Several Republican members of Congress admitted Thursday that there’s either no evidence Planned Parenthood broke the law, or that the point of the congressional investigation is really to debate the morality of abortion.
The U.S. House voted Wednesday to create a select committee to investigate abortion practices and fetal tissue donation, a move that Democrats say is a politically motivated attack on Planned Parenthood.
“We believe that the videos will show how Mr. Daleiden deceptively edited his videotapes to distort the truth, but those tapes are being hidden away,” Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) said on the House floor Wednesday.
The misleadingly-named “Women’s Public Health and Safety Act” would allow states to kick health-care providers out of their Medicaid programs for performing abortions, or being connected in almost any way to abortion services.
Republican lawmakers asked Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards the same questions over and over, seeming not to care what her answers were or whether their questions were grounded in reality.
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The two bills passed Friday would “undermine access to comprehensive reproductive health care and criminalize the practice of medicine,” says the president of the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Planned Parenthood and pro-choice legislators have already called for the anti-choice group to release its full, unedited videos, but this request comes from a Republican who has a different rationale for asking for the full videos.
“Despite the incendiary rhetoric, we have looked strictly at the facts,” said Reps. Frank Pallone and Diana DeGette, top Democrats on one of the committees investigating Planned Parenthood.
Colorado Republicans will at best see a neutral response by general-election voters and at worst face a serious backlash in next year’s election as a result of their continued attacks on Planned Parenthood, political analysts say.