist. So, let me 
ask you this.
    One of the questions one of my colleagues asked was, Is it 
unethical for a tissue procurement facility to contribute to an 
abortion clinic? And you gave an answer. Do you think it is 
ethical for Members of Congress to receive campaign 
contributions and then vote for a specific bill from that 
institution or carry a bill for that institution?
    Dr. Lee. I would have to get more specifics by--meaning a 
bill for that institution. I don't know. If it is a bill, yes, 
I guess. If you are saying if the bill is precisely not for the 
public good but for only this specific institution, yes, that 
would be unethical. But then, of course, that just raises the 
question of whether we are talking about the public good or 
whether we are trying to promote a specific institution. And I 
think that----
    Ms. Speier. Well, thank you. Thank you for your comments. 
This is kind of preposterous for us to sit up on this committee 
and suggest about ethical behavior when we are in the business 
of campaigning and raising money from individuals who are 
interested in getting us to vote one way or another.
    Let me ask you, Dr. Goldstein, 41 academic institutions 
have written a letter emphasizing the need for continued fetal 
tissue research. In your own words, can you explain what is at 
stake if this research is not permitted to continue?
    Dr. Goldstein. Predicting the future is a very dodgy 
business, and any of us who claim to predict the future have 
got to do so cautiously, but I think it is fair to say research 
into deadly disease will slow down. And that is not virtual. If 
I am 2 years later finding a therapy for a disorder, that is 2 
years' worth of people who will have developed that disorder 
and passed away from it.
    I think back to Christopher Reeve, with whom I testified 
some years ago in an embryonic stem cell hearing, and we talked 
at that time about what was at stake for people like Mr. Reeve. 
And the fact was, time was at stake. So, he, sadly, did not 
live long enough to see us putting an appropriate fetal neural 
stem cell type into clinical trial. I am sorry about that, 
because I think he would have been really heartened to see 
that, and he ran out of time.
    Ms. Speier. I was very impressed by your work with spinal 
cord injuries. There are many people who are paralyzed, whose 
life, quality of life, has diminished greatly. The work you are 
doing right now where you are using fetal neural stem cells has 
the potential, does it not, to create a means by which 
individuals in the future who are living in a paralyzed state 
could in fact have fuller function?
    Dr. Goldstein. That is the potential, if everything goes 
according to plan.
    Ms. Speier. There was a reference made earlier about 
reconstruct--of cosmetic purposes that fetal tissue could be 
used for. It was interesting that my colleague didn't reference 
the word ``reconstructive'' and cosmetic purposes. And I think 
we fail to appreciate that skin grafts are used in very 
important reconstructive purposes. Persons who are burn victims 
benefit by the use of skin grafts. I, personally, have a body 
that is full of skin grafts due to an injury I received over 36 
years ago. So, let's not diminish or somehow dilute the 
importance of the use of skin grafts in the effort to 
potentially improve people's lives.
    I am also concerned--and I have only got 20 second left, so 
Dr. Goldstein, I am concerned about the chilling effect on 
researchers who are now being called, much like the McCarthy 
hearings of old, to have their names associated with research 
they are doing. Could you speak to that?
    Dr. Goldstein. I think the chilling effect of naming names 
is always a danger of this sort of proceeding.
    Ms. Speier. Thank you. I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back. Dr. Harris is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Harris. Thank you very much.
    Dr. Schmainda, let me just clarify, because I think a 
question was asked of you before, Do you oppose tissue cell--
fetal tissue research? But your summary says that you believe 
that we should prohibit research using fetal tissue from 
induced abortion. Is that the correct summary?
    Dr. Schmainda. Correct.
    Mr. Harris. OK, because we are frequently painting with a 
broad brush that somehow we all oppose this life-saving fetal 
tissue. We are talking specifically----
    Dr. Schmainda. Yes.
    Mr. Harris [continuing]. About induced abortions.
    Dr. Schmainda. Absolutely.
    Mr. Harris. So now, you have done medical research for 25 
years and, although your qualifications have been questioned to 
sit on this panel, since this panel is bioethical issues, I 
take it you have filled out IRB consents before?
    Dr. Schmainda. Yes, all the time.
    Mr. Harris. OK. And the purpose is to ethically protect 
patients, right?
    Dr. Schmainda. Correct.
    Mr. Harris. So, I am going to ask Exhibit A-3 to be put up 
again, which is the donation form that comes from a clinic 
where this fetal tissue is obtained. And I will tell you--and I 
am sure when you have obtained consent for research you are 
careful not to over-promise because that, of course, would 
induce a patient to accept and consent to research.
    So, I am going to read the first line. It says, ``Research 
using the blood from pregnant women and tissue that has been 
aborted has been used to treat and find a cure for such 
diseases as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, 
cancer, and AIDS.''
    And I am going to ask Dr. Goldstein in a second, we really 
have found a cure using fetal tissue for diabetes, Parkinson's 
disease, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and AIDS? Because that is 
exactly what this form says. And if I had made this promise to 
a patient I was obtaining consent for, my IRB would never allow 
me to say that what we are doing has found a cure. Is that what 
your IRBs would do?
    Dr. Schmainda. Absolutely. Yes, we can----
    Mr. Harris. That is what I thought. Let me just keep going 
because I have limited time and I do want to ask Dr. Goldstein 
a few questions because I personally am not--Dr. Goldstein, 
look, thank you for your willingness over 40 years to look into 
these diseases that affect human beings. No question about it. 
I was medical research. You are medical research. Again, I am 
not going to relitigate use of fetal tissue because I think we 
have a broad agreement that fetal tissue ethically obtained is 
absolutely appropriate.
    First of all, you have suggested that anything that slows 
this process down is a bad thing. You kind of suggested that. 
You have an IRB. How long does it take your IRB to approve, 
normally? Mine took months. I know exactly why you are 
laughing. It can take months or even a year, can't it?
    Dr. Goldstein. That is right.
    Mr. Harris. OK, so----
    Dr. Goldstein. And if I might chip in here----
    Mr. Harris. No, you can't. I have got to keep going because 
I have a bunch of questions. And I appreciate that you are 
totally honest about that.
    So, we have already made the decision that it is all right 
to slow down life-saving research when it involves humans for 
ethical reasons because we have a national policy that you have 
to have an IRB, which we know slows down life-saving research.
    So, the question is not whether it is all right to slow it 
down. It is whether it is ethical, to assure ethics.
    In an article in Nature magazine in December, I am sure you 
know you have said this, regarding aborted fetuses, you said, 
``We are not happy about how the material became available but 
we would not be willing to see it wasted and just thrown 
away.'' And I am just going to concentrate on the quote, ``We 
are not happy about how the material became available.'' Why? 
Why are you not happy about how that material became available? 
Is that an accurate quote? I know sometimes the press misquotes 
    Dr. Goldstein. It is an absolutely accurate quote, and I 
think probably the best way to think about it is I don't seek 
out controversy. I am happier if my research just happened in a 
quiet back room and I could get on with the business of looking 
for therapies.
    Mr. Harris. And that is every researcher I have known in 
medicine has felt the same way. So, I absolutely understand 
that opinion.
    I have got to tell you and, again, you have been brutally 
honest with us, and I thank you for your honesty.
    It has been suggested that it is immoral for these tissues 
to be discarded. Literally, I mean we can replay the 
transcript, that it is immoral. Do you agree that, if one of 
these patients doesn't sign this form and that the tissue is 
discarded, that woman is making an immoral decision?
    Dr. Goldstein. May I answer?
    Mr. Harris. Absolutely.
    Dr. Goldstein. It is up to the patient to make that 
    Mr. Harris. But is it immoral if the woman chooses not to 
make the donation?
    Dr. Goldstein. No, it is not immoral.
    Mr. Harris. Thank you. Thank you very, very much for that 
    And I am just going to ask Dr. Lee, because you are a 
bioethicist, is that form ethical where you tell a patient that 
diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and 
AIDS, that this tissue has been used to find a cure? Past 
tense. It is not ``we are going to use it to attempt to find a 
cure,'' it ``has been used to find a cure.'' English has a very 
specific meaning. Is that unethical to ask this woman at a time 
when she is making a difficult decision to say that this tissue 
has been used to cure diseases when it hasn't?
    Dr. Lee. No, in order to make a fully informed consent, you 
have to be given accurate information.
    Mr. Harris. Thank you very much. I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman yields back.
    Ms. DelBene, you are recognized.
    Ms. DelBene. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I think everyone agrees that medical research using human 
tissue should adhere to ethical standards. There is no 
disagreement. But, as Dr. Goldstein and every researcher in 
America knows, that is true for all human tissue. If I wanted 
to donate tissue as part of a research study, the use of my 
tissue would be overseen by an Institutional Review Board and 
subject to strict ethical and legal rules. I am an organ donor. 
I assume many people in this room are organ donors. And, if an 
accident took place and any of us were in a position where our 
organs would be donated, the use of our organs to save someone 
else's life would rightfully be subject to similar ethical 
guidelines. Rules guiding scientific research should be crafted 
in a reasonable and deliberate manner, and they should be 
crafted by science, not by ideology.
    As Professor Charo pointed out, diseases also do not 
discriminate. The majority's attacks on research are an attack 
on all Americans' health, because nearly everyone in this 
country has benefitted from research involving fetal tissue.
    Dr. Goldstein, as you know, medical breakthroughs come 
after years of incremental progress, often starting with very 
basic research that was conducted sometimes for an entirely 
different purpose and we learned something that was very 
relevant to move forward in a different area. Our greatest 
discoveries might have gone undiscovered if we cut off avenues 
of basic research that didn't seem promising at the time. So, 
how would you respond to claims that this research isn't useful 
or necessary anymore?
    Dr. Goldstein. Well, I don't disagree that it is not useful 
or not necessary any longer. And the fact is, as you correctly 
recognize, of 100 times that we start testing the therapy, 90 
or 95 percent of the time it is a dry well. We fail more often 
than we succeed, but we persist. What we learn from the 
failures is important to help us figure out how to be 
successful in the future.
    Ms. DelBene. So, to clarify, you do think that it is useful 
and necessary to continue this type of research.
    Dr. Goldstein. Oh, absolutely, yes.
    Ms. DelBene. If Republicans were successful in cutting off 
this research, would potential for medical breakthroughs be 
slowed or stopped altogether?
    Dr. Goldstein. It would be slowed.
    Ms. DelBene. And could you speak about some of the work 
that is going on right now, the ongoing research in this area?
    Dr. Goldstein. Well, I mean, if our clinical trials with 
fetal neural stem cells in spinal cord injury were halted, I 
think that would be a terrible shame because I think it is one 
of our most promising avenues. It is not just us that have seen 
these properties with these cells. It has been repeated in 
other labs. It looks like a very good, fertile ground, and I 
would hate to see it stalled. The same for our work on 
    Ms. DelBene. Do you think there would be ethical 
implications to not continuing that type of research?
    Dr. Goldstein. You know, we owe it to our descendants what 
kind of world we give them. And I know that can be taken in a 
variety of different ways, but we are following the law. We are 
doing work that has been deemed ethical by the mainstream 
scientific community, and it is work that looks as though it is 
going to be very promising.
    I wonder if I might give you one comment. In Parkinson's 
disease, fetal tissue research is sometimes pointed to as 
having not been successful because it didn't yield, in and of 
itself, a cure. The fact is, that fetal tissue research has 
taught us what now to do with embryonic stem cells and perhaps 
with reprogrammed stem cells. So, even in that case, we learned 
a lot about how not to do things, how to avoid overdosing 
tissue, what types of cells to make in the future.
    Ms. DelBene. I agree. I did medical research when I started 
my career, and sometimes the things that didn't go as you 
anticipated actually yield the greatest learning.
    Dr. Goldstein. Yes.
    Ms. DelBene. Folks brought up earlier that there has been a 
series of subpoenas and sweeping overbroad document requests to 
many names of patients, doctors, medical students--all who are 
involved in women's health care and vital medical research--
without really any legitimate reason for doing so. I wondered 
if you believe that that kind of environment is conducive to 
academic freedom and scientific advancement.
    Dr. Goldstein. No, I think it is terrible when researchers 
have to worry about their personal safety.
    Ms. DelBene. And do you think the political climate can 
have a chilling effect on scientific research going forward if 
that continues?
    Dr. Goldstein. It is already having it.
    Ms. DelBene. It is already having it. In what way are you 
seeing that today?
    Dr. Goldstein. So, there is another project that I am 
involved with that has basically seen a supply of fetal 
material dry up completely, and it was a very promising therapy 
for MS.
    Ms. DelBene. Thank you. My time has expired. I yield back, 
Madam Chair.
    Mrs. Blackburn. I thank the gentlelady.
    Mrs. Hartzler for 5 minutes.
    Mrs. Hartzler. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
    I just wanted to clarify that we don't have issues with 
studying the babies who are stillborn or miscarried due to the 
microcephaly and Zika, and that is happening. But it is another 
thing entirely to have parents abort and use the aborted babies 
for research.
    So, Ms. Schmainda, can information about microcephaly 
associated with Zika be obtained using fetal tissue from 
affected babies that are miscarried or stillborn?
    Dr. Schmainda. Yes, absolutely. And I think when we speak 
of abortions, induced abortions and the tissue we get from them 
as a reference or as a gold standard, that is completely 
incorrect because the identity, the genetic identity of these 
children are not known.
    Mrs. Hartzler. Very good. I would like to carry on some 
more questions with you.
    Could you describe in detail how the tissue procurement 
process takes place, what personnel and equipment are involved?
    Dr. Schmainda. Absolutely. So, as I had mentioned briefly 
before, we actually have a full-time person that oversees a 
tissue bank. And they are on-call with a pager so they know 
when the tissue is going to be removed at the time of surgery. 
So, they have to be there within 30 minutes, carrying with them 
a liquid nitrogen Dewar because the tissue has be flash-frozen 
in order to maintain the quality of the research tissue. 
Otherwise, a lot of the analysis, the advanced analysis like 
genetic and proteomic analysis, could not be performed with any 
    Mrs. Hartzler. Are you familiar with how fetal tissue is 
procured, though, and the process involved with that?
    Dr. Schmainda. I am not, but I can't imagine it is any 
    Mrs. Hartzler. If we could put up Exhibit A-2, this is the 
exact compensation chart for a procurement technician. And I 
think America needs to be aware of this process. They are paid 
$10 per hour plus a per-tissue or blood bonus as outlined in 
the table below. The tissue is divided up into categories A, B, 
and C. One to 10 specimens, for instance, of category A is $35 
a tissue, and it goes up from there, $45 to $55, $65, $75 a 
tissue. So, there is a financial incentive for them to take 
this tissue, and they are getting paid for that.
    And yet, if you could put up Exhibit A-3, we have, once 
again, the consent form that is given to the woman who comes in 
to have an abortion in a very, very stressful time in their 
life. We have already discussed how this form is clearly 
unethical because it makes promises to the woman saying that 
this is going to result in cures and has resulted in cures for 
AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer's, et cetera, which is totally false. 
So, women are already being told inaccurate information in 
order to induce them. And then it also says, ``I understand I 
will not be paid.'' So my question is, how come the woman isn't 
paid for this?
    Dr. Schmainda. That is a good question because in all 
other--we look at coercion of the patient is a very, very 
severe, very strict guideline when you are putting the IRB 
together. So, we can never promise that there is any benefit to 
the patient when they undergo an IRB-approved study. And so 
having this information about diseases that is untrue and not 
talking about what could happen as the possible risks is also 
completely irregular, compared to----
    Mrs. Hartzler. Didn't you, in your testimony, give an 
example of some money that was spent by a procurement company 
for a sample? I am trying to find it. Do you remember it?
    Dr. Schmainda. Yes, $830 per fetal liver tissue sample.
    Mrs. Hartzler. So, a woman is not given any money for this. 
She is being coerced to sign this under duress with inaccurate 
information, and yet the procurement company is getting up to 
$830-some per liver, in addition to whatever else is in the 
sample. It could be people are getting rich off of this, and 
yet the woman is getting nothing from it, other than having an 
    I think it is just unconscionable that we would accept, as 
America, that this would continue on, when women are being 
taken advantage of and money is being made off of them at the 
expense of not only that woman but her aborted baby.
    I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you, Madam Chairman. I wanted to 
ask Mr. Goldstein a couple of questions.
    Mr. Goldstein, you mentioned that some promising research 
with regard to MS was stopped or has been negatively impacted. 
Could you please elaborate a little bit on what you mean, and 
what direction was it going into, and why it has not yielded 
    Dr. Goldstein. It was getting close to the clinical trial 
stage and then, as a result of the political discussion and the 
threats to abortion providers, it is believed that they stopped 
being willing to provide tissue any longer.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Dr. Goldstein, have there been cures 
to any diseases resulting from the research emanating from 
fetal tissue? Have any cures been found of anything?
    Dr. Goldstein. I think we have gone back and forth on the 
vaccine issue a number of times. So, I think we will leave that 
one alone for the time being.
    I think I am in the business of moving forward. I look for 
therapies for diseases where we don't yet have any. I am not 
aware of any that have definitely been solved using fetal 
tissue, although, arguably, the development of treatments for 
HIV depended a great deal on being able to develop humanized 
mice that had a human immune system in animals and I think that 
was initiated using fetal blood-forming stem cells.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Do you believe that anything on that 
form is creating an undue hardship or an intimidation or a 
misrepresentation to women who are being asked to consider 
whether or not they will donate this tissue?
    Dr. Goldstein. I am sorry, which form?
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. The form that my colleagues keep 
referring to that says that women who are under duress need to 
sign in order to give their consent.
    Dr. Goldstein. So, if it is the form that says therapies 
for diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and all the rest have 
already been found, I agree, that is an inappropriate statement 
and it should not have been made on that form. I don't know who 
wrote it. That would not have made it past my IRB, either.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. It seems to me that this has been an 
interesting day where we have had empirical evidence as to the 
worthwhile use of fetal tissue research, that it has produced 
and is producing results moving us in the right direction to be 
cures and appropriate therapies and treatments for diseases and 
for injuries that otherwise negatively impact the life and the 
quality of life for individuals. It is also clear to me today 
that the question before us is just really nothing more than a 
proxy for getting at an attack on women's right to what has 
already been established as a safe abortion in this country. 
And it just concerns me that we would have a panel of 
legislators sharing misinformation and sharing information that 
isn't documented in any way, shape, or form, indicating that 
people are making money off of women's bodies and that there is 
something about people becoming rich by engaging in fetal 
tissue research and leaving it out there as if it is the truth 
when, in fact, we know it is not.
    Mr. Goldstein, Dr. Goldstein, I know that you don't 
generally handle that end of it, but to your knowledge, is 
there an industry that is getting rich and that is taking 
advantage of women's body parts as a result of fetal tissue 
    Dr. Goldstein. Not to my knowledge.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you. I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    Mrs. Love, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mrs. Love. Thank you.
    Dr. Lee, can you explain to me how organ donations are done 
at Georgetown Medical? What kind of codes of conduct must be 
followed in order to get consent for organ donation?
    Dr. Lee. Well, I am not at Georgetown, but at Mercy 
Hospital in Pittsburgh, there is a consent form that is very 
detailed and the donation team is separate from any of the 
doctors who treat the patient and there has to be a fully 
informed consent there. And that complete separation--the 
doctors say, well, the team will come in and they want to talk 
to you, but they won't--the doctors who are treating the 
patient will not bring it up with the families.
    Mrs. Love. OK. So, is there any contact between the person 
giving consent, the recipient of the organ, the technician that 
is transferring the organ, or the physician that is procuring 
the organ during or before the forms are signed or consent is 
    Dr. Lee. There is not direct--there might be--there is 
contact between the team that mediates between the 
    Mrs. Love. So, there is a mediator.
    Dr. Lee. Yes, and that team is the one that speaks to the 
family members and patients. But there is always that go-
between, that mediation.
    Mrs. Love. Great. I want to focus, again, on trying to 
protect the minor.
    Is it possible, Dr. Schmainda--did I get that----
    Dr. Schmainda. Schmainda.
    Mrs. Love. Thank you. Is it possible for a minor undergoing 
an abortion procedure to be faced with the decision to donate 
tissue on the same day that she is receiving that procedure?
    Dr. Schmainda. That is unconscionable, no. At that age, no, 
that should never happen.
    Mrs. Love. Does that happen?
    Dr. Schmainda. I am not aware. I mean, I am not in that 
industry, so I am not aware of exactly the procedures followed.
    Mrs. Love. Does anyone know, on this panel, if that 
actually happens the day that the minor is receiving or the day 
that anybody is receiving the procedure, that they are faced 
with donating the tissue on that very day?
    Dr. Lee. I don't think so. I don't think so--except for 
abortion, I think it is.
    Mrs. Love. OK. So, from what I understand there are strict 
codes of conduct and guidelines for adult organ donations, but 
there are little to no laws or guidelines protecting minors 
when giving consent to perform an abortion or giving consent to 
have a child's tissue donated. Again, I am coming at this 
looking at my 14-year-old and seeing what it was like for her 
to have an ACL surgery and how frightened she was. I couldn't 
imagine a 14-year-old going into a clinic without someone there 
that she trusts, that is an advocate for her when she is faced 
with donating tissue of an organ when she is going to be 
receiving these procedures herself. I couldn't imagine doing 
that myself, let alone a minor.
    I am trying to ask who is there to actually protect that 
minor when they are going in to have these procedures. Who is 
there on her side?
    The last thing I want to say is that there are times in our 
history in this country that we thought the behavior and the 
terrible treatment of some human beings were OK. Throughout our 
history, we had the opportunity to look back and say we were 
wrong. I am here because we have looked back at behavior that 
we thought was unethical and we changed it. Boy, I hope that we 
live in a country where we can look at the history and say the 
treatment of an unborn child is unethical, the treatment of a 
minor that is going in to receive some of these procedures 
should have someone on their side, and I hope that we live in a 
country where we can look back and we can change some of those 
    I would not be here if we didn't have people making that 
courageous decision. I hope that we, in this country, are able 
to stand up and say the treatment is unethical, we are going to 
change it.
    I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    Mr. Nadler for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Nadler. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Let me first make an observation. Dr. Lee, in his written 
testimony, says ``there is a serious problem concerning the 
woman's consent regarding the use of tissues and organs from 
the abortion procedure. How can her consent have ethical or 
legal significance, given her previous choice to abort?'' We 
went through this in the first panel, too.
    He also said a little later, ``Anyone with a just moral 
outlook would not consent to an abortion.'' Anyone with a just 
a moral outlook would not consent to an abortion; that is his 
opinion. That is the opinion of a lot people in this room, but 
it is not the opinion of a lot of other people. ``How can her 
consent have ethical or legal significance, given her previous 
choice to abort?'' Maybe the choice to abort had more 
significant questions. Maybe the fetus had Down Syndrome, for 
instance, and it is a less easy question.
    There are plenty of religious leaders in this country who 
disagree with your moral conclusion. This is a moral question. 
It is a moral choice that is quite clearly debatable. It is not 
self-evident. It is clearly debatable since we have been 
debating it for the last 50 or 60 years without a conclusion. 
Even if individuals, such as two of our panelists and some 
others on this panel, may have moral opinions of which they are 
certain, other people have contrary opinions of which they are 
    So, to say that because the woman, the mother, disagrees 
with your personal conclusion or the personal moral view of 
some church, therefore, you will take away--we should take away 
her moral right to make the choice on donation of fetal tissue, 
is an assertion of absolute moral arrogance which you have no 
right to make and we have no right to make. It is her decision, 
not ours, and not yours. And it is her moral decision, not 
ours, and not yours.
    Second, I would like to ask Dr. Schmainda, I hope is 
    Dr. Schmainda. Schmainda.
    Mr. Nadler. Dr. Schmainda, we have all agreed that the use 
of fetal tissue derived not from an abortion is ethical. The 
question is the use of fetal tissue derived from an abortion. 
And you said that the use of such tissue to cure, if it were 
possible, or perhaps when it is possible, to cure Parkinson's 
or Alzheimer's, would create a market for lots of fetal tissue, 
since a lot of fetal tissue would be necessary to cure the 
Alzheimer's and the Parkinson's and, therefore, this should be 
avoided. But it is true that abortions in order to generate 
fetal tissue are absolutely illegal, and no one has suggested 
    So, I gather--tell me if I am wrong--that you would rather 
have people suffer from curable diseases, you think it is more 
moral to have people suffer from Alzheimer's who could be 
cured, suffer from Parkinson's who could be cured, rather than 
use fetal tissue from abortions that would occur anyway, tissue 
that would otherwise be discarded. You would make the moral 
choice and you would impose it on society that those people 
should suffer from the diseases, if they were curable. Am I 
    Dr. Schmainda. The ends never justifies the means. You 
can't extinguish one life to save another.
    Mr. Nadler. So, the answer is yes, you would because the 
ends don't justify the means. And the ends here, which is to 
cure people of diseases, don't justify the moral wrong of using 
tissue from an abortion that was not performed for this 
purpose--but tissue that would otherwise be thrown out--and you 
would rather have people suffering the disease. OK, we have a 
disagreement, and it is a very clear moral disagreement. And I 
hope you will not try to impose your moral view on the rest of 
    Third, everyone--I shouldn't say everyone. There have been 
a number of questions asked about the consent form to donate 
tissues. Are any of you in clinic settings where such consents 
might be sought, Dr. Lee, Dr. Schmainda, Dr. Goldstein?
    Dr. Schmainda. Yes.
    Mr. Nadler. You are?
    Dr. Lee. Which kind of consents are you talking about? You 
mean for fetal tissue?
    Mr. Nadler. Yes.
    Dr. Lee. Fetal tissue from abortions?
    Mr. Nadler. Yes, fetal tissue from a specific abortion to 
be used for research or whatever.
    Dr. Schmainda. No, consents for research, for human 
    Dr. Lee. No.
    Mr. Nadler. You are not. OK. So, you are not there. You 
don't really see what is going on. Sort of a red herring, 
because what I think some of the members of this panel are 
really concerned about is the underlying abortion decision, not 
the separate donation decision. I think you are concerned about 
that because you said abortion is always morally wrong and the 
mother should be--any mother who is so morally depraved as to 
consent to an abortion should be deprived of the right to 
consent to donating fetal tissue.
    Dr. Lee. The basis for that--my argument was not that she 
was depraved because she was making a depraved decision----
    Mr. Nadler. Sure it was.
    Dr. Lee [continuing]. But because she was--no, that was not 
my argument. My argument was that she lacks the authority to 
make the decision because the authority to make a decision for 
your child is based on your having the interest of that child 
at heart.
    Mr. Nadler. Therefore, because of your----
    Dr. Lee. Someone who chooses to have her aborted no longer 
    Mr. Nadler. Reclaiming my time, which is going to run out. 
Because of your moral decision, you would take that right away 
from her for the reasons you or I stated in different form.
    And yet at Planned Parenthood, going back to my question, I 
know that at Planned Parenthood, only after providing consent 
for abortion is the patient given the option for tissue 
donation. Tissue procurement personnel are trained to obtain 
informed consent for tissue donation only after the patient has 
consented to the abortion procedure. There is no evidence 
whatsoever--is anybody aware of any evidence that any donors of 
fetal tissue have ever felt coerced? That is my last question. 
Is anyone aware of any such----
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Dr. Lee. I would say that the general knowledge that these 
things are used for these could tilt the scale in favor of that 
    Mr. Nadler. But you are aware of no coercion or----
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Mr. Nadler. Thank you.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Mr. Duffy for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Duffy. Thank you, Madam Chair. I want to ask to have 
Exhibit A-1, -92, and -93 put up. And I want to go to Exhibit 
A-2 for the panel.
    And maybe before I get there, Dr. Goldstein, you have to 
imagine what an aborted baby looks like when it comes out. Do 
you know how long it takes to carve out a little baby heart, or 
a little baby lung, or a little baby lung, or to take a little 
baby head? Do you know how long it takes?
    Dr. Goldstein. I have no knowledge of that.
    Mr. Duffy. You are a doctor, though, correct?
    Dr. Goldstein. I am a Ph.D.
    Mr. Duffy. Ph.D., OK. Any----
    Dr. Goldstein. I am a scientist, not a physician.
    Mr. Duffy. Any idea? Well, to the panel, anyone know how 
long that would take? No.
    From those I have asked, it doesn't take very long. It 
happens pretty quickly.
    And so, on the moral/ethical conversation, usually as we 
look at economies, the more you produce, the cheaper something 
becomes. You become more proficient at it. But if you look at 
the pay scale--and by the way, let's be clear what this is. We 
have the procurement business that sends in a technician, one 
of their employees, into the abortion facility, implanted, 
embedded in the facility, that is looking at women who are 
coming through the facility and going out and getting consent 
to harvest these little baby lungs, little baby hearts, little 
baby heads. Does it seem odd to you that the cost of 
procurement when you go from 10 to 11, the cost doesn't get 
cheaper, the cost or the payment gets more for the technician. 
The technician gets more money the more that they produce. Does 
that seem odd to you, if profit motive is not an element of 
this business?
    Dr. Goldstein, does that seem strange?
    Dr. Goldstein. I have no basis on which to judge that. I 
can barely see the exhibit.
    Mr. Duffy. Well, I think it is in front of you. Open up 
your little packet. I think it is right there.
    Dr. Goldstein. Nope.
    Mr. Duffy. I am asking you to use your common sense. You 
don't have to be a Ph.D.
    Dr. Goldstein. I am honestly--I am not going to speculate 
about something that I don't have firsthand knowledge of.
    Mr. Duffy. Let's talk about firsthand knowledge, because 
you are obviously in the business and promoting the use of 
fetal tissue. And I think you earlier indicated that you would 
agree with the law that we shouldn't make a profit--profit 
shouldn't be made off the sale of little baby body parts, 
right? Is that your testimony?
    Dr. Goldstein. So, that has its roots, as I understand it, 
in the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.
    Mr. Duffy. Do you agree with it? Do you agree with the fact 
that we shouldn't profit off of the sale of baby body parts?
    Dr. Goldstein. Yes.
    Mr. Duffy. OK. And so what work have you done to make sure, 
I think it was Neuralstem, doesn't make a profit off of the 
baby body parts that they receive from clinics or they don't 
pay clinics for the body parts that they receive? Do you do any 
research into that?
    Dr. Goldstein. I have asked them if they complied with the 
law. They have told me they complied with the law.
    Mr. Duffy. So, that is it?
    Dr. Goldstein. Just as you trust the man sitting next to 
you to comply with the law----
    Mr. Duffy. I don't trust Mr. Harris.
    But that is all you have done. You haven't taken any 
further steps?
    Dr. Goldstein. I am in no position to actually launch an 
inquiry like that. I don't have investigative powers the way 
the Congress does.
    Mr. Duffy. So, you would agree that Congress should use its 
investigative powers to look into this issue.
    Dr. Goldstein. No, I don't. I honestly think that Congress 
has better things to do with its time.
    Mr. Duffy. And we should just take on blind faith. You get 
a specimen. How much do you pay for a specimen? A little line, 
what do you pay for it?
    Dr. Goldstein. The material we get from Neuralstem is 
provided under a collaboration.
    Mr. Duffy. How much do you pay?
    Dr. Goldstein. We don't pay them anything for it.
    Mr. Duffy. They give it to you for free?
    Dr. Goldstein. It is part of the whole cost of doing the 
clinical trial. So, we pick up part of the cost of the clinical 
trial in doing the surgery; they pick up part of the cost; they 
provide the cells.
    Mr. Duffy. So, there is no financial incentive. They are 
just a pure middle man. They don't make any money on this. Is 
that your position, Dr. Goldstein?
    Dr. Goldstein. I would be surprised if they didn't have a 
financial incentive. They are a publicly held company. They are 
required by law to have a profit motive. I don't know the 
details of how they carve out, where they generate profit, 
where they don't.
    Mr. Duffy. You just told me that you agree with the law 
that they shouldn't make a profit, but then you assume that 
they are making a profit.
    Dr. Goldstein. They are growing cell lines, which are 
derived from fetal origin. It is not the fetal tissue itself. 
The NIH recognizes a distinction between established cell lines 
and fetal tissue itself.
    Mr. Duffy. So, here we have an incentive to procure more 
specimens and get more money for those specimens. I think that 
calls into question a need to look a little deeper.
    Quickly, do you think, Dr. Goldstein, that we should be 
using this research, as Ms. Charo would say, for taste testing 
and cosmetics?
    Dr. Goldstein. I think the issue of cosmetics was 
adequately addressed by Representative Speier, I believe it 
was, a few moments ago, where treatment for burns is an 
adequate and appropriate cosmetic reason.
    Mr. Duffy. Don't you then think that in the sheet where we 
are going to get consent that we should say this is not life-
saving, this is for taste tests or this is for cosmetics?
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Mr. Duffy. I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman yields back.
    I will reclaim my 5 minutes and wrap this up. You all have 
been patient with us.
    As we look at the bioethics of this situation, Dr. 
Schmainda, what I have seen is a difference of opinion between 
some of those on whether fetal tissue is necessary, it is a 
convenience, or it is a cost-saving. So, can you kind of help 
us understand how that difference of opinion exists?
    Dr. Schmainda. Absolutely. I think the issue of researchers 
using fetal tissue is largely overexaggerated. There is $76 
million from the NIH given to those that use fetal body parts 
for their research. That is out of an annual budget of $30 
billion, that amounts to 2.5 percent. Also, there are maybe 160 
investigators funded by the NIH. There are 300,000 
investigators, overall, funded by the NIH. So, this is not 
going to change the direction of science.
    Just two days ago, I looked at PubMed, which is the area 
you look for the most recent scientific--or all the 
scientific--publications. There are over 32,000 articles on 
adult stem cell therapy, and rarely ever do you get to publish 
anything with a negative result. I think that science will 
probably be better without it, because whenever we do have 
limitations on both sides of the panel, we say when you have a 
problem you typically--I completely agree in the creativity of 
the scientific mind to overcome these challenges. And I think 
we will--I know we will come up with alternatives.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Let me ask you one more thing. There has 
been a question about the immunized mice. Can't that come from 
adult stem cells?
    Dr. Schmainda. You know, I can't speak to specific things, 
but what I know from colleagues of mine doing immunology 
research, as they say, it is not essential. It has given them 
nothing more than what they already get from adult stem cell 
    Mrs. Blackburn. All right, I want to go back to--and I am 
going to come to you, Dr. Lee. Go back to Exhibit A-3, but 
let's go a little bit further down this permission form. Do you 
have the permission form in front of you?
    Dr. Lee. I don't.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK. If someone will be sure that these are 
at the desk or, Ms. Schmainda, if you have one, if you will 
    Dr. Lee. OK.
    Mrs. Blackburn. As you look at Exhibit A-3, and we have 
talked about the statement at the top of that permission form 
that is misleading. Go a little further down. It says, ``I 
understand I have no control over who will get the donated 
blood and/or the tissue or what it can be used for.'' And then 
a little further down: ``I understand there will be no changes 
to how or when my abortion is done in order to get my blood or 
the tissue.'' And the next one: ``I understand I will not be 
    Now, as we look at this, I would like to hear from you, Dr. 
Lee, because we have heard about how quickly the tissue has to 
be pulled. Dr. Schmainda talked about this, of how they have 
someone so close at hand within those first few minutes, and 
then the tissue is properly treated and moved on for the 
research that they are going to go. Do you think this is a 
proper representation to women who are going in for an abortion 
who don't understand that there is a profit motive or a 
financial motive behind this, when you look at Form A-2 that 
shows what they are being paid, and then they are asked to say 
and agree that they have no control over their donated blood or 
tissue and that there will be no changes or manipulations on 
that abortion or how it is done and the time that it is done? 
And that there is no financial compensation to them?
    I would like to hear your take on the ethics of the 
situation with these items on that form.
    Dr. Lee. Well, it seems to me that there is an effort to 
present this in, I would say, a sanitized manner. It sounds 
like everything is being done altruistically and that no one 
here is making any money off of this. And I think when you talk 
about someone who is there, working on site, who gets 
compensated more the more parts are received, it makes it 
incredible to think that no one is really profiting from these 
things or is getting paid.
    So, I think that raises questions about the accuracy of the 
representation about this all being--that there is no profit 
motive involved, that there is no--that it is always just 
completely altruistic.
    Also, I think it is good to note that all of this is at a 
time when presented to them, when I think knowing that this is 
something that might come up or that is done, that fetal tissue 
is so-called donated, that can tilt the scale, I think in her 
    So, I don't think it is credible to say that----
    Mrs. Blackburn. My time has expired, and I would ask you to 
wrap up. I thank you for the answer to the question.
    I would like to remind all members that they have 10 
business days to submit questions for the record and I ask the 
witnesses to respond to the questions very promptly. I know we 
are all going to have questions for writing. Members should 
submit those questions by the close of business on March 16th.
    Mr. Harris. Madam Chair, I move to enter into the record 10 
articles regarding nonfetal sources to treat some of the neural 
and renal diseases we have discussed here today. The minority 
has been provided with copies.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    Mrs. Blackburn. Without objection, so moved.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Madam Chair, I would like to have submitted 
to the record the documents that have already been approved by 
the majority.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    Mrs. Blackburn. Absolutely. So ordered.
    We thank our witnesses. And yes, we are going to submit for 
the record the exhibits that we have used today.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    Mrs. Blackburn. Without objection, so ordered.
    And without objection, the subcommittee is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 1:43 p.m., the panel was adjourned.]
    [Material submitted for inclusion in the record follows:]

