GOP senators demand federal probe into Planned Parenthood

GOP senators demand federal probe into Planned Parenthood
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Nearly a dozen Republican senators are demanding a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s use of fetal tissue after a pair of videos appeared to show price-haggling by top executives.

Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Push for paid family leave heats up ahead of 2020 New act can help us grapple with portion of exploding national debt MORE (Utah), along with 10 others, sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Tuesday, urging them to examine whether the organization broke a law that bans the sale of fetal tissue.

“The disturbing facts revealed in this video raise the question whether the employees of a federally funded organization have violated federal law by engaging in the transfer of human fetal tissue for profit,” they wrote.

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOrrin Hatch Foundation seeking million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor Mitch McConnell has shown the nation his version of power grab Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Utah Senate votes to scale back Medicaid expansion | Virginia abortion bill reignites debate | Grassley invites drug execs to testify | Conservative groups push back on e-cig crackdown MORE (R-Utah) on Wednesday called for a comprehensive congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood, one day after the second video was released. 

“I am horrified by the videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of unborn baby parts as casually as a mechanic might seek to sell car parts,” he wrote in a statement.

“Congress must investigate whether Planned Parenthood, which receives hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year, is complying with applicable laws and regulations,” he wrote.

Two GOP-led committees, both in the House, launched investigations into the organization after the first video was released last week.

That video features a top medical doctor from Planned Parenthood discussing the process of preserving fetal organs such as livers, lungs and “intact” hearts for research.

A second video, released Tuesday, shows Dr. Mary Gatter, a Planned Parenthood official, apparently negotiating the price of selling fetal tissue for medical research.

The Center for Medical Progress, which produced the videos, claims that it shows Planned Parenthood illegally profiting off the sale of fetal organs.

Planned Parenthood has fired back that the videos are heavily edited to portray illegal activity and that the officials in the videos are looking for compensation for expenses, not profit.

In their letter, the GOP senators said Planned Parenthood may also have violated a federal law that prevents any alteration of the “timing, method or procedures” of an abortion for the purpose of collecting the tissue.