Planned Parenthood has been in the news off and on since the release of edited and debunked video’s by the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion organization. The videos showed the director of the center, and a woman, posing as biotechnology representatives discussing with Planned Parenthood representatives the procurement of human fetal tissue. Their aim was to show that Planned Parenthood was illegally profiting from the legal exchange of human fetal tissue. The law allows for “reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage” of human fetal tissue. Several times in the longer versions of the videos Planned Parenthood representatives specify that the fees charged are to cover those expenses only.
In the wake of those videos state and federal investigations were launched. Only in Florida was one clinic found to not be keeping their logs properly, and three clinics were not up to date on specific licenses. The two abortion opponents who made the videos were indicted by a grand jury in Texas for a felony charge of tampering with a government record (fake CA drivers licenses with fake names) with the intent to defraud and a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs (sent a fax offering to purchase human fetal tissue).
Several legislators also released statements against the video’s and exchange of human fetal tissue:
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released a statement, “I share the concerns of millions of Americans who are appalled by footage showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing in graphic detail their role in harvesting the body parts of innocent unborn children. As a lifetime pro-life supporter, I have fought for decades to defend the rights of all human life, especially those who cannot defend themselves.”
Senator Richard Shelby (R-IL) stated, “The recent videos depicting Planned Parenthood’s practices are extremely disturbing and underscore why taxpayer dollars should not support this organization.” He goes on to say, “I believe that human life is a gift, which is why I am adamantly pro-life…”
Senator Daniel Coats (R-IN), “I think what was produced there in terms of what Planned Parenthood was engaged in relative to this harvesting of body parts was so shocking and so unnecessary…” He went on to say, “its a barbaric practice and it’s shocked everyone…”
Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), “The Planned Parenthood videos are deeply disturbing in their callousness toward women and infants, and in their disregard for the sanctity of human life. There are other more responsible organizations that can better use taxpayer resources help women and children.”
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), “The questions surrounding Planned Parenthood’s role in the procurement of fetal tissue, in addition to questions surrounding the companies acquiring fetal tissue from the organization, is evidence of the need for oversight.”
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-NY), “I am also proud that, after recent videos revealed the repugnant practices of Planned Parenthood, the Senate sent to the president’s desk legislation to defund it.”
Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), “The remarks of a Planned Parenthood executive that recently surfaced are nothing short of gruesome. In addition to the fact that these practices are morally repulsive, they also happen to be illegal. That is why the House today announced it will investigate these allegations. I believe that life is precious, and no life is more vulnerable than that of an unborn child.”
Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan), “By now you likely have heard about the chilling video regarding the alleged sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood.” He goes on to say, “My colleagues in the House and I intend to ask the hard questions to learn what is the truth of this practice of “harvesting” fetal tissue.”
Those same six senators and two representatives voted in favor of the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993, which made it legal to exchange human fetal tissue. Recently they voted to suspend all federal funding for one year from going to Planned Parenthood and increased funding for community health programs.
Again these six Republican Senators and two House Representatives voted to allow the exchange of human fetal tissue for research in 1993:
- Mitch McConnell (R-NY)
- John McCain (R-AZ)
- Richard Shelby (R-IL)
- Daniel Coats (R-IN)
- Thad Cochran (R-MS)
- Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
- Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas)
- Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan)
And in 2015 acted appalled by the very thing they voted for.