Boehner appoints woman to lead Planned Parenthood investigation

Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha Blackburn2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet Blackburn introduces bill to require migrant DNA testing at border Bottom line MORE (R-Tenn.) will chair the new select committee investigating Planned Parenthood, Speaker John Boehner announced Friday.

Blackburn will be the second House GOP committee chairwoman, apart from House Administration Committee Chairwoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.), in this Congress.

The committee’s setup is similar to that of the select panel investigating the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. 


Three other House committees — Energy and Commerce, Oversight and Judiciary — have also been conducting an investigation into Planned Parenthood following controversial videos purporting to show the organization’s practice of donating aborted fetal tissue for medical research.

“At my request, three House committees have been investigating the abortion business, but we still don’t have the full truth. Chairman Blackburn and our members will have the resources and the subpoena power to get to the bottom of these horrific practices, and build on our work to protect the sanctity of all human life,” Boehner said in a statement. 

The other seven Republican members are evenly distributed by gender. Reps. Joe Pitts (Pa.), Diane Black (Tenn.), Larry Bucshon (Ind.), Sean Duffy (Wis.), Andy Harris (Md.), Vicky Hartzler (Mo.) and Mia Love (Utah) fill out the rest of the GOP spots.

Democrats have five slots on the committee, which have yet to be announced by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). 

Planned Parenthood blasted the creation of the panel as a purely political move, calling Blackburn "one of Congress' most extreme opponents of safe and legal abortion."

"Planned Parenthood has been cooperating fully with all of these investigations, even though they were all sparked by false and discredited claims and even though their political motive has become increasingly clear," Planned Parenthood vice president of communications Eric Ferrero said in a statement.

The Planned Parenthood committee's investigation does not have an established timeline, but is expected to last for months — likely into 2016, a presidential election year. Blackburn will have subpoena power.

GOP leaders opted to form an investigative panel as a way to meet conservative demands over Planned Parenthood that came close to causing a government shutdown last month.

This story was updated at 2:40 p.m.