                      THE PRICING OF FETAL TISSUE


                       WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2016

                  House of Representatives,
                        Select Investigative Panel,
                          Committee on Energy and Commerce,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The panel met, pursuant to call, at 10:00 a.m., in Room 
HVC-210, House Visitors Center, Hon. Marsha Blackburn (chairman 
of the panel) presiding.
    Members present: Representatives Blackburn, Pitts, Black, 
Bucshon, Duffy, Harris, Hartzler, Love, Schakowsky, Nadler, 
DeGette, Speier, DelBene, and Watson Coleman.
    Staff present: March Bell, Staff Director; Mike Bloomquist, 
Deputy Staff Director; Karen Christian, General Counsel; Rachel 
Collins, Investigative Counsel and Clerk; Chuck Flint, 
Legislative Director (Rep. Blackburn); Jay Gulshen, Staff 
Assistant; Mary Harned, Investigative Counsel; Pierre Kamga, 
Detailee, GAO; Peter Kielty, Deputy General Counsel; Graham 
Pittman, Legislative Clerk; Mike Reynard, Communications 
Director; Frank Scaturro, Special Counsel; Heidi Stirrup, 
Health Policy Coordinator; Matthew Tallmer, Investigator; Jean 
Woodrow, Director, Information Technology; Zachary Baron, 
Democratic Senior Investigative Counsel; Paul Bell, Democratic 
Communications Advisor; Jacquelyn Bolen, Democratic 
Investigative Counsel; Vanessa Cramer, Democratic Professional 
Staff Member; Matthew Henry, Democratic Fellow; Chava Kahn, 
Democratic Fellow; Karen Lightfoot, Democratic Communications 
Director/Senior Policy Advisor; and Heather Sawyer, Democratic 
Staff Director.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The Select Investigative Panel will come to 
order. And before we begin, I would like to take a moment to 
address the guests who are in our audience today.
    First of all, we thank each of you for taking the time to 
come. We think that engaged citizens are a welcome and valuable 
part of the political process. I only wish every hearing drew 
the amount of interest that this hearing has drawn.
    For the purpose of this hearing, we are going to be 
examining the pricing of fetal tissue. It is an opportunity for 
the Select Investigative Panel to ask questions and have a 
thoughtful discussion. The number of people in the audience 
this morning demonstrates the strong interest in the topic, and 
we welcome you.
    I do want to remind our guests in the audience that the 
Chair is obligated under the rules of the House and the rules 
of the committee to maintain order and preserve decorum in the 
committee room. And I know that we all have deep feelings on 
the issue, but we appreciate the audience's cooperation in 
maintaining order, as we have a full discussion that we would 
like to have this morning on this important issue.
    I also want to welcome each of our witnesses who are here 
today. And at this time, I am going to yield myself 10 minutes 
for an opening statement.
    Ms. DeGette. Madam Chair?
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady is recognized.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you, Madam Chair. Regretfully, I need to 
bring up an issue regarding the packet of materials, the so-
called exhibits, that was provided by your staff yesterday 
before the opening statements. And the reason is because we 
have just received your opening statement, which was released 
to the press.
    I just saw it for the first time, and in your opening 
statement you make extensive reference to this package of so-
called exhibits. And so before you make your opening statement, 
maybe we can resolve the issues. Otherwise, we are going to 
even have to object to the documents referenced in your opening 
    And if I may, Madam Chair, I will go over what our issues 
are with those so-called exhibits. Your staff told us that you 
and other Republican Members intended to use these materials to 
question witnesses today, and it is my understanding that these 
documents have been given to the witnesses. In fact, several of 
the witnesses mentioned the documents in their written 
    Now, I reviewed the documents yesterday. Some of them were 
created wholesale by Republican staff. There was no explanation 
of the underlying factual foundation for those materials, the 
methodology that was used in coming up with these charts, or 
some of the graphs that we had and, frankly, I believe them to 
be misleading. Moreover, the conclusions that are drawn and, 
frankly, stated as fact in the staff-created annotated index 
are false.
    There were other documents that were sourced to a 
``procurement business'' which also have nothing to do with the 
topic of this hearing, although they were presented as if they 
did. They don't distinguish between the various services of the 
company, which provides a variety of different specimens, 
including adult blood and bone marrow for use in biomedical 
    Now, just to add to this, Madam Chair, yesterday the 
company who we believe these so-called exhibits came from, 
StemExpress, sent a letter to you and a copy to us about the 
serious, serious problems with these so-called exhibits. I 
would ask unanimous consent to put that into the record.
    But I guess my point is, I am concerned because the so-
called exhibits, I don't think they are really designed to find 
the facts about fetal tissue research. If they were, we would 
have called StemExpress in, or we would have taken depositions. 
And I don't believe that they are germane as required by Rule 
16, Clause 7 of the House, because they don't reflect 
credibility but, instead, they cast dishonor on the House.
    But, you know, in addition, if I just may, because we just 
got these exhibits yesterday and then we got the letter from 
StemExpress, it also raises troubling questions about where 
this material came from. If you look at StemExpress' letter--
and I hope you have read it, Madam Chair--what StemExpress is 
saying is they believe that the Panel may have received 
material directly from Mr. David Daleiden that has not been 
authenticated and that was obtained by Mr. Daleiden unlawfully.
    This is part of the whole issue of the investigation in 
Texas, and some of these even may have been created by Mr. 
Daleiden himself. And what the company did was, they asked that 
we withdraw these documents until the general counsel of the 
House of Representatives, Kerry W. Kircher, has an opportunity 
to review them and approve their list.
    And so, Madam Chair, given the concerns about the factual 
foundations of these exhibits, and also given the further 
concern about how they were created, what they are saying, I 
would just ask if we could withdraw these exhibits until these 
things are figured out.
    Mrs. Blackburn. I thank the gentlelady for her inquiry. 
Yes, we were in receipt of the letter. I don't know anything 
about the attorney or how truthful their letter is. We do 
intend and will accept--I accept your request, and we will UC 
that letter into the record for the hearing today.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    The documents, let me speak to that for a moment. The 
documents have all been obtained through our regular 
investigatory work. We have had things that have come to us 
from whistleblowers, from subpoenas, from former employees, 
citizens that have filed FOIA requests, the Panel's 
whistleblower portal, as I said, and also an Internet archive 
search engine. And that is the way these documents have come to 
    So the documents that we are going to use for the hearing, 
or the documents that we intend to use for the hearing, we will 
accept and UC the letter into the record. And when----
    Ms. DeGette. But, Madam Chair, may I make a farther 
    Mrs. Blackburn. Parliamentary inquiry. Go ahead.
    Ms. DeGette. Madam Chair, you had just stated that all of 
the documents that formed the basis of these exhibits were 
received from a variety of sources by the committee, including 
whistleblowers. Have all of those documents and their sources 
been provided to the minority staff of this committee?
    Mrs. Blackburn. We have provided documents to the minority 
    Ms. DeGette. Have you provided all of the documents, Madam 
Chair, that you refer to that were used as the foundation for 
these exhibits?
    Mrs. Blackburn. I think all of those documents have been 
provided to you, and then you all leaked--you have staff that 
leaked the documents to one of the entities.
    Ms. DeGette. OK. So they have all been--OK. Madam Chair, I 
would ask a further parliamentary inquiry then. Before we 
continue, then, might I be asked to inquire of the appropriate 
staff member of the foundational basis for these exhibits, 
particularly Exhibits B1, B2, some of those--there is a chart, 
Exhibit B4--which you intend to use.
    There is an Exhibit B6, an excerpt of a draft contract 
between the PB and abortion trade association, which appears to 
have been created by staff. I would like to be able to ask the 
staff how these documents were created and what----
    Mrs. Blackburn. What do you mean by ``foundational basis''?
    Ms. DeGette. Well, for example, Madam Chair, if you take a 
look at Exhibit B1. So Exhibit B1, Madam Chair, appears to be a 
chart, and it has three boxes--Abortion Clinic, Procurement 
Business, Researcher--and between the three boxes there are 
dollar signs and arrows going back and forth, there are 
questions, and so on.
    I don't know what information this is based on. I would 
like to know how this was created. Or, if you look at Exhibit 
B2, for example, Exhibit B2 is some document. It doesn't say 
where it is from. It appears to have been taken from some Web 
site, but this is one of the documents that StemExpress is 
saying that they think might have been taken from--not from 
their company, but from someplace else, and not talking about 
fetal tissue. But I don't know where that comes from.
    The exhibit is not identified where it comes from, but I 
suspect that the witnesses today and the majority intend to 
somehow try to use this to talk about the so-called sale of 
fetal tissue.
    Exhibit 3 is just, again, something taken off a Web site. 
We don't know the source of that. Exhibit 4 appears to be a bar 
graph, and what it says is, ``Procurement Business' Clinic 
Growth Strategy: Number of partnerships with abortion 
clinics,'' then it has got a bar graph.
    Then Exhibit B5, ``Procurement Business' Revenue Growth,'' 
then it has got another bar graph, but we don't know who made 
those bar charts and we don't know where that information came 
from. So, if you or the witnesses are relying on this, this is 
being presented as if it is a fact, but in fact it is not.
    And then B6, this is one that particularly disturbs me. It 
says in parentheses ``Excerpt of a draft contract between the 
PB and the abortion''----
    Mrs. Blackburn. If the gentlelady will yield?
    Ms. DeGette. Sure.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK. The B1 graph that you are referencing 
was created by staff for discussion purposes. It is created by 
material that has been submitted to us, to the committee. And 
so the document B2 exhibit that you are going to is something, 
again, that was submitted to us, and B4 is something created by 
staff from material that has been submitted.
    Now, does the gentlelady have a motion?
    Ms. DeGette. Yes. Just to finish my statement, Madam Chair, 
that is my concern. I would like to be able to question the 
staff member who created all of these documents. I assume----
    Mrs. Blackburn. They are created for discussion, and if you 
would like to include in your questioning, in your time, 
discussion about that, that is fine.
    Ms. DeGette. Well, Madam Chair, I think that these exhibits 
were created from whole cloth. And if you won't let me find out 
what the bases for these are, then I object to the use of any--
    Mrs. Blackburn. I would----
    Ms. DeGette [continuing]. Of these exhibits----
    Mrs. Blackburn. I would----
    Ms. DeGette [continuing]. And I----
    Mrs. Blackburn [continuing]. The gentlelady that 
information has been submitted to us.
    Ms. DeGette. And I would make a point of order that these 
materials are against Rule 16, Clause 7 of the House, and I 
would ask for their exclusion.
    Mr. Duffy. Madam Chair, I move to table the point of order.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady's motion has been----
    Ms. DeGette. Madam Chair, I appeal the ruling of the Chair.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady's motion has been made, and 
the motion is tabled.
    Ms. DeGette. Madam Chair, I appeal the ruling of the Chair. 
That was the motion I just made, Madam Chair.
    Mrs. Blackburn. You made the motion to exclude.
    Ms. DeGette. No. And then he moved----
    Mrs. Blackburn. The motion to----
    Ms. DeGette [continuing]. To table it, and then I moved to 
appeal, and then you ruled--you moved to table it, and I moved 
to appeal it.
    Mrs. Blackburn. We will rule on the motion to table first.
    Ms. DeGette. Yes.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK. And the motion is tabled.
    Ms. DeGette. I appeal the ruling of the Chair.
    Mrs. Blackburn. And the appeal----
    Ms. DeGette. And I ask for a recorded vote.
    Mrs. Blackburn. And the appeal is denied. We will have the 
clerk call the roll for the recorded vote on the motion to 
    The Clerk. Mr. Pitts?
    Mr. Pitts. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Pitts says aye.
    Ms. Black?
    Ms. Black. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Pitts says aye. Ms. Black says aye.
    Mr. Bucshon?
    Mr. Bucshon. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bucshon says aye.
    Mr. Duffy?
    Mr. Duffy. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Duffy says aye.
    Mr. Harris?
    Mr. Harris. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Harris says aye.
    Mrs. Hartzler?
    Mrs. Hartzler. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Hartzler says aye.
    Mrs. Love?
    Mrs. Love. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Love says aye.
    Ms. Schakowsky?
    Ms. Schakowsky. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Schakowsky says nay.
    Mr. Nadler?
    [No response.]
    Ms. DeGette?
    Ms. DeGette. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. DeGette says nay.
    Ms. Speier?
    Ms. Speier. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Speier says nay.
    Ms. DelBene?
    Ms. DelBene. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. DelBene says nay.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman?
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Watson Coleman says nay.
    Madam Chair?
    Mrs. Blackburn. Aye.
    The Clerk. Madam Chair says aye.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The clerk will report the tally.
    The Clerk. Chairman Blackburn, on the vote there were eight 
``ayes'' and five ``nays.''
    Mrs. Blackburn. The motion to exclude is tabled.
    At this time, I will begin the opening statement, and we 
will then move to our first panel of witnesses who have come 
    Ms. Schakowsky. Madam Chair, may I? I really want to ask at 
this point that your words be taken down regarding the 
assertion that staff ``leaked documents to the entity,'' 
actually to StemExpress. These documents had already been given 
to witnesses and the press, and then were posted to your Web 
site. So I think your words need to be taken down. Accusing our 
staff of leaking that is not true, and those words should be 
taken down.
    Mr. Duffy. Madam Chair?
    Mrs. Blackburn. Ms. Schakowsky, the staff had asked for the 
documents. They were shared--this was shared before they went 
to the Web site, and then they were released to the entity. And 
in order to take the comments down, the comments have to be 
personal in nature.
    So with that, let's begin with our opening statements, and 
then we will receive our first panel of witnesses.


