Politics Reproductive Rights

PPFA President Agrees to Testify Before House Committee; House Dems Demand CMP Testify, Too

Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards has agreed to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is chaired by Reps. John Chaffetz (R-UT).

via  David Shankbone
via David Shankbone

The House Committee is “investigating” allegations against Planned Parenthood after the release of highly edited and misleading videos from anti-choice group calling itself the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) claiming the organization profits from fetal tissue donation. The claims have been repeatedly proved to be false, and House Democrats are calling for CMP testify before the House Committee, too.

In a statement issued Monday, Planned Parenthood spokesperson and Vice President Eric Ferrero said Richards expects to be invited to the hearing on Sept. 29 and “if invited, she will accept that invitation.”

“We look forward to sharing the facts with this committee,” Ferrero continued, “which include that fetal tissue donation for medical research is an important but tiny part of Planned Parenthood’s work in just two states, that we’ve had guidance in place for more than a decade in this area that goes well beyond the legal requirements, and that even doctored and discredited videos show no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood.”

Meanwhile, in a letter to Chaffetz, all 18 Oversight Committee Democrats urged Republican members to call David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Process (CMP), to testify as well, alleging the Committee, many of whom belong to the House Freedom Caucus, a far-right faction of the GOP, have engaged in a “biased, one-sided attack” against the women’s healthcare provider in the wake of several fraudulent videos released by CMP this summer. Should the Committee refuse House Democrats’ request, they have vowed to call Daleiden to testify at a separate hearing that same day.

“We believe it is fundamentally unfair to hold a public hearing to essentially indict Planned Parenthood in the court of public opinion without hearing directly from their accuser, David Daleiden, who deceptively edited secretly-recorded videos in an ultimately unsuccessful three-year crusade to entrap Planned Parenthood,” the Democrats wrote.

Though not officially announced, the hearing is expected to be held the day before the House votes on the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government. In recent weeks, House Republicans have threatened to shut the government down unless the government cuts funding to Planned Parenthood.

Media Resources: Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Press Release 9/21/15; Feminist Newswire 9/21/15;