NJ Democrat Leaders Plan Vote to Replace Title X Funds to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz. Take Action Now!

Update: 8/27/19

Note to our supporters:

The Murphy administration has already allocated $10.5 million of our state tax dollars to Planned Parenthood in this year’s budget.

Now his administration and leaders in both houses of the legislature are planning to schedule votes after the November election to give the abortion business $9.5 M Million more – all because Planned Parenthood will not agree to comply with Federal Title X rules which require that they physically separate their “family planning” services from their abortion business in order to continue to receive federal funds.

Read the Senate Democrats’ Press Release HERE

Read the Assembly Democrats’ Press Release HERE

If you disagree with giving your tax dollars to Planned Parenthood’s abortion business, call Governor Murphy and tell him how you feel: 609 292 6000. You can also email him at this link: EMAIL THE GOVERNOR

Call and write your three State Legislators: HERE

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Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

August 19, 2019

Planned Parenthood’s New Jersey affiliates said Monday that they were withdrawing from the federal government’s family planning program because President Donald Trump won’t let them tell their patients where they can get a legal abortion.

The decision will cost the women’s health care provider and affect 77,000 New Jersey patients. State officials are looking at whether they will step in.

“Our patients come to us because they expect the best information and health care available – and we have a commitment to give that to them,” said Roslyn Rogers Collins, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey. “This gag rule would make it impossible to do that.”

Marie Tasy, executive director for New Jersey Right to Life, said Planned Parenthood’s announcement “demonstrates how committed they are to their abortion business.”

Upon taking office in 2018, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation restoring $7.5 million in state funding for Planned Parenthood and other health clinics.

Murphy spokeswoman Alyana Alfaro said the administration was working with the state’s Planned Parenthood affiliates, the Ne Jersey Family Planning League and others “to assess the need of the program and how the state might step in.”

The Trump administration gave recipients of federal funds under the Title X family planning program until Monday to agree to follow the new rule that prevents them from referring patients for abortions.

It was one of several steps taken by the administration to restrict access to abortion, a top priority of the Christian conservatives who were strong supporters of his 2016 presidential campaign.

While federal law already prevents using Title X grants for abortions, the Trump administration went further in declaring that groups receiving the federal funds could not “promote, refer for or support abortion as a method of family planning, nor take any affirmative action to assist a patient to secure such an abortion.”

While the federal dollars didn’t fund abortions, Tasy contended they were being used indirectly.

“All money is fungible,” Tasy said. “The funds they were getting were clearly being used to pay administrative expenses, salaries, electricity that their abortion business needed to be able to operate.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

New Jersey and 19 other states have challenged the rule in federal court. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the rule to take effect while the court case proceed, overturning two nationwide injunctions that had blocked the new regulations.

The Garden State receives $8.8 million in federal funds through Title X, according to the state Health Department. The program serves 100,000 residents in the state, with 77 percent of them seeking services at a Planned Parenthood facility in 2018. In 13 of the state’s 21 counties, it was the only clinic operating under Title X in 2018.

“The gag rule is unethical and dangerous, and we will not subject our patients to it – because every person deserves to make their own decisions about their health care,” said Triste Brooks, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey.

All clinics are keeping their regular operating hours, said Casey Olesko, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey.

“Right now, we don’t know for certain what this will look like – but it’s unrealistic to think there won’t be changes,” Olesko said. The future is uncertain as we are relying on limited emergency funds. Right now NJ has no plans to close any health centers, but as this fight stretches on we don’t know what the future will hold.”

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., whose panel has jurisdiction over health care, said Planned Parenthood had no choice but to withdraw from Title X.

“This is yet another step in the Trump administration’s relentless campaign to undermine Americans’ health care,” said Pallone, D-6th Dist. “Make no mistake, this callous rule concocted by President Trump’s ideological henchmen jeopardizes access to health care for millions across the country.”

Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at jsalant@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JDSalant or on Facebook. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.