    As I was beginning earlier, I want to welcome all of our 
witnesses who are here today. I am going to introduce each of 
you later as we move forward with our testimony on the pricing 
of fetal tissue.
    As part of my opening statement, I will present a narrative 
about the exhibits that today's hearing will discuss. I have 
said many times my hope is that both parties can work together 
on some things, and today's subject matter should be an 
opportunity to do so for a couple of reasons. First, at our 
initial hearing on bioethics and fetal tissue, all witnesses 
from both sides agreed that no one should profit from the sale 
of baby body parts. Nobody.
    Second, the Democrats overwhelmingly supported a 
prohibition on profiting from fetal tissue sales during the 
1993 passage of the National Institutes of Health 
Revitalization Act. Former Congressman Dingell passed this 
legislation out of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and 
former Congressman Henry Waxman amended the NIH bill on the 
floor to make clear that profiting from the sale of baby body 
parts was a crime.
    Folks, these two Democrat leaders took the offense so 
seriously that they made profiting from the sale of fetal 
tissue punishable by a 10-year felony. They understood that 
unborn children do indeed have constitutional rights.
    Now, there has been a lot of heated debate about the 
horrible videos that came out last year, but today's hearing 
will present business documents, invoices, marketing brochures, 
and management documents that reveal that one for-profit 
procurement business and several abortion clinics may have 
violated the intent of the statute and the Waxman prohibition 
passed overwhelmingly by a Democrat-controlled House.
    We have invited former U.S. attorneys and others to help us 
understand this conduct in light of the existing statute. We 
look forward to working through this material in a thoughtful 
way, and I ask my colleagues on the other side to join in a 
productive discussion about the statute that your side passed.
    Before I turn to introducing the documents, I want to call 
your attention to five posters that will help to visually 
follow the discussion. The first chart presents three entities 
involved in the business of selling the body parts. That chart 
depicts that the middleman, the procurement business, pays the 
abortion clinic for fetal tissue and is then paid by the 
researcher or the customer.
    The second chart is a Web site screen grab from the 
procurement business of how to buy baby body parts online. Now 
there is a new Web site, and the baby body parts procurement 
business has been spun off to a new entity. That chart shows 
the drop-down box for every part imaginable: heart, eyes, 
scalp, liver, hands. Then you click on the next box and you 
pick the gestation period. Then you click and proceed to 
checkout to select your form of shipping. The third chart shows 
the daily tasks performed by the procurement business employee 
inside the abortion clinic.
    Once the order is communicated, the procurement tech starts 
her work checking gestation periods, getting consent, procuring 
tissue, and sending to the customer. These are clear HIPAA 
violations. Our Democratic colleagues have voiced concerns over 
privacy throughout the investigation. I would hope, at a 
minimum, they will join us in condemning obvious violations of 
HIPAA, which was signed into law by President Clinton on August 
21st of 1996.
    The fourth chart summarizes several sample actual payments 
from the procurement business to the abortion clinic and from 
the customer to the procurement business. These are just 
samples for discussion today. They do not present the entire 
financial picture. And the fifth chart shows who bears the 
responsibility for the reasonable cost involved in the 
procurement and sale.
    Next, I want to walk the witnesses through the exhibits. I 
know that all the lawyers in the room like to focus on every 
detail, and that is why you are here. But it is also important 
to understand the big picture of what the procurement business 
was trying to do, especially in light of the Waxman 
prohibitions against profiting from the sale of baby parts in 
the '93 NIH Revitalization Act.
    Please turn to the B exhibits beginning with B2. This is 
the procurement company brochure that is handed out at national 
conferences where abortion clinic managers were in attendance. 
Notice it says ``financially profitable,'' ``fiscally 
rewards,'' ``financial benefit to your clinic.''
    Look at Exhibit B3, which is a Web site screen grab of the 
procurement business. Once again, ``Financially Profits ... 
while also providing a financial benefit to ... your clinic.'' 
Evidently, the procurement business is not familiar with the 
Waxman prohibition.
    Now, turn the page and look at Exhibits B4 and 5. The 
procurement business started in 2010 with three clinics. Two 
years, it was up to 30, and in 2 more years it had nearly 100. 
Further, they were negotiating a contract to have over 250 
clinics by this year, but the comarketing negotiations with the 
national abortion trade organization fell apart just about the 
time the videos came out last year.
    Now, you do not have to be a lawyer to see what is going on 
here. You put up a Web site that offers the parts imaginable, 
and why on earth would anybody ever need a baby scalp? Then you 
pick the gestation period and you check out. To offer that 
service, you need abortion clinics, a lot of abortion clinics. 
So you grow your number of clinics, and you offer the clinics 
money to sign up. You offer them financial benefit to join.
    You tell the clinic that you will do all of the work, all 
of the items on the chart that show the workflow of the 
procurement technician. This does not sound to me like tissue 
donations for research. This sounds like someone who wants to 
make money, a lot of money, selling the baby body parts.
    So I thank our witnesses for their generous time today. I 
welcome them.
    [The prepared statement of Mrs. Blackburn follows:]

              Prepared statement of Hon. Marsha Blackburn

    Welcome to all the witnesses who are here today. I will be 
introducing each of you in a moment and I look forward to 
hearing your testimony on The Pricing of Fetal Tissue. As part 
of my opening statement, I will present a narrative about the 
exhibits that today's hearing will discuss. I have said many 
times, my hope is that both parties can work together on some 
things and today's subject matter should be a perfect 
opportunity to do so for two reasons:
    First, at our initial hearing on Bioethics and Fetal 
Tissue, all witnesses from both sides agreed that no one should 
profit from the sale of baby body parts. No one.
    Second, the Democrats overwhelmingly supported a 
prohibition on profiting from fetal tissue sales during the 
1993 passage of the National Institutes of Health 
Revitalization Act.
    Former Congressman Dingell passed out of the Energy and 
Commerce Committee and former Congressman Henry Waxman amended 
the NIH bill on the floor to make clear that profiting from the 
sale of baby body parts was a crime. Folks those two Democrat 
leaders took the offense so seriously that they made profiting 
from the sale of fetal tissue a ten year felony. They 
understood that unborn children do have constitutional rights.
    Now there has been a lot of heated debate about the 
horrible videos that came out last year, but today's hearing 
will present business documents, invoices, marketing brochures, 
and management documents that reveal that one for profit 
Procurement Business and several abortion clinics may have 
violated the intent of the statute and the Waxman prohibition 
passed overwhelmingly by a Democrat controlled House. We have 
invited former U.S. Attorneys and others to help us understand 
this conduct in light of the existing statute. We look forward 
to working through this material in a thoughtful way and I ask 
my colleagues on the other side to join in a productive 
discussion about the statute your side passed.
    Before I turn to introducing the documents, I want to call 
your attention to five posters that will help to visually 
follow the discussion.
    (1) The first chart presents three entities involved in the 
business of selling baby body parts. That chart depicts that 
the middleman Procurement Business pays the Abortion Clinic for 
fetal tissue and is then paid by the Researcher or Customer.
    (2) The next chart is a Web site screen grab from the 
Procurement Business of how to buy baby body parts online. That 
chart shows the drop down box for every part imaginable, heart, 
eyes, scalp, liver, hands--then you click on the next box and 
pick the gestation period of the part, then you click and 
proceed to checkout to select your form of shipping.
    (3) The third chart shows the daily tasks performed by the 
Procurement Business employee inside the Abortion Clinic. Once 
the order is communicated, the Procurement Tech starts her 
work: checking gestation periods, getting consent, procuring 
tissue, and sending it to the Customer.
    (4) The fourth chart summarizes several sample payments 
from the Procurement Business to the Abortion Clinic and from 
the Customer to the Procurement Business. These are just 
samples for our discussion today--they do not present the 
entire financial picture.
    (5) And the fifth chart shows who bears the responsibility 
for the reasonable costs involved in the procurement and sale.
    Next I want to walk the witnesses through the exhibits. I 
know that all the lawyers in the room like to focus on every 
detail and that is why you are here, but it is also important 
to understand the big picture of what the Procurement Business 
was trying to do--especially in light of the Waxman 
prohibitions against profiting from the sale of baby parts in 
the 1993 NIH revitalization Act.
    Please turn to the B Exhibits beginning with B2.
    This is the procurement company Brochure that it handed out 
at national conferences where Abortion Clinic managers were in 
attendance. Notice it says ``financially profitable ... 
fiscally rewards ... financial benefit to your clinic.''
    Look at Exhibit B3, which is a WEb site screen grab of the 
Procurement Business. Once again ``Financially Profitable ... 
while also providing a financial benefit to your own clinic.''
    Evidently the Procurement Business is not familiar with the 
Waxman prohibition.
    Now turn the page and look at Exhibits B4 and B5.
    The Procurement Business started in 2010 with 3 clinics. In 
2 years it was up to 30 and in two more years it had nearly 
100. Further, they were negotiating a contract to have over 250 
clinics by this year, but the co-marketing negotiations with a 
national abortion trade organization fell apart about the time 
the videos came out last year.
    Now you do not have to be a lawyer to see what's going on 
here. You put up a Web site that offers any baby body part 
imaginable--and why on earth do they need a baby scalp? Then 
you pick the gestation period and then check out.
    To offer that service you need abortion clinics--a lot of 
abortion clinics--so you grow your number of clinics and you 
offer the clinics money to sign up--you offer them ``financial 
benefit'' to join in. You tell the clinic that you will do all 
the work--all the items on the chart that show the work flow of 
the procurement technician.
    This does not sound to me like tissue donation for 
research--this sounds like someone who wants to make money, a 
lot of money, selling baby body parts.
    Welcome to our witnesses. I look forward to hearing from 
each of you.

    Mrs. Blackburn. And at this time, I yield 10 minutes to Ms. 


    Ms. Schakowsky. From the outset, this investigation has not 
been an objective or fact-based search for the truth, but a 
political weapon to attack women's health care and lifesaving 
research and harass and intimidate those who provide these 
services. This was clear during our first hearing, where one of 
the witnesses invited by the Republicans drew a comparison 
between researchers who use fetal tissue and Nazi war criminal 
Dr. Josef Mengele, a comparison echoed by Chair Blackburn in 
her opening statement.
    Another Republican witness testified that women who have 
abortions are ``morally disqualified'' from choosing to donate 
tissue for research purposes. For today's hearing, Republicans 
have again invited witnesses who believe that abortion should 
be illegal, that women should not be permitted or trusted to 
decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term. Some continue to 
declare that Planned Parenthood is selling fetal tissue, as you 
just heard, for profit, despite the fact that three House 
committees, 12 States, and a Texas grand jury have already 
cleared the organization of wrongdoing.
    These witnesses, like our Republican colleagues, endorse 
and rely upon the video allegations of anti-abortion extremist 
David Daleiden and his associates to support their inflammatory 
claims. Anyone who has been following the facts knows the 
truth. Mr. Daleiden's videos are not accurate or reliable, and 
they do not show the unlawful sale of fetal tissue, and we will 
argue today that the so-called exhibits do not make that case 
    A grand jury in Texas already put Mr. Daleiden to the test 
under oath, and he failed. That grand jury, instructed by the 
Republican Lieutenant Governor to investigate Planned 
Parenthood, instead indicted Daleiden for breaking the law 
through his efforts to entrap Planned Parenthood.
    The district attorney handling the case refused to re-
present it to another grand jury, explaining that ``we must go 
where the evidence leads us.'' And then she explained, and I 
quote, ``Anyone who pays attention knows that I'm pro-life. I 
believe abortion is wrong. But my personal belief does not 
relieve me of my obligation to follow the law.'' That standard 
should apply with equal force here.
    There is no reason to believe that Daleiden--a proven liar 
when it comes to Planned Parenthood--would be any more truthful 
about anyone else involved in reproductive health care or fetal 
tissue research, yet instead of correcting the record on the 
Daleiden videos, the Chair continues to invoke them.
    Today my Republican colleagues likely will claim that it is 
not just the videos--actually, the Chair has already claimed 
that. They may assert that documents that this Panel has 
received or that Republican staff have created show the need 
for further investigation, and this is also false.
    Sixteen years ago, the Subcommittee on Health and 
Environment of the House Commerce Committee considered similar 
materials--16 years ago. That hearing titled ``Fetal Tissue: Is 
it Being Sold in Violation of Federal Law?'' featured a ``fee 
for service schedule'' showing amounts charged for types of 
tissue, ``transaction logs'' with charges for tissue on 
particular dates, and agreements between providers and 
procurement organizations.
    And that hearing also featured an employee, Dean Alberty, 
who had worked at two tissue procurement organizations. The 
anti-abortion group ``Life Dynamics'' had filmed and released a 
video interview where--is it Alberty?--Alberty claimed to have 
witnessed fetuses ``born alive,'' doctors changing procedures 
for donation purposes, and unlawful payment for fetal tissue, 
exactly the types of claims made in the Daleiden video.
    In statements under oath, however, Alberty contradicted his 
inflammatory claims and admitted during the 2000 hearing that 
his sworn statements, not the remarks on the heavily edited 
video made by anti-abortion extremists, were the truth. The 
Department of Justice also investigated the allegations of 
unlawful profiteering that was at the heart of that hearing and 
concluded that no laws had been broken.
    No one believes that companies should be allowed to profit 
by selling fetal tissue, and we firmly support the prohibition. 
However, just as it does for adult organ donation, the law 
expressly allows reimbursement for cost. In fact, 42 U.S.C. 
289g, the provision that we are focusing on today, is modeled 
on the National Organ Transplant Act, which similarly prohibits 
``valuable consideration'' but allows reimbursement for costs 
associated with organ donation, which can be considerable.
    Allegations regarding possible unlawful profit from adult 
organ transplantation would not result in a call to ban all 
organ donations, yet Republican lawmakers in the House want to 
ban fetal tissue donation and research altogether, something 
that some States have already done. Florida, for example, 
recently enacted a sweeping bill attacking women's health care 
and banning the donation of fetal tissue.
    This is tragic for women and families on the Gulf Coast as 
summer approaches and researchers race to understand and solve 
the Zika virus. Despite Chair Blackburn's claim that Democrats 
are ``exaggerating,'' she says, its importance, key studies 
have relied heavily on fetal tissue to increase our 
understanding of the Zika virus.
    These bans have been proposed despite the fact that there 
still is no evidence of wrongdoing related to fetal tissue 
donation. Instead, the documents received by this Panel 
actually show that healthcare providers are losing money 
through programs that allow women to donate fetal tissue for 
research purposes.
    This was not what Congress intended when it voted on a 
bipartisan basis to allow reimbursement of costs. It is absurd 
that even when they are losing money, providers are still 
attacked by those who appear to be motivated by their 
opposition to abortion, not the actual facts regarding fetal 
tissue donation. This Panel is a perfect example.
    Over the course of the investigation, the Chair has 
targeted one clinic, one university, and one tissue procurement 
organization, all of whom were cooperating voluntarily before 
the Chair served them with unilateral subpoenas. The Panel has 
known since January that Southwestern Women's Options does not 
take any money for ensuring that women who want to donate 
tissue to the university can do so. And let me underscore that 
fact: No money is exchanged in connection with a woman's choice 
to donate fetal tissue to researchers at the University of New 
    Already knowing this, the Chair served subpoenas and issued 
press releases tying them to what she repeatedly described as 
an investigation into the unlawful sale of ``baby body parts,'' 
words we heard today.
    As a result, the university and clinic have been subject to 
unwarranted accusations from State and Federal officials and 
additional targeted harassment from anti-abortion extremists. 
Is it any wonder that universities, clinics, and others are 
reluctant to hand over the names of their researchers, 
students, clinic personnel, and doctors, so that the Chair can 
amass a dangerous database of their names?
    For its part, the tissue procurement company, StemExpress, 
already offered to have its procurement director explain its 
cost structure. The Chair ignored that offer and instead called 
this public hearing and invited witnesses who have no firsthand 
knowledge of the facts to opine about potential criminal 
    On its own initiative, StemExpress has now submitted a 
letter to ensure that the Panel has the information needed to 
bring this investigation to an end. This investigation has 
never been--and has no promise of becoming--fair or fact-based. 
Our Republicans colleagues' disdain for the facts--and for 
women and their doctors--is putting researchers, doctors, and 
women at risk. It is time for Republican leadership to bring 
this investigation to an end.
    I ask unanimous consent to have the April 18 letter from 
StemExpress included as part of the record for this hearing and 
yield back the balance of my time.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back. On her UC 
request, we had already agreed to put that into the record.
    At this time, I want to welcome our first panel. Senator 
Jeanne Shaheen is a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire. She is the 
only woman in U.S. history to be elected both a Governor and a 
U.S. Senator. Senator----
    Ms. Schakowsky. Excuse me. Can I just say the letter I 
wanted inserted into the record is a different letter that we 
received from her yesterday, so if you could----
    Mrs. Blackburn. So moved.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    Ms. Schakowsky. OK.
    Mrs. Blackburn. So moved.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Sorry.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Senator Shaheen has served in the U.S. 
Senate since '09 and is a member of the Senate Committees on 
Armed Services, Foreign Relations, Appropriations, and is 
ranking member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship 
    Senator Shaheen is a former small business owner and 
formerly served as the Director of Harvard University's 
Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. 
    Senator Ben Sasse is a U.S. Senator from Nebraska. Senator 
Sasse comes to the Senate having spent the last 5 years as a 
college president, one of the youngest in the Nation. During 
the first and second terms of President George W. Bush, he 
worked in the Department of Justice and the Department of 
Homeland Security before becoming Assistant Secretary for 
Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and 
Human Services. Welcome to you, Senator Sasse.
    At this time, we will begin with Senator Shaheen for your 
5-minute remarks, and we welcome you.

