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Select Panel Refers University of New Mexico & Southwestern Women’s Options to New Mexico Attorney General for Criminal Investigation

Jun 23, 2016
Cites evidence showing possible violations of state and federal law

Washington, DC – The Select Investigative Panel today issued a criminal referral to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas detailing evidence that the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Southwestern Women’s Options (SWWO) may have violated New Mexico’s Jonathan Spradling Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (Spradling Act). The referral letter also notes that further investigation is warranted into whether UNM or SWWO also violated 42 U.S.C. § 289g-2, a federal statute that makes it a 10-year felony to receive valuable consideration in exchange for human fetal tissue.
 
“Section 289g-2 requires safeguards be in place, including a concern that too close a relationship might be formed between an abortion clinic and researchers,” Chairman Marsha Blackburn writes in the referral to Attorney General Balderas. “Through its investigation, the Panel has discovered that personnel within UNM’s hospital and medical school have aggressively engaged in expanding abortion in New Mexico through the offices, personnel, and resources of UNM.”
 
Over the course of its inquiry, the Select Panel has uncovered evidence of a symbiotic relationship between UNM and SWWO, a clinic located one mile from UNM that provides abortions through all three trimesters of pregnancy. It is the Panel’s understanding that SWWO is the sole provider of fetal tissue to UNM.
 
The Spradling Act prohibits making anatomical gifts of the remains of any fetus that is the product of an induced abortion. The consents ostensibly obtained by SWWO from mothers of aborted infants do not validate the donation of their infants’ remains for research, because under the Spradling Act the bodies or parts of aborted infants may not be anatomical gifts.
 
“Documentation obtained by the Panel in the course of our investigation reflects the transfer of fetal tissue from Southwestern Women’s Options to UNM for research purposes is a systematic violation of New Mexico’s Spradling Act,” Blackburn says. “These violations occurred as UNM personnel procured fetal tissue from patients at Southwestern Women’s Options for research by UNM entities.”
 
Click HERE to read the entire letter and accompanying documents.

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