 

 

Judge Halts NJ Assisted Suicide Law

Judge halts N.J.’s Aid in Dying law

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the "Aid in Dying" law in April allowing terminally ill people to obtain a prescription to end their lives.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the “Aid in Dying” law in April allowing terminally ill people to obtain a prescription to end their lives.

A state judge has granted a request to stop New Jersey’s “aid in dying” law from taking effect, preventing any physician from writing a lethal prescription for terminally ill patients to end their lives.

State Superior Court Judge Paul Innes, sitting in Mercer County, granted the temporary restraining order Wednesday at the request of a physician from Bergen County who opposes the law for religious and professional reasons, said E. David Smith of Bloomfield, the physician’s attorney.

The law took effect on August 1, but required a two-week waiting period before a physician could fill a patient’s prescription. That two-week period would have come due Friday, Smith said.

“We wanted to put a stop to it,” Smith said.

The law passed after eight years of legislative hearings, and aggressively fought by religious leaders and disability advocates who said elderly and sick people would feel compelled to end their lives so as not to burden their families. But the right-to-die movement gained momentum after Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old California woman with terminal brain cancer, publicized her decision to relocate to Oregon for its aid-in-dying law and avoid the the final and most painful stage of her disease in 2014.

The legislation stalled while Gov. Chris Christie was in office, but Gov. Phil Murphy, who was sworn-in in January 2018, signed the law four months ago.

“This was a really hard one for me, particularly given growing up as a Catholic,” the governor added. “This was not an easy one to get to. But I got convinced that it shouldn’t be the law that dictates how things end. That it should be you and your loved ones.”

The restraining order is in effect until at least the next court date, scheduled for Oct. 23, according to court documents.

Smith predicted that would not be enough time for the state to write and seek public comment on the regulations required to carry out the law.

Doctors are not mandated to participate, but they are required if they refuse to aid a patient’s death to refer patients to another physician. As a physician and orthodox Jew, Grossman said he could not condone any participation, even if it involved transferring a patient’s file, Smith said.

Grossman believes “the right to human life is sacred and should not be taken under any circumstances,” Smith said.

The law applies to adults who have received a terminal diagnosis — defined as an incurable, irreversible and medically confirmed disease that will end the person’s life within six months.

The written declaration must be witnessed by two people who attest that the patient is acting voluntarily. One of the two witnesses cannot be a person who stands to financially gain from the patient’s death or the patient’s doctor or nursing home employee.

State Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, the law’s prime sponsor, said he was “surprised” by the challenge. “The work we did was carefully structured with guidance from others,” he said.

Marie Tasy, executive director for New Jersey Right to Life, issued a statement thanking the doctor for “challenging this terribly misguided law which is both incompatible with a physician’s role as healer and clearly a danger to our most vulnerable citizens.”

Tasy noted the legislation would never have passed the Senate health committee had Democratic leaders not substituted members that daywho opposed the bill.

NJ Advance Media staff writers Brent Johnson and S.P. Sullivancontributed to this report.

This is a breaking story. More information will be reported later in the day.

The state Health Department has created this webpage explaining the 

NJ Assisted Suicide law goes into effect 8/1/19 – A Truly Sad Day for the Garden State

Note to our website visitors:

Below is an article on NJ’s Assisted Suicide law which goes into effect on 8/1/19.  At the urging of the pro-death lobbying group, Compassion & Choices, sponsors of the legislation agreed to change the title of  the legislation to the “NJ Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act” to make it more palatable and marketable to the public. In reality, the Act legalizes Assisted Suicide and does not  “Aid”  in anyone’s “Dying,” rather, it hastens a person’s death and is intended to do so.

In addition, the NJ Assisted Suicide law’s “so-called” safeguards are hollow. The Act is riddled with loopholes which are a recipe for abuse.  Contrary to media reports, this law does not give patients complete autonomy and is especially dangerous for our most vulnerable populations.  The legislation passed by the narrowest of margins (by only one vote) in each of the Houses of the NJ Legislature.

