The House panel investigating the fetal tissue industry is demanding StemExpress — a firm that harvests aborted fetuses — turn over what amounts to every accounting or banking document it has ever produced, along with a wealth of communications documents.
The panel wants a comprehensive look at the firm’s accounting practices and documents, and a clear understanding of the organization and personnel structure, as well as detailed information on how the price of fetal tissue is determined. StemExpress has been ordered to turn over bank statements, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, copies of tax returns and internal and external communications.
Republican Rep. [crscore]Marsha Blackburn[/crscore], the panel chair, threatened to use “all means necessary” to force StemExpress to hand over the documents in a firmly worded letter to CEO Cate Dyer Monday, saying the fetal harvesting firm has refused to fully comply with a series of subpoenas issued by the panel. (RELATED: This Chart Breaking Down The Price Of Fetal Parts Is Obscene)
The panel is investigating the fetal tissue industry after a series of videos released last year exposed Planned Parenthood’s dealings in fetal parts with buyers such as StemExpress. The for-profit company grew explosively after Dyer founded it in 2010 with just $10,000, going from a tiny startup to a booming company with scores of abortion clinics to work with and $4.5 million of revenue in 2014.
Citing decisive and wide-ranging constitutional authority, Blackburn reiterated the panel’s demand for the subpoenaed documents and laid out additional requests based on the testimony of witnesses at a recent hearing suggesting more records are necessary for the investigation.
The panel is demanding Dyer turn over all accounting records related to the cost and pricing of fetal tissue and any and all documents reflecting StemExpress costs and expenses, including compensation. Dyer is also to turn over every StemExpress bank statement since 2011, as well as every balance sheet, income statement, filed tax return, trial balance report and billing invoice.
“Failure to comply will leave the Panel with no choice but to pursue all means necessary to compel compliance,” Blackburn wrote in the letter. (RELATED: Here’s What A Typical Day Of Harvesting Fetuses Looks Like)
Additionally, the panel is demanding record of “all communications” that direct a StemExpress employee to harvest fetal tissue, and an organizational breakdown that includes detailed information on fetal harvesting personnel and their supervisors.
Dyer maintains StemExpress is cooperating to the best of its ability with the panel, noting thousands of pages of documents have already been turned over. Blackburn referenced her comments in the letter, which includes a detailed chart of which documents have and have not been turned over, saying Dyer’s attorneys have not been cooperative.
The attorneys have objected to the breadth and depth of the request, although Blackburn points out the panel has broad powers to investigate within its designated jurisdiction per the authority of Congress.
Dyer responded to Blackburn’s letter with the following statement:
Chairman Blackburn’s letter misrepresents the continuous efforts StemExpress has undertaken in response to the Panel’s numerous requests since December 2015. We have cooperated with an extensive document production, including accounting records that reflect the company’s financial loss on the provision of fetal tissue. We will send her a comprehensive response, but as has become the pattern, this letter introduces 12 new requests that we are evaluating for the first time.
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