‘How many Lamborghinis were purchased with the blood of innocent children?’
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday launched an investigation into revelations of Planned Parenthood’s baby body-parts trade to determine whether the abortion provider should continue to receive taxpayer funding, which currently amounts to more than half-a-billion dollars a year.
It’s an issue on which there is no middle ground, and the committee was sharply divided. Democrats repeatedly accused majority Republicans of attacking Planned Parenthood, and the GOP members, meanwhile, suggested they have a responsibility as overseers of federal tax revenue to determine whether there was any improper activity.
One key question was raised by a witness, a woman who survived an abortion procedure and warned Congress of the consequences of ignoring the testimony from Planned Parenthood officials themselves, as revealed in a series of videos released by the Center for Medical Progress.
“Planned Parenthood is not ashamed of what they have done or continue to do,” said Gianna Jessen in remarks prepared for the hearing. “But we will have to give an account as a nation, before God, for our apathy and for the murder of over 50 million children in the womb. Every time we falter in courage as individuals and fail to confront this evil, I wonder how many lives have been lost in our silence, while we make sure we are lauded among men and do not offend anyone?
“How many children have died, and been dismembered and their parts sold, for our ego, our convenience and our promiscuity? How many Lamborghini’s were purchased with the blood of innocent children?”
Her reference was to a statement by Mary Gatter, the president of the Planned Parenthood Medical Directors Council, who was discussing the body-parts trade with undercover videographers from CPM.
“But, you know, the money is not important. But it has to be big enough that it makes it worthwhile for me,” Gatter said on the video. “It’s been years since I’ve talked about compensation, so let me just figure out what others are getting and if this is in the ballpark, that’s fine. If it’s still low, we can bump it up.
“I want a Lamborghini,” she said.
The hearing Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee was the start of a series that will make public opinions on video revelations about Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trade.
Planned Parenthood insists that everything it does is legal, and Democrats on the panel Wednesday said that should be the focal point.
However, Chairman Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., said there is one thing that should be remembered.
While the unborn enter a Planned Parenthood living, he said, “They died a brutal death while they were there.
“With all of the subterfuge and distortion and trying to use a bait and switch tactic, don’t forget these were once little babies,” he said.
Progressives on the panel, as well as Planned Parenthood-supporting witnesses, argued that it wasn’t a baby, just a fetus. And they repeatedly attacked CMP instead of addressing the clear statements from Planned Parenthood officials on the videos.
“I don’t need an investigation to understand what’s going on here,” said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, “We’re virtually borrowing half a billion dollars from China [yearly] and funneling that money to Planned Parenthood’s budget, [which is] killing babies and selling their body parts.”
He said the next step should be for the Justice Department to investigate and bring charges and appropriate action.
Jessen, the well-known survivor of a saline abortion done by Planned Parenthood, said in her prepared remarks: “If abortion is about women’s rights, then what were mine? You continuously use the argument, ‘If the baby is disabled, we need to terminate the pregnancy,’ as if you can determine the quality of someone’s life. Is my life less valuable due to my cerebral palsy?
“Planned Parenthood uses deception, the manipulation of language and slogans, such as ‘a woman’s right to choose,’ to achieve their monetary aims,” she said.
Priscilla Smith of the Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale testified on behalf of Planned Parenthood and abortion.
In her prepared remarks she boasted of fighting for “partial-birth abortion” before the Supreme Court.
She claimed the recordings are “unreliable” because of editing, citing a report from a company hired by Planned Parenthood that found the tapes were edited.
Smith said the recordings do not mention the allowance the federal law provides for abortionists to be paid “reasonable reimbursements” for baby body arts.
“We are currently experience (sic) a resurgence in the campaign to restrict access to abortions,” she said in her remarks.
And she accused pro-lifers of violence.
“The anti-abortion advocates involved in manufacturing these videos are, like others before them, going further …. Turning their backs on legal advocacy efforts. When they can’t convince the polity, some advocates have resorted to violence, illegal clinic blockages, harassment of patients, and now the creation of falsified videos.”
James Bopp Jr., general counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, suggested the picture was bigger.
“One of the great tragedies of human nature is that, what history later judges to be gravely immoral, seems perfectly moral to those engaged in the action at the time. Human sacrifice, slavery, genocide, gladiatorial moral combat, and capital punishment for minor offenses are all examples of activities once thought to be moral, but are now considered gravely immoral.”
He continued, in his prepared remarks: “Current practices employed by Planned Parenthood and various tissue procurement companies, not only violate federal law when applicable, but also many ethical and moral principles.”
He cited Gatter’s comments.
“In a conversation with CMP, Dr. Mary Gatter, Planned Parenthood’s Medical Directors’ Council President and medical director of Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley, discussed compensation … She treated the conversation like a negotiation and told the buyer” she would find what others were being paid, and expect the same.
It shows, he said, no connection between the prices and costs – but instead revealed Planned Parenthood “trying to make money off of human fetal tissue.”
He also cited evidence from one of the videos, where a body parts buyer boasted online of providing a program that “fiscally rewards clinics” and includes “financial profits.”
Bopp called for further investigation into indications in the videos that Planned Parenthood delivers some babies alive and then kills them after birth.
Bopp said: “Comments made by employees of Planned Parenthood and tissue procurement employees raise credible concerns that infants are born alive after an induced abortion at Planned Parenthood and then killed to harvest their tissue. [Planned Parenthood’s] Dr. Ginde stated, ‘Sometimes, [if] someone delivers before we get to see them … then they are intact.”
Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said the committee needs to look at the “gaps” in the law that should be filled to prevent the types of horrors described in the videos.
Also, he said, the panel should examine whether any federal laws have been violated.
He confirmed more hearings will be held.
Goodlatte and Franks said in a statement, as the event began: “Planned Parenthood and its executives must answer for the alleged atrocities brought to light in the videos by the Center for Medical Progress. For the past two months, the House Judiciary Committee has been investigating the alleged acts of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, and now the American people will have a chance to understand just how horrific these practices are to the unborn.”