A man caught with four preserved fetuses in his garage is heading to trial in January to face charges of defrauding customers.
Arthur Rathburn will face trial in court regarding accusations that he fraudulently sold diseased adult body parts to his customers, to which he has pleaded not guilty. In addition to these allegations are the grotesquely preserved fetuses that authorities discovered in a 2013 raid of Rathburn’s warehouse. The second-trimester fetuses were reportedly preserved in some kind of brown liquid and floated alongside human brain tissue, according to Reuters.
“This needs to be reviewed,” said Republican Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who recently chaired a House committee on fetal tissue use.
“The actions depicted in these photos are an insult to human dignity,” House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte also told Reuters.
While buying and selling body parts and cadavers, except organs used for transplants, is legal in the U.S., trading fetal tissue for profit is not. It remains unclear how Rathburn obtained the fetuses and what he planned to do with them, but investigators are looking into whether he had planned to illegally sell the bodies for monetary gain.
To ascertain how easy or difficult it would be to obtain fetal tissue — and to track whether that fetal tissue was being sold illegally for profit — a Reuters reporter purchased two human heads and a cervical spine from the Blackburn, Tennessee body broker Restore Life USA. The purchase was made via email and cost $900 plus shipping, according to Reuters.
“It is sickening” how easily Restore Life sold the parts to Reuters, Blackburn said. Restore Life USA maintains that it is a nonprofit organization “that provides human tissues for medical research and education purposes,” according to its website.
Planned Parenthood also faces an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for its dealings in fetal tissue parts. The DOJ’s investigation comes after it requested documents investigating allegations that Planned Parenthood illegally profited from the sale of the parts of aborted babies. (RELATED: DOJ Launches Investigation Into Planned Parenthood).
“I knew what I was doing was wrong,” a former Planned Parenthood Manager, Ramona Trevino, recently told The Daily Caller News Foundation, describing the abortion organization as nothing other than “demonic.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Planned Parenthood Employee Describes ‘Demonic’ Organization).
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