- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The first congressional hearing on Planned Parenthood since the release of explosive undercover videos is scheduled for next week as part of a House Judiciary Committee investigation into the publicly funded organization’s abortion practices.

The hearing, slated for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, is expected to be the first in a series of hearings called, “Planned Parenthood Exposed: Examining the Horrific Abortion Practices at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider.”

In a statement Wednesday, the committee said it has undertaken an investigation “to determine whether the federal law that prohibits partial-birth abortions and the killing of infants born alive were violated, the history of enforcement of those laws, and the sufficiency of those laws.”

House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte and civil justice subcommittee chairman Trent Franks said in a joint statement that “Planned Parenthood and its executives must answer for the alleged atrocities brought to light in the videos by the Center for Medical Progress.”

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to question a panel of experts on this issue in order to ascertain how Planned Parenthood may have violated federal laws in the course of its alleged practices, and the atrocities associated with altering abortions in order to obtain the body parts of fetuses,” they said.

The committee will hear from “experts on the issues surrounding the alleged acts of Planned Parenthood.”

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has said that a small number of affiliates accept reimbursement for fetal tissue donated for medical research, but has denied any wrongdoing. Federal law allows clinics to accept “reasonable payments” for costs associated with such donations.

The center has released nine videos since July 14 showing undercover interviews with Planned Parenthood officials and others on fetal-tissue procurement. Center executive director David Daleiden has accused Planned Parenthood of profiting from the sale of fetal tissue in violation of federal law.

About half of Planned Parenthood’s annual $1.2 billion budget comes from federal and state funds.

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