House Republicans showed the gruesome Planned Parenthood videos in a hearing today. Democrats tried to block them.
The hearing in the House subcommittee on health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce was to consider proposals to expand protections for unborn children who survive an abortion and also the federal ban on partial birth abortion.
Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Renee Elmers (R-NC) want the Congress to give states the right to withhold federal funding, especially Medicaid funding, if an abortion provider is even suspected to violating either the Infants Born Alive Protection Act or the Partial Birth Abortion Act.
Subcommittee chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) opened the hearing by showing video of Holly O’Donnell, the StemExpress whistle-blower talking about how a Planned Parenthood staff member showed her starting a baby’s heart. Other footage shown by Pitts showed Planned Parenthood personnel talking about intact fetuses, leading some to believe the children were born alive.
In the committee hearing last week, witnesses said the Democrats refused even to look at them. This time some of them looked, others looked away and still others “panicked,” in the words of one observer. They huddled together and then tried to have sub-committee chairman Pitts stop them. He refused.
The Democrats spent most of the hearing attacking the videos and also attacking David Daleiden and his group for supposedly violating the law. The Democrats repeatedly called the videos “heavily edited” and called Daleiden an “anti-abortion extremist.” They also insisted the bills under consideration were only for the purposes of closing Planned Parenthood permanently, something they say would cause a national crisis in healthcare for poor women.
The Democrats also claimed their staff members had carried out an investigation and found “no evidence” or any of the charges leveled by David Daleiden and his CMP colleagues. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) said such conclusions were impossible, since the investigation was only in the preliminary stages.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, CEO of Americans United for Life, and Casey Mattox of Alliance Defending Freedom testified on behalf of the bill.
Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse