Healthcare

California companies sued for allegedly selling fetal tissue for profit

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A California district attorney on Wednesday announced a civil lawsuit against two fetal tissue companies, claiming they have illegally sold fetal tissue for profit. 

The issue of profits from the sale of fetal tissue was thrust into the spotlight last year due to undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood.

Multiple state investigations have since found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. 

{mosads}In this case, though, the Orange County district attorney says two companies, DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics, which share some of the same owners, illegally sold fetal tissue for profit. 

The companies obtained their fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood, the DA’s office said. The district attorney, Tony Rackauckas, said that there is no evidence the companies exchanged money with Planned Parenthood or that Planned Parenthood did anything unlawful, according to the Los Angeles Times

The suit instead focuses on the actions of the two companies. 

“From 2009 to 2015, the defendants obtained aborted fetus donations from Planned Parenthood and turned those donations into a profit-driven business,” the DA’s office said in a news release. 

“Rather than limiting their income on these sales, the defendants intentionally set their prices as high as possible in an effort to maximize their profits,” the release adds, noting that fetal products were “routinely sold at a 10-fold or higher mark-up over their costs.”

A lawyer representing both companies told the Los Angeles Times the companies had done nothing wrong and the matter came down to “accounting issues.” 

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who chairs the committee set up to investigate Planned Parenthood, said the lawsuit vindicated her committee’s work.

“For nearly a year, critics of this Panel’s fact-finding investigation have repeatedly called for it to be disbanded, saying there’s nothing to see here,” Blackburn said in a statement. 

“They claimed there was no wrongdoing in the fetal tissue industry,” she said. “This claim was soundly debunked with a lawsuit filed by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, which reveals that officials at the state and local level share our concern that some fetal tissue middlemen may have broken the law.”

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