The Daily Beast is reporting that the Department of Justice, under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is taking steps to investigate Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion in the United States.
What will the DOJ investigate about Planned Parenthood?
The investigation appears to be about fetal tissue, which is harvested from the children that are aborted, and sold to medical labs and clinics for a profit.
Defenders of the practice say that the exchange of money helps subsidize the cost of the abortion and the labor involved in harvesting the tissue. Critics, including pro-life organizations, say that abortion providers are profiting from fetuses, creating a perverse incentive to seek out more abortions.
Controversy over human fetal tissue research
In a report produced by the Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans in December, contracts between biomedical research corporations and Planned Parenthood affiliates were exposed to scrutiny.
The report detailed the “specimen service fees” that biomedical researchers charged for tissue from a 20-week-old fetus –– $325 for a fetus’s brain, $650 for two eyes –– and questioned whether the biomedical research corporations ultimately profited from their disbursement of fetal tissue.
The report was cited in the request from the Department of Justice to the Senate Judiciary Committee to produce documentation about fetal tissue practices for the sake of an investigation.
After the controversy over its profiting from fetal tissue harvesting, Planned Parenthood announced that they would no longer be accepting reimbursement for the tissue.
Planned Parenthood did not respond to a request from the Daily Beast for a comment.