Shortly after the bill narrowly passed both Houses of the Legislature by the slimmest of margins, Asm. Robert Auth (R-39)  introduced A5525, a bill to Repeal the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act and A5469, a bill which makes it a crime of the first degree to coerce a patient to request medication pursuant to the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, or to forge a patient’s request for such medication.

Action Needed: We are grateful to Assemblyman Auth and the legislators who co-sponsored these bills and ask that you contact your State Senator and two Assembly Members to urge them to support and co-sponsor A5525 and A5469.  Thank you.

How did your Two State Assembly Members Vote? Click on the red hyperlink below to find out

A1504/S1072 Assembly Vote

How did your State Senator vote?  Click on red hyperlink below to find out 

A1504/S1072 Senate Vote

 

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NJ doctors can help terminally ill patients die beginning today

Stacey Barchenger, North Jersey RecordPublished 5:06 a.m. ET Aug. 1, 2019

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill making New Jersey the eighth state to allow terminally ill residents to end their lives with medical help. Michael V. Pettigano and Nicholas Pugliese, North Jersey Record

Janet Colbert made talking about death, a taboo topic, a normal part of her life.

When the retired oncology nurse received her own diagnosis — it was a rare form of liver cancer — in 2013, she began advocating that doctors should be allowed to prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill patients.

It was an option she wanted for herself.

“I feel that it would just give me so much more peace of mind,” Colbert said in 2015, just months before her death.

Today, four years later, it becomes legal for New Jersey doctors to prescribe lethal medication to patients with less than six months to live. New Jersey is one of eight states that allow what is called medically assisted suicide or medical aid in dying, depending on what side of the controversial issue you are on.

Even as advocates welcome the law for which they’ve fought for years, and declare victory for patients’ rights, there remains uncertainty within the medical profession about carrying it out.

The state boards that license doctors, pharmacists, mental health professionals and others have yet to implement regulations called for in the law. It wasn’t until late Wednesday afternoon that the New Jersey Department of Health published requirements for doctors, who must report information such as when prescriptions are issued and when patients die from them.

“It is a life-or-death issue,” said Larry Downs, chief executive officer of the Medical Society of New Jersey, which opposed the law on ethical grounds. “Physicians would probably be wise to wait for that regulatory guidance before deciding to engage in it.”

Supporters say the law is detailed enough to allow doctors to proceed, and there are doctors who are on board, but that doesn’t mean prescriptions will be written today. The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, which oversees the regulatory boards, says rule-making isn’t required before the law goes into effect. Meanwhile, multiple hospital and medical associations have published extensive guidance for health care professionals.

“There are going to be doctors ready to practice on Day One, and there are going to be doctors who — it may take a patient who they’ve treated for along time to present a compelling case for them to use this law,” said Corinne Carey, who led advocacy for the New Jersey law and works for Compassion & Choices.

Other doctors, she said, may wait for additional guidance from state agencies.

What the law says

Janet Colbert has been diagnosed with a form of liver cancer sure to kill her. She’d like to see the Aid in Dying bill passed so she could end her life if her condition became unbearable. (Photo: Andrew Ford)

Formally called the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, the law comes with extensive rules and a waiting period meant to ensure that patients make informed, voluntary decisions about ending their lives.

The law stalled at least twice before in the Legislature. Supporters say sick people should have a right to end their suffering on their own terms, while opponents worry over what they say is a lack of safeguards to protect vulnerable residents. There is debate within the medical community over ethical implications of helping patients die, and religious leaders have also opposed the law.

“I think some leaders in religious communities want to paint this as patients are giving up hope,” said Susan Boyce, a 56-year-old Rumson resident and supporter of the law. Boyce suffers from an auto-immune disease that reduces her lung function.

“We are all fighting and living our lives as full as we can,” she said. “This isn’t hopelessness; this is just the desire to not suffer that last little bit that we don’t want to suffer through.

“It’s a very narrow bill. It has tight rails on it to keep it from being abused.”

