During a heated first public hearing of a special House panel probing the practice of fetal tissue donation, Democrats on the panel who have received contributions to their campaigns from Planned Parenthood condemned the undercover videos produced by Center for Medical Progress – which exposed Planned Parenthood’s apparent practice of selling the body parts of aborted babies to biotech companies – as “fraudulent” and “deceptively edited.”
In their comments, some Democrats cast members of the pro-life community as “anti-abortion extremists” who could use information gleaned from the panel to bring harm to abortion providers and those involved in fetal tissue transfer and research.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler said the GOP-led panel – which is chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn – could be “complicit with physical assaults or murders” of those involved in fetal tissue research and moved to quash their subpoenas.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky – ranking member on the panel – once again urged that the special committee be disbanded and called the investigation a “partisan and dangerous witch hunt.”
Schakowsky said Planned Parenthood has been cleared of all wrongdoing by a grand jury in Texas. She added:
The only criminal acts uncovered during the course of these investigations have been those of anti-abortion extremist David Daleiden who is now under indictment in Texas for his role in manufacturing the deeply deceptively edited videos that have fueled the Republicans’ latest attacks on women and their doctors.
“The chair’s abuse of her position as chair to compel this information is frankly reminiscent of Sen. Joe McCarthy’s abusive tactics,”nSchakowsky added. “We live in a world where fetal researchers are being compared to Nazi war criminals.”
Under suspicion of bias, Harris County, Texas District Attorney Devon Anderson convened a grand jury that cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing in the video exposé and, instead, indicted Center for Medical Progress project lead David Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merrit. Two pro-choice law professors wrote that the indictment of Daleiden and Merrit amounted to “a stunning act of legal jujitsu” and was a “deeply disturbing” outcome both for the First Amendment and undercover citizen journalists attempting to expose corruption.
Though Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing in its sale of body parts, the abortion business also released a statement in October announcing it will no longer accept payments for aborted fetal tissue. The organization and its media supporters continue to insist the videos, produced by CMP, were “deceptively edited.”
However, a Democrat opposition research firm named Fusion – hired by Planned Parenthood to review the videos – said while their analysts observed the videos had been edited, “the analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.”
Additionally, Fusion noted, “[A]nalysts found no evidence that CMP inserted dialogue not spoken by Planned Parenthood staff.”
Another analysis by Coalfire, a third-party forensics company hired by Alliance Defending Freedom, found that the videos were “not manipulated” and that they are “authentic.”
In November House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi chose six of the strongest abortion advocates to represent her Party on the special panel that was convened in the wake of the undercover video exposé.
Data from the Center for Responsive Politics lists Planned Parenthood donations to political campaigns from 1998 through the 2016 election cycles. The following amounts are totals contributed by Planned Parenthood to the campaigns for the Democrats on the special panel:
- Jan Schakowsky: $11,865
- Jerrold Nadler: $5,535
- Diana DeGette: $36,735
- Jackie Speier: $4,000
- Suzan DelBene: $19,232
- Bonnie Watson Coleman: $2,500
However, as Newsbusters reported:
But going back to 1990, Planned Parenthood has given the representatives more than $81,000.
Back when the Center for Responsive Politics listed donations going back to 1990, MRC Culture counted $13,115 for Rep. Jan Schakowsky in contributions from Planned Parenthood. Adding that number to the total of the others since 1998 ($68,002) brings the total to more than $81,000.
Additionally, RedState reported the following:
The abortion lobby, EMILY’s List, has given the ranking member of this panel (which is supposed to be investigating the abortion industry’s legally dubious practice of selling aborted babies’ body parts to pad “their bottom line”), Rep. Schakowsky, over $64,000 dollars in direct campaign contributions. It has handed Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) over $48,000.
Likewise NARAL Pro-Choice America has flooded Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)’s campaign coffers with over $31,000 and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)’s with over $19,000.
All totaled, the abortion industry has paid more than $305,000 for the six Democrats appointed to the Select Investigative Panel tasked with investigating Planned Parenthood.
DeGette also admitted in 2011 that she was a member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Planned Parenthood for several years in the 1990s.
Referring to the House special panel as “the Select Committee to Attack Women’s Health,” Pelosi said in a press release at the time. “I am proud to name six strong champions of women, families and facts to stand up against the latest Republican assault on women’s health.
“Hard-working families deserve better than a taxpayer-funded Republican Select Committee fixated on dismantling women’s health,” she added. “As Republicans try to take affordable family planning and lifesaving preventive care away from millions of American women, Democrats will be in the room to fight for the truth.”