- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Congressional Democrats on Tuesday told House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to “immediately disband” a taxpayer-funded probe into Planned Parenthood, saying a Texas grand jury’s decision to indict the abortion provider’s opponents had discredited a select committee tasked with scrutinizing groups that harvest fetal tissue.

Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, said 12 states have cleared Planned Parenthood, after a series of undercover videos seemingly showed organization officials negotiating the sale of fetal body parts.

Such sales are illegal only if they’re done for profit. The organization said it did nothing wrong, but Republican leaders accused Planned Parenthood of flouting the law, or at least engaging in grisly behavior that didn’t warrant taxpayer support.

In a stunning turnabout, a Texas grand jury tasked with probing the organization instead last week indicted persons at the Center for Medical Progress who carried out the video sting, galvanizing Democrats who said the GOP probe had been a futile political exercise all along.

“Enough is enough,” said Ms. Murray, joined by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Reps. Diana DeGette of Colorado and Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.

Democrats said the indictment should have sent a clear signal to House GOP leaders who’ve championed the select committee. Those same leaders will stage a vote late Tuesday to override President Obama’s veto of a bill that defunds the organization.

SEE ALSO: Planned Parenthood suing Center for Medical Progress over fetal tissue videos

“It really is a witch hunt,” Mr. Blumenthal said.

Democrats acknowledged that Republicans are unlikely to give up the investigation — a belief supported by GOP comments during floor debate Tuesday.

Rep. Chris Smith, New Jersey Republican and leading pro-life voice in Congress, said Planned Parenthood had been caught red-handed in gruesome and potentially illegal activity.

“Have we lost our capacity to be shocked?” he said.

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