Which patients qualify

Susan Boyce of Rumson, who suffers from Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, talks about what it means to her that the legislature has passed the Medical Aid in Dying bill Danielle Parhizkaran, NorthJersey

Patients with less than six months to live can request the medication. According to the law, two doctors must confirm the diagnosis of a terminal illness and that patients are capable of making a sound decision to end their lives.

Patients must be residents of New Jersey. They have to make two requests for life-ending medication at least 15 days apart, and also submit a written request that includes witness signatures.

Behind-the-scenes preparation

When Gov. Phil Murphy put pen to paper and signed the law, he also cued state agencies and health care associations and companies to roll out guidance on how to implement it.

“We knew there was a relatively short window until the enactment date,” said Theresa Edelstein, vice president of post-acute care policy and special initiatives for the New Jersey Hospital Association. “It’s been a process where we started with some basics, the explanation of the law, the summary of the law, and just started to build upon it.”

Now the hospital association has extensive resources online, including sample forms for doctors and patients and draft policies for health care professionals who opt out. The new law does not obligate doctors to prescribe lethal medication.

It’s uncertain how many doctors will act on the law — no prescriptions can be issued for at least 15 days — and it’s up to the Department of Health to collect reports from doctors about prescriptions that are issued and the number of deaths that result.

Doctors themselves are divided. A group of more than two dozen wrote in support of the law in a post on NJ.com earlier this year. Other doctors are vocal opponents.

“Assisted suicide deeply undermines the physician/patient relationship and runs counter to the physician’s oath as a healer,” Dr. Matthew Suh, a general surgery specialist in Newton, said in a statement.

Following others’ lead

New Jersey joins seven other states and Washington, D.C., in allowing doctors to write deadly prescriptions. Maine is the most recent state to approve a law, and Oregon was first, according to the Death with Dignity National Center, an Oregon-based advocacy group.

In July, the Oregon law was amended and the 15-day waiting period was removed over concern that it caused patients in deteriorating condition to suffer for longer. Over time, states have seen increasing participation, but the number of people who take lethal medication remains minuscule. Check out the chart below to learn more.

Enduring controversy

Oregon’s law has been challenged twice before the U.S. Supreme Court since it was enacted in 1994.

While other states have seen court action, none has been taken in New Jersey. Instead, opposition is coming from inside the Statehouse, where lawmakers in both the Senate and Assembly eked out — by one vote — enough support to pass the bill in March.

Four Republican assemblymen are backing a bill that would repeal the law.

Assemblyman Robert Auth, R-Bergen, introduced the bill in June alongside co-sponsors Parker Space, R-Sussex; Ronald Dancer, R-Ocean; and John DiMaio, R-Warren. Auth expressed concern that nefarious individuals would exploit the law and encourage patients to take the medication for their own gain, even though the new law includes rules to prevent that.

Garden State lawmakers, however, are off for the summer, and with Democratic majorities in the Legislature, it is unlikely the effort to repeal will go anywhere soon.

Auth raised concern that oversight bodies such as the Board of Medical Examiners haven’t yet issued guidance on complying with the law.

“There’s no protocol in place by the state,” Auth said. “It’s kind of like the wild wild west.”

Stacey Barchenger: @sbarchenger; 732-427-0114; sbarchenger@gannettnj.com

 

 

Protect the Religious Employer Exemption in NJ Health Insurance Plans. Take Action!

S3804/A5508 is part of a package of bills that the Governor and the legislature are supporting to create a New Jersey version of the federal Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act of 2010.

Unfortunately, the bills would expand insurance coverage for abortion inducing drugs. The bill also removes the exemption in current law for religious employers to provide coverage for female contraceptives if the required coverage conflicts with the religious employer’s bona fide religious beliefs and practices.

Please go to our Legislative Action Tab and take the directed action to prevent this bill from becoming law.  Thank you.