                   THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

    Mrs. Shaheen. Thank you very much, Chairwoman Blackburn and 
Ranking Member Schakowsky, members of the committee. I very 
much appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this 
morning, but I do so with great concern. I know you will hear 
from my colleague, Senator Sasse from Nebraska, and I respect 
his deeply held personal beliefs.
    But if we want to have a civil discussion on this issue, we 
should begin with the facts. Already news articles today have 
called into question the validity of the exhibits that will be 
presented to the Panel. This committee's very existence was 
founded on the basis of highly deceptive edited videos. These 
videos have since been proven to be misleading and false by 
multiple independent investigations across the country.
    In January, after thorough investigations into the videos, 
a Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing 
and indicted the individuals responsible for their creation. In 
fact, 12 other States have also cleared Planned Parenthood of 
any wrongdoing, and 8 additional States have declined to 
investigate, citing a lack of evidence.
    I believe it is now time for the special investigations to 
end. And I would also like to point out that fetal tissue 
research has long had bipartisan support. In 1993, Congress 
passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, 
which permits fetal tissue research. That bill passed with 
overwhelming support, 94 to 4 in the Senate and 290 to 130 in 
the House.
    And I think it is important to note that that bill was 
passed on recommendations of a blue ribbon panel convened under 
President Reagan, which was tasked with studying the ethics of 
fetal tissue research. Millions of people have benefitted from 
fetal tissue research. Vaccines for polio and rubella were 
developed as a result of research done on fetal tissue, and 
research on health issues that touch so many of us--Parkinson's 
disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, eye disorders and spinal cord 
injuries--have also benefitted from the 1993 law.
    If it is the Panel's desire to change the law, obviously 
you, as legislators, are able to do that. But I believe it 
would be a grave error. Sadly, it is my belief that this Panel 
was formed with political motivations. There is very little 
real interest in an unbiased investigation to uncover facts 
related to women's health or research. Instead, I believe that 
this Panel serves as an opportunity for some to once again 
attack the healthcare providers who millions of women and 
families depend on.
    In February, I joined with colleagues in both chambers to 
ask House and Senate leadership to disband this Panel and all 
other Congressional investigations that would undermine women's 
access to health care. Not only do I believe that this Panel is 
an inappropriate and wasteful misuse of Federal resources, but 
I am gravely concerned that it also puts researchers, 
providers, and patients across the country at risk.
    Unfortunately, as a result of the political rhetoric 
surrounding this issue, we have seen violent acts and threats 
against women health providers and researchers across the 
country. And I am very sad to report that this fall, the same 
month that this panel was formed, a women's health clinic in 
Claremont, New Hampshire, was vandalized not once, but twice. 
The second attack caused so much damage that the clinic was 
forced to close for nearly six weeks, and this was a real 
disservice to the women, men, and families who rely on the full 
range of services that the clinic provides.
    And, unfortunately, New Hampshire is not alone. After the 
release of the deceptive, highly edited videos, incidents of 
harassment against some health centers increased ninefold in 
just one month. I don't believe that today's hearing is a fact-
based, objective investigation, but, rather, it is a taxpayer-
funded political attack based on discredited evidence. I hope 
it will finally be time to move on.
    And, Madam Chair, if I could apologize for the need to 
leave early and go back to a hearing. I appreciate, again, the 
opportunity to be here.
    Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mrs. Shaheen follows:]

    Mrs. Blackburn. We thank you so much, and we know that you 
do have to leave and get back, that you all are having votes 
this morning, but thank you for the courtesy of your time and 
for waiting for us.
    Senator Sasse, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Let me just thank Senator Shaheen as well. 
I appreciate your being here.

                       STATE OF NEBRASKA

    Mr. Sasse. Thank you, Madam Chairman. Good morning, Ranking 
Member. Thank you for including me. Many of us in the Senate, 
like many of you in the House, and, more importantly, like 
millions of Americans, watched with grief the video footage of 
abortion doctors and others discussing the sale of baby body 
parts for profit.
    As a legislator, but more importantly as a father--I have 
three little kids, three precious ones, one of my little girls 
traveled with me from Nebraska to DC this week, and she is here 
with us today--more importantly, as a father, I support your 
investigation and your commitment to get to the bottom of what 
is going on here.
    Let's begin by stating clearly that we should not have to 
be here today. The 1993 NIH Revitalization Act includes 
testimony where California Democrat Henry Waxman said, and I 
quote, ``This amendment that I am offering would enact the most 
important safeguards to prevent any sale of fetal tissue for 
any purpose, not just for the purpose of research, any sale for 
any purpose. It would be abhorrent,'' Waxman continued, ``to 
allow for the sale of fetal tissue and a market to be created 
for that sale.''
    Words are important. The report language and the floor 
debate created a very clear legislative intent that no one 
should profit--no one--from the sale of fetal tissue, yet here 
in today's documents and exhibits we see a business brochure 
and a Web site urging ``Partner with us and improve the 
profitability of your clinic. Improve your bottom line. Be 
financially profitable.'' These are quotes.
    That procurement business offers a payment per tissue to 
abortion clinics, and it offers to do all the work. That would 
appear to mean that the abortion clinic has no costs and it 
would, thus, appear to be precisely about profit as their 
marketing literature says.
    Questions of profit and legality matter because we are 
talking about people. It matters whether or not procurement 
businesses broke the law. It matters whether or not abortion 
clinics are lining their pockets through the dismemberment and 
distribution of children, all while receiving tax dollars. It 
matters because we are talking about the tiny limbs of little 
babies that have dignity. They are broken, yet still precious, 
children of actual mothers and fathers.
    As the committee's exhibits indicate, web pages exist where 
a customer can click on a dropdown box that lists every organ 
of a baby for sale. You can click on a brain, a heart, eyes, or 
a scalp. Then you select your gestation period, then you 
proceed to checkout and you decide the method of shipment.
    We should pause to linger here. Our humanity should be 
repulsed. We should all be sad by this. In this committee room 
and across the country, we will obviously have passionate 
disagreements and discussions about the legality, the justice, 
and the social implications of abortion policy. Like many in 
this room, like a majority of Nebraskans, and like a majority 
of Americans, I believe that every baby is precious and worthy 
of legal protection, even at earliest phases of development.
    I am unashamedly pro-life, but I also understand that many 
others disagree on abortion policy. Our disagreements on 
abortion will sometimes be heated, but wherever possible we 
should be looking for consensus, and here, on this basic 
reality, we can and should agree babies are not the sum of 
their body parts. Babies are not meant to be bought, and babies 
are not meant to be sold. Babies are just that; they are 
babies. They are meant to be welcomed and rejoiced over, held 
and nurtured.
    Outside of our Congressional responsibilities here, many of 
us do in fact welcome, hold, and nurture little children. We 
adopt and we foster and we mentor them. We offer hope, support, 
and encouragement to their parents. Madam Chairman, your work 
can and does transcend politics.
    I appreciate also your concern with children born alive 
inside abortion clinics and with the treatment that they 
receive. When I think of all the survivors of abortion and I 
think about your investigation into the sale of baby body parts 
for profit, it makes born-alive legislation all the more 
important. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act has 
already passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 248 to 177, 
and I have had the privilege of introducing the companion 
legislation in the Senate, and I invite my Senate colleagues on 
both sides of the aisle to be working together to pass this 
bill in our chamber.
    This law would simply ensure that babies who survive 
abortions get a fighting chance by requiring medical attention 
that is equivalent to what would be offered to any other 
premature baby born at the same stage. No life is disposable. 
No child deserves to have her life ended cold and alone, 
struggling for breath outside the womb in an abortion clinic.
    We Americans frequently cheer for the vulnerable, we fight 
for the minority, we protect the powerless against the 
powerful, and baby girls and boys are fighting for their lives. 
I encourage my colleagues to fight for them and to support 
Senate 2066, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.
    Madam Chairman, we look forward to monitoring the progress 
of your investigation, and thank you for including me in this 
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Sasse follows:]


    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you, Senator Sasse. We appreciate 
your time. We are sorry for our delay. And we know that you 
have to scoot back across to the Senate for votes, but thank 
you for your time.
    At this time, I would like to call forward our second 
panel. And as they move forward to be seated on the panel, I 
will move forward with introducing this panel to our audience, 
so that we can move forward expeditiously.
    Fay Clayton is an attorney with Robinson Curley & Clayton. 
Ms. Clayton practices civil litigation for a wide range of 
clients from major corporations to individuals in cases 
involving fraud, RICO securities, general commercial matters, 
contract disputes, officer and director liability, and 
shareholder and partnership concerns.
    Mr. Robert Raben served as Assistant Attorney General for 
Legislative Affairs with the U.S. Department of Justice, where 
he drove Attorney General Janet Reno's legislative initiatives 
and handled the political challenges of Congressional oversight 
of the department. He founded The Raben Group, a public policy 
consulting organization, in 2002 and continues to serve as 
president. He is a graduate of the Wharton School and the New 
York University Law School.
    Mr. Brian Lennon served as a Federal prosecutor in Michigan 
and Virginia for 15 years and a trial attorney for the U.S. 
Department of Justice's Civil Division. As the Deputy Chief of 
the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the 
Western District of Michigan, Brian supervised the healthcare 
fraud and computer-related crimes units, among others.
    He also spent 4 1A\1/2\ years as a judge advocate for the 
U.S. Marine Corps, handling both civil and criminal matters. 
Now in private practice with Warner Norcross and Judd, he 
specializes in criminal defense, particularly healthcare fraud 
and other white-collar and drug offenses, corporate internal 
investigations, and compliance matters.
    Mr. Michael Norton served as U.S. Attorney for Colorado 
from 1988 to '93. He was appointed by President Reagan and 
reappointed by President George H.W. Bush. Mr. Norton has been 
practicing law since 1976 and is admitted to the bars in the 
States of Colorado and Virginia as well as Washington, DC.
    Catherine Glenn Foster is an associate scholar with the 
Charlotte Lozier Institute, where she authors research papers 
on science, medicine, and research in the service of human 
life. She was formerly an attorney with Alliance Defending 
Freedom and is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.
    Kenneth Sukhia was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern 
District of Florida by President George H.W. Bush and has 
served as litigation counsel to numerous corporations and 
officials. Mr. Sukhia has also served as law clerk at the 
Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals and as a 
senior partner in one of Florida's oldest and largest statewide 
firms. He began his own firm, the Sukhia Law Group, in the 
Florida State capital in 2008.
    You are aware that the Select Investigative Panel is 
holding an investigative hearing and that we will take your 
testimony under oath. Do you have any objection to testifying 
under oath?
    OK. The Chair then advises you that, under the rules of the 
House Committee on Energy and Commerce, you are entitled to be 
advised by counsel. Do you desire to be advised by counsel for 
today's hearing?
    OK. In that case, will you please rise and raise your hand, 
and I will swear you in.
    [Witnesses sworn.]
    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you. You are now under oath and 
subject to the penalties set forth in Title 18, Section 1001 of 
the U.S. Code.
    You will each give a 5-minute summary of your written 
statement. Ms. Clayton, we will begin the testimony with you, 
and you are recognized for 5 minutes.


                    STATEMENT OF FAY CLAYTON

    Ms. Clayton. Thank you, Madam Chair. I have been a 
corporate litigator since 1978, and I am here today despite a 
family medical situation for two reasons. One is that women's 
reproductive health and medical research are being threatened 
by these hearings. The second reason is that I have instructive 
experience to share with this Panel on the topic that you are 
considering here.
    Sixteen years ago, a client of mine, Anatomical Gift 
Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that provided donated 
tissue to medical researchers in hopes of curing the diseases, 
including the ones Senator Shaheen mentioned earlier--that 
nonprofit was falsely accused by Life Dynamics, the anti-
abortion group Congresswoman Schakowsky mentioned, accused of 
selling fetal tissue.
    These baseless charges were made in a videotape sent by 
Life Dynamics to Congress, and in that video the person making 
the accusations was anonymous. As it happened, an employee of 
Anatomical Gift Foundation, my client, had gone to work for 
another company in violation of his contract. AGF hired me to 
sue. That man's name was Dean Alberty.
    In Alberty's deposition, which was under oath, like all of 
us today, but unlike what he said in the videotape--the 
videotape that Life Dynamics had sent to Congress--Alberty 
admitted that he was the person in that video, and he admitted 
that what he had said in that video was fictional.
    He testified that he told those lies because Life Dynamics 
had paid him to, and he said, ``I needed the money.'' He had 
repeated those falsehoods on TV's ``20/20,'' but he knew better 
than to lie under oath when I deposed him, where the penalties 
of perjury, as the Chair acknowledged, do arise.
    Those of you who were here in the year 2000 may recall the 
humiliation that certain members of the House Committee 
suffered when their star witness, Dean Alberty, went up in 
flames and admitted that that much-touted video had been 
fabricated. Those House hearings established that my client had 
done nothing wrong, that fetal tissue wasn't for sale at all, 
and that anti-abortion zealots--Life Dynamics--had foisted a 
false witness on Congress. What was for sale wasn't fetal 
tissue; it was a phony witness statement, and it had been 
bought and paid for by anti-abortion extremists.
    I find it curious, given the not-so-distant history of the 
strikingly similar scenario, that this Panel has not demanded 
sworn testimony of the accusers, the latest batch of anti-
abortion accusers, as you have asked of us, Chair Blackburn. 
You haven't asked for that, haven't asked them to go under 
oath, and that seems strange to me, particularly when they come 
up with such a similar tale about the so-called sale of fetal 
tissue, which again is a lie.
    This suggests to me that someone is afraid to put David 
Daleiden and his star witness, Holly O'Donnell, under oath 
because, as we saw with the Dean Alberty fiasco, when penalties 
of perjury attach, sometimes instead of fiction the actual 
truth comes out. We know Daleiden and his crew doctored videos 
to the point that the Federal judge blocked the release of 
further tapes because they were fraudulent.
    Another fact we know about them comes from the Los Angeles 
Times' examination of Daleiden's unedited videos. They show 
Daleiden coaching and manipulating the testimony of Holly 
O'Donnell, whose video interview, by the way, looks more like 
playacting than any genuine emotion. Without cross-examination 
of Daleiden and his crew under oath, we have no way of knowing 
what he offered or said to Ms. O'Donnell when his camera was 
not running.
    And in Texas, when Daleiden went before a grand jury 
convened for the express purpose of prosecuting Planned 
Parenthood, the grand jury did something very different. It 
didn't indict Planned Parenthood, it indicted Daleiden for 
falsehoods. And the Texas grand jury found, of course, that 
Planned Parenthood had done nothing wrong.
    For nearly four decades, I have been representing 
corporations and individuals in business litigation, and I have 
to say there is no bigger tell about the veracity of an 
accusation than when the person who is making the accusation 
will not stand by his or her accusation under oath.
    As Alberty told the House committee in the year 2000, 
``When I was under oath, I told the truth. Anything I said in 
the video, when I was not under oath, that's a different 
story.'' So I have to ask, is this Panel looking for the truth 
or for another story? A real inquiry would start with sworn 
testimony from Daleiden and O'Donnell, and that would be true 
even if the doctored videotapes didn't have so much in common 
with the deceitful tapes that the abortion opponents, including 
Life Dynamics, staged 16 years ago.
    This Panel's failure to allow cross-examination of Daleiden 
and his cohorts sends the message loud and clear that those 
stories would not hold up under penalty of perjury any more 
than the baseless slurs Dean Alberty made back in the year 2000 
when Life Dynamics bought and paid for his testimony.
    And, by the way, you know, Crutcher is one of the trainers 
of Daleiden.
    It just strikes me as inexcusable that the Panel has been 
using its subpoena power to compel testimony from healthcare 
providers and medical researchers who have far better things to 
do with their time--like providing health care, working to cure 
disease--than Daleiden and his crew.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Ms. Clayton?
    Ms. Clayton. I just ask that until and unless this Panel 
puts Daleiden and O'Donnell under oath, and tries to get to the 
bottom of what they did, that these proceedings be terminated 
and our elected officials be allowed to return to doing the 
people's business.
    Thank you.
    [The prepared testimony of Ms. Clayton follows:]

    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you, Ms. Clayton.
    Mr. Raben?

                   STATEMENT OF ROBERT RABEN

    Mr. Raben. Good morning, Chair Blackburn, Ranking Member 
Schakowsky, members of the committee, thank you so much for 
having me this morning. My name is Robert Raben. I am in 
private practice. Over the years, I have served as counsel to 
the House Judiciary Committee and was confirmed as Assistant 
Attorney General for the Office of Legislative Affairs at the 
Department of Justice.
    In 1999, as I was watching you this morning and the decorum 
and kindness with which you obviously run this committee, I was 
reminded that my then-chair--I was Democratic counsel, but the 
chair of our committee--Henry Hyde, walked across the Capitol 
to testify for my nomination, and what a wonderful day that was 
and how much I miss him and appreciated him.
    I have taught law, practiced at a large law firm, and 
clerked after law school. I deeply appreciate the law and this 
committee's attention to it.
    For over 20 years, my work has involved the representation 
of people and organizations before the Congressional and 
executive branch. I give this testimony today as someone who 
has experienced both sides of advocacy and representation 
around investigations of all forms. This committee has asked us 
to opine on the questions of whether the current legislative 
language adequately prevents profiteering in the sale of fetal 
tissue and the parameters around what constitutes a sale of 
profit of fetal tissue.
    In 2000, in my capacity as Assistant Attorney General for 
the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Department of Justice, 
I was called upon to respond to almost identical concerns 
expressed by Members of the Congress regarding the alleged 
transfer of fetal tissue for profit. On March 9, 2000, I 
communicated with Congress by signed letter a willingness to 
investigate and learn further about credible claims and 
    While I don't have specific recollection of further oral 
conversations within the Department subsequent to that written 
communication, I know from the public record that in July of 
2000, Acting Kansas U.S. Attorney Jim Flory decided, after a 
thorough review of the issues involved, that there were no 
violations of Federal statutes, thereby announcing the closure 
of a thorough investigation into related facts. That is a 
matter of public record. I also recalled yesterday a second 
investigation from the Colorado U.S. Attorney and FBI that was 
similarly closed.
    We are today witnessing virtually identical allegations. 
While I am unaware as to whether DOJ or the FBI presently have 
ongoing inquiries into the factual allegations, it is 
significant to note that 12 States have affirmatively looked 
into related matters and declined to pursue any charge. An 
additional eight States have affirmatively declined to even 
    Given the importance that some people have about deferring 
to the States, I would like to just read into the record the 12 
States that have affirmatively said they have investigated and 
decided not to pursue charges around related allegations: 
Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, 
Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, and 
    Innumerable reasons exist as to why Federal law enforcement 
has little record of indictment under the existing language, 
which may include the dearth of actual profiteering in fact, 
the deference to State law enforcement authorities which are 
certainly capable of determining the same predicate, past 
failed attempts to establish wrongdoing, or, paramount in this 
area, a lack of credibility of those presenting facts to the 
law enforcement officials.
    Of the ultimate question on which this committee is 
presently engaged, whether or not the existing statute merits 
either change or more rigorous enforcement, I believe that the 
statute is sound and fully addresses its intended aims, as 
important today as it was when it passed with overwhelming 
bipartisan majorities in 1993.
    The statute, a considered bipartisan judgment of Congress, 
was meant to address profiteering from the sale of fetal 
tissue. There is no evidence of an outbreak of such behavior in 
this Nation. Further, I am confident that any acts of 
intentional misbehavior would be investigated and punished by 
law enforcement, both Federal and State.
    Thank you for having me.
    [The prepared testimony of Mr. Raben follows:]

    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you, Mr. Raben.
    Mr. Lennon, you are recognized for 5 minutes.


