According to the House Administration Committee, the Select Investigative Panel scrutinizing abortion providers is requesting around $500,000 to continue its probe into the practices of the organizations. If approved, the total cost of the investigation will exceed one million dollars by the end of the year.
The Panel was established in November 2015, a few months after a group calling themselves Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released surreptitiously filmed deceptive videos depicting Planned Parenthood employees and facilities, manipulatively edited to falsely accuse the organization of selling fetal tissue. A Texas grand jury formed to investigate the allegations against Planned Parenthood ended up clearing the organization of any wrong doing, and instead indicted the director of CMP and one of its employees with a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record. The director of CMP was also charged with a misdemeanor for purchasing a human organ.
Since the release of the video series, several house committees as well as twelve state investigations have found that Planned Parenthood committed no wrong doing. The six democrats on the House’s Investigative Panel have been calling for the disbanding of the Panel since the shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs in late November 2015, and have continued their calls in light of House Committee and state investigation findings and the indictment of the CMP president.
In a statement released on Friday, the Democrat’s leader, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-II) wrote, “This has not been—nor will it ever be—a fact-based investigation. Instead the Panel is being run as a taxpayer-funded arm of anti-abortion groups, in pursuit of a partisan, anti-science, and anti-health care agenda.”
The Feminist Majority Foundation and other women’s rights organizations have continuously called for the committee to either change the focus of the House panel to investigating violence against abortion providers or disband entirely.
The fraudulent video series by CMP has led to a dramatic increase in threats and violence against abortion providers. The Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign to Expose Anti-Abortion Violence highlights the dangerous tactics used by extremists to shut down health clinics, and the leaders who perpetuate the intimidation and harassment of women and their doctors. Learn more here.