GOP Holds Hearing About Planned Parenthood, Doesn’t Invite Planned Parenthood To Testify

While the Senate debates the Iran Nuclear agreement, Republicans in the House are busy focusing on a more important issue: Planned Parenthood.

The House Judiciary Committee, comprised of 16 Democrats and 23 Republicans, held a hearing on Wednesday called “Planned Parenthood Exposed: Examining the Horrific Abortion Practices at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider.”

No, that is not a joke.

Guests included two abortion survivors, Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, as well as James Bopp Jr., a conservative attorney working for the National Right to Life foundation.

There was one guest who isn’t a raging anti-abortion activist, Priscilla J. Smith, who is a senior fellow and director for the Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale Law School.

The most unsettling part about this hearing is the fact not one employee from Planned Parenthood was on the witness list for testimony, even though the hearing was solely about Planned Parenthood.

Dawn Laguens, the vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued a stinging statement lambasting the GOP extremist out to defund the vital healthcare provider:

“This hearing was political theater at its very worst. From the provocative title to the slate of life-long anti-abortion activists invited to testify, it’s clear this hearing was not about Planned Parenthood —- it was a chance for anti-abortion extremists and members of Congress to promote their political agenda of banning abortion in this country.”

“Millions of people across the country depend on Planned Parenthood for basic, reproductive health care. More than half of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas, meaning that quite literally, without us, many of our patients would have nowhere else to go. These attacks against Planned Parenthood are fraudulent, have been widely discredited, and are intended to deceive the public in order to further an anti-abortion agenda. The public overwhelmingly rejects these baseless attacks and overwhelmingly supports federal funding for Planned Parenthood’s preventive services. This is not what people want to see Congress spending its time doing.”

While Bopp and the abortion survivors droned on about the horrors of Planned Parenthood and the need to defund it, Smith dropped a truth bomb on Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chairman of the committee:

“There is an extreme mismatch between the concerns expressed over fetal tissue donation procedures and defunding the critical, nonabortion related health care services provided by Planned Parenthood. As HHS officials have emphasized recently, no federal funding supports abortions or health benefits coverage that includes abortions, except for abortions in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the woman is endangered. 9 Instead, the only federal funds provided to Planned Parenthood cover “services such as annual wellness exams, cancer screenings, contraception, and the testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.”

Although Smith was a very vocal proponent of PP and eloquently lad out the facts instead of rank emotion, that wasn’t enough for Goodlatte, who called for new laws to protect the unborn after the “horrors” depicted in the videos. However, when a Democratic member pressed Bopp on the videos, he responded, “That’s not what this hearing is about.”

It looks like the anti-choicers are conflating the issues.

Featured image via screen capture