House Republicans yesterday approved a “politically-motivated” resolution by a vote of 242-184, to create a special “Select Committee” charged with investigating abortions, fetal tissue procurement and the use of federal funds at Planned Parenthood, reported the Huffington Post. The Select Committee will function as part of an Energy and Commerce subcommittee, with subpoena power and authority to take testimony. Its “official” stated mission is an examination of “medical procedures and business practices used by entities involved in fetal tissue procurement” and “federal funding and support for abortion providers.” Its unstated mission is “political” in nature, a near duplicate of the disastrous House Benghazi Select Committee.
Republican leaders pushed for the latest investigation by this “Select Committee” after they failed to win passage last month of legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. Heavily edited undercover videos caused a stir in accusing Planned Parenthood of breaking the law by selling fetal tissue after abortions, but none of these false accusations of fetal sales have been supported by any facts nor have any charges been filed. Planned Parenthood has slammed the videos as “deceptively edited” and repeatedly denies any wrongdoing.
During the debate on the House floor prior to the vote of the resolution, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) spoke out on the reasons for the Select Committee. “We know that fetal tissue procurement … provides life-saving research for diseases like Parkinson’s, ALS and others.”
“No, Mr. Speaker, you are not trying to find the facts. This is just another pathway to deny a woman a right to a safe and legal abortion,” said Rep. Moore.
It was just a week ago that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings on Planned Parenthood, which turned out to be an attack on women’s health and a continuation of the “War on Women” by the Republicans.
The line of questioning by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, was criticized by Democrats. Rep. Chaffetz asked Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. a question in the form of an accusation, “Your compensation in 2009 was $353,000. Is that correct?” according to Slate.com
“I don’t have the figures with me,” Richards replied.
Chaffetz replied, “It was. Congratulations.” This “snarky comment” of “congratulation,” referring to Richards, a woman, is what set off Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who upon her turn directed a slap back at Chaffetz, “I first would like to register my opposition and my objection to the chairman beating up on a woman, on our witness today, for making a good salary,” Maloney said.
“The entire time I’ve been in Congress, I’ve never seen a witness beaten up and questioned about their salary,” she continued. “Ms. Richards heads a distinguished organization providing health care services to millions of Americans. I find it totally inappropriate and discriminatory.”
There is no doubt that the “War on Women” will continue with the formation of yet another Committee and spill over into the 2016 presidential campaign.