NJ Senate Health Committee Replaces two Senators to get votes to release Assisted Suicide Bill

On February 7, 2019,  the Senate Health and Human Services Committee released S1072, the NJ Assisted Suicide bill from Committee.  The bill can now be voted on at any time in the full Senate.

The Assembly bill (A1504) is cirrently awaiting a vote by the full Assembly

Please contact your State Senator and two assembly members now and urge them to Vote No on A1504/S1072.

Please sign up for our Action emails to keep updated on this important issue.  Thank you.

You can read the article reporting on the February 7 Senate hearing here:   https://www.nj.com/news/2019/02/nj-just-moved-a-step-closer-to-letting-terminally-ill-people-end-their-lives.html

 

I Depend on Life-Support To Stay Alive. Why I Oppose Assisted Suicide Laws by Diane Coleman, CEO of Not Dead Yet

"People who need home care shouldn't be treated as disposable," says Diane Coleman, CEO of Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights group, founded to oppose legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. (Courtesy of Diane Coleman)
“People who need home care shouldn’t be treated as disposable,” says Diane Coleman, CEO of Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights group, founded to oppose legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. (Courtesy of Diane Coleman)

By Diane Coleman 

I have an advanced neuromuscular condition and must use breathing support with a mask 18 hours a day. As a severely disabled person who depends on life-sustaining treatment, I would be able to qualify for assisted suicide at any time where it is legal.

If I became despondent, for example if I lost my husband or my job, and decided that I wanted to die, I would not be treated the same as a nondisabled, healthy person who despaired over divorce or job loss.

If anyone doubted that someone like me would qualify for assisted suicide in a state like Oregon, those doubts were laid to rest in December 2017 when an Oregon Public Health Department official clarified in writing:

“Patients suffering from any disease (not just those that typically qualify one for the DWDA [Death With Dignity Act]) may not be able to afford some treatments or medication, and may choose not to pursue some treatments or take some medication for personal reasons. . . . If the patient does not receive treatment or medication (for whatever reason) and is left with a terminal illness, then s/he would qualify for the DWDA.”

In the decade leading up to the passage of Oregon’s assisted suicide referendum in 1997, proponents often revealed their view that people with disabilities should be eligible. Two thirds of “Dr. Death” Jack Kevorkian’s body count were people with non-terminal conditions like multiple sclerosis.

The Hemlock Society contributed to his legal defense fund.

When the Hemlock Society morphed into “Compassion and Choices,” the messaging shifted, partly in an effort to exclude disability rights organizations from the public debate. Assisted suicide is only for people expected to die within six months, they said. The person must self-administer the lethal drugs, so no one else could kill them, they said.

Any reasonably trained lawyer should be able to see the absence of meaningful patient protections in assisted suicide bills. It took a decade to pass the Washington State statute that came next.

All along, disability groups have pointed out the inherent discrimination and empty pretense of safeguards in these bills. Why does everyone else get suicide prevention, while old, ill and disabled people get suicide assistance? How could a doctor who’s known a person for an average of 13 weeks know if they are being pressured to ask for assisted suicide?

Reported reasons for requesting assisted suicide pertain to disability, chronic or acquired due to illness.

Three of these reasons (feeling a loss of autonomy, loss of dignity, feelings of being a burden) could be addressed by consumer-directed in-home care services. However no disclosure or provision of such services is required. Basically, the law operates as though the reasons don’t matter, and nothing need be done to address them.

Assisted suicide proponents are fond of saying that many people don’t go through with it, but the lethal drugs give them peace of mind. What if some of the many who change their mind have family members who are not happy about it?

If the only other person present at the end is a greedy heir or tired caregiver, there are no safeguards to determine whether they self-administered the lethal drug or were cajoled, tricked or forced.

Although these and other obvious weaknesses persist in New Jersey’s assisted suicide bill (AB1504), the New Jersey Law Journal not only endorses it, but openly advocates expanding it to include active euthanasia and eligibility for people who are not expected to die in six months. No more incremental strategy, no need to hide the broader agenda.