    Mr. Lennon. Chairman Blackburn, Ranking Member Schakowsky, 
and distinguished members of this Panel, thank you for the 
opportunity to speak to you today about the pricing of fetal 
tissue. I am currently a partner at the law firm of Warner 
Norcross and Judd in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For 13 years 
before entering private practice, I was an Assistant U.S. 
Attorney in the Western District of Michigan.
    I am not a medical ethicist or a theologian. I do not 
represent any advocacy group on either side of the life versus 
reproductive rights debate, and I am not here to advocate for 
any change in Federal legislation.
    But as a former Federal prosecutor, and now criminal 
defense counsel, I hope to provide some value to this Panel 
through objective legal analysis of the exhibits to determine 
whether the abortion clinics and/or the procurement business 
identified in the exhibits violated the statute.
    Based on my review of the exhibits--and I looked at this as 
if an agent had showed up at my office on any work day with 
these exhibits and asked me to examine them--but based on that 
review, I believe a competent and ethical Federal prosecutor 
could establish probable cause that both the abortion clinics 
and the procurement businesses violated the statute, aided and 
abetted one another in violating the statute, and likely 
conspired together to violate the statute.
    In fact, for five of the six elements of the substantive 
offense, in my opinion, there is proof beyond a reasonable 
doubt. The only element where investigation is needed--and that 
would include, I believe, forensic accounting and analysis 
thereof--is whether the payments made by the research 
institutions that ultimately receive the human tissue to the 
procurement businesses were a valuable consideration or, 
alternatively, reasonable payments associated with the specific 
allowable services in the statute.
    With respect to the abortion clinics, in my opinion, the 
proof is more clearly established that the compensation they 
receive from the procurement business, a price per tissue 
payment, is indeed valuable consideration, as none of the 
identified services excluded from the definition were provided 
by the clinics.
    Now, prosecutors and jurors clearly prefer to define and 
establish elements of the offense. Five of the six elements of 
that offense are both clearly defined and established through 
the exhibits. As for the final element, valuable consideration, 
that element and those proofs are admittedly more nuanced.
    The statute itself defines valuable consideration by 
describing what it is not. It does not include reasonable 
payments associated with the transportation, implantation, 
processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human 
fetal tissue. If valuable consideration is payment for 
something other than this exhaustive list of delineated 
services, this element is also established.
    As for the abortion clinics, the marketing materials that I 
have reviewed clearly state that there is a financial profit 
from this partnership. Several of the exhibits indicate the 
procurement business pays per the tissue, not a reasonable 
payment for the listed services. Therefore, the exhibits 
indicate, in my opinion, that these services provided by the 
procurement business through their embedded technicians, and 
not the abortion clinics, therefore, that these payments appear 
to be a valuable consideration. Indeed, they could be profits.
    As for the procurement business, it is my opinion that a 
much deeper analysis of the company's financials is necessary 
in order to establish the valuable consideration element beyond 
a reasonable doubt. Because the businesses do in fact incur 
costs associated with these delineated services, a forensic 
accounting would be essential to breaking down the company's 
financials. Just looking at the growth and looking at their 
revenue doesn't tell you whether they are profiting. And if 
they are profiting, in my opinion, they violated the law.
    I think there are some other theories here, although, that 
I think a prosecutor would pursue that may be more important in 
looking at the potential criminality of the businesses, the 
procurement businesses, and those are aiding and abetting and 
    Based on my limited review of the exhibits reviewed and the 
strength of the substantive case against the abortion clinic, 
pursuing an aiding and abetting or conspiracy count against the 
procurement business, rather than a substantive count, may be a 
stronger theory of culpability.
    As I conclude, I would just say that I believe Federal 
prosecutors take pride in protecting the most vulnerable among 
us. The ones I proudly served with in the Western District of 
Michigan did not shy away from the tough cases, and they put 
their personal politics aside when asked to evaluate cases for 
    Evidence, or the lack thereof, not politics, should 
determine whether a U.S. attorney impanels a grand jury to 
investigate abortion clinics and human fetal businesses in 
their district.
    Again, I thank you, Chairman Blackburn and Ranking Member 
Schakowsky, and the members for allowing me to testify today, 
and I welcome your questions.
    [The prepared testimony of Mr. Lennon follows:]


    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you, Mr. Lennon.
    Mr. Norton, you are recognized for 5 minutes.


    Mr. Norton. Thank you, Madam Chair and Ranking Member 
Schakowsky, and esteemed members of the committee. My name is 
Michael J. Norton. I am an attorney in the private practice of 
law in Denver, Colorado.
    I have had the privilege of serving as United States 
Attorney for the State and district of Colorado. I was first 
appointed by President Ronald Reagan and then reappointed by 
first President Bush.
    Ms. DeGette, nice to see you again.
    I have a written statement, which I respectfully request be 
incorporated into the record. I simply just want to summarize 
my comments and my remarks in the time that is available.
    First of all, I will say to the committee that this is not 
about women's health. It is not about abortion, how one stands 
on the issue of abortion. It is whether or not there is 
probable cause to believe that crimes have been committed and, 
if so, what to do about that. To do nothing about the potential 
of the commission of criminal crimes is indeed flouting the 
criminal justice system of this Nation, and I think preferring 
those who are in well-connected places over those who are not.
    So I suggest to you at the outset, Madam Chair and members 
of this committee, that what this committee is about is highly 
important and very critical to the criminal justice system and 
to the sanctity of that system in the United States of America.
    It is really not about the issue of abortion, because 
potential profiteering and trafficking in aborted fetal tissue 
is of grave concern, not only on a Federal level but also in 
many States, including my own State of Colorado, which has 
adopted a law similar to the Federal law that is being looked 
at by this committee today.
    There are many, many people, therefore, concerned that not 
only this Federal statute, but also the State statutes at 
issue, have been violated and are being flouted by the abortion 
industry. In 2015, it was revealed by one of these undercover 
videos that Denver's Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains 
was indeed making a profit by harvesting and trafficking the 
hearts, the brains, the lungs, the eyes, the livers, and other 
body parts of babies whose lives Planned Parenthood had ended 
by abortion.
    These gruesome revelations came from a series of videos 
released by the Center for Medical Progress that the committee 
has talked about. And it was clear from the videos that Planned 
Parenthood had been actively engaged in harvesting and 
trafficking for profit body parts of babies whose lives Planned 
Parenthood had ended.
    Those videos have not created a general queasiness about 
surgery and blood. No matter how one stands on the issue of 
abortion, no one who has viewed these videos can come away 
thinking that Planned Parenthood's harvesting and selling of 
these baby body parts is consistent with our values or 
consistent with the law.
    If wrongdoing has occurred, and I concur with the 
assessment Mr. Lennon has made of the facts and the 
circumstances as to the commission of crimes in this case, and 
I would add that it appears to me, quite frankly, that criminal 
violations of the Health Insurance Portability Act, HIPAA, have 
also been committed by the embedding of the procurement 
business technician in the abortion facility itself. And the 
review by that technician of privileged medical records of 
patients in order to determine which body parts that technician 
wants to have harvested and sold to him has also been 
    There are some facts that need to be determined, and a 
competent criminal investigation could determine those facts. 
But to do nothing is simply wrong, Madam Chair and members of 
this committee, and I thank the committee for its courage in 
moving into this area, investigating this area. I urge it to 
complete its investigation and to refer this matter to the U.S. 
Department of Justice for appropriate action, which I pray and 
hope is taken.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    [The prepared testimony of Mr. Norton follows:]


    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you, Mr. Norton.
    Ms. Foster, you are recognized for 5 minutes.


    Ms. Foster. Thank you. Ms. Chairman, Ms. Schakowsky, 
distinguished members of this Panel, I am privileged to present 
this testimony concerning the pricing of human fetal tissue. My 
views are consistent with those of the Charlotte Lozier 
Institute, where I am an associate scholar, which is dedicated 
to advancing science, medicine, and research in the service of 
human life and to promoting a culture and polity of life.
    My views are similarly consistent with those of Sound 
Legal, a law firm and legal organization advocating for the 
universal right to life. As an attorney, I have dedicated my 
career to advocating for the right of every innocent human 
being to be protected. And so I am troubled by those in the 
abortion and tissue procurement industry who scheme to trade in 
baby body parts for their own financial enrichment.
    The public learned of these back alley transactions last 
year when undercover videos of the organ business brokers 
surfaced online. Indeed, the trade in fetal body parts is a 
business. As demonstrated by the evidence presented by this 
Panel, clinics and procurement companies have been getting away 
with charging far more than the allowed costs for harvesting, 
transporting, and warehousing body parts as they wait for 
    In doing so, they have violated both the intent and the 
letter of Section 289g-2, which bars, among other things, the 
transfer of human fetal tissue for valuable consideration. The 
statute's definition of ``valuable consideration'' is 
straightforward. If payment is not reasonable or not associated 
with the transplantation, implantation, processing, 
preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal 
tissue, it is not permitted.
    We can all agree on this statute. It passed with bipartisan 
support in a Democratic Congress and was signed into law by 
President Clinton. Representative Waxman at the time called the 
fetal corpse market ``abhorrent,'' and yet the Panel's evidence 
reveals that abortion clinics are being promised a profit, and 
are paid, even when they have no apparent costs to be 
reimbursed, and further multiplying a clinic's windfall via 
savings on disposal services.
    Tissue procurement companies are likewise paid exorbitantly 
by their customers. This market in baby organs and tissues 
demonstrates a flagrant and repeated disregard for the rule of 
law. It was no surprise when America's biggest abortion 
business, facing public and prosecutorial exposure, relented 
and agreed to end its longstanding practice of receiving direct 
payments for baby body parts.
    And yet, in my years of work in this field and in the 23 
years that Section 289g-2 has been law, I am unaware of a 
single instance in which it has been enforced. This Panel is 
right to shine a light on Big Abortion's back alleys.
    For perhaps we forget that this law was meant to protect 
the ethical imperative that recognizes the dignity in every 
human life. In the face of clinical, sanitized language, we may 
become desensitized. In the abortion clinic, a human baby is 
called ``tissue'' or a ``fetus.'' A head is a ``calvarium'' or 
``cal.'' The technician who counts body parts is a products of 
conception, or POC, worker.
    And by converting human lives into a bulk commodity, public 
discussion has been stifled. But we are in fact talking about 
real and unique human beings whose lives were tragically 
snuffed out. We are talking about affording them the minimal 
dignity that comes with not having their remains further picked 
through to be bought and sold like chattel.
    I know that the abortion industry and its allies are waging 
a campaign against any effort at transparency or 
accountability. It is what we can expect from a big business 
with an emphasis on maximizing profits and a lot of money to 
lose. And so Big Abortion is fighting back with all its 
financial and political might, investing its political and 
monetary stockpile to buy public sanction, and weighing its 
thumb down on the scales of justice with high-profile PR firms, 
pocket politicians, and spellbound media.
    With these allies, until now, the abortion industry has 
succeeded in shouting down the voices acknowledging the public 
evidence of guilt and crying out for justice. But no more. We, 
the people, are not afraid of confronting the truth, and we 
encourage this Panel and those in law enforcement to pursue it. 
Common sense and common decency demand enforcement of Section 
    Thank you.
    [The prepared testimony of Ms. Foster follows:]

    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you, Ms. Foster.
    Mr. Sukhia, you are recognized for 5 minutes.


    Mr. Sukhia. Thank you, Madam Chairman, and the members of 
this committee. I was privileged and honored to serve as the 
United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, 
and before that was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for 10 years.
    Much of my expertise that I could lend to the committee 
would be in, of course, the area of determining whether a grand 
jury should be empaneled, whether a case should proceed, 
whether investigation should be pursued. And I have heard it 
said today that this is a committee that has disdain for the 
truth, that this is not a fact-based inquiry, and when I look 
at the exhibits that were submitted, but also, of course, when 
I looked at the videos that were presented, it strikes me as 
odd that there would not be an aggressive and meaningful 
investigation into the allegation that indeed human baby parts 
are being sold for profit.
    Article II, Section 3, of our United States Constitution, 
in fact, requires of the executive branch that it faithfully 
execute the laws of the country. By not faithfully executing 
those laws, you are in fact taking specific affirmative action 
to defy what is required by the Constitution.
    And in this situation, it is beyond my assessment and 
belief that when you have a procurement industry that is 
actually marketing to the abortion clinics that they can 
procure or work to gain more profits by this method and when 
they are seeding their own employees in the clinic to do those 
jobs that would indeed cost and would indeed be the services 
that would compromise the legitimate cost or payment for those 
services, then the question clearly arises: Have these clinics 
profited from this process? It is a very si,mple, basic issue.
    And so we are not saying as a prosecutor when someone comes 
in the door with this evidence, ``Oh, this is absolutely, 
positively a fact.'' We are saying, ``No, this justifies a full 
and complete and a thorough investigation.'' And I think there 
does seem to be a pattern when, ``Oh, this can't possibly have 
any basis because, let's see, 16 years ago someone lied. So we 
can't take this. This is the same sort of thing that has 
happened before.''
    And we should also stop the prosecution of all murders 
because there have been cases where persons have lied and 
people have been wrongly convicted. And the whole argument is 
nonsense and, in fact, this whole notion that, ``Oh, let's fall 
all over ourselves,'' to insist that, ``Oh, we are being--this 
is nothing but an effort to attack the reproductive rights of 
our citizens,'' when it is in fact an effort to enforce the 
law, which is required of our Constitution.
    Thank you.
    [The prepared testimony of Mr. Sukhia follows:]


