Newsbreak

Congress tells Planned Parenthood director to appear at hearing for selling baby parts

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Congress is wasting no time in its investigation of Planned Parenthood, after an undercover video released this week shows how the organization appears to be selling fetal parts from aborted babies.

Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, asking that Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola to appear no later than July 31.

The committee writes:

Dr. Nucatola’s statements raise most troubling questions with regard to your organization’s practices when performing abortions and whether those practices are consistent with federal law, including those laws restricting partial birth abortions and the sale of human fetal tissue.

Given your statement that this video falsely portrays Planned Parenthood and the questions raised by the video, we respectfully request that Dr. Nucatola provide a briefing to committee staff no later than July 31, 2015, to explain specifically the context and meaning of her statements on the video, what comments were edited or not portrayed accurately, and to provide information so that we may better understand your organization’s practices and standards relating to the collection and sale of fetal tissue.

The committee said Dr. Nucatola should prepare to address several items, including practices for collecting fetal tissue, associated fees, and the relationship Planned Parenthood has with companies that handle the body parts.

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The letter concludes by asking Planned Parenthood to retain “all documents relating or referring to the collection, sale and/or donation of fetal tissue.”

The video, which is the first of many put out by the Center for Medical Progress, has been viewed well over two million times in its first three days of release. Even the almost-three hour unedited version has been viewed 135,000 times.

While Richards attempted to defend herself, even her tweets have been met with anger and sarcasm, and her apology video did nothing but apologize for Nucatola’s tone in the undercover video.

The letter was signed by the following Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee:

  • Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (MI)
  • Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (PA)
  • Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (TN)
  • Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Vice Chairman David McKinley (WV)
  • Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (TX)
  • Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (PA)
  • Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX)
  • Morgan Griffith (VA)
  • Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN)
  • Bill Flores (TX)
  • Susan Brooks (IN)
  • Markwayne Mullin (OK)
  • Richard Hudson (NC)
  • Chris Collins (NY)
  • Kevin Cramer (ND)
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