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Archive for Sunday, September 2, 2001

FBI: No fetal tissue trafficked at clinic

September 2, 2001

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— An FBI investigation into fetal tissue removal and marketing at a suburban Kansas City clinic that performs abortions has ended with no evidence that any laws were broken, officials said.

The FBI in Kansas City was investigating whether independent contractors at an Overland Park clinic affiliated with Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri illegally profited from fetal tissue. Fetal tissue and organs are used for medical research but cannot be sold at a profit.

Jim Flory, acting U.S. Attorney for Kansas, said Friday that authorities, "after thorough review of the issue, determined there was no violation of federal statutes."

The investigation began in March 2000, after Dr. Miles Jones of Lee's Summit, Mo., was summoned to appear before the House Commerce health and environment subcommittee. Lawmakers wanted to question the pathologist about comments he made before a hidden camera on an episode of ABC's "20/20" about the profitability of selling fetal tissue.

Planned Parenthood was not accused of breaking the law.

The Overland Park clinic terminated agreements with contractors and no longer has anyone doing fetal tissue removal at the clinic, said Peter Brownlie, Planned Parenthood president.

"We're certainly pleased that the FBI investigation indicates that the faith our patients placed in us in donating fetal tissue was not abused by any illegal acts," Brownlie said.

Jones did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Saturday. But in a letter to the House subcommittee last year he denied allegations that he had trafficked tissue.

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