Of Note: While
Planned Parenthood often finds itself in the news because of the
abortion services they offer — abortions are just a fraction of what
they do. From cancer screenings, to HIV tests, STI testing, to sex
education, and family counseling, Planned Parenthood has a wide range of services.
In mid-July, 2015, undercover videos shot by the Center for Medical Progress
(CMP) were released, claiming to show Planned Parenthood officials
discussing the sale of the organs and tissue of aborted fetuses. CMP
claims that the:
"criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby
parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization. Elected
officials must listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be
held accountable to the law and for our tax dollars to stop underwriting
this barbaric abortion business.”
Planned Parenthood has countered that tissue donations for scientific research do happen, but that reimbursements are only for their expenses. From CNN:
"The group also says it helps people donate tissue "with full,
appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and
legal standards," according to a statement from spokesman Eric Ferrero.
Later, Ferrero issued another statement saying:
"These outrageous claims
are flat-out untrue, but that doesn't matter to politicians with a
longstanding political agenda to ban abortion and defund Planned
Parenthood. Women and families who make the decision to donate fetal
tissue for lifesaving scientific research should be honored, not
attacked and demeaned."
In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) introduced this legislation to help put a stop to a “culture of depravity” at Planned Parenthood in the wake of the controversy involving officials from the organization being caught discussing the sale of organs from aborted fetuses. In a speech on the House floor, she added:
“I eagerly await the findings of this forthcoming investigation, but you know what, Mister Speaker? No matter what it reveals, here’s the truth — Planned Parenthood has made a business out of destroying that which God has created.”
The investigation into Planned Parenthood's practices that Rep. Black referenced began with hearings by the House Judiciary Committee in September 2015. The House's Energy and Commerce Committee and its Oversight and Government Reform Committee are also investigating the allegations against Planned Parenthood.
Currently, this bill has 170 cosponsors in the House — only one of whom is a Democrat.
Media:Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Grazia Mele)