Throughout last summer, people in wheelchairs with the group ADAPT were dragged out of Congressional hearings and arrested, leading successful efforts to save healthcare for millions of Americans. This same group asserts that Assisted suicide is not about relieving the suffering of the dying: it is an expression of the most toxic and deadly form of ableism.”

We urge New Jersey lawmakers to reject ableism, to look behind the public relations images of assisted suicide and consider the dangers to the many elders, ill and disabled people who are not safe from mistake, coercion and abuse.

Diane Coleman is the president and CEO of Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights group which she founded in 1996 to give voice to disability rights opposition to legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia.
www.nj.com

NJ Should Reject Assisted Suicide bill

Currently the New Jersey Legislature is considering assisted suicide legislation known as A1504. Proponents claim this is a compassionate law that is limited in scope and has a number of safeguards. That characterization is not only inaccurate; it fails to recognize some very serious problems in both its language and implementation. The New Jersey bill is modeled after the law enacted in Oregon in 1997 and, since then, a generation of disability rights advocates have been trying to sound the alarm over this horribly dangerous and discriminatory law.

 In Oregon last year, the three most frequently reported end-of-life concerns were decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable (88.1%), loss of autonomy (87.4%), and loss of dignity (67.1%). As proponents of Oregon’s law admit, and as Oregon’s physician reporting form states, it is psycho-social pressures like these that drive the movement for legalized assisted suicide. Doctors also report people requesting assisted suicide because of loss of control of bodily functions. Over 55% of persons who took their lives last year in Oregon reportedly felt like “a burden to their family friends or caregivers.” Certainly these are issues for a wide variety of people who face life changing illnesses and disabilities, but these issues are socially driven and while many of these conditions, such as incontinence, can be tiring, frustrating and at times humiliating, people have a natural capacity to adapt. Our society has made tremendous strides in the ways we can manage these issues; one doctor or even several may not be aware of all the treatment and support options available to a patient.

The current legislation also has no real requirement for mental health or depression screening or treatment, even where depression or suicidal thoughts are considered normal side effects for certain medications. Some disabilities, such as epilepsy, have a high rate of suicidal thoughts that come with the diagnosis. If we are a society that shudders in horror as teen suicide rates spike compared to decades past, especially teen youth who are sexual minorities, and where teen youth dealing with mental illnesses or bullying are at the forefront of our efforts to prevent suicide, why are we even considering a law that proposes suicide as a solution for some adults?

Finally, the Oregon “model” law has no safeguards to protect a patient who may be in an abusive situation. The vast majority of people in Oregon who have used the law are elderly. The wording of the law is so flawed that people who have a direct conflict of interest not only can be a witness to sign a patient’s written request, but also, after the lethal prescription, there is absolutely no oversight in the law, significantly raising the potential for elder abuse or abuse of a medically fragile disabled adult as a result of this law. The patient is supposed to self-administer the drug, but there are no safeguards or procedures in the law to ensure this happens, while the minimal “reporting” requirements virtually ensure that wrongdoing will never be uncovered.

 Certainly, with the many flaws in this legislation, it would be a tragedy for the state legislature to endanger the people of New Jersey with its passage.

 Kate Blisard is a board member of Not Dead Yet, a disability rights advocacy group.

Cecile Richards Lies in Face of FBI Probe, Says Planned Parenthood “Acquitted” of Illegally Selling Aborted Baby Parts

NATIONAL   MICAIAH BILGER   FEB 22, 2018   |   11:11AM    WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood gets away with all kinds of lies.

On Wednesday, the abortion chain’s CEO, Cecile Richards, claimed that Planned Parenthood has been “acquitted of everything” related to its baby body parts trade. Richards made the statement while visiting New Jersey to witness Gov. Phil Murphy’s signing of a law forcing taxpayers to give her abortion chain $7.5 million.

