Demanding Answers and Continuing to Hold #PlannedParenthood Accountable
WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders this week continued the investigation into Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices and its handling of fetal tissue. The leaders sent letters to Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the heads of seven Planned Parenthood affiliates. The letters build on the committee’s ongoing investigation and demand answers from the national organization and several affiliates on the handling of and policies regarding fetal tissue, its cost, and how it is obtained.
In the letter to PPFA President Cecile Richards the leaders write, “There are still a number of questions we have concerning how PPFA and its affiliates have implemented and managed programs related to the donation of human fetal tissue. … We understand that PPFA has provided guidance to its affiliates on the establishment and operation of programs to facilitate the donation of human fetal tissue. However, despite PPFA’s assertions that it complies with all applicable laws and ascribes to the highest ethical standards with regard to these programs, its guidance does not appear to be fully consistent with the requirements of the 1993 law. The language in the guidance is confusing, inconsistent, and even at times, inaccurate.”
The letter continues, “PPFA has not produced any evidence regarding how affiliates are required to account for reimbursement costs related to fetal tissue donation. … there is little evidence to date that PPFA carefully monitors or oversees affiliates’ fetal tissue donation programs.”
The leaders also sent letters to Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Planned Parenthood Northern California, Planned Parenthood Orange and San Bernadino Counties, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Planned Parenthood Greater Washington and North Idaho. These letters read, “The committee seeks to understand how [your affiliate] has implemented and maintained its fetal tissue donation program.”
The letters were signed by full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), and full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
The committee launched this investigation upon release of the first in what has been a series of “abhorrent” videos raising vital questions about Planned Parenthood’s and others’ abortion practices as it relates to fetal tissue.