    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you, Mr. Sukhia.
    At this time, we will begin the----
    Mr. Nadler. Madam Chair?
    Mrs. Blackburn [continuing]. Questioning on our----
    Mr. Nadler. Madam Chair?
    Mrs. Blackburn [continuing]. Side. Yes, the gentleman is 
    Mr. Nadler. Parliamentary inquiry, please.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Parliamentary inquiry. State your inquiry.
    Mr. Nadler. Yes. Madam Chair, the witnesses appear to have 
relied heavily on the premise from your staff that clinics 
incur no costs related to fetal tissue donation. That premise 
is captured in Exhibit G, which you previously had up on the 
screen. Could you put that up on the screen for a moment again, 
please, while I complete the parliamentary inquiry? Exhibit G.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Let's bring up Exhibit G, and please state 
the inquiry.
    Mr. Nadler. Is that Exhibit G? That is not Exhibit G. That 
is it. Thank you.
    Madam Chair, this chart says that the clinic has ``no costs 
so the payments ... are pure profit'' for the clinic.'' This is 
contradicted by Exhibits C6, C9, and C17, which show that some 
clinics obtain consent, draw blood, fill out paperwork, among 
other things, related to fetal tissue donation. These are all 
requests that the Government Accountability Office recognized 
16 years ago as reimbursable ``direct costs.''
    Madam Chair, can you explain how this document, Exhibit G, 
was created and its factual foundation, including the 
discrepancy between what this staff-created chart asserts, 
namely that there are no costs, and information on other 
documents in your packet, Exhibits C6, C9, and C17, which 
detail such costs?
    Mrs. Blackburn. I thank the gentleman for the inquiry. We 
discussed this previously before you arrived at the hearing, 
and all of the documents today come from the investigative work 
that took place by submissions that came to us, whistleblower 
information. The charts for discussion, of which G is one, were 
compiled from that work by our staff, and at this time we begin 
our questioning----
    Mr. Nadler. Madam Chair, further parliamentary----
    Mrs. Blackburn [continuing]. And I turn to Mr. Pitts.
    Mr. Nadler [continuing]. Further parliamentary inquiry, and 
I don't believe----
    Mrs. Blackburn. State the inquiry.
    Mr. Nadler. Thank you. I don't believe this was discussed 
while I was at the Judiciary Committee: How can you explain the 
discrepancy between the information on Exhibit G, namely that 
no costs were incurred, and the information on Exhibits C6, C9, 
and C17, which lists some of those costs? That didn't happen.
    Mrs. Blackburn. There is no discrepancy, and I thank the 
gentleman for the inquiry. At this time, we begin----
    Mr. Nadler. I will show you the discrepancy----
    Mrs. Blackburn [continuing]. We begin our hearing with Mr. 
    Mr. Nadler. Further parliamentary--of course there is a 
    Mrs. Blackburn. Do you have a motion?
    Mr. Nadler. No. I have a parliamentary inquiry, and I 
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK.
    Mr. Nadler [continuing]. Which is being sidestepped and not 
answered. This Exhibit G says, ``Abortion Clinic: Explanation: 
The'' abortion clinic ``has no costs so the payments from the 
PB,'' the procurement business, ``to the AC,'' the abortion 
clinic, ``are pure profit. All costs are borne by the PB or the 
    Exhibit C9 says--it is an exhibit of clinic procedures and 
policies, and it says, ``you must inform'': ``you''--the 
employee--``must inform the Assistant Manager and HSS's when 
you have completed your work. This will insure they do not 
continue to consent and draw unnecessary blood samples.'' The 
interaction of----
    Mrs. Blackburn. If the gentleman will yield, you are citing 
a procurement business procedure. So one is the clinic, one is 
the procurement business. I thank the gentleman for the 
    Mr. Nadler. The procurement business has to tell the clinic 
staff, which has to be satisfied, and that takes time and there 
is a direct cost.
    Mrs. Blackburn. At this----
    Mr. Nadler. So they have to tell the abortion clinic that 
they are done, so that the abortion clinic does not continue to 
take more samples, et cetera, which is a direct cost for the 
clinic, not the procurement business. So that is a direct 
contradiction of----
    Mrs. Blackburn. The documents are separate. It is not a 
direct contradiction, and the documents are separate. One 
relates to abortion clinic, the other to the permit business.
    Mr. Nadler. If this is not a direct contradiction, what is 
the methodology to determine that there are no costs for the 
abortion clinic as asserted in Exhibit G, which apparently has 
no basis?
    Mrs. Blackburn. It is all based on the investigatory work, 
and I thank you for the parliamentary inquiry.
    Mr. Nadler. Well----
    Mrs. Blackburn. At this time, we are going to Mr. Pitts.
    Mr. Nadler [continuing]. Investigatory--and further 
    Mrs. Blackburn. We have----
    Mr. Nadler [continuing]. Further and final, I hope, 
parliamentary inquiry: Can you explain how using a chart that 
draws conclusions that have no objective basis in fact, other 
than your statement that somebody investigated, does not 
violate House rules prohibiting conduct that does not reflect 
creditably, or may discredit or dishonor the House and this 
Panel, Rule 11, Clause 4, and Rule 23, Clause 1? Because what I 
am hearing is that staff people somehow derived this 
information. We are not told how, what----
    Mrs. Blackburn. Mr. Nadler, you know, this is not a 
parliamentary inquiry.
    Mr. Nadler. Oh, yes, it is.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Basically, you are trying to debate the 
documents, and we need to move on with our questions.
    Mr. Nadler. How is this not----
    Mrs. Blackburn. And I am turning to Mr. Pitts. Mr. Pitts, 
you are recognized for 5 minutes for questions.
    Mr. Pitts. Thank you, Madam Chair, for calling this 
important hearing on the pricing of fetal tissue. This issue 
has caused me considerable concern because one of the 
underpinnings and safeguards of the statute that allowed for 
the donation of fetal tissue for transplantation and research 
was that this tissue would not be sold.
    The author of the statute, Representative Waxman, stated 
during the floor debate in 1993, and I quote, ``It would be 
abhorrent to allow for the sale of fetal tissue and a market to 
be created for that sale.'' And yet this is what is happening, 
as one of the witnesses said, in the back alleys today.
    As seen on Exhibit B2 and B3, the procurement business 
markets itself on its brochure as a way for clinics to make 
additional income by allowing the procurement business, 
procurement technicians, to take fetal tissues and organs from 
aborted babies immediately after the abortion was completed 
using the words ``financially profitable,'' ``fiscally 
rewards,'' ``financial benefit'' on its brochure.
    The Select Panel investigation reveals that every 
conceivable harvesting task is performed by the technician 
employed by the procurement business. And so procurement 
businesses, essentially the middleman, are paying fees to 
abortion clinics, but the abortion clinics are incurring no 
costs. Exhibit D shows payments from the procurement business 
to abortion clinics for aborted babies and baby blood.
    Exhibit D1. The abortion clinic charged the middleman with 
a bill for $11,365 in August of 2010 for baby parts and blood 
that the middleman's technicians harvested. Another invoice in 
January/February of 2011 charged $9,060 for harvested baby 
parts and blood. The middleman even makes it easy for the 
researcher to purchase baby body parts. Exhibit C3, the 
procurement business order form, or the dropdown menu for baby 
organs, shows just how easy this is.
    First, it asks on the left side, ``What type of tissue 
would you like to order?'' And I suppose you could respond, 
anyone could respond to this, ``I would like to order brains.'' 
And then it says, ``Number of Specimens.'' Well, six, let's 
say, baby brains. ``Gestational Range Start`` and ``End.'' 
Well, that would be 16 to 18 weeks.
    And then here is another question: ``Add another tissue 
type?'' You could say ``yes.'' Another tissue type listed, 
"Female Reproductive System and Ovaries.'' You could say, ``I 
take five of those at 15 weeks.'' You could add, you know, five 
baby tongues.
    ``Shipping Options.'' You could respond, ``Yes, I want it 
rush ordered.'' So, for crying out loud, this is the Amazon.com 
of baby body parts. There is a market for baby body parts, and 
you get what you pay for. This is absolutely repulsive. And we 
must not forget, as was testified here, each one of these, you 
know, little baby brains or tongues represent a baby. How can 
anyone defend this practice?
    All this shows, that in both intent and in practice, these 
organizations were making money well above the actual cost. So 
going back to Exhibit B2 and B3, the company brochure, the Web 
site, show intent, their publicity, marketing materials.
    My question for the former prosecutors for DOJ--we will 
start with Mr. Sukhia, Mr. Norton--what communications or 
information would you seek to learn whether the intent of the 
procurement business and the abortion clinic was to profit from 
selling baby body parts? Mr. Sukhia, let's start with you.
    Mr. Sukhia. Yes, Congressman Pitts.
    Mr. Pitts. Put on your mike.
    Mr. Sukhia. Yes, sir. I had pressed the button, and then it 
went off. Well, some of that evidence is already in this 
record. I have heard, again, everyone quickly rushing to insist 
that these videotapes are just deceptively prepared. In other 
words, do what we are extremely deft at doing, this industry, 
which is deflecting, and everyone else is at fault.
    ``Let's shift the focus so everyone is focused on, hey, 
what this--these videos did and what this person said in the--
how he prepared the videos.'' But those videos were posted; all 
of those videos were posted. And there are some things that, 
when people say them on tape, it doesn't matter what they 
didn't say or did say elsewhere.
    If someone is saying, ``That would be good,'' and we are 
talking about profiting from this, and they are talking about 
that, that is corroborative evidence. It corroborates the 
evidence that you were identifying, Mr. Congressman, which is 
very strong evidence when someone is actually marketing for it. 
So I would----
    Mrs. Blackburn. Let's answer quickly. Time has expired.
    Mr. Sukhia. I would also want to know what communications 
occurred between--other communications, email and so forth--
back and forth between those people. We would seek those items 
as well, and of course the accounting records.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Pitts. I yield back. Thank you.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman yields back.
    Ms. Schakowsky is recognized for 5 minutes.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Unfortunately, the majority has refused to 
even bring in the one party that actually could answer these 
questions, and that is StemExpress.
    And I want to say, Mr. Sukhia and Mr. Norton, as lawyers, 
the fact that you keep referring back to these completely 
discredited videos by 3 Congressional panels, by the 12 States 
that looked into this, by a grand jury that ended up--you talk 
about the Center for Medical Progress, Mr. Sukhia, Sukhea, 
which is it? Sukhia?
    Mr. Sukhia. Sukhia. Thank you.
    Ms. Schakowsky. Oh, sorry. And yet Mr. Daleiden and his 
partner were actually indicted as a consequence. So, you know, 
that is a comment. It is not a question. It is a fact that that 
has been looked into.
    The other thing is, I want to ask Ms. Clayton a question, 
but I also want to go back to a letter and numbers of documents 
presented by StemExpress that would completely discredit the 
exhibits that have been mentioned. And I want to just--as far 
as B2, the majority's use of this brochure is misleading at 
best. It was used by StemExpress with hospitals and clinics 
involved in a broad spectrum of work that the company supports 
related to adult blood, adult tissue, biopsies, et cetera, not 
fetal tissue donation.
    Exhibit B3, the StemExpress Web site screenshot, makes 
absolutely no reference to fetal tissue. In fact, it pertains 
to the overwhelming majority of StemExpress' work with adult 
blood and tissue that has nothing to do with fetal tissue, 
which accounted for less than 1 percent of the company's 
revenue in 2014 before losses.
    They have repeatedly offered to come in and provide exactly 
the specific information that is raised in these exhibits, and 
that has been turned down. I think it is shameful for an 
investigation that seeks to get supposedly to the truth.
    Now, I want to ask Ms. Clayton a question, and I think that 
this parallel is worth examining because the facts are the 
same: discredited video, which led to an investigation that 
found no guilt.
    So I want to skip part of this but ask, there were 
accusations made against your client that impacted him, the 
client that was found to have done nothing wrong. And I wonder 
how it affected his business reputation, his own safety, and 
that of his family.
    Ms. Clayton. Yes, Congresswoman Schakowsky. It was a 
company, Anatomical Gift Foundation, and it was threatened by 
terrorists on the anti-choice side, including the Army of God. 
That is the group that shot Dr. Tiller, not the time he was 
murdered but the time he was shot before his murder. Army of 
God is one of the most violent, outrageous, anti-choice groups 
around, and AGF, my client, received threats of that as soon as 
these outrageously fallacious videotapes were sent to Congress 
and got circulated, when they were on ``20/20,'' and everybody 
believed they were true. ``Oh, it must be true. We saw it on a 
videotape,'' not under oath.
    I would just comment that anyone who wants to look at a 
defense of any of this, first thing you do, get Mr. Daleiden 
under oath, see what he says when the penalty of perjury would 
attach, because when Mr. Alberty was under oath in the 
deposition that I took, he suddenly started telling the truth, 
and what he told was that everything else was a lie.
    Meanwhile, these threats endanger the life and safety of 
people at clinics all over the country, as in Colorado. A crazy 
Mr. Dear murdered three people because he thought it was true 
about these tapes, the sale of baby body parts, even though 12 
States, the Texas grand jury have found that is completely 
    Ms. Schakowsky. I just want to say, your client provided a 
letter sent by this anti-abortion group to your client's wife. 
In that letter, the group referenced ``baby parts''--that is a 
quote--and warned her that it was ``watching you and your 
husband'' and that ``this is only the beginning.'' And I seek 
unanimous consent to enter this March 9, 2000, letter.
    Mrs. Blackburn. So ordered.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    Ms. Schakowsky. And I believe that there is a connection 
between the murders at the clinic in Colorado Springs following 
these deceptive videos where the murderer said, ``No more baby 
body parts,'' and the repeat of that language and the repeat of 
the false accusations, and the collection of names--a database 
of names of people involved in research and in clinics--is 
dangerous. It is dangerous. We should not be doing that in the 
United States of America, and I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady's time has expired.
    I yield to Ms. Black for 5 minutes.
    Ms. Black. Thank you, Madam Chair, and I thank the panel 
for being here today. I do want to focus on Exhibit G, on who 
bears the responsibility for the tissue procurement chart. As a 
nurse, I am well aware of how important it is to follow 
procedures, especially in performing your duties when you are 
caring for a patient that has trusted you as a care provider 
for their medical treatment.
    So let's walk through a day in the life of a procurement 
tech. And if you will please turn to Exhibit C for this 
question. In Exhibit C4, you will see that the tech gets an 
email like the one that is on C4, and she reads the order for 
certain baby body parts, including the gestation period, and 
knows what she needs to harvest for that day. And I want to 
reference the second from the bottom line, it says that she 
will need a brain, 16 to 18 weeks, and ``Complete but can be in 
pieces.'' So she has a very specific tissue that she is looking 
    Now, if we can turn to C9, Exhibit C9, and then she informs 
the abortion clinic staff of what she will be procuring on that 
day. And we actually see there on the first line where she 
communicates with the assistant manager, says, ``Upon arrival, 
inform the staff clearly of what you are procuring for the 
    So let's follow on, then, with Exhibit C5. The procurement 
tech then reviews the medical files--which is another subject, 
of whether this is a HIPAA violation, whether she has the right 
to be looking at those files of the patients to learn their 
names and the gestation time of their baby--and she records 
this in a gestation tracking log, essentially matching the 
patient with her needs, not the patient's needs but with her 
needs of what she has been given as her job for the day.
    Let's next turn to Exhibit Number 8. Next, the procurement 
tech approaches the patient waiting for this abortion--and many 
times this is a young woman who is afraid, not always certain 
about what she is doing, and needs advice and counseling, but 
that is not what we see her getting here. This tech doesn't 
have much time, and she must match her orders with the patients 
who are at the right gestation time.
    So she asks for the patient by name, and then she consents 
with them to donate by saying that her baby tissue is about 
curing for potential diseases, such as diabetes, Parkinson's, 
and heart disease.
    And I want to also reference the second paragraph here 
where she actually says that ``The law in the State of 
California,'' which is where this is being done, ``requires 
that the tissue from your procedure be incinerated.'' If you go 
and look at the law there, she is leaving one thing out. She 
could offer to this mother to actually bury this baby, but that 
is left out.
    She is given, I think, decisions that are very difficult: 
either you are going to incinerate this baby, or you are going 
to give this baby up for research. I think that you certainly 
should be counseling and giving all options to this young 
woman, who is in a very difficult situation in making that 
    Now let's turn to Exhibit C12 and then after that C13, 
because, after the abortion the procurement tech collects the 
tissues and procures the baby body parts needed. She carries 
all of her supplies with her, and you will see here in this 
particular exhibit that she has very detailed instructions 
about what she is putting these body parts into. So this is not 
coming from the abortion clinic. This is actually coming from 
the procurement agency that she is working for.
    And then the tissue tech then arranges for the delivery. We 
can see that that is by FedEx. It is clear on the first exhibit 
and also on this one about who is paying for the delivery of 
this, not only the test tubes, and so on, that she will be 
using to put the specimen in.
    So let's go back again to Exhibit G, where we see here in 
Exhibit G a blank on where the expenses are for the abortion 
clinic because, as I walked you through her day, there is 
nothing to indicate that the abortion clinic has incurred any 
    So let me ask you, Mr. Lennon, if you were to walk through 
this, how does this comprehensiveness of the tissue tech's work 
inform your thinking about whether the abortion clinic is 
profiting from the sale of baby body parts?
    Mr. Lennon. Thank you. I did consider that in my analysis 
here, and so the question that was raised earlier in the 
parliamentary question by the representative from New York was 
that maybe there is a conversation, and in this case there was 
a conversation. But then the payment should be maybe for that 
conversation in the processing, because that is the only thing 
I see where the abortion clinic would have any cost incurred: 
for that conversation, not a price-per-tissue payment. That 
informs me that we are talking about the sale of a part, and 
not some reasonable cost.
    The other, I think, attack that a defense counsel--which I 
now do--would say is, ``Well, they are also involved in the 
processing because, you know, the client, the patient, is 
there,'' but the abortion itself is not the processing of the 
tissue. It is the creation of the tissue through the 
destruction of a human life.
    So I think there is really no argument I saw from any of 
this that the abortion clinic had any other costs. They are 
getting a per-tissue payment.
    Ms. Black. Thank you, Mr. Lennon. I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady's time has expired.
    Ms. DeGette, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you so much, Madam Chair. As a former 
litigator myself, there is nothing I like better than a panel 
of lawyers. I have a series of questions that I would prefer a 
yes-or-no answer, if I may.
    The first question I have for the panel is, we received a 
packet of documents from the majority. I believe I have seen 
you all referring to it during this hearing in a binder. So my 
first question is, Have you seen these documents before today's 
hearing? Ms. Clayton, ``yes'' or ``no''?
    Ms. Clayton. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. Mr. Raben?
    Mr. Raben. Yes.
    Mr. Lennon. Yes.
    Mr. Norton. Yes.
    Ms. Foster. Yes.
    Mr. Sukhia. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you. And did you personally author any 
of these documents? Ms. Clayton?
    Ms. Clayton. No.
    Mr. Raben. No.
    Mr. Lennon. No
    Mr. Norton. No.
    Ms. Foster. No.
    Mr. Sukhia. No.
    Ms. DeGette. Have you spoken with anyone who authored any 
of the documents about the information that the documents 
    Ms. Clayton. Not to my knowledge.
    Mr. Raben. No.
    Mr. Lennon. Not to my knowledge.
    Mr. Norton. Not to my knowledge.
    Ms. Foster. Not to my knowledge.
    Mr. Sukhia. Maybe. But I don't know.
    Ms. DeGette. Who have you spoken with, then?
    Mr. Sukhia. Just the folks who contacted----
    Ms. DeGette. Do you have names?
    Mr. Sukhia. Of the folks--March Bell, and I think that 
might be it.
    Ms. DeGette. And that is from majority staff?
    Mr. Sukhia. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you. Now, for the documents that are 
listed in the index that accompanied the packet as coming from 
a ``procurement business,'' have you spoken with that 
procurement business about the documents? Ms. Clayton?
    Ms. Clayton. No.
    Ms. DeGette. Mr. Raben?
    Mr. Raben. No.
    Mr. Lennon. No.
    Mr. Norton. No.
    Ms. Foster. No.
    Mr. Sukhia. No. No, and that is why there needs to be----
    Ms. DeGette. Now----
    Mr. Sukhia [continuing]. An investigation.
    Ms. DeGette. Excuse me. Now, do you have any firsthand 
knowledge of how the procurement business in question created 
the documents used in today's exhibits? Ms. Clayton?
    Ms. Clayton. Absolutely not.
    Ms. Foster. No.
    Mr. Lennon. No.
    Mr. Norton. No.
    Ms. Foster. No.
    Mr. Sukhia. No.
    Ms. DeGette. And for the documents that are listed as 
staff-created, for example, Exhibits B4 and B5, did the 
Republican staff discuss those documents with you? Ms. Clayton?
    Ms. Clayton. No.
    Ms. Foster. No.
    Mr. Lennon. Could you remind me what exhibits you are 
talking about?
    Ms. DeGette. Well, the exhibits like the charts that were 
clearly staff-created.
    Mr. Lennon. No.
    Mr. Norton. No.
    Ms. Foster. No.
    Mr. Sukhia. I think--I think we did discuss that.
    Ms. DeGette. You did discuss that with----
    Mr. Sukhia. I think the staff member indicated that those 
    Ms. DeGette. Did they tell you the documents, sir, that 
formed the foundation of those?
    Mr. Sukhia. No. The nature of----
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Sukhia [continuing]. Their--well, the----
    Ms. DeGette. My last question: Do you have any firsthand 
knowledge of what documents and facts the majority staff relied 
upon in the staff-created documents? Ms. Clayton?
    Ms. Clayton. Absolutely no idea.
    Mr. Raben. No.
    Mr. Lennon. No.
    Mr. Norton. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. OK. And how do you know that, if you didn't 
talk to the staff, Mr. Norton?
    Mr. Norton. The exhibits that were provided to me obviously 
support the----
    Ms. DeGette. Well, take a look----
    Mr. Norton [continuing]. Summary of the documents that 
    Ms. DeGette [continuing]. Mr. Norton, at Exhibit B5----
    Mr. Norton [continuing]. Have identified----
    Ms. DeGette. No. I am talking about----
    Mr. Norton [continuing]. Ms. DeGette.
    Ms. DeGette [continuing]. The staff----
    Mr. Norton. I am just trying to answer your question.
    Ms. DeGette. Mr. Norton, I am talking about the staff-
created documents like the charts. Did they tell you what data 
they used in creating the staff-created documents?
    Mr. Norton. That is not what you asked, but the answer to 
    Ms. DeGette. Yes, it is what I asked.
    Mr. Norton [continuing]. Is no.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you. Ms. Foster?
    Ms. Foster. No.
    Mr. Sukhia. No.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you. Now, Mr. Raben, I want to ask you a 
couple questions. Given that no witness on the panel has 
firsthand knowledge of how these exhibits were created or the 
underlying facts captured in any of them, do you think it is 
appropriate for the witnesses to speculate about possible 
criminal misconduct based on those documents?
    Mr. Raben. I think calling it speculation is entirely 
accurate. It would be pure speculation. It wouldn't be 
    Ms. DeGette. Now, you heard in his testimony, you heard Mr. 
Lennon testify that, based on his experience as a prosecutor, 
that he believed that these documents, in and of themselves, 
not only establish probable cause but proof beyond a reasonable 
doubt. What is your opinion of that analysis?
    Mr. Raben. I would be a little frightened if that were the 
regime in which----
    Ms. DeGette. Why?
    Mr. Raben [continuing]. We live.
    Ms. DeGette. Why?
    Mr. Raben. Well, several reasons. One, the context in which 
all of these facts come, and I don't have to go back to 2000, 
although I do think that is illustrative, just in the last----
    Ms. DeGette. If you can just be brief, I only have 5 
    Mr. Raben. There has been a volume of inaccurate and 
deceptive information thrown at committees and the media about 
this issue. If I were an investigator or prosecutor looking at 
it, I would be extremely skeptical, and I would want to know 
more before I proceeded.
    Ms. DeGette. And wouldn't you want to bring in the people 
that actually created those documents----
    Mr. Raben. Clearly.
    Ms. DeGette [continuing]. And put them under oath?
    Mr. Raben. Yes.
    Ms. DeGette. Thank you. Now, Madam Chair, the reason why I 
am kind of stuck on this is because, if people are selling 
fetal tissue in violation of the law, we need to get to the 
bottom of it. We need to find it out. But we can't just have 
some witch hunt based on some things that were taken off of 
screenshots and off of documents and charts created by staff.
    And I will tell you, even though 12 States--including my 
home State of Colorado, by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, 
who is a Republican, who investigated these claims Mr. Norton 
was talking about against Planned Parenthood of the Rocky 
Mountains, and found no cause of action to investigate--even 
though 12 States have investigated and found there was nothing, 
if you want to send it to the Department of Justice for 
investigation, I will guarantee you they won't make up little 
charts with their staffs.
    They will get to the bottom of it with original documents, 
and I suggest that is what you should do if you think there is 
a criminal violation.
    I yield back.
    Mr. Norton. That is not correct about Colorado Attorney 
General Coffman, Ms. DeGette.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back. Her time has 
    Dr. Bucshon, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Bucshon. Thank you. Mr. Norton, do you want to expand 
on that about the Attorney General quickly?
    Mr. Norton. Yes. Attorney General Coffman has not 
investigated the allegations of Rocky Mountain Planned 
Parenthood or other Planned Parenthood facilities around the 
country in trafficking in baby parts of bodies.
    She has taken the position she has no authority to 
investigate the matter whatsoever.
    Mr. Bucshon. Than you.
    Mr. Norton. Unless asked by the Governor to do so, with the 
Governor as a----
    Ms. DeGette. Will the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Norton [continuing]. Supporter of----
    Mr. Bucshon. I will not yield.
    Ms. DeGette. Well, then, I guess we won't get to the truth 
of it.
    Mr. Bucshon. Thank you. A couple things. First of all, you 
know, the indictment in Texas was for using a fake ID. And I am 
the dad of a couple of college students, and I can tell you, 
you know, half the college campuses would be indicted over 
    Also, it was stated that researchers are losing money on 
this fetal tissue. If they are losing money, how are they 
losing money if there is not a financial transaction?
    The other thing is, I agree that past investigations are 
completely irrelevant to today's discussion. You know, if that 
was the case, we would never investigate anything. And the 
other thing is, the person in Colorado who tragically murdered 