Pro-life advocates criticized the legislation for numerous reasons, not the least of which being that Planned Parenthood is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Right now, Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation by the FBI for the illegal sale of baby body parts and we have to assume that Gov. Murphy is aware of this,” New Jersey Right to Life Executive Director Marie Tasy told NJTV News.

Richards claimed this was a lie.

“As you probably know, there were congressional investigations that were politically motivated. We’ve been acquitted of everything, so that’s simply not true,” she told the news outlet.

Rather than fact check her statement, the news outlet just ran the quote. A quick internet search would have made it clear that Richards was lying.

Quite the opposite of being acquitted, in early December, news broke that Planned Parenthood is being investigated by the federal government. The U.S. Department of Justice said it is investigating allegations that Planned Parenthood illegally profited from the sales of aborted baby body parts.

Fox News broke the story after obtaining a letter from Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd requesting unredacted documents from the U.S. Senate committee that investigated the abortion chain in 2016.

The department sent the letter, dated Dec. 7, to U.S. Sens. Charles Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, who led the committee, the Independent reports.

“At this point, the records are intended for investigative use only – we understand that a resolution from the Senate may be required if the department were to use any of the unredacted materials in a formal legal proceeding, such as a grand jury,” Boyd wrote.

The Senate committee, as well as a U.S. House investigative committee, both recommended that the DOJ investigate Planned Parenthood after finding strong evidence that the abortion chain broke the law.

Also in December, two California biotech companies that worked with Planned Parenthood were prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s office. They reached an $8 million settlement and agreed to stop selling aborted baby body parts.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must De-Fund Planned Parenthood Immediately

Several states that investigated Planned Parenthood also caught it breaking the law. A South Carolina investigation revealed that three Planned Parenthoods dumped aborted babies in a public landfill. The abortion clinics were fined up to $51,000 for the violations. And in Missouri, Planned Parenthood employees repeatedly refused to respond to a subpoena from a Missouri Senate committee investigating the same allegations.

Alabama and Colorado Planned Parenthoods also were accused of breaking state laws by neglecting to report suspected sexual abuse. And Kentucky shut down a new Planned Parenthood facility after it began aborting unborn babies without a license.

These investigations came about as a result of a series of undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress that exposed the baby body parts trade inside the nation’s largest abortion provider.

The abortion chain Planned Parenthood receives approximately half a billion taxpayer dollars every year, while performing about 320,000 abortions annually.

The expose’ videos catching Planned Parenthood officials selling the body parts of aborted babies have shocked the nation. Here is a list of all 14:

  • In the first video: Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
  • In the second video:Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
  • In the third video:Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
  • In the fourth video:Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
  • In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States.”
  • In the sixth videoHolly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”
  • In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video:Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘You want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
  • In the eighth video: StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of” fully intact aborted babies.
  • The ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
  • The 10th video: catches the nation’s biggest abortion business selling specific body parts — including the heart, eyes and “gonads” of unborn babies. The video also shows the shocking ways in which Planned Parenthood officials admit that they are breaking federal law by selling aborted baby body parts for profit.
  • Unreleased Videos: Unreleased videos from CMP show Deb Vanderhei of Planned Parenthood caught on tape talking about how Planned Parenthood abortion business affiliates may “want to increase revenue [from selling baby parts] but we can’t stop them…” Another video has a woman talking about the “financial incentives” of selling aborted baby body parts.
  • The 11th video: catches a Texas Planned Parenthood abortionist planning to sell the intact heads of aborted babies for research. Amna Dermish is caught on tape describing an illegal partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term unborn babies which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.
  • The 12th video in the seriesshows new footage of Jennefer Russo, medical director at Planned Parenthood in Orange County, California, describing to undercover investigators how her abortion business tries to harvest intact aborted babies’ bodies for a local for-profit biotech company and changes the abortion procedure to do so.
  • The 13th video: exposes a Planned Parenthood medical director admitting that babies born alive after abortion are sometimes killed.
  • The 14th video: catches Planned Parenthood executives discussing gruesome abortion procedures and the sale of body parts from aborted babies for profit.