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Planned Parenthood president expected to testify before House

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Planned Parenthood says its president, Cecile Richards, expects to be invited to testify at a House hearing next week, and that she will agree to appear.

The House Oversight Committee hearing, which has not been officially announced yet, is expected to be on Sept. 29, just one day before the deadline to fund the government.

“Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards expects to be invited to appear at a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on September 29, and, if invited, she will accept that invitation,” Planned Parenthood Vice President Eric Ferrero said in a statement.

{mosads}Planned Parenthood says it looks forward to sharing facts with the committee, though the hearing is sure to be filled with heated exchanges. House leaders are looking for a way to avert a government shutdown, despite pledges by some conservatives not to vote for any funding bill that includes money for Planned Parenthood.

“We look forward to sharing the facts with this committee, which include that fetal tissue donation for medical research is an important but tiny part of Planned Parenthood’s work in just two states, that we’ve had guidance in place for more than a decade in this area that goes well beyond the legal requirements, and that even doctored and discredited videos show no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood,” Ferrero said.

A spokeswoman for Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) did not immediately respond to comment about the expected invitation to Planned Parenthood.

At the same time, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee plan to invite anti-abortion-rights activist David Daleiden to also testify at next week’s hearing on Planned Parenthood.

It would be the first time that Daleiden has been invited to Congress after releasing 10 secretly recorded videos against Planned Parenthood, which have brought the government to the brink of a shutdown.

In their letter, the 18 Democrats on the committee also protested the timing of the hearing and linked it to an effort by some House conservatives to oust Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Out of the small core of conservatives behind that effort, nearly all belong to the newly formed House Freedom Caucus. More than half of all founding members of the Freedom Caucus also have seats on the House Oversight Committee, according to the Democrats’ letter.

“This appears to be part of a broader power struggle to unseat House Speaker John Boehner, led by an extreme wing of the Republican party,” they wrote.

“We do not believe our committee should be dragged into an internal Republican political battle that has been churning for years,” they added.

Three House committees, including the Oversight Committee, have launched investigations into the Planned Parenthood videos. Democrats on each panel have also called for investigations into Daleiden’s group, the Center for Medical Progress.

Two hearings have taken place so far, though Planned Parenthood has not been invited to either.

—This story was updated at 10:48 a.m. 

Tags Boehner Jason Chaffetz John Boehner

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