The Select Panel on Infant Lives issued a criminal referral Thursday to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas detailing possible violations of state and federal law by the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options, a late-term abortion clinic.
House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives Chair Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., presides over the committee’s investigating Planned Parenthood, Wednesday, March 1, 2016, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
According to the Select Panel, Southwestern Women’s Options provides aborted fetal tissue to the University of New Mexico.
In a letter to Balderas, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), the chairwoman of the House Select Panel on Infant Lives, alleged that the university and the abortion clinic committed “systemic violations of the law” by breaking a federal statute that makes it a felony to make a profit in exchange for human fetal tissue.
“Section 289g-2 requires safeguards be in place, including a concern that too close a relationship might be formed between an abortion clinic and researchers,” Blackburn wrote. “Through its investigation, the Panel has discovered that personnel within UNM’s hospital and medical school have aggressively engaged in expanding abortion in New Mexico through the offices, personnel, and resources of UNM.”
Blackburn also wrote that the university and the abortion clinic may have violated New Mexico’s Spradling Act, which forbids providing aborted fetal body parts “anatomical gifts.”
“Documentation obtained by the Panel in the course of our investigation reflects the transfer of fetal tissue from Southwestern Women’s Options to UNM for research purposes is a systematic violation of New Mexico’s Spradling Act,” Blackburn added. “These violations occurred as UNM personnel procured fetal tissue from patients at Southwestern Women’s Options for research by UNM entities.”
James Hallinan, a spokesperson for Balderas, confirmed that the AG’s office is reviewing the information provided by the select panel.
"We can confirm the Office of the Attorney General has received a public referral and this matter is under review,” Hallinan told TheBlaze. “All complaints received by the Office of the Attorney General are fully reviewed and appropriate action is taken."
A spokesman for the panel’s Democratic minority did not immediately return TheBlaze’s request for comment.
Former House Speaker John Boehner authorized the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives last year to investigate allegations raised by a series of undercover videos that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, was profiting from the sale of aborted fetal body parts to researchers. Spokespersons for Planned Parenthood have denied illegal conduct.
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