No Planned Parenthood officials to testify at first hearing

Planned Parenthood, Defund, Abortion, Fetal Tissue, Fetal Organs

Lawmakers will hold their first hearing on Planned Parenthood’s video controversy on Wednesday, but will not hear directly from anyone in the organization.

The hearing by the House Judiciary Committee will focus on expert testimony, including the general counsel for the anti-abortion group National Right to Life and the director of Yale Law School’s Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice.

{mosads}The committee will also hear from two “abortion survivors” who lived through their mothers’ attempts to terminate their pregnancies.

But no officials from Planned Parenthood were invited, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

“The purpose of Wednesday’s hearing will be to hear from experts on the issues surrounding the alleged acts of Planned Parenthood,” the committee wrote in a news release announcing the hearing.

Activists from the group behind the videos, The Center for Medical Progress, will also be absent.

The committee said it will specifically request details about late-term abortions and what is involved in altering an abortion “in order to harvest fetal organs” — accusations that have dogged Planned Parenthood for weeks.

A spokesperson for the Judiciary Committee did not respond to requests for comment about why the health provider had not been invited to testify.

The organization has been hurled into the spotlight over the last two months after The Center for Medical Progress released nine videos that claim to show the organization profiting from its fetal tissue donation program. Some of the videos have tallied millions of views.

Planned Parenthood has since become a flashpoint in the debate over government funding.

About a dozen House Republicans riled by the video controversy have threatened to hold up this fall’s government spending bill in an effort to defund the organization — a move that does not have support from the GOP leadership.

– This story was updated at 11:45 a.m.

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