some people had very severe mental illness, and that was what 
impacted that situation, which s tragic.
    During the time of the 1993 NIH Revitalization Act, 
everyone had high hopes about fetal tissue transplantation. 
Just so you know, I was a doctor before I came to Congress. 
Unfortunately, that didn't work out. And so, in reference to 
this particular procurement agency, which has been mentioned 
multiple times by the minority, this whole section of the Act 
was passed to reverse the ban on fetal tissue transplantation.
    The statute which applies to all fetal tissue allows 
reasonable payments associated with transportation, 
implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or 
storage of human fetal tissue. I know a little bit about this 
because I was a doctor, and it appears to me that all of these 
are upstream activities from the abortion clinic in reference 
to this particular full-service procurement agency.
    So the question is, I am going to--I will start with Mr. 
Lennon. Assuming that that is correct, under this particular 
procurement agency we are discussing today, do you see any 
language in the statute that forms the basis to reimburse the 
abortion clinic for any costs at all?
    Mr. Lennon. I don't--the statute itself doesn't delineate 
between the two, but I would want to quickly respond to Mr. 
Raben. My written testimony submitted makes clear that there 
were assumptions made, that all this evidence is admissible in 
court, and that an ethical prosecutor would also have 
storytellers, either credible insiders or people who are 
compelled to testify to support this.
    So my analysis--and the question, I think, was unfair. My 
written testimony points out that this evidence needs to be 
    Mr. Bucshon. Understood.
    Mr. Lennon. But I do think that if the abortion clinic was 
able to show that there were reasonable costs that were 
delineated there--and I have seen no evidence of that--then 
that would be complying with the statute. But I didn't see that 
in any of the exhibits I was asked to review, and that is the 
basis of my opinion.
    Mr. Bucshon. Mr. Norton?
    Mr. Norton. Yes, I would agree with that. I think that 
there are a fair number--first of all, let me say that in our 
system of criminal justice, each and every individual is 
presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a 
reasonable doubt. Even those clients Ms. DeGette would bring to 
my office when I was United States Attorney, they would be 
presumed to be innocent as well from the get-go.
    Mr. Bucshon. Agreed.
    Mr. Norton. And so that would be the case here, and so 
there are a number of unanswered issues I think that a 
competent investigation could and should pursue. For example, 
how much does the abortion clinic receive for an abortion from 
a client? And what is the source of that? Is it from the 
patient, from insurers, from Medicaid, from other sources?
    What, if any, of the services that are provided to the 
abortion client--that is, the woman upon whom the abortion is 
committed--are unbundled and billed to insurers, including 
Medicaid? What is the actual cost of the abortion? What are the 
amounts over and above that cost? And where do they go, and how 
are they accounted for? In other words, what is happening to 
those profits?
    How does the abortion clinic notify the procurement 
business or procurement business technician of the fact of 
abortions? It appears from the materials we were provided that 
the procurement business technician is actually embedded in the 
abortion clinic and is given access to confidential medical 
records before the patient even shows up on the scene, so that 
that technician can select what organs the company seems to 
want at that point in time.
    Mr. Bucshon. I am running out of time, so I am going to 
have to--Mr. Sukhia, you wanted to comment on something 
earlier. Real quickly.
    Mr. Sukhia. Well, thank you very much. The Federal 
provision is a Federal provision. So all the talk about, well, 
States having looked at this----
    Mr. Bucshon. By the way, the States that looked at it, the 
services in question here weren't provided in the first place. 
And I will speak for Indiana, so, obviously, nothing was done 
wrong because that wasn't even part of the equation.
    Mr. Sukhia. Well, so there are different jurisdictions, and 
from a Federal standpoint, from the standpoint of a Federal 
prosecutor, he is not going to be swayed by what some States 
decided was or wasn't a violation of their State statutes.
    Mr. Bucshon. Fair enough. I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman's time has expired. Ms. 
Speier, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Ms. Speier. Thank you, Madam Chair. You know, this hearing 
belongs in a bad episode of ``House of Cards.'' I am sure Frank 
Underwood is lurking somewhere here in the room. In fact, this 
hearing is literally based on a house of cards, and the 
exhibits being used as a foundation are, in all likelihood, the 
product of a theft carried out by someone who is now under 
indictment in Texas and whose home has been the subject of a 
court-ordered search in California.
    Is this hearing really going to proceed based on stolen and 
misleading documents? Even Frank Underwood would be blushing at 
this point. This committee's sole purpose is to hold fake 
trials of citizens and companies that comply with laws but not 
with the political agenda of Republicans who want to restrict 
women's health care. Twelve States and four Congressional 
committees--one Senate, three House--have already investigated 
the videos released by the so-called Center for Medical 
Progress last summer and found absolutely no evidence of 
    The same cannot be said for David Daleiden and his 
associates. This so-called committee is the very definition of 
a kangaroo court, a mock court that disregards the rules of law 
and justice to validate a predetermined conclusion. But this 
mock court has real consequences. While we are focusing on what 
goes on inside a woman's uterus, we are completely ignoring 
what happens to babies and children outside of them.
    How else can you explain why this Panel is holding this 
hearing while children go hungry and research on pediatric 
cancer is desperately in need of more research dollars? What 
about the health implications for our children if we stifle 
fetal tissue research? After all, fetal tissue research was key 
to the CDC's recent confirmation of the link between Zika and 
microcephaly. This is the first step in developing treatment 
options and vaccines to stop the spread of Zika.
    Considering Zika-affected infants suffer from brain damage, 
severe seizures, and other medical problems, why aren't we 
talking about protecting those infant lives? If this committee 
succeeds in abusing medical professionals so severely that they 
abandon promising research, not a single life will be saved, 
but many, many will be lost. Perhaps we should propose a new 
name for this committee: the Select Investigative Panel on 
Stopping Research and Letting People Die.
    Now, let me ask Mr. Raben, given that no witnesses on the 
panel have firsthand knowledge of how these exhibits were 
created, or the underlying facts captured in any of them, do 
you think it is appropriate for the witnesses to speculate 
    Mr. Bucshon. Will the gentlelady yield?
    Ms. Speier [continuing]. Criminal misconduct based on those 
    Mr. Bucshon. Madam Chairman?
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman is recognized.
    Mr. Bucshon. I take personal offense to it being said that, 
as a physician, I am here to allow people to die. I would like 
those words stricken from the record. It is a personal attack 
on me as a physician.
    Ms. Speier. You were not referenced by name.
    Mr. Raben, will you please respond?
    Mr. Raben. I don't--I wouldn't quibble with----
    Mr. Bucshon. Inquiry on that?
    Ms. Speier. You have to be referenced by name.
    Mrs. Blackburn. If the gentlelady will yield.
    Ms. Speier. I will yield.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you. You would have to be referenced 
by name. And I appreciate the inquiry, but you would need to be 
referenced by name.
    Mr. Bucshon. Thank you. I would just like it part of the 
record that I am offended by that comment. Thank you.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman is so noted.
    Ms. Speier. No offense intended.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Ms. Speier, you are recognized.
    Ms. Speier. Mr. Raben?
    Mr. Raben. Thank you. I can't quibble with speculation. It 
is important that everybody remember that it is just 
speculation, that this is not probative evidence of anything. 
We have got very, very bright, experienced people speculating.
    Ms. Speier. So to Mr. Lennon: Madam Chair, even in her 
opening remarks, referenced ``horrible videos.'' These videos 
have 30 minutes missing from them. The doctor interviewed said 
10 times that Planned Parenthood does not profit from tissue 
donations, and Mr. Daleiden sent a proposed transfer agreement 
with a specific clause, a compensation clause, to Planned 
Parenthood when he was trying to negotiate a contract.
    Planned Parenthood struck that particular compensation 
clause, and then Mr. Daleiden didn't pursue it. Is that a 
reputable person on which to base an entire committee hearing?
    Mr. Lennon. I have never met the gentleman that you refer 
to. In fact, I don't know what ``House of Cards'' or Frank 
Underwood is, either. But I will tell you this: There is a 
difference between a discredited whistleblower, like Ms. 
Clayton unfortunately had to deal with, as opposed to 
admissions made by an agent of a potential target.
    So those are apples and oranges. I have not purported--I am 
not saying I have watched all of the videos. I have seen some 
excerpts. I am just talking, as an evidentiary matter, there is 
a huge difference between a whistleblower who is discredited 
and an agent or director or employee or officer of a targeted 
industry. Those are admissions that could be admissible in 
    So I think--again, I don't want to opine. I have not looked 
at all of the videos. I don't even know where they were all----
    Ms. Speier. Thank you. My time has expired.
    Mr. Lennon. Thank you.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    Dr. Harris, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Harris. Thank you very much.
    Look, I am sorry, I am not a lawyer. I am a doctor. I have 
worked, you know, in NA-sponsored research and at Johns 
Hopkins. And I want to ask today not about profit, because, 
look, I think the record speaks for itself. All of the costs 
were covered by the procurement companies. The record speaks 
for itself.
    On Exhibit B2, the procurement company's brochure, it says 
that, you know, these are IRB-certified consents. Exhibit C8, 
page 2, at the bottom says ``BioMed IRB Approved,'' and in fact 
I am going to ask a legal question here because, you know, IRB 
approval is very important in human research.
    And if you are looking at whether someone is out to make a 
profit, they are going to cut corners, they are going to save a 
dollar here or there, and so I am going to ask a question about 
specifically this company called BioMed IRB.
    And I am going to ask, Madam Chair, to enter into the 
record two letters from the Department of Health and Human 
Services regarding the company, one from March 29, 2012, the 
other from January 16, 2013.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    The March 29, 2012, letter actually is a letter to that 
company basically asking it to cease and desist from doing 
approvals or, in fact, anything being obtained under one of 
their approvals because of the shoddy work that this apparently 
one-room, single-owner IRB mill. That is the best way you can 
call it. Look, you can go to their Web site, you can see their 
price list.
    You know, I have submitted things to an IRB. They guarantee 
that if you have it in by Tuesday before noon, you are actually 
going to have it before the IRB and approved that week, 
basically. But for $1,900 more, you can actually submit it 
after noon on Tuesday and have it approved that week. It is 
    But I want to ask a specific legal question, because if in 
fact the company continued to obtain specimens under that IRB 
approval between March 29 and January 16, 2013, who is liable 
for that, if in fact when that IRB--when the FDA said, ``You 
cannot obtain specimens,'' told the IRB that that is true. Mr. 
Lennon, who would be responsible for that?
    Mr. Lennon. I don't think I have a foundation to answer 
that question.
    Mr. Harris. OK. Let me ask you a question: Is it a valid 
question to ask that, in fact, if the FDA had said you can't 
obtain tissue--you can't obtain anything under the IRB 
approvals that you have had until you have responded to us--and 
the letter came back almost a year later, if in fact a 
procurement company was obtaining tissue in that period of 
time, would that be a problem because Title 45 of the 
Regulations Part 46 make it pretty clear you need IRB approval? 
And, in fact, downstream Federal research, where an IRB further 
downstream depended upon that information in that IRB to be 
accurate. In other words, if I was obtaining, as a researcher, 
tissue from this company, my IRB assumes that the previous IRB 
approval is actually valid, that in fact that company 
represents they have IRB approval.
    If they don't, is it valid to actually look downstream and 
see whether those IRBs were notified downstream, whether in 
fact those researchers were notified that this IRB approval in 
fact had been suspended by the FDA? Is that valid? Is that 
something we should look into? Mr. Norton, something we should 
look into?
    Mr. Norton. I think that is a very valid question, frankly. 
And as I looked at the exhibits in preparation for this 
hearing, that was a question that I had: Exactly what was the 
effect of and the date of and the integrity of the IRB approval 
process? As I understand Exhibit C15, it is a document that is 
being provided to the woman who is----
    Mr. Harris. Yes. Let me go on and----
    Mr. Norton [continuing]. Obtaining the abortion. So I think 
it is a valid--because essentially it is a false statement by--
    Mr. Harris. And let me go further to a false statement. On 
the videos, pretty clearly a doctor says, ``We modify the 
procedure to get better body parts.'' Pretty clearly. I mean, 
look, there is no doctoring going on here. This is, you look at 
it--and I urge anyone looking at this hearing, go look it up. 
The doctor says, ``We alter it to preserve the calvarium, so we 
don't crush the calvarium, so we can actually get the amount of 
money we are going to charge for it.''
    The Federal regulations say you actually have to tell the 
patient if you are going to change a procedure. Now, I look at 
the consent forms, which is Exhibit C8, page 2, it says 
specifically, ``your abortion procedure will not change in any 
way.'' We look at one of the consent forms that was actually 
entered into the record last time, which says that your 
procedure will not be changed in any way.
    If in fact the procedure is changed in any way, is that a 
violation of the IRB-approved consent which is necessary for 
Federal research dollars? It is actually necessary for any 
research to be conducted downstream. Is that a violation of 
that, if you in fact modify the procedure after the patient 
signed a consent that said ``procedure will not be modified''?
    Mr. Norton. Yes. I think that is also a violation of the 
statute itself.
    Mr. Harris. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Raben. May I----
    Mr. Harris. I yield back.
    Mr. Raben. May I just get in there to question the premise?
    Mr. Harris. My time has expired. I am sorry.
    Mr. Raben. Well, mine has not. The premise of----
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman's time has expired.
    OK. Let's--Mr. Raben, go ahead.
    Mr. Raben. I was going to question the premise of the ``I 
don't know a thing about the consent forms at IRB.'' I never 
work on IRB, but your premise that this part of the video was 
not distorted is not accurate. Every aspect of the videos that 
were put out in the public were heavily edited, deceptive, and 
distorted, and independent analysis finds--and I don't think 
there is a sane prosecutor in the country that would feel 
comfortable putting people who created those videos on a 
witness stand in a case, because they would be impeached.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Ms. DelBene, you are recognized for 5 
    Ms. DelBene. Thank you, Madam Chair. This hearing and, 
frankly, this entire investigation, is nothing more than an 
attempt to limit a woman's right to choose under the false 
guise of illegal tissue sales. And this isn't the first time we 
have seen this.
    As Ms. Clayton stated, 16 years ago the House held a 
hearing on nearly identical allegations. Those claims, also 
based on secretly recorded videos by anti-choice extremists, 
were found to be fabricated and patently false. In fact, much 
of the so-called evidence that was used back then mirrors what 
we are seeing right here today.
    In that hearing, the majority relied upon a whistleblower 
who claimed that the entities were profiting from illegal 
tissue sales. However, while testifying, the whistleblower 
acknowledged that he had fabricated his statements and lacked 
any knowledge of illegal activity.
    The Department of Justice, though, still investigated the 
person in question, Dr. Miles Jones, and found that, after a 
thorough review of the issues, no violations of Federal 
statutes were found. So, Mr. Raben, if the Justice Department 
had uncovered evidence that Dr. Jones had violated the Federal 
laws on fetal issue donation, the statute, in particular 
Section 289g-2, would have permitted the Department of Justice 
to prosecute. Is that correct?
    Mr. Raben. Yes.
    Ms. DelBene. And the majority appears to be saying that the 
term ``valuable consideration'' isn't fully defined and, as a 
result, the DOJ is incapable of enforcing the law. In your 
opinion, does the Department of Justice lack the clarity that 
they need to enforce the law?
    Mr. Raben. No.
    Ms. DelBene. And if the Department had actual evidence of 
Federal violations in those cases, the DOJ would enforce the 
law, would it not?
    Mr. Raben. I have complete confidence that the men and 
women of the Department of Justice know what they are doing and 
take issues like this seriously. Yes.
    Ms. DelBene. So is it fair to say, then, that there really 
isn't a problem with the statute in the 2000 case regarding the 
Miles Jones investigation but, rather, a lack of facts to 
support the prosecution?
    Mr. Raben. That would be my inference, yes.
    Ms. DelBene. And do you think we are in a similar situation 
from what you have seen so far today?
    Mr. Raben. Yes.
    Ms. DelBene. So do you think it is possible that the lack 
of prosecutions that others have referred to over the years 
under both Republican and Democratic administrations signals 
that there aren't widespread violations of the law as we have 
heard alleged here today?
    Mr. Raben. That is right.
    Ms. DelBene. So then, once again, I think this hearing is 
really another recycled attempt to show wrongdoing when there 
is none or there is no evidence that there has been, and we 
are, once again, watching history repeat itself.
    You know, I would also point out that, after the 
investigation in 2000, women's healthcare providers were also 
subjected to false allegations or false accusations on seven 
separate occasions between 2000 and 2013, all based on so-
called evidence from anti-choice extremists. I don't know, Ms. 
Clayton, if you have any comments you want to make about those 
allegations that took place afterwards.
    Ms. Clayton. I would be glad to. The false allegations and 
the attempts to stir up crazy people like Robert Dear have been 
ongoing. I think they have been ceaseless. In fact, anyone who 
saw Mark Crutcher talking at the Cleveland Right to Life last 
month saw him brag about stirring up people like Daleiden who 
will go out and do his business by any means necessary. How 
Crutcher has avoided prosecution, I don't know, but I think it 
is because he gets other people to lie for him.
    These efforts by the radical anti-choice groups like Life 
Dynamics, Army of God, have been endless, as far as I can tell, 
and they threaten the lives of everyone who uses a clinic for--
and the clinics, by the way, don't provide just abortions, they 
provide a host of health services. The people who were murdered 
in Colorado weren't getting abortions. It is a terrible threat 
to the health and safety of the Nation when these people are 
allowed to get away with that.
    Ms. DelBene. You know, the majority seems determined to use 
this taxpayer-funded panel to continue pursuing the latest 
series of false, unsubstantiated allegations, even though they 
have been debunked by everyone who has looked at them, 
including State attorneys general as well as committees right 
here in Congress.
    So the truth is that the investigation, and this particular 
investigation, isn't really about fact-finding at all. As we 
have talked about, we haven't had witnesses who can speak to 
the facts here. So these are just baseless allegations made by 
David Daleiden, and it is just another attempt, I would say, to 
smear women's healthcare providers with falsehoods and 
fabrications. Women definitely deserve better.
    I yield back, Madam Chair.
    Mrs. Blackburn. I thank the gentlelady.
    Mr. Duffy, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Duffy. Thank you, Madam Chair. Is it fair to say that 
the whole panel today thinks that we should look for the truth? 
Anybody disagree with that? Raise your hand if you disagree 
with that.
    OK. And we should actually enforce the law. Does anybody 
disagree with the fact that we should enforce the law? Because 
we all--all right. Great. We are starting out very well.
    I have heard some conversation about how the Department of 
Justice and investigations and so, just to be clear on this, 
Ms. Clayton, has there been an FBI investigation into this 
    Ms. Clayton. I am not privy to that sort of thing. I have 
no idea.
    Mr. Duffy. OK. So how about this? Is there a lead DOJ 
attorney that has been assigned to lead the investigation into 
this matter?
    Ms. Clayton. Mr. Duffy, I am a civil litigator. I have no 
knowledge or access to that sort of information----
    Mr. Duffy. But just----
    Ms. Clayton [continuing]. Which I understand has to be 
kept--I don't think it is allowed to be shared with people like 
    Mr. Duffy. So you are not aware of any lead attorney at the 
Department of--does anybody on the panel know of a lead 
attorney at the Department of Justice who is leading this 
    Mr. Sukhia. No. I have heard nothing of----
    Mr. Duffy. I haven't, either. I want to have the panel 
refer to Exhibit B2 and B3. Starting with B2, I believe that 
this was a document that was received from a national abortion 
provider conference, and it seems to indicate that there could 
be financial profitability for an abortion provider if they 
engage with the blocked-out middle person, right?
    So, if we look at the statute, it prohibits ``valuable 
consideration'' to be paid for the transfer of body parts, is 
that right?
    Mr. Sukhia. Absolutely.
    Mr. Duffy. And so if someone is getting reimbursed for a 
body part, it is pretty tough to make a profit, isn't it? If 
you are just getting reimbursed, you can't make money. Am I 
missing something, Mr. Sukhia?
    Mr. Sukhia. I agree, totally.
    Mr. Duffy. OK. But if you are getting more than just 
reimbursement, you can make a profit.
    Mr. Sukhia. Yes.
    Mr. Duffy. Does that concern anybody on the panel that then 
maybe the DOJ and the FBI isn't looking into this? Mr. Norton?
    Mr. Norton. I think that is highly concerning. That is why 
we are here, to encourage this panel to do that.
    Mr. Duffy. I would agree with you.
    Ms. Foster, I have heard a lot of my friends across the 
aisle talk about this being an issue of women's health care. In 
regard to 42 U.S.C. Section 289, this is a section I believe 
that talks about valuable consideration for fetal body parts. 
Is there anything in that section that you are aware of that 
relates to women's health care?
    Ms. Foster. There isn't. And I would add that as a woman 
and, in fact, as a post-abortive woman, I am deeply offended 
that abortion clinics are permitting improper access by 
procurement businesses to really exploit us, to potentially 
place us under duress, and to put our children on display for 
sale in the way that chicken livers are in a grocery store. It 
deeply offends me.
    Mr. Duffy. Thank you. Ms. Clayton, I am sure you have had a 
chance to look at Exhibit B2. Is it your testimony that this 
document has been altered in any way?
    Ms. Clayton. B2? I have no knowledge of any of these 
documents. And if these documents are anything like the 
videotape, I would start with the assumption that they probably 
have been altered, but I don't have any personal knowledge one 
way or the other. I never saw them until they were sent to me 
by email. I think it was yesterday.
    Mr. Duffy. So you have had a chance to look at them since 
yesterday, you are an impartial witness today who is making 
assertions that they are probably doctored.
    Ms. Clayton. No. I said I would start with the assumption 
that they might be because----
    Mr. Duffy. Well, take a look at them. Tell me what----
    Ms. Clayton [continuing]. I have no knowledge of them, nor 
has anyone in this room given any indication of the source of 
the document.
    Mr. Duffy. Look at the document.
    Ms. Clayton. So as far as I know, they might have been 
    Mr. Duffy. Ms. Clayton, this is my time.
    Ms. Clayton [continuing]. Just like the videotape had 
    Mr. Duffy. I would love to see--tell the Panel today, what 
has been doctored in Exhibit B2?
    Ms. Clayton. Exhibit B2?
    Mr. Duffy. This is the document that shows that----
    Ms. Clayton. Let me find it.
    Mr. Duffy [continuing]. An abortion provider can have 
financial profitability.
    Ms. Clayton. Well, actually, no, it doesn't say that at 
all. This obviously refers to adult tissue, as well as any 
other kind. This is not limited. I looked at B2, sir, and it is 
clear that this is talking about adult tissue, which is far 
differently regulated----
    Mr. Sukhia. That is not true. It is talking about fetal 
tissue. It is clearly----
    Mr. Duffy. It says fetal to adult tissue.
    Ms. Clayton. It says fetal and adult----
    Mr. Duffy. Right on its face. It wasn't doctored enough.
    Mr. Sukhia. Stem cell-rich blood.
    Ms. Clayton. It has been redacted in certain ways that I 
can't tell what has been redacted.
    Mr. Duffy. Right here, fetal DNA.
    Ms. Speier. Will the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Duffy. No, I will not.
    Ms. Speier. OK.
    Mr. Duffy. And it also talks about ``stem cell rich blood 
and raw materials.'' Does anybody know when they say ``raw 
materials'' what that is referring to?
    Ms. Clayton. Perhaps adult tissue. It certainly applies to 
both adult and fetal, and I can't tell from the----
    Mr. Sukhia. Well, even if it does apply to both, it is 
still an offense because it does apply to fetal.
    Mr. Duffy. If this document is being sent out during the 
national abortion provider conference, and they are talking 
about adult tissue, is that your testimony today, Ms. Clayton, 
we are not talking about fetal tissue?
    Ms. Clayton. Is what my testimony?
    Mr. Duffy. That this document is referring to adult tissue 
when it is being provided to the appropriate----
    Ms. Clayton. I have no idea. All I can--
    Mr. Duffy [continuing]. National abortion provider 
    Ms. Clayton. Sir, all I can tell you is that it is clear 
from reading this document that it is not limited to fetal 
tissue and----
    Mr. Duffy. One last----
    Ms. Clayton [continuing]. And, sir, if I may finish 
    Mr. Duffy. One last question. I have one last question.
    Ms. Clayton [continuing]. The regulation----
    Mr. Duffy. One last question.
    Ms. Clayton [continuing]. Are entirely different.
    Mr. Duffy. There has been a lot of conversation on the Hill 
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Mr. Duffy [continuing]. Money involved in politics. Has 
anybody on this panel made any----
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Mr. Duffy [continuing]. Contribution to any of the members 
that sit on this panel? If so, raise your hand if you have made 
a contribution. To anybody on the panel.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Mr. Duffy. I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Mrs. Watson Coleman, you are recognized for 
5 minutes.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you very much. It is often said 
that Congress writes the laws and the executive branch enforces 
them. In 2000, when very similar allegations about tissue 
procurement organizations were made based on explosive video 
interviews, the Justice Department was asked to investigate.
    Then-Assistant Attorney General Robert Raben--you, sir, 
thank you for being here--responded to a request from Fred 
Upton, who had inquired about the potential criminal violations 
of the Federal statute against fetal tissue sales. In that 
letter, the Department noted that ``based upon a preliminary 
review of our records, it appears the Department has not 
received any information meeting our standards for triggering a 
formal investigation that fetal tissue has been sold for 
profit.'' And I ask unanimous consent that a copy of that 
letter be entered into this record.
