Congressional committee holds first hearing on Planned Parenthood

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The first House Judiciary Committee hearing on an investigation of Planned Parenthood took place in Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning.

The the committee plans to hear expert testimony as part of its investigation into Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices after a series of videos put out by the Center for Medical Progress went viral this summer.

“The hearing will examine details of late-term abortions, what is involved in altering an abortion in order to harvest fetal organs, and a history of the laws that protect, or fail to protect, the unborn from these barbaric practices,” the committee said in a statement.

The committee is in the midst of an investigation to examine whether Planned Parenthood violated federal law that prohibits partial-birth abortions and the killing of born-alive infants.

No Planned Parenthood officials nor representatives with the Center for Medical Progress, the creators of the videos, would be represented during the hearing, The Hill reported.

Expert testimony will be given by representatives from the anti-abortion group National Right to Life and Yale Law School’s Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice. Two individuals who survived abortions as infants will also speak.

“Planned Parenthood and its executives must answer for the alleged atrocities brought to light in the videos by the Center for Medical Progress,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said in a statement. “Now the American people will have a chance to understand just how horrific these practices are to the unborn.”

During the hearing, experts discussed a range of topics, from the benefits of using fetal tissue for scientific progress, to the consent of women and the priority of women’s healthcare.

“If you look at the videos , you see these little body parts represent what was once a living, feeling human child…these were once little babies that were killed at the hands of Planned Parenthood,” Franks said during the hearing.

Judy Chu, (D-Calif.) pushed back calling the hearing “sensational” and argued that Planned Parenthood is “vital” for women’s healthcare. The videos, she said, were biased in their editing.

More than two dozen House Republicans have threatened to shut down the government while pushing to defund Planned Parenthood in reaction to the videos.

Watch the hearing and read some expert testimony here.

Contact Kara Bettis at [email protected] or @karabettis