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House Tells Planned Parenthood Medical Director To Appear At Hearing

A letter sent to Planned Parenthood Federation of America by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce requests the presence at a hearing of the organization’s senior medical director, who appeared in an investigative video discussing how abortions can be performed so as to save the body parts of babies for sale to biomedical companies.

According to the letter, sent to Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, the committee “respectfully requests Dr. [Deborah] Nucatola provide a briefing to committee staff no later than July 31, 2015.”

After reviewing the statements made by Nucatola in the video, the letter’s signers assert that the organization’s senior medical director’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.”

The members of Congress cite the statement made in response to the video by Planned Parenthood on July 14 that “asserted that the video of Dr. Nucatola was ‘heavily edited’ and ‘falsely portrays Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research.’”

“The statement also noted that Planned Parenthood engages in fetal tissue collection ‘with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards,’” the committee observes.

The members of Congress request that Nucatola 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 lists five areas which it would like Nucatola to be prepared to address, including Planned Parenthood’s consent procedures for fetal tissue sale, how fetal tissue is collected, fees collected by Planned Parenthood for fetal tissue, the relationship between the abortion organization and the companies to which it provides fetal tissue, and the length of time Planned Parenthood has been involved in harvesting aborted baby parts and transferring them to biomedical companies.

The letter is signed by committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton and chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Rep. Tim Murphy, and Republican members of the committee:

  • 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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