Analysis

House committee calls Planned Parenthood’s bluff

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60673711On July 15, Planned Parenthood Federation of America issued a response to an undercover video released July 14 that showed Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, casually describing how she and other PP abortionists appear to violate several state and federal laws. PPFA denied everything.

Friday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee called Planned Parenthood’s bluff, while at the same time asking Nucatola to explain herself, writing in a letter to PPFA’s CEO Cecile Richards:

Nucatola… is seen making certain statements about abortion procedures and fetal tissue collection and sale to tissue companies….

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….

In addition to this briefing, we respectfully request that PPFA and its affiliates preserve and retain all documents relating or referring to the collection, sale, and/or donation of fetal tissue.

Boom.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Also today, the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting that she investigate possible violations by Planned Parenthood abortionists of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban:

[Nucatola] notes [in the video] that an intact head is the hardest to deliver.  To address this problem, she says “some people will actually try to change the presentation so it’s not vertex” (so the baby is breech instead of head first).  She goes on to explain that “if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often the last, you can evacuate an intact calvarium [head] at the end.”

When discussing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban and how abortionists take the law into consideration, Nucatola goes on to say “the federal abortion ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation.  So there are some people who interpret it as intent.  So if I say on Day One I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter.  Because I didn’t intend to do this on Day One so I’m complying with the law.”

Both the references to the process of breech conversion and the interpretation of intent raise serious questions about whether abortionists and particularly abortionists in the Planned Parenthood organization are complying with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

With this in mind, please provide a summary of all actions your Department has taken to ensure compliance with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Further, we urge you to act swiftly to launch an investigation into any potential violations of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of which your Department has become aware, or does become aware, including potential violations by Planned Parenthood.

I expect Lynch will try to stall. Hope the committee dogs her.

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