The following comes from an August 14 Politico article by Jennifer Haberkorn:
StemExpress, one of the tissue companies that works with Planned Parenthood, is cutting its ties with the women’s health organization after a series of sting videos that have prompted congressional inquiries.
“We value our various partnerships but, due to the increased questions that have arisen over the past few weeks, we feel it prudent to terminate activities with Planned Parenthood,” the company said in a statement. “While we value our business relationship with Planned Parenthood, that work represents a small percentage of our overall business activity and we must focus our limited resources on resolving these inquiries.”
The small biomedical tissue procurement company is distancing itself from Planned Parenthood after finding itself tangentially linked to what abortion opponents allege is Planned Parenthood’s illegal trafficking of fetal tissue and organs.
Both StemExpress and Planned Parenthood have denied doing anything illegal or improper. They say that they only facilitated the donation of fetal tissue for medical research with a patient’s consent.
StemExpress, a five-year-old company based in Placerville, Calif., notified Planned Parenthood and Congress Friday of its decision to end the relationship, the source said. The House Energy and Commerce and the Senate Judiciary committees had asked StemExpress to explain its relationship with Planned Parenthood.
The company said that it wants to remain focused on its goals of “accelerating research, advancing medicine and saving lives” and expressed hope that the investigations will end soon so that it can turn its full attention back to that work.
The furor that erupted when the first video was released last month shows no sign of abating. The Center for Medical Progress’s David Daleiden has said that he has enough videotape material to release about 12 films in total. Republicans on Capitol Hill have suggested that they want to hold hearings, and more congressional attempts to defund Planned Parenthood are likely after the August recess. The 2016 Republican presidential field has voiced strong support for defunding, too.