    Mr. Raben. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Mrs. Blackburn. So ordered.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Mr. Raben, can you explain what the 
standards for triggering a formal investigation are within the 
DOJ and why these standards are necessary, and have these 
standards been met in this instance that we are debating now?
    Mr. Raben. Why these standards have not been met?
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. What the standards are.
    Mr. Raben. Yes.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Why should they be met?
    Mr. Raben. Right.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. What triggers this? And are we there 
    Mr. Raben. Extremely briefly, there are different levels 
that all investigative and prosecutive agencies go through. 
There is an initial investigation, which can be begun with, you 
know, any credible data. There is a formal investigation, which 
requires a supervisor to sign off for the use of resources, and 
then it is working with a prosecutor to figure out whether, 
with a whole range of criteria, including sustainability of a 
conviction, are there other jurisdictions that could take it.
    So I can refer you to the AG guidelines and the FBI 
guidelines, and I can get that to you subsequently. But to 
answer your question, it could well be that an agency is 
involved in an investigation. We have on the record 12 States 
that have opened an investigation and closed. We have on the 
record 8 State officials saying they wouldn't even open an 
investigation based on the evidence that they have.
    So I wouldn't be surprised if the Department has looked at 
it and declined. And as I have stated before, the central 
problem is there is so much duplicity and deception around how 
so much of this evidence was created that I think it would give 
most prosecutors pause to go forward with a case.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. So as in the Daleiden videos, the 
deceptively edited videos, and sort of the out-of-context 
invoices, would they be enough to trigger a DOJ investigation?
    Mr. Raben. It would be an investigator and a prosecutor 
going with incredible caution. He or she would have to find, in 
my view, probative and credible evidence from other than that 
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Right. And so would it involve also 
determining the validity of the Daleiden allegations?
    Mr. Raben. It is bad facts. If----
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. So it would be--I am sorry.
    Mr. Raben. No, no. Go ahead.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you. So it would be important to 
at least have the conversation with individuals with actual 
knowledge of the facts contained in any documents under review.
    Mr. Raben. Yes.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Any requests or investigations.
    Mr. Raben. Yes.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Here today you have been asked by my 
Republican colleagues to opine about possible criminal 
misconduct based on a slew of documents that were sent to you 
late Monday afternoon without identification of the author of 
any document, underlying source of information the documents 
contained, and without the benefit of speaking to anyone with 
firsthand knowledge of that information.
    Is this, in your opinion, a fair or legitimate way to 
determine if there has been a violation of Federal law?
    Mr. Raben. No.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Madam Chair, unlike the Select Panel's 
investigation, DOJ must base its investigations on real facts 
and hard evidence. This Panel has, instead, based its 
investigation--and I put that in quotations--so far on an 
indicted extremist and his discredited videos, and it is 
certainly a time for the majority to rely on facts, not 
inflammatory allegations of anti-abortion extremists.
    And with that, I would just like to ask Ms. Clayton one 
question, and that has to do with adult tissue versus fetal 
tissue. You wanted to say something with regard to that, and I 
want to give you that opportunity, because it is clear that, 
wherever that particular slide comes from, it does refer to 
    Ms. Clayton. OK. From my experience 16 years ago 
representing a foundation that provided both fetal and adult 
tissue for medical research, I know a little bit about it. My 
knowledge is out of date, but among the things I know are that 
fetal tissue donations are highly, highly regulated, as are 
donations of fetal or adult for transplants, very highly 
    When it comes to adult tissue that is just for research, 
there are still regulations, of course, but far fewer. So when 
I looked at that exhibit--what was it, B or something?--I 
immediately saw the exhibit, assuming it is a real document, 
was conflating more things than one. It wasn't just about 
fetal. It was----
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. It was about a range of services.
    Ms. Clayton. Yes. And so if you talk about what you can--if 
I die on the Amtrak and my liver goes to somebody, you know, 
they can do a lot of things with that, not highly regulated.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you, Ms. Clayton. Thank you, Mr. 
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Thank you. The gentlelady yields back.
    Mrs. Hartzler, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mrs. Hartzler. Thank you, Madam Chairman. Nobody should 
make a profit from the sale of baby body parts. That is 
something that is shared by the majority party as well as the 
minority party. I want to remind everybody that back in 1993 
when this was first introduced in Congress, the idea of this, 
Henry Waxman, who introduced the amendment, a Democrat, said it 
would be abhorrent to allow for sale of fetal tissue and a 
market to be created for that sale.
    And yet today we have seen that the procurement 
organizations in Exhibit 1, 2, 3, and 4 are receiving $700 to 
$850 per brain. But I want to focus on the abortion clinic's 
part in this. Could we look at Exhibit D1? Here are the 
payments that we have obtained to various abortion clinics for 
these baby body parts. We have Fresno having 38 specimens, and 
they received $2,090. Sacramento abortion clinic received 
$3,740, San Jose $3,575.
    Now, nationwide the Panel investigation has found that 
there are many more of these middleman procurement 
organizations, and there are hundreds of abortion clinics. And 
I remember some of the abortion clinic doctors on the video 
that Mr. Sukhia referenced talking about making money from the 
sale of baby body parts, even joking about it.
    So I want to hear from the former U.S. Attorneys, given 
their training and experience, how they would investigate the 
accounting records and anything else to document whether the 
abortion clinics profited for the sale of baby body parts.
    So, Mr. Sukhia?
    Mr. Sukhia. Yes, ma'am. Thank you. I have some experience 
both on the prosecutive side of this, not just being a former 
prosecutor for 13 years as an AUSA, and then a few years as a 
U.S. Attorney, but also in my experience fighting Planned 
Parenthood in a very grueling eight-day trial, one of the few 
in the country, on the defense of Florida's Parental Notice of 
Abortion Act.
    And I will tell you that ``follow the money'' is a concept 
that applies with special force in that area. And it was 
astounding what I learned about how money motivates that 
industry. And when I look at these figures--let me give you an 
example. One of the doctors that testified acknowledged that he 
had performed over 100,000 abortions, and we--based on the 
amount of time that he--the one way we could do it, because I 
continued to try to find out how much are they making. And they 
fought tooth and nail to prevent that information from coming 
    So to quickly just answer your question, I would say, yes, 
it is extremely important to find out where the money----
    Mrs. Hartzler. What specific documents would you look for?
    Mr. Sukhia. I would ask for bank records.
    Mrs. Hartzler. OK.
    Mr. Sukhia. I would find out what--you know, follow the 
money. I would find out, you know, who is getting paid, where 
are the checks going?
    Mrs. Hartzler. OK. Thank you. Mr. Norton?
    Mr. Norton. Yes. I would do the same. First of all, I would 
start by looking at the videos, which I have seen. I would 
start by reading the forensic accounting report by Coalfire 
Investigations made up of former FBI agents, which found that 
the videos were credible and the redacted versions say what the 
longer versions say.
    I would obtain the accounting records, the financial 
records of the abortion clinic, of the procurement business, 
and, frankly, I would obtain the records of the end user as 
well, and subpoena both records and witnesses from all of those 
entities to flesh out the facts in this case, which I think are 
    Mrs. Hartzler. Thank you very much. In the last minute, I 
want to turn to Ms. Foster and ask you a question. As you have 
just testified, a post-abortive woman, please explain a little 
bit more about what you think regarding possible HIPAA 
violations that Mr. Norton raised, where the procurement tech 
has the ability, after receiving the order through email in the 
morning, to review the medical records of the patients without 
their knowledge, explain what you think. Has HIPAA been 
violated? And, if so, what should the penalty be?
    Ms. Foster. I am very concerned that HIPAA may have been 
violated. Obviously, Planned Parenthood has gone to court time 
and time again to keep secret and confidential the records of 
women who have abortions, and yet these very same abortion 
clinics are allowing procurement businesses into their doors, 
sharing records, and allowing them to find out some of the most 
personal healthcare information imaginable. So that obviously 
is an extreme concern for me and something that I definitely 
want investigated.
    Mrs. Hartzler. Thank you for sharing that. Certainly, we 
are here because we care about the women, too. Make sure they 
are not being manipulated or hurt in any way.
    Thank you. I yield back.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    Mr. Nadler, you are recognized for 5 minutes for questions.
    Mr. Nadler. Thank you, Madam Chair. Just when I think my 
Republican colleagues cannot find a way to make this 
investigation more of a farce, we have a farcical hearing like 
this one. None of the documents the Republicans are showing 
today contain any evidence of wrongdoing. In fact, these 
misleading documents, many of which the Republican staff 
produced themselves with no basis in reality, do not provide 
any foundation for an investigation of this nature.
    Cutting and pasting sections of draft contracts that were 
never signed or formalized, creating charts and graphs with no 
analytical basis, and printing off random invoices with no 
explanation for their contents does not meet the standard of 
evidence for any court of law, let alone for a Congressional 
    I would think the Republicans should have learned this 
lesson after the mess of a hearing in 2000 when a tissue 
procurement organization, a TPO, then stood accused of 
profiting from the sale of fetal tissue research. The source of 
these accusations: heavily edited videos produced by anti-
abortion extremists. Some of the same documents we are looking 
at today were tossed around by the Republicans in 2000 with the 
same misrepresentation of the facts.
    As we all know, that hearing fell apart when the key 
witness, Dean Alberty, the man who accused the TPO of profiting 
from fetal tissue donations, admitted under oath that he had 
lied in the videos. Suddenly, those invoices and the fee 
schedules didn't seem like such a smoking gun. Well, they 
weren't then, and they aren't now, yet here we are again.
    This hearing is another example of the Republican majority 
going to extreme lengths to advance their dual agendas of 
smearing organizations against whom all Federal and State 
investigations have found no evidence of any violations of law, 
knowing that the smears will endanger the lives of people who 
work for these organizations, and that is why I have said this 
committee is worse than McCarthy investigations because 
McCarthy endangered people's jobs. This committee is knowingly 
endangering people's lives, and their other goal of eliminating 
women's choices and degrading their doctors.
    Now, Mr. Raben, I would like to ask you a couple of 
questions. We just received yesterday--just yesterday we 
received a letter from the counsel for StemExpress who informed 
us, and I quote, ``It appears that the majority staff may have 
repurposed unauthenticated, stolen documents illegally obtained 
by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, and that 
some of the majority's exhibits have never appeared publicly, 
suggesting that perhaps the Select Panel may be receiving so-
called evidence directly from Mr. Daleiden or his associates.''
    Does that not call into question the validity of the entire 
investigation, or at least what the majority appears to be 
relying on?
    Mr. Raben. It sounds like bad form, yes.
    Mr. Nadler. More than bad form, I would think. And what do 
you think of the refusal by Republicans even to question Mr. 
Daleiden or to test the credibility and objectivity of his 
allegations? What should that tell us about this investigation?
    Mr. Raben. I am not going to comment on my good friends 
across the aisle, their motivation. What I am concerned about 
is, you know, whether the point of this hearing is to 
politicize an investigation and to press DOJ to do its job in a 
way different than they think they ought to do. I think there 
is a very sad history of that, and it is always dangerous.
    Mr. Nadler. A history of using Congressional pressure to--
    Mr. Raben. Yes.
    Mr. Nadler [continuing]. Pressure to press prosecutorial 
    Mr. Raben. Yes. It is one thing to refer information and to 
have comity between the branches; it is another to use politics 
to pressure a particular agent or investigator into doing his 
or her job.
    Mr. Nadler. In that connection, isn't this entire hearing, 
this entire investigation, having no purpose essentially other 
than to suggest that, since it is obvious that these 
organizations are guilty of what they are being accused of, the 
DOJ and the various State investigating agencies have not done 
their job properly if they haven't brought indictments?
    Mr. Raben. That is the implication.
    Mr. Nadler. Thank you. And let me ask you this. We have 
heard before that Mr. Daleiden was indicted only for a false 
identification, and every college kid--or not every, but half 
the college kids--have false identification, so big deal. But 
18 U.S.C. Section 1001 criminalizes any personal who knowingly 
submits false material to Congress in connection with an 
    And I think, and I would like your comment, from what we 
have seen and what we have heard in this entire thing, that 
that does seem to be a serious problem, that Mr. Daleiden and 
the Center for Medical Progress were submitting knowingly false 
information to Congress, and that is a very serious problem.
    Mr. Raben. Yes.
    Mr. Nadler. Ms. Clayton, would you comment on that?
    Ms. Clayton. Oh, yes. I agree completely, and what Life 
Dynamics admitted back in 2000, I have always wondered why 
didn't get prosecuted for it because it was an admitted fact by 
the guy they hired. That is who the DOJ should be going after, 
if they have time.
    Mr. Nadler. In summary, we have the refusal by the 
committee--who are making all sorts of accusations against 
StemExpress--we have a refusal by the committee to talk to 
them, to ask them for explanations. Then we have the committee 
apparently taking, directly or indirectly, material from Mr. 
Daleiden, stolen from the StemExpress Web site without asking 
StemExpress--and that material seems to be doctored, all to say 
that StemExpress and other similar organizations are doing 
illegal activities.
    But you don't want to talk to them and see if they have an 
explanation, and you do take apparently false material stolen 
for that purpose in order to pressure the DOJ. Is that a fair 
summary of what seems to be going on?
    Mr. Raben. Yes.
    Mr. Nadler. Is that a legitimate function of Congress?
    Mr. Raben. I will repeat what I said, that the concern that 
I have after 20-some years of being on both sides of it is when 
a Congressional gavel is used to intimidate or pressure an 
investigative agency to take action that they think ought to be 
taken, particularly in the face of now 20 States--20 State 
officials, nonpartisan, have said on the record they have 
looked into this or related facts and declined to go forward 
with prosecutions.
    Mr. Nadler. Thank you very much. My time is expired.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Mrs. Love, you are recognized for 5 
    Mrs. Love. Thank you, Chairman. And thank you to the panel 
for being here.
    I want to contrast and focus on two different things: organ 
donations and fetal tissue donations. First, you know, many say 
that organ donation is a gift that one can give. It is a 
beautiful thing when you think about somebody donating their 
organs. And organ donations are done with dignity, disclosure 
of where and how the organs will be used, and in every hospital 
in the Nation there are uninfluenced counselors to help with 
the process, and no money is made from the organ donation. The 
process is transparent and seen as ethical.
    On the other hand, when it comes to fetal tissue donation, 
it is different. A scared, vulnerable woman, including a minor 
who is under age, can come into a clinic on the morning of her 
surgery, and first she needs to give consent to the procedure 
without any parental guidance or anyone there.
    Then, before the event, before this invasive procedure, a 
tissue technician comes to her and gets her to donate her baby 
body parts. Instead of an unbiased counselor, the tissue 
technician may be focused on making a commission, rather than 
protecting that woman's best interest. It is not transparent 
how the fetal organs will be used or by what organization.
    To me, the contrast is astounding. It is unethical for this 
procedure to happen this way. So my question is, Who protects 
the woman's interest in each case? Who protects the minor's 
interest in this case? There are no existing laws related to 
consent for fetal tissue donation.
    How many organs are needed? How much will be paid out for 
each body part? And, as a mother of two teenage girls, I am 
absolutely astounded and outraged that we don't have laws in 
place to protect our minors.
    Mr. Lennon, why is there uniform law for organ donation in 
every hospital in this Nation and an entirely different 
practice for donations of fetal organ tissue?
    Mr. Lennon. I don't know, and I would have to speculate. 
That is a good question.
    Mrs. Love. Mr.--is it----
    Mr. Sukhia. Sukhia.
    Mrs. Love [continuing]. Sukhia.
    Mr. Sukhia. Yes. My father was Persian and--he was actually 
from India, but his people were from Persia. My cousins all say 
``Kenny, you are pronouncing it wrong, it is Sukhea.'' But, so 
    Mrs. Love. If there is any evidence that a law is being 
broken, or suggestions of profiteering from baby organs, should 
there be investigations to ensure that this is not the case?
    Mr. Sukhia. Yes. And I thought that was the focus of this 
hearing, which is to ask of a Federal prosecutor, ``If you had 
this information, would it justify a thorough investigation to 
ascertain those facts?''
    Mrs. Love. That is right. At the end of your comments, you 
mentioned that it is actually the duty to investigate to make 
sure that laws aren't being broken.
    Mr. Sukhia. Yes, ma'am.
    Mrs. Love. Thank you. Ms. Foster, I want to point out five 
immediate differences when it comes to organ donation and fetal 
tissue donation and ask why there would be such a gross 
difference. And I want to ask your thoughts after you hear 
these five.
    First, organ donation is done with protections and 
advocates for the donor and/or the person giving consent for 
the donation of the organs of a loved one sometimes that is 
already deceased. There is no profit being made, or monies 
exchanged, with organ donation. Furthermore, if there was any 
evidence of such, there would be great cause to investigate.
    Three, there is never a minor under duress having to make 
these decisions alone without the consent or advocate of an 
adult or for any operation procedure, let alone an invasive 
procedure. Furthermore, a minor would never be in a position to 
make the decision to donate the organs of another person.
    There is no contact, when it comes to organ donation, 
between the recipient of the organ, the physician procuring the 
organs, or the transfer team of the consent-giver before the 
consent is being given. And the HIPAA violations would never be 
allowed when it comes to organ donation.
    So I want to ask you this: If you are ever in a clinic 
sitting in that room, understanding that those protections are 
different, who is there advocating for you?
    Ms. Foster. In an abortion clinic?
    Mrs. Love. Yes.
    Ms. Foster. No one.
    Mrs. Love. No one. Now, furthermore, who is there 
advocating for a minor who this country would not let get 
behind the wheel of a vehicle, would not allow to vote, would 
not allow to join the military, would not allow--be allowed to 
smoke, would not even be allowed to join a gym because there is 
a financially binding contract?
    Ms. Foster. No one.
    Mrs. Love. No one.
    Mrs. Blackburn. The gentlelady yields back.
    I recognize myself, 5 minutes for questions. And as a 
reminder to my colleagues, I leave myself until last in the 
questions, so that everyone is clear.
    I want just to go back to a couple of comments that were 
made, and I do have a couple of questions for you all. The 
pricing documents, the Exhibits D, we looked at some of those 
on the pricings of items, brains, things of this nature. If you 
are looking at a customer paying, say, $2,000 for a brain, and 
over the course of the year that customer is paying $42,000 for 
the body parts, it is hard to imagine how the procurement 
business is operating at a loss.
    And what we are seeking to do is to figure out if there is 
a violation of law, and if someone is selling these fetal 
tissue parts for a profit. And that is what we are digging down 
on, is we are looking at the pricing of fetal tissue 
represented in those D series documents, and that is why we 
have constructed the chart, the G chart, that shows where there 
seems to be movement of the money.
    So you all have heard this debate. You have heard it from 
both sides. You have heard the questions coming from both 
sides. And I am going to start, Ms. Clayton, with you, and work 
my way down to Mr. Sukhia.
    Very quickly, what I would like to hear from you, what 
documents would you request or subpoena from these procurement 
organizations in order to find out--we have asked for banking 
records from the procurement business that has been the point 
of discussion today, and they have refused to give us those. We 
thought that would help clear the way, if you will, to figure 
out what the profiting is.
    So let's start there. Very quickly, we have only got 2 
minutes and 45 seconds left.
    Ms. Clayton. I would start with accepting the invitation 
from the procurement business. I understand its name is 
StemExpress. And I would have them come in, put them under 
oath, as I understand they have offered to do, and ask them, 
How did you come up with this charge? Why is it so much more 
expensive to----
    Mrs. Blackburn. That would be an incorrect assumption, but, 
yes, we would like to have----
    Ms. Clayton. The second thing I would do is ask them, in 
each particular case, what aspect of the actual costs does a 
particular clinic incur? For example, does the clinic provide 
space? Does the clinic, as we have seen in your charts, provide 
the blood draws, which requires a technician, perhaps a nurse, 
materials? Does the clinic have to do paperwork? And, if so, 
how much? And, therefore, how much of the actual reasonable 
cost is incurred by the clinic itself as opposed to by the 
procurement business?
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK.
    Ms. Clayton. That is where I would start.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK.
    Mr. Raben. Similar. Sterilization of equipment, what is the 
cost capital of the equipment, the processing, the 
preservation, are there transportation costs? I wouldn't look 
at banking records. I would want to--it is an HR function as 
well, staff time for the consent forms that are put together.
    Mrs. Blackburn. All right. Mr. Lennon?
    Mr. Lennon. As I said in my opening, if I was a prosecutor, 
you have to have a forensic evaluation accounting of the 
procurement business, because that is not clear from the 
records here. So following the money, you have got to have the 
entire picture.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK. Mr. Norton?
    Mr. Norton. The first thing I wouldn't do is ask the 
StemExpress or others, ``Are you innocent or guilty?'' Every 
defendant I have ever prosecuted or even represented has 
claimed innocence. That is just not the case. There is some 
culpability here.
    I would do the same thing. I would get forensic accounting. 
I would get all of the financial records. I would get the 
profit and loss statements, the income and expense statements, 
and I would get people under oath before a grand jury. Letters 
are not particularly valuable.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Ms. Foster?
    Ms. Foster. There are two things that I would specifically 
seek among many different documents. First of all, financial 
records. That is something that must be brought to light. And, 
second, women of every generation are unique human beings who 
can speak for themselves, but the baby body parts profiteers 
have created a market in which their profits rise if they 
pressure and coerce women into signing donation consent forms.
    So I would want to find out exactly what their procedures 
are, what documents, what training they have on how to speak to 
women and how they get those consent forms signed.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Mr. Sukhia?
    Mr. Sukhia. I would just echo the comments of the other 
members on the panel. I would note that in the case that I 
handled, many of the minors were under--there were reports from 
people who owned and ran clinics that many minors would be 
under the age of 14 who often would cry out for their mothers, 
and so forth. They are in no position to give meaningful 
consent, such as those suggested by the exhibits that were 
presented here.
    Mrs. Blackburn. OK. Thank you. My time has expired, and I 
yield back.
    I ask unanimous consent that the members' written opening 
statements be introduced into the record.
    Ms. Schakowsky. And, Madam Chair, we have provided you a 
packet of materials to be entered into the record and ask 
unanimous consent that those be made part of the record.
    Mrs. Blackburn. So ordered.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    And we also will submit the document binder, ask that that 
be submitted for the record, and that staff make the 
appropriate redactions. So ordered.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    We will also submit an article from the Sacramento Business 
Journal from Cate Dyer, the founder and CEO of StemExpress. 
That will go into the record with the ranking on StemExpress by 
biz journals.
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    We also would put into the record a screenshot we pulled 
from StemExpress' Web site just this morning, which still has 
the fetal tissue sales components in----
    Ms. DeGette. Madam Chair, have we reviewed that document?
    Mrs. Blackburn. From this morning? No, you have not.
    Ms. DeGette. Yes.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Because we pulled it this morning, but you 
are welcome to look at it.
    Ms. DeGette. I would like to look at it.
    Mrs. Blackburn. Yes. So ordered.
    We also have the sourcing of----
    Ms. DeGette. Well, wait a minute. I am going to reserve the 
right to object.
    Mrs. Blackburn. You can reserve the right, and we will come 
back to that one. We also have the source of exhibits that we 
will put in the record with the exhibits, so that you will know 
where they came--there was a question on Exhibit B5, the chart 
that showed the growth of the procurement business' revenue. 
That came from business magazine articles and the Congressional 
Research Service. So that you all are aware of that.
    And then there was also a question on Exhibit B4, that 
chart with the growth in the number of abortion clinics. That 
information for that chart came from the procurement business 
owner and a contract with the abortion organization. So 
    Ms. DeGette. Madam Chair, I withdraw my reservation.
    Mrs. Blackburn. It is submitted----
    [The information appears at the conclusion of the hearing.]
    Ms. DeGette. But I will also state, I take umbrage at the 
last statement you made about that last document. It was never 
ratified. That contract was never ratified. It was a draft. It 
says that on your specific----
    Mrs. Blackburn. Right. And the sourcing, this is what we 
are putting into the record with the document.
    Ms. DeGette. Well, as you know, we have already litigated 
that, and I object to them, but, you know, you overruled it.
    Mrs. Blackburn. With that, the hearing is adjourned, and I 
thank our witnesses.
    [Whereupon, at 12:50 p.m., the panel was adjourned.]
    [Material submitted for inclusion in the record follows:]