The following comes from a March 24 New York Times article by Gardiner Harris:
WASHINGTON — A special House committee empaneled to investigate fetal tissue research is preparing to issue 17 subpoenas to medical supply companies and laboratories, seeking the names of researchers, graduate students, laboratory technicians and administrative personnel — and prompting charges of intimidation.
Abortion rights advocates and some university officials say the House investigation into how some of the nation’s most prestigious universities acquire fetal tissue threatens to endanger the lives of scientists, doctors and their staff members. The new subpoenas will only escalate a battle that some researchers fear could shut down studies seeking cures for Parkinson’s disease, the Zika virus and other illnesses.
Representative Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, who opposes most fetal tissue research because of its association with abortion, intends to issue the subpoenas on behalf of the Republicans on the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. The panel was created to investigate fetal tissue research after the release of surreptitiously recorded videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to profit illegally from the sale of such tissue.
Many of the universities and organizations blacked out names and other identifying information before submitting hundreds of pages of research documents in response to the committee’s earlier requests for information. “U.C.S.D. has redacted individually identifying information from the enclosed documents,” the University of California, San Diego, stated in its cover letter, citing security concerns. But those redactions frustrated committee investigators and prompted the subpoenas.
House Republicans have tried and failed to cut off all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, but their investigation is having an impact. Some medical studies have been delayed or canceled because researchers can no longer acquire fetal tissue samples from their usual suppliers, who have grown concerned about the investigation, researchers said.
Larry Goldstein, scientific director of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in La Jolla, Calif., told the committee at its first hearing on March 2 that a project to cure multiple sclerosis had been halted because it had “basically seen supply of fetal material dry up completely.”