This summer, the Center For Medical Progress released video footage of Planned Parenthood executives seemingly discussing the sale of baby body parts. Since the release of the first video, there has been a steady stream of new, equally unsettling, footage. Republicans in Congress have taken the allegations against Planned Parenthood seriously and are endeavoring to find out which laws may have been broken and how culpable various Planned Parenthood executives may be.
Just this week, Cecile Richards, who is the president of Planned Parenthood, was called to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The committee, one of four congressional panels looking into the matter, questioned Richards on a variety of topics.
Chairman Chaffetz began by simply questioning Planned Parenthood's need for federal funding. "I could be here a long time listing out fairly exorbitant salaries" he said before drawing attention to the fact that heading the non-profit group earns Richards $520,000 a year. Democrats, who love to criticize large CEO salaries, seem to have no problem with Richards' compensation even as they claim federal funding is critical to Planned Parenthood's continued existence.
Referencing repeated claims that the videos released by the Center For Medical Progress amount to nothing more than entrapment, Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio asked Ms. Richards "[i]f this was all entrapment, why'd you apologize?" After continual push-back from Ms. Richards including such evasive answers as "agreeing to disagree" Congressman Jordan was forced to let up only because his time ran out.
Congressman Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee followed up with a poignant statement saying: "It seems to me that the apology you offered was like what some criminals do. They're not really sorry for what they have done. They are sorry they got caught and it seems to me that your apology is more because you got caught on these videos."
Intensive Congressional inquiries are not likely to taper off any time soon. There are several, as of yet unanswered, questions about the legality of Planned Parenthood's actions. Has Planned Parenthood obtained any illegal profits from the sale of aborted baby body parts? Are Planned Parenthood doctors altering accepted abortion procedures in order to ease tissue collection from the aborted children? Lastly, are any illegal partial-birth abortions taking place in Planned Parenthood facilities? These are important questions that deserve answers, and Congressional Republicans are working tirelessly to obtain them.