The first congressional hearing was held last Wednesday in a series of meetings to examine the abortion practices at Planned Parenthood, but the non-profit organization wasn’t invited.   

 

This hearing is a response to the videos released this summer that allegedly show Planned Parenthood profiting off of fetal tissue donations. Since the footage was released, Planned Parenthood has claimed that they were altered in an attempt to discredit the organization. Whether or not the film was edited, the organization wasn’t given a chance to defend itself at Wednesday’s hearing.  

 

“For 15 years, anti-abortion activists have been trying to manufacture public outrage, and for 15 years, their attacks have fallen apart upon closer inspection,” said Dawn Laguens, the executive vice-president of Planned Parenthood.

 

If it’s possible that the videos were doctored, why wasn’t Planned Parenthood allowed to give their side of the story during the hearing? Republican lawmakers have said that the videos may have shown up to three different laws being broken, but that’s not why they are holding the hearing. They have held the hearing to make an attempt at defunding the organization, regardless of whether or not the law was broken.    

 

“The issue is not whether there’s been a crime committed or not,” said Republican Congressman Ted Poe during the session. “This issue is whether or not taxpayers should fund Planned Parenthood. That’s the issue before this committee.”  

 

Woman argues at a microphone at Planned Parenthood hearing

Planned Parenthood wasn’t invited to a hearing to represent themselves. (jezebel.com)

The video in question was rarely mentioned during Wednesday’s hearing. Instead, they listened as two abortion survivors gave a detailed explanation on the abortion procedure. Democrat Representative David Cicilline asked the committee of Republicans if they had copies of the unedited footage, since the legality of the video was supposed to be the issue at at hand. Cicilline got Republican Congressman Trent Franks to admit that no one on the committee had actually seen the unedited version of the video.      

 

After the hearing, House Republican leaders announced that they will hold a vote on a bill that would block funding for Planned Parenthood. Abortion is a very small part of the services provided — only 3 percent of all services — by Planned Parenthood, and if they lose their funding, many American women would lose access to STD testing and treatment, yearly exams, birth control, and safe sex education.   

 

Should Planned Parenthood have been invited to the hearing? Would their be negative repercussions from defunding the organization? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.