MARCH 1, 2016—Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) President Eleanor Smeal today released a statement regarding the House Select Investigative Panel’s first hearing on Wednesday, March 2, 2016:

“Despite numerous U.S. House and state investigations finding no wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood regarding claims of highly misleading videos, the majority of the House Select Investigative Panel is continuing its one-sided hearings and investigation against abortion providers. Meanwhile, the House Panel has ignored the activities of anti-abortion extremists who use violence, harassment, and intimidation to terrorize patients who use, and doctors, staff, and clinic escorts who are providing, full comprehensive reproductive health care.

“It is striking that the House Panel is holding its first hearing on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the Texas TRAP law designed to close off access to abortion. The time is now to reject politically-motivated attacks against abortion providers and to redirect the focus to anti-abortion extremist violence and intimidation.

“This Panel was created after the anti-abortion, fraudulent Center for Medical Progress released its deceptive and highly-edited videos attacking Planned Parenthood. However, it has failed to call on CMP head David Daleiden or CMP founding officer, board member and Operation Rescue president Troy Newman to answer questions about how their activities might have contributed to anti-abortion harassment, intimidation, and terrorizing of abortion providers.

“This failure is particularly outrageous given that only weeks ago a Harris County, Texas grand jury investigating Planned Parenthood cleared it of any wrongdoing and instead chose to indict Daleiden on felony criminal charges related to his CMP activities. Daleiden and CMP employee, Sandra Merritt, were also indicted on a misdemeanor charge.

“In the wake of the fraudulent CMP videos, threats and violence against abortion providers escalated. In November, anti-abortion extremist Robert Lewis Dear shot and killed three people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic and injured nine others. According to news accounts, after his arrest, Dear told law enforcement, ‘no more baby parts,’ widely believed to be a reference to the videos. Then in December, another anti-abortion extremist was indicted for threatening to kill an executive of the biotech firm that was featured in the videos and that has since been subpoenaed by the House Panel. The Panel should investigate whether the videos made by CMP are not just wrong in content, but are also dangerous. The Panel must now re-focus its investigation to the real threat to women’s health: the violence, harassment, and intimidation against comprehensive reproductive health providers and people engaged in medical research.”


Contact: Meghan Pianta
The Glover Park Group
(